144 episodes

The SGG podcast examines how athletics contributes to everyday improvement in our society. We take an embedded approach to tell stories of the "hidden" people and practices on the front-lines of sport.

Sport and the Growing Good Peter Miller

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

The SGG podcast examines how athletics contributes to everyday improvement in our society. We take an embedded approach to tell stories of the "hidden" people and practices on the front-lines of sport.

    #148 Coach Phil Jackson (10): A conversation with a top high school coach, Sara Rohde

    #148 Coach Phil Jackson (10): A conversation with a top high school coach, Sara Rohde

    Coach Jackson and I were joined by Coach Sara Rohde, the multi-time state coach of the year and leader of three-time defending state champion Green Bay Notre Dame girls basketball program.

    1.     Sara’s background in education, coaching, and playing.

    2.     Sara’s system – rooted in man-to-man defense and motion offense. Fast-paced.

    3.     Work ethic, preparation. Strength and conditioning.

    4.     Relationships as one of the most important ways of being successful as a coach.

    5.     The futures program. Introducing kids to the game at young ages.

    6.     Social media rules. Putting phones away and being present.

    7.     The importance of parents in setting the foundation for kids on a team.

    8.     Finding roles for all kids beyond scoring. The “dog tag” award after games for kids who do the little things and the dirty work well.

    9.     Defining roles for everyone. “What can you do to help our team be successful.

    10.  Using a “list of all the things your team is really good at and constantly refer back to that.”

    11.  Using visualization.

    12.  Parents as examples of leaders – the habit tracking activity.

    13.  Valuing practice. Gathering at mid-court before practice to talk about practice.

    14.  The NBA’s one on one tournament – what it revealed about the Knicks’ social fabric. “Keeping the competitive edge without creating conflict inside the group.”

    15.  The “virtuous cycle” on teams. 

    16.  Engaging and challenging players who “float.”

    17.  Teams watching “how is the coach going to handle this?”

    18.  Getting players to understand that they can reach another level.

    19.  Keeping everyone engaged whether playing or not playing. Coach Jackson: “If players 9-12 are unhappy with their roles, you want to find another way to get them involved…Keep them happy, content, and involved. (Otherwise) it will create problems for the team’s chemistry.”

    20.  The role of parents: Support the girls. Set clear expectations. Set a clear process.

    21.  Getting ready for an opponent. Provide tendencies. Practice the plan.

    22.  Coach Jackson: in scouting, distill it to three main points about a player and the essential idea that is the driving force of the other team: “This team does this really well. They have to this or else they cannot survive.” What is their essence?

    23.  In preparing, sometimes focusing on mindset, hustle, rebounding – instead of being too technical. 

    24.  “Thinking is not part of playing. You can’t think and play. You have to be instinctive.”

    25.  How Coach Jackson staying positive: practicing meditation. “Letting thoughts float away” and “flush it down the toilet.”

    26.  Chad McGahee: differences for individual players in getting in right mental space for games. Getting the work done in advance. You can’t think and play, you have to be instinctive. “Get out of your minds and into your bodies. Your bodies are ready.” 

    27.  Wisconsin’s rich history as a “basketball haven!”

    28.  Coach Jackson taking summer’s off to rejuvenate and connect with family. Spending the last part of summers visualizing the year ahead.


    • 55 min
    #147 Coach Phil Jackson (9): Sustaining success  

    #147 Coach Phil Jackson (9): Sustaining success  

    1.     Reading your team when things are going well. Understanding them. “Getting out of their way.” Winning gets to be habitual.

    2.     The example of the Texas Rangers post-season run to the World Series championship.

    3.     Little inconveniences bringing a team together in new, deeper ways (hotel example in bad weather). Maintaining a positive orientation: “Life’s an adventure, let’s go get it!”

    4.     You can’t count on just “replicating what we had before.” Examples of players having off-season surgery that change what you have coming back on a team.

    5.     You have to maintain vision for your team.

    6.     “Dance of the wounded egos.” Guys overvaluing their roles on the team.

    7.     “It’s all of us. It’s about how we all fit together.”

    8.     As a coach something to think about: “Where does this person think he fits into our team effort? How can I make him feel important but also that we will go on regardless?”

    9.     Getting away from the game after the season. Focusing on family. 

    10.  Also using the off-season to envision what the team would look like.

    11.  “We always held something back.” Reflecting in the off-season: “What are we going to do differently this year?”

    12.  Allowing veteran players to teach newcomers what it means to be part of the group and “earning his credibility.”

    13.  Losing assistant coaches to head coaching positions.

    14.  Dividing players into groups with a particular coach who they’d get to know intimately. A mentor who would help them to get better.

    15.  Jordan and Kobe having specific things they worked on in the off-season. Setting the model for other players.

    16.  Keeping pace with a changing game. Growing as a coach. 

    17.  Phil Nevin on rules changes that affected coaching baseball.

    18.  Responding to the analytics movement.

    19.  Mark Sweeney on staying in the game “mentally and physically” as he prepared each game. 

    20.  Davey Lopes as an important coach to Mark.

    21.  Maintaining “drive” on winning teams. Finding new motivations.

    • 51 min
    #146 Coach Phil Jackson (8): On Experimenting as a coach  

    #146 Coach Phil Jackson (8): On Experimenting as a coach  

    1.     Why it’s important for coaches to take time to commemorate noteworthy holidays and occurrences.

    2.     Coach Pat Rice embracing systematic innovation in his football program.

    3.     Choice architecture—Behavioral economics and Coach Kelly Sheffield.

    4.     Developing a culture of experimentation.

    5.     Intellectual humility.

    6.     Finding the sweet spot between rigidity and constant change.

    7.     Pre-studying before trying new things.

    8.     Evaluating marginal gains and losses.

    9.     Scrutiny from trying new things.

    10.  The positive effects and experimental culture can have on the spirit of a team.

    11.  The late 1960s was a time when “breaking the mold” was happening in many spaces.

    12.  Tai Chi as a valuable contributor to sport.

    13.  Experiments that don’t work.

    14.  Tailoring your system to players’ attributes.

    15.  Mindfulness and meditation beginnings as a player. Finding the breath and the quiet.

    16.  Dean Smith and Bobby Knight’s comments on “turning off the lights and holding hands before the games.” Then contacting George Mumford to work with the team.

    17.  The importance of the beginning of practice. “They will remember more from the beginning of practice.” Skills and drills.

    18.  Homophily and propinquity in coaching and athletics. Examples from the game of basketball.

    19.  The importance of language.

    20.  Coach Ekker’s conversation with John Wooden. “I changed, not the players.”

    21.  Seeing the potential of the team. 

    22.  The team “starting to use your language.”


    • 51 min
    #145 Coach Phil Jackson (7): On Leadership through conflict, “You never can step in the same river twice.”

    #145 Coach Phil Jackson (7): On Leadership through conflict, “You never can step in the same river twice.”

    1.     A recap of some topics we’ve covered in past weeks.

    2.     Circling back to the Shivas Irons quote on coaching as a “serious and solemn act.”

    3.     Being settled personally before being able to coach a group.

    4.     “You never can step in the same river twice…Every incident, every process, every relationship with a team is always new.” 

    5.     Being flexible and in the moment.

    6.     Michael Jordan’s competitiveness and the associated challenges of keeping back-up guards.

    7.     The Lakers wilting when attempting to finish games. Speaking about it directly. No response from team… so directly addressing it again the next day. Kobe defending himself. 

    8.     “Sleeping on problems.” 

    9.     Anger as “an opportunity.”

    10.  Team play emphasis when coming through conflict. “We can do this together.”

    11.  Role modeling during periods of conflict.

    12.  Having conversations on the team about world events and things going on in society.

    13.  Getting rid of ego.

    14.  Demonstrating putting yourself second to players. “I sat in the front of the bus, but I got in the back of the line.” 

    15.  Self-control is a leadership quality.

    16.  Knowing when to step back as coach. Bill Cartwright’s example of leadership.

    17.  Narcissism is challenging.

    18.  Feeling alone as a leader. 

    19.  Taking care of ourselves physically and mentally as leaders. 

    20.  Doing the right thing at the right time. “Appeasing the basketball gods.” 

    21.  Having someone who’s not part of the leadership who can be a valuable sounding board or pressure release.

    22.  Coach Ron Ekker’s call for coaching education over the years.

    • 46 min
    #144 Milwaukee Bucks VP of Security Adam Stockwell: Leadership for safety and security in a changing landscape

    #144 Milwaukee Bucks VP of Security Adam Stockwell: Leadership for safety and security in a changing landscape

    1.     The seven pillars of Adams’ work.

    2.     The high value of the players.

    3.     The team’s 3-member security team.

    4.     Interactions and security training with players.

    5.     Game-day routines for Adam and his team.

    6.     Arena and event security.

    7.     How do you know what to communicate with whom?

    8.     Arena operations center. Unified command. Everyone’s in the same place. Anywhere from two to twelve people.

    9.     Balancing risk and customer experience.

    10.  Hand-held communicator technology to aid communication on game days.

    11.  “A happy customer leads to less issues.”

    12.  “Frictionless screening.”

    13.  Determining which technology is worth using. Having a partner to navigate new items. Asking, “Where has this already been deployed and proven?”

    14.  Adam’s interactions and regular routines with President Peter Feigin. “Five key things.”

    15.  The difference between law enforcement and security.

    16.  Adam’s background in the Secret Service. “A gun-carrying event planner.”

    17.  Partnering with law enforcement around big events.

    18.  The value of breakfast meetings. “Breakfasts are a big deal for me. I have breakfast with people all the time. It’s a huge business tool…That’s a tool that I learned from the Secret Service. We can have formal meetings all the time, but the value of sitting down and having a meal with somebody or a coffee just to humanize things a little bit…that’s a big help.”

    19.  Have people’s general tenors with security and law enforcement changed in recent years? 

    20.  Transformative technology on the horizon. AI. Advanced facial recognition.

    • 31 min
    #143: Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Joe Prunty: Listening, player leadership, and everyday improvement (RCS)   

    #143: Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Joe Prunty: Listening, player leadership, and everyday improvement (RCS)   

    1.     What characteristics in a leader facilitate voices being heard? Listening. Having a vision, seeing things that other people don’t see. “Look at not what a team is, but what they can become.”

    2.     Creating a safe environment where different perspectives will be respected and valued.

    3.     What’s made Joe better? Having children. “Give them a foundation and then let them learn.”

    4.     Observing and listening to other teams, including multiple levels to learn “What’s this generation like?”

    5.     Coach Popovich. Creating environments where conversation naturally flowed. Critical thinking and healthy debate. “It’s ok to disagree.”

    6.     Putting a leadership group together on the Great Britain National Team. “It was a microcosm of the entire team.”

    7.     In leading a conversation, direct questions to specific players. It’s not a rhetorical question.

    8.     Kevin Garnett as a skilled and nuanced player leader.

    9.     Differences in player leadership depending upon the competitive context. David Robinson. Tim Duncan. Avery Johnson. Paul Pierce. Kevin Garnett. Joe Johnson.

    10.  Getting better every day. On the personal side. “Did I do the right things by my family today?”

    11.  Peaking at the right time. 

    12.  Analytics paired with history and feeling.

    13.  The stock market as a metaphor for the long-term growth of a team.

    14.  The impact of behind-the-scenes things going on for teams.

    15.  Work ethic. Dirk Nowitzki. Working relentlessly on unorthodox things. “The fadeaway, one-legged shot that is now a statue did not just happen.”

    16.  “Knowing you can apply X, Y, or Z is not as important as being able to know when to apply X, Y, or Z.”

    17.  Having 27 years of experience vs. one year of experience 27 times.

    18.  “Sometimes the best thing you can do as a leader is to step back and let them lead.”

    19.  Learning from players.

    • 40 min

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