In the March 2016 Issue of The Coaching and Leadership Journal

Here is some of what you will find in the March 2016 issue:
  • Leadership lessons from March Madness
  • Review of the book Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • More than a coach—Eli Manning on Tom Coughlin
  • The changing etiquette of hiring coaches
  • Leadership profile of retired softball coaching legend, Margie Wright
  • Advice from John Wooden & Dean Smith
  • Drill guidelines
  • How Olympians stay motivated
  • Surefire ways to sharpen your skills
  • Success myths
  • Meditation for better performance
  • How successful people stay calm
  • Things successful people never say
  • Political correctness can hurt leadership
  • And more!

Understanding The Introverted Athlete

An introvert is not a shy, socially awkward, quiet being who doesn’t like people. They also aren’t people striving to fit in with an extroverted world. Introverts are over-sensitive to dopamine. If around crowds of people for too long, they feel drained. It takes them being alone with their thoughts or crafts to re-energize themselves.

Extroverts are the opposite, in that they don’t get enough dopamine, and feel energized when they are around crowds of people. They thrive around crowds because they feel drained when they are by themselves. An introvert isn’t necessarily a shy person; they just would rather interact in one on one situation. They don’t waste their time around people putting on acts for a crowd, because they don’t feel the need to do that in social settings. If they are comfortable being in one on one situation, then they want to meet people of substance and value rather than someone who will put on a show for them. It’s in their nature to be aware of these things because it is a huge part of how they function.

So how does this affect the sports world? With personalities like Dwight Howard, Shaq, Chad Ocho Cinco, and other outgoing athletes, it’s easy to overlook the fact that introverted athletes do exists, and are among the elite. Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Jerry West, Larry Bird, are all introverted athletes who undoubtedly contributed an immeasurable amount of value to their sport. Although it was a little easier for them to be introverts because of dominance in their sport, even they often got a bad rap for their relationships with the media and or fans. The smooth talking athlete is admired more because of their good relations and ability to connect with the media and their fans.

The perfect example of this manifested in the late eighties where an introverted basketball player by the name of Larry Bird was pitted against a smooth talking showman extrovert by the name of Magic Johnson. Their rivalry was pitted with societal labels such as “black against white” “big city party guy against small town farmer boy”. Reality was, this was a classic showdown of “introvert vs extrovert” The media valued Magic Johnson’s easiness and sense of humor over Bird a man of few words.

Kobe Bryant is seen as a cocky jerk. He gives his professional and honest opinion when answering questions on his profession.Michael Jordan is also often seen as rude when it comes to his relationship with the media. He doesn’t spend too much time occupying our television sets with being on shows, interviews, or even a ton of commercials. Ever since retirement, he’s done pretty well with staying out the public eye.

Athletes with this type of introversion offer a unique dynamic to their sport. They are incredibly focused individuals. They don’t wait for anybody to work on their game, they can go shoot or workout by themselves. Do you think Jerry West skipped out on going to the gym because none of his friends wanted to join him? Larry Bird spent hours in the gym alone with their thoughts, a hoop, and a basketball. The sounds of “swishes” echoed the gym, rather than chatter from others.

If you’re a coach and you have an introvert(s) on your team, support them. It may seem like they don’t fit in, or don’t like their teammates. That’s far from the truth. Rather than pressure them to constantly engage in the group setting, take the opportunity to help them get to the next level as an athlete if that is what their desires are. They will put an immense amount of focus into that goal.

This is not to say that the introverted athlete is better than the extroverted one. It’s just to say that they are different, and should be supported in different ways. 

--Adapted from nextlevelmovment

10 Athletes Who Are Definitely Introverts

  1. Michael Jordan--Jordan is often listed as the greatest introvert athletes of all time.
  2. Tiger Woods--Woods has been criticized for being a bad team competitor, but the truth is that the golf legend is simply an introvert.
  3. Kobe Bryant--Bryant's introverted personality has often been misinterpreted as being cold and standoffish.
  4. Larry Bird--Bird is shy and introverted. He always shied away from attention when he was playing.
  5. Derrick Rose--Rose's introverted nature was the subject of a 2012 article in GQ Magazine.
  6. Jerry West--West was reportedly introverted since childhood.
  7. Pete Maravich--Maravich has often been classified as a social introvert.
  8. Reggie Miller--Miller although now a broadcaster was often labeled as a introverted athlete.
  9. Darrelle Revis--Revis is an introvert and shies away from attention off the field.
  10. Steve Smith--Smith considers himself to be an "extreme" introvert.



Great Advice From Mike Krzyzewski

"Get in because you love the game, not what you get from the game. I would say the same thing to a player. Play because you love the game, not because of what you'll get out of the game. And then give the game back what it deserves. The rest of the stuff will take care of itself. But love the game."
Coach K

Wisdom From The Elderly

A researcher had the opportunity to talk with old people who were facing death and to ask them what advice they would have had for themselves. Their answers were filled with wisdom. One recurring theme was to take the time to reflect on life and find happiness and meaning now. A frequent comment from old people runs along the lines of: "I got so wrapped up in looking at what I didn't have that I missed what I did have. I had almost everything. I wish I had taken more time to appreciate it."


Coach Yourself: A Motivational Guide For Coaches And Leaders

About This Book
Coach Yourself is a unique book, compiled exclusively for coaches to provide you with physical, mental and spiritual motivation throughout the season. In his follow-up to A Season In Words, veteran coach Dan Spainhour arms you with quotes and motivational ideas to help you achieve peace of mind throughout the season from how to stay motivated to handling critics.


Billy Donovan On Perspective

"Your whole entire life, you're chasing this trophy, this crystal ball. At the end of the day, it doesn't bring any value to your life. That's probably the biggest thing I've learned. There's an illusion created by society, whoever it may be, that if you do do this, you will be somebody. You'll be of significance. You'll be of importance."

"A sports psychologist did a study. They took, I think, 100 athletes in the Olympics in 2012 and they asked them, 'If you could take a performance-enhancing drug and be guaranteed to win a gold medal and it would be totally traceless and it could never be detected. You'd win the gold medal and it would never be detected, but five years after the time you take it, you will die.' Fifty percent of the athletes said they would do it. I think that's because our society has created this feeling of what success is about. It's an illusion. It's the biggest thing that destroys people's lives in a way. I'd like to win 15 national championships. It's a great feeling, a great experience. I look at coaches who have not had a chance to get to Final Fours or not had a chance to win national championships, for them to think the true meaning or success is labeled by not accomplishing that, then they're making a huge mistake in their life."

"You never know what life's about until you get something you think is really important, then you get it. I heard Tom Brady, after he won three of five Superbowls, and he was being interviewed, and this was before I won a national champion. In the interview, he said, 'There's got to be more to life than this. There's got to be more.' For a young coach coming in, trying to get guys to understand that the focus has to be making an everlasting impact that is a lot larger than championships. That's nothing wrong with striving for and achieving it, but what you learn in those situations when you do accomplish it, and you do it, and life moves on. The real value and joy is what can be accomplished in a positive way when a group of players totally sacrifices and buys in and does something special that they know they can't do by themselves."

"I see guys, sometimes, that are young coaches that totally go for this sellout mentality, thinking that winning is going to bring them a lot of materialistic, monetary or short-lived things that, at the end of the day, aren't going to have much meaning or value. When you win a national championship, it's significant and important; I'm not diminishing that. But if you coach for 25, 30 years, how often is that going to happen? Once? Twice? If you're really fortunate, three times. So where does the significance come from what you're doing?
At the end of the day when you're hoisting up the trophy, and the next morning and the sun comes up, life moves on. It's the next year, the next season. The process of going through and trying to teach our guys how to sacrifice, how to be unselfish, how to work hard, how to lift someone up, how to be positive--all those things I think bring value to them."

A Season In THEIR Words:
Quotes From Coaches From The Preseason To The Postseason

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