50 episodes

Elite leaders relentlessly seek unique angles to make their team or organization the best. Hosted by Luke Mertens, an experienced teacher, coach, and entrepreneur, The "I" in Win weekly podcast interviews coaches, educators, and other leaders who have instituted an overlooked but simple strategy to achieve success: personal connections. Our guests have accomplished more, both personally and professionally, by focusing on making better people. They will share how our listeners will benefit by obsessing less on outcomes and more on the journey of changing lives.These inspiring stories of positivity are rooted in the belief that every “I”ndividual has value, regardless of talent level, and the more ‘I’s we impact in this world, the more everyone wins….that is The “I” in Win!New episodes released every Tuesday.

The "I" in Win Luke Mertens

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 39 Ratings

Elite leaders relentlessly seek unique angles to make their team or organization the best. Hosted by Luke Mertens, an experienced teacher, coach, and entrepreneur, The "I" in Win weekly podcast interviews coaches, educators, and other leaders who have instituted an overlooked but simple strategy to achieve success: personal connections. Our guests have accomplished more, both personally and professionally, by focusing on making better people. They will share how our listeners will benefit by obsessing less on outcomes and more on the journey of changing lives.These inspiring stories of positivity are rooted in the belief that every “I”ndividual has value, regardless of talent level, and the more ‘I’s we impact in this world, the more everyone wins….that is The “I” in Win!New episodes released every Tuesday.

    What's Best for the Individual Is Best for the Team w/Hank Plona

    What's Best for the Individual Is Best for the Team w/Hank Plona

    #47. This episode features Hank Plona, who has been the head men's basketball coach at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa for the past seven years. During that time, Coach Plona has amassed 196 victories, which is the most wins in junior college.  He has also had 57 players graduate and sign at D1 schools, also the most in junior college.

    In this episode, we're gonna dive into coaches who have influenced Coach Plona, how he defines success, the uniqueness of coaching at the Juco level, how he gets his players to embrace the hard aspects of life and what sets his program apart.

    To sign up for weekly notes from each episode, CLICK HERE.
    Review The "I" in Win on Apple Podcast or my website to let me know what you think of the show.  Follow me on Twitter (@LukeMertens)

    • 40 min
    Positivity is the Only Place To Be w/Jeremy Kauffman

    Positivity is the Only Place To Be w/Jeremy Kauffman

    #46.  This episode features an uncommon leader who exudes positivity. Jeremy Kauffman is a social studies teacher at Deerfield High School (IL) and head track as well as head cross-country coach at Lake Zurich High School (IL).

    In this episode, we cover a multitude of conversations in the world of coaching and education, such as coaching boys versus girls sports, coaching middle school versus high school, and coaching his own children, which he has done over the past several years.

    To sign up for weekly notes from each episode, CLICK HERE.
    Review The "I" in Win on Apple Podcast or my website to let me know what you think of the show.  Follow me on Twitter (@LukeMertens)

    • 37 min
    Football is a Part of Life, but Being an Educator is Life w/Bob Pieper

    Football is a Part of Life, but Being an Educator is Life w/Bob Pieper

    #45. Today we have on Bob Pieper, who has been in education since 1991, working first at Crete-Monee High School in Crete, Illinois, before coming to Glenbrook North (Northbrook, IL) in 1997, where he's been ever since.

    Bob has done it all in education: Teacher, Dean, AD, Head Football Coach, assistant for wrestling, baseball, basketball, and track. Bob has been a featured speaker for the Illinois Athletic Director's Conference; the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association; and national Gatorade presenter. He is a two-time coach of the year honoree and in 2018 was inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

    In this episode, coach is going to share the mistakes he has made, what the significant turning point was in his career, the biggest challenges facing teachers and coaches today and how we can overcome them, and finally coach will share his proudest moments and what legacy means to him.

    To sign up for weekly notes from each episode, CLICK HERE.
    Review The "I" in Win on Apple Podcast or my website to let me know what you think of the show.  Follow me on Twitter (@LukeMertens)

    • 36 min
    Keeping the Main Thing, The Main Thing w/Kevin Devitt

    Keeping the Main Thing, The Main Thing w/Kevin Devitt

    #44. This episode features Kevin Devitt assistant basketball coach at Niagara University. In this episode, we'll discuss Coach Devitt's fascinating journey to becoming a D1 basketball coach, what it takes to get to that level, what his vision is once he becomes a head coach, and how we keep the main thing, the main thing as coaches. 

    To sign up for weekly notes from each episode, CLICK HERE.
    Review The "I" in Win on Apple Podcast or my website to let me know what you think of the show.  Follow me on Twitter (@LukeMertens)

    • 51 min
    Why We Need to Hire Great People w/Chris Fore

    Why We Need to Hire Great People w/Chris Fore

    #43. This episode features Chris Fore, a veteran educator, athletic director and football coach from Southern California. Coach Fore currently serves as the principal at the Palmdale Aerospace Academy (Palmdale, CA). He's also authored three books, been featured in numerous publications, and since all of that is not enough to occupy his time, he also operates two websites: Coachfore.org that provides coaches and athletic directors with resources to be successful and  eightlaces.org, which is coach force consulting company, helping coaches get their dreams. 

    To sign up for weekly notes from each episode, CLICK HERE.
    Review The "I" in Win on Apple Podcast or my website to let me know what you think of the show.  Follow me on Twitter (@LukeMertens)

    • 46 min
    Nothing Without Work w/Jim Konrad

    Nothing Without Work w/Jim Konrad

    #42.  Jim Konrad had a unique path into education. While in medical school, he was coaching a youth team and fell in love with the idea of teaching and coaching for a career, so he left medical school after his second year to pursue a career in education. 

    In 1997, Jim was hired by his alma mater,  Naperville North HS (IL), and became the head soccer coach in 2003. NN soccer program accomplishments during his 18 years as HC:
    Myro Rys Sportsmanship Award Winner3 State Championships (including a 45 game winning streak)4 Final 4 appearances7 Final 8 appearances16 Dupage Valley Conference ChampionshipsUSC National Coach of the Year (2018)NFHS National Coach of the Year (2019)His program is based upon the idea of "Nothing Without Work" (Sine Labore Nihil), and clearly, Coach Konrad's dedication to his team off the field is yielding the result on the field.

    To sign up for weekly notes from each episode, CLICK HERE.

    Review The "I" in Win on Apple Podcast or my website to let me know what you think of the show.  Follow me on Twitter (@LukeMertens)

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

Chenzo85 ,

Great tools for those looking to lead

I had the distinct pleasure of being coached by Luke as a freshmen in 99/00 at St. Pats. He was always one of my favorite coaches within my athletic career growing up and I followed his career via social media and this pod. His success both on and off the field have been fun to watch and to have this pod is like a look behind the curtain to what makes him tick.

The questions he asks are hard hitting and the content and guests are very inspirational for someone looking to transition to a leadership role professionally within education. His passion is undeniable and his eagerness to grow and share his experiences is contagious.

Truly one of the best sources for content IMO and just an all around great source for knowledge and insight on what it takes to become a successful leader.

Keep up the good work!

Archer and Connor ,

The “Ted Lasso” of podcasts!

This podcast gives me sincere hope that there is still good in this world and that we can develop our youth into well-rounded, successful leaders of our future!

404Monroe ,

Just What We All Need Right Now

Loving the positivity in this podcast. What a crazy, negative world we live in - especially since Covid hit. It’s hard to get uplifting news anywhere but on this podcast, we finally find some light. Well done!

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