Did you know that Siri can play you the news? Just say, “Hey Siri, play the news,” and you’ll get an audio brief of the latest headlines from top news sources from your HomePod, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Check out the sample below from BBC World Service.
Hear a sample of the latest five minute news bulletin from BBC World Service.
Developing leadership and positive team culture on the University of Michigan Mens Lacrosse team
Coach John Paul from the University of Michigan talks about developing a positive team culture and how the skill of leadership can be learned by every player and is essential to each players development. My notes from our conversation are below:
The next season starts “the day after” their previous season ends. Each new team has its own identity, its own leaders and its own followers.
Summers present an interesting challenge because almost immediately after the season is over players are off in a variety of directions, however, Coach Paul uses the media that is available in this day and age, mostly group emails, to keep his players interacting and thinking about each other. Topics might be serious or they might just be a player sharing a joke or funny situation they experience during the summer, either way they are continuing their relationships and staying in touch.
Once players return to school the focus is on getting the freshmen settled and into what their program is about. Communicating standards, core values, expectations and letting them know what their program is all about is an immediate priority. Coach says he doesn’t have a system that he applies every year, but rather he has developed a set of tools over the 20 plus years he has been coaching at Michigan that he can apply to his team based on the composition of his team.
This years team has decided to form a leadership group of 10-12 players who each will be assigned 4-5 players to lead with each group having at least 1 freshman in it. Their duties are to ensure that team duties, tasks and events are properly communicated and attended to by everyone in their group. The smaller groups make it easier for the leader to manage and also allows them to get to know their group on a more personal basis and mentor them.
Previous years where his team has not had obvious leaders, Coach Paul did not assign leaders but rather let them develop by giving the upperclassmen additional duties to fulfill and seeing how they did with them. Things such as “stretching lines” and then rotating those duties amongst the available players and seeing how they develop. One year he didn’t pick captains until 4 weeks into the season and then only because the team felt they were ready and knew who those leaders were.
Getting the right players recruited and on the team is not an “exact science”, and has been hard in recent years because coaches have been forced to recruit players so early that they haven’t had time to demonstrate the character traits he is looking for. At present coaches have to make some predictions based on how the players interact with family, how they interact with others as they play.
The Hard Hat: This book is good for giving players something to strive for. Its like a substitute value system for players who are still struggling with what their values are. He had his leadership group read the book over the summer and then sign their names and year on the inside flap of the book to signify having read and studied the book. Coach Paul did that based on a recommendation from the books author, Jon Gordon, and he thinking it might have been even more effective for them to have purchased 50 copies and handed the book down from player to player. Either way, its a great read especially for lacrosse players because it is about a lacrosse player.
Legacy: by James Kerr. A great book about a great rugby team, the New Zealand All Blacks. There are many good lessons in this book but Coach Paul mentions that what impressed him most was how the superstars on this team all bought into the values and ethics of the team in all aspects. One of the things you would see an All Blacks player doing after a game would be to sweep out the locker room and clean it up “better than they found it”, even their visitors locker room.
Laxicon008, An interview with Nat St. Laurent of Ohio Northern University
I am honored to bring you my interview with Nat St. Laurent, the Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach at Ohio Northern University. In 2014 Nat was selected by Ohio Northern to head up their first ever men’s lacrosse team after stints with Washington and Lee as well as Ferrum and VMI before that. Nat is also an assistant coach for the Major League Lacrosse team the Ohio Machine. Ohio Northern will be in their first official season this coming spring and Coach St Laurent will be taking us through how he has built his team from the ground up and developed what he knows will be a winning culture within his team. Startups are always hard, but they’re a whole lot easier when you have Coaches like Nat St Laurent leading them. Some highlights from the podcast include:
Starting a Lacrosse 101 program to help educate the local community about lacrosse and to get the players into the schools.
They are also beginning to get involved in reading to the youth kids at the local schools and looking at some mentorship programs as well.
Nat is an Army Reservist and has been going on 13 years now, and he is looking to bring in the military’s team bonding activities such as the confidence course, ranger training, and similar type exercises to help build unity and teamwork in his team as well as help his players better understand what unique skills and abilities they bring to the team by being challenged in some exercises outside of their comfort zone.
Has had his whole team read “The Hard Hat” by Jon Gordon and they are using it as a discussion guide and theme builder for their practices. Their main focus is to “embrace the process” but right behind that is a firm belief in the theme proliferated throughout the Hard Hat that “well done is greater than well said”, and they are focusing on both ideals in building up their team this first year coming up. Nat has also been on the launch team for Jon Gordon’s more recent book, “You win in the Locker Room First”.
ONU will not be having dedicated captains this year, they will be rotating their players through that role and will be forming a leadership council of 6-8 players across all classes to represent the team in weekly discussions with the coaches to discuss issues related to all classes. In this way the seniors and juniors do not dominate the discussion and freshmen and sophomores have a voice.
Duties are divided up and assigned to team leaders such as locker room upkeep, dynamic stretch at the beginning of practice, coordinating with the trainers for any post practice needs of the team (ice bags, etc…), and any other team duty that needs taken care of.
Nat believes integrity is extremely important and defines it as “what you do when no one is looking”. ONU players spend a lot of time reflecting on how their actions reflect not only on themselves but on the team, the coaching staff, the university and their families. The focus is on setting a standard of conduct that is beyond reproach and that the community sees as reputable. So far the team has been getting rave reviews from the school and community.
High goals are being set academically at a traditionally high achieving university. Nat hopes his players can maintain a 3.2 GPA or above, a 100% graduation rate, and play lacrosse in May (meaning post season!)
When putting his team together and recruiting players Nat is looking for men of high character who come from great families. He wants players who were excited about the opportunity to attend ONU and be part of a new program. When players visit ONU they are either the only recruit on campus or part of a select small group where he can get a feel for who they are as a person and if they are a good fit.
Once a player is on campus Nat tries to meet with each player once a week so they can review how things are going and start to put together the goa
Laxicon007, An interview with Doug Bartlett of VMI and 4 other coaches from all levels | Leadership
This podcast is an interview with a collection of lacrosse coaches including Doug Bartlett of VMI, Steve Peterson of Mariemont H.S. Reed Peterson of Berry College, Steve Schooler and Kurt Kuwach from Cincinnati's Youth Programs.
Here are the show notes
Steve Peterson found a community service project in his hometown that needed physical labor that his team could fulfill. The project took 4 straight days of weekend work on their own time and helped build a work ethic into his players and built camaraderie on his team. Shovelling snow off the field has a similar impact for him as well. Steve talks about how it is important to do more than your share and it starts with the Head Coach, and then the assistant coaches, and then the formal or informal team leaders. Everyone needs to set the example so that all players know what is expected of players on the team. In his parting thoughts Steve talks about ensuring you have a quality team and high standards set. If you have a high quality team people will want to be a part of it.
Reed Peterson talked about the leadership development program at Barry College. Seniors who are in contention for being captains are given a number of upperclassmen and sophomores to lead in off season lifting and running events, and each of the individual groups are responsible for the members of the group meeting the running and lifting goals set for the group. If one fails, they all fail, so they bond together to help each other meet the goals. Reed says “standards are a mindset”. they really don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. Reed also talks about using practice to mentally prepare his players for the game by scripting out 10 situations that he thinks his team needs to be ready for that week and then using the practice as a mirror of the game running those situations throughout practice. In his parting thoughts Reed says to create a successful atmosphere on your team, make it a family atmosphere. Reach out to the families and ensure everyone is included.
Kurt Kuwatch talks about how to integrate 10 minute leadership breaks into your practice and how that can effectively plant the seed of growth with each player while they are in the midst of competing and working hard. The short breaks act as a refocusing on what is important to the team and less on what they individually are struggling with during a particular practice.
Doug Bartlett talks about players’ roles and how acceptance of their roles helps build trust between teammates which is essential to the success of the team. Players need to know that you love them and you love the game. Coaches need to show they are passionate about the game. Coaches need to find out what makes each player tick.
Be confident right and confident wrong. Coaches need to be humble when they make mistakes, admit them and move beyond them. “You don’t have to be a captain, to behave like a captain”. Coaches need to find a way to reward every player out there, especially in practice. Doug also talks about the importance of preparation and how that carries a team forward into the season, that perfect preparation ensures that they will “never lose a game in their minds”. Coach also says that “sometimes less is more”, if you have your players at a level that you feel comfortable with, there is nothing wrong with sending them into the locker room early. Coach also talks about the importance of being humble in both winning and losing. He describes how if his team was losing by a lot at any time, he would take a time out in the last 5 minutes and remind his players to finish the game with the best they have regardless of the situation, because that is how they will start the next one. Doug says to “leave the room better than you found it.” Players can go from “who’s who, to who’s he, to w
Laxicon006, An interview with Nick Myers, the Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach at The Ohio State University.
Nick Myers Interview Notes
Does exit interviews and a post season survey before the outgoing seniors move on to wherever they are headed next.
In year 2 of their leadership council
5 seniors-elected by team
3 juniors-elected by team
2 sophomores-elected by team
Add 2 freshmen once fall ball is over in the fall
Bi-weekly conference call with the group in the summer
Each player on the council will be charged with making 4-5 phone calls to teammates each week over the summer and share the content of those calls with the council. This includes making calls to the incoming freshmen.
Players refine and develop the rules and are in charge of implementing them.
They take a team trip together to West Virginia in the fall
white water rafting
No cell phones!
Every Wednesday when they return to school they meet and have “life skills” Wednesday
R-factor training with Tim Kight (E+R=O)
Different speakers from different areas of life skills come in and speak to the team on a regular basis.
300 hours of community service as a team since last May.
The Leadership Council acts as the “Board of Directors” for the team. They are selected by their teammates and it is work for these players but they consider it a great honor to be selected. Since it is work they do have a say in how things are done on the team.
Open communication is encouraged and demanded by Coach Myers.
Big brother program
Have to have a certain GPA
Have a certain number of community service hours
An upperclassmen is paired with a freshman and is responsible for the upbringing of the younger guy.
Treat your little brother like your actual little brother.
Lockers are right next to their little brother.
Coach Myers will select 2 or 3 depending on how their teammates vote. He thinks that a player should get 50% of his teammates vote in order to be a captain.
Captains lead the leadership group.
Ohio State’s character blueprint is
We not me
treating every teammate with love and respect
Do your job
know the why
train with purpose
Above the line behavior is graded each day.
grade each player on the 3 character blueprint items above from 1 to 3 every day and post those grades.
Teaching is his primary role and mission. He considers coaching to be “one in the same” as teaching.
Both his parents were teachers and once they divorced each of them remarried teachers so he was raised a teacher by 4 teachers.
He majored in teaching and did his student teaching in college
Its about trust, relationships, and love
You need to get a feel for each of the guys, what does each player need. Assess the needs of your players as well as your assistant coaches.
Players who don’t grade out well in the “we not me” category aren’t making people better. A player needs to answer the question; “how are you making your team better” Coach Myers believes that his team’s focus on “we not me” is what separates them from other teams of equal or greater talent, much more than talent does. “Culture beats talent”
The “R-factor” is a toolbox, its training and a weekly reinforcement. They speak the E+R=O (event + response = outcome) language regularly on the team, and are constantly examining what their “R” is for every situation.
“what’s your R going to be when you’re down by 10 goals in the 4th quarter” They wrote down 20 different scenario’s and then discussed what their R is.
Be more intentional instead of impulsive (R1=press pause)
Below the line behavior
#1 problem is auto pilot, players not being present mentally and plugged in.
Laxicon005, An interview with Mic Grant, the Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach at Bridgewater College | Leadership
In this interview I am honored to speak with Mic Grant, Head Coach of the Bridgewater College Mens Lacrosse team. Mic is entering his 5th year with Bridgewater and 4th season after beginning the program from scratch in 2013. Prior to Bridgewater Mic was the first head coach at Marywood University where he posted an impressive 41-24 record including a 20-6 conference record over those 4 years. Prior to Marywood, Coach Grant was an assistant at VMI where he led the Keydet defense as well as served as the recruiting coordinator. In this interview Coach Grant discusses his methods for developing new programs and what he looks for in players in terms of character and leadership traits. Having coached 2 startup programs, Coach Grant has some great advice for how to go about developing a positive culture in a new program that has to compete in a historically competitive conference. I enjoyed my discussion with Coach Grant and know you will as well.
I ain’t talking .com