Making the most of it

Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, CLDC

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On Saturday May 18, I went to Twin Willow to take my golf lesson.    After all these years, I decided to do something about my game, partly because my daughter is playing golf.  I can envision in a not too distant future that she will be better than me in playing the game.    In fact, she took a hole from me today.

As I go through the lesson today, I find my tee-off erratic because of the new grip that I’m not comfortable with.  I stayed with it because when you’re uncomfortable that is when you’re learning the most.  As I played my rounds, I felt confident to take any shot under 30 yards and my short game was improving.   As I discussed this with my instructor, he indicated that in days when your tee shots are not great, you need to learn to manage the situation.   Enjoying the game comes from learning to strike a balance between your short and long game.    The reality is even pro players face the same challenges week in and week out.   It is hard to be consistent at all times, but the way you manage your situation will dictate your outcome.

What I learned from that day’s lesson is that our ability to manage our situation is key to overall enjoyment and success.   As I draw a parallel to my work life, I can’t help but pinpoint that if you’re a team lead, manager, or leader, the reality of life is that you don’t get to choose who will be on your team.  Your ability to manage your team and maximize the strength and capabilities of the best people while enabling the others will be the key to your team’s success.   In essence, our ability to manage what is available to us can help propel us or sink us.

In order to succeed in the endeavor at hand, it helps to understand the capabilities of each of the member of your team.   Put in the effort to truly understand what makes them tick and why they come to work every day.    What’s their career goal?  Do they want more responsibilities? Or, do they have enough with their family situation and just want to slow down?   By spending the appropriate time to understand them, you can better assess the overall capacity of your team. Using that information, you can put the right people on the right seat in the bus to enable them achieve their goals and help accomplish the team’s overall goal.

In the end, having a good understanding of the overall goal is crucial to your ability to enable the people working with you and make things happen.  At the end of the day, adding value to them is important, as it could help increase the overall capabilities of the organization.

Coach as a role model

Will Lukang, PMP, CLDC, CSM

Coaching

It has been few months since I last coached the SES 4th grade girls’ basketball team.  I look back to this experience of being a head coach as a gift.   I was not supposed to be the head coach, but since no one volunteered to be the head coach I was asked to volunteer.   I’m glad that I did it and will remember it for a long time.

In recent months, there were a couple incidents that occurred that make me wonder what is going on in amateur sports, not to mention professional sports.  As I read the news on May 6th, 2 (two) news items caught my attention.  The first one was that a Florida water polo sore loser used a handshake line to push his opponent into the water.  The second was a goalie at a recreational league that sucker punched the referee for issuing him a yellow card.   What’s going in the amateur sports world?  What went wrong?  As I examine this issue, I can’t help but rest some of the responsibilities on the shoulders of the coaches.   Some of the coaches do not show enough respect for the referees.  Therefore the athletes see that behavior and do the same thing.  I’ve often seen coaches yelling and arguing with the referees.   Another aspect of this is the parents; sometimes they end up in a shouting match with other parents from the opposing team or worse yet against the coaches.

In my opinion, the buck stops with the coach. Here are some of the things that a coach can do:

1)    Coaches should conduct themselves accordingly.  Whether they like it or not, they are role models.  Therefore they should also hold themselves to the same standard.   As a coach, you need to lead by example and conduct yourself with integrity at all times.

2)    Coaches should engage the parents early on and set the ground rules on how you want them to conduct themselves.   Advise parents to not interfere with the game, however, they should cheer and encourage the players for their effort.

3)    Parents play an important role in development of the athletes, so try to involve the parents throughout the season.  Parents must show good sportsmanship and respect to the coaches, players and referees.

4)    Meet with the players and establish ground rules.   Emphasize that respecting coaches, referees and parents is mandatory and by no means should they answer back or yell back at them.

5)    Hold players accountable for their actions.  If they violated the code of conduct, the coach must meet with the player and parent concerned to discuss the matter and address it accordingly.

Coaches play an important role in shaping the behavior of their players.  Therefore if we want to address the issue of violence and lack of sportsmanship, it has to start from the coaching staff.    Holding the parents and players accountable for their actions will only help improve the current state of the game.

As a coach myself, my philosophy is all about the love of the game and teaching the players how the lessons in sports can be applied to their lives.  Win or lose, I expect their best effort in each practice and in each game.   I want them to always respect the coaches, parents and referees at all times.  I want them to learn from their mistakes, take responsibility for their actions, and take pride in their part in the success of the team.