In The October 2016 Issue Of The Coaching and Leadership Journal

Here is some of what you will find in the October 2016 issue of The Coaching and Leadership Journal:

  • Leadership profile of Jay Wright
  • What is authentic leadership?
  • Weathering tough times with your team
  • A leader’s most important attribute
  • Richard Branson—the value of delayed judgment
  • Communicating value
  • We > me = buy in
  • The process of progress  
  • Training the minds of NFL players
  • Things to say to create highly engaged teams
  • Things tough coaches do
  • And More
Written specifically for busy leaders, the Coaching and Leadership Journal gives you the latest strategies in a concise, quick-read format.

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Andre Agassi On Managing Emotions

I’ve seen people use emotion, positive or negative, as a tool and it works for them. But typically, the more you can remove emotion, the more efficient you’ll be. You can be an inch from winning but still miles away if you allow emotion to interfere with the last step. So you have to accept: the weather, heat, rain, stops and starts, the line calls, whatever your opponent is giving you, however tired or injured you are. There are so many things that can distract you from taking care of business.

Thought for the week:

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not in fighting the old, but on building the new.


Public Speaking Lessons We Can Learn From Joel Osteen

Few people give weekly talks or “presentations” to as many people as Joel Osteen.  His Lakewood Church in Houston attracts 16,000 for each sermon on Sundays.  He reaches millions more on television in more than one hundred countries and he has written six New York Times bestsellers.  His live appearances at places like Yankee Stadium are sold out and he has been called America’s most influential speaker.

Whether you are a religious person or not, there is no denying that Osteen is an influential speaker and that he has something to teach anyone who wants to improve his or her public speaking skills.  Here are the 7 keys that make Osteen a popular communicator.

  1. Introduce a theme. Osteen always introduces a theme at the beginning of his presentation.  He will begin his remarks by saying, “I want to talk to you today about staying passionate about life,” or “I want to talk you to about having a big vision for your life.”  Introducing a theme gives your audience a roadmap. Make sure your stories, anecdotes or examples tie back to your main theme.
  2. Tell stories. Osteen fills his sermons with personal stories. Some are simple anecdotes about something that happened to him, his wife or his kids. Many are stories of friends, people he’s met, or churchgoers in the congregation. Our brains are not programmed for abstract thoughts. Tell personal stories to connect with your audience.
  3. Use humor, sparingly. Osteen starts each sermon with a joke or a humorous observation. Osteen has years of practice and his congregation expects him to start with a joke but it's not recommended for everyone. However, humor is important.  It’s perfectly acceptable and even welcome to take yourself lightly during a presentation. Osteen’s sermons are delivered live and edited before broadcast. As every speaker does, Osteen makes mistakes. But he doesn’t let those mistakes derail the rest of his presentation.In fact he makes light of it.  “As it says in Corinthians…” he once started a sentence before pausing. “Well, you know what it says in Corinithians,” he quipped when he forgot what he was going to say next.  The audience laughed, Osteen smiled and just kept going.  It’s okay to make mistakes.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  4. Use parallel sentence structure. Writing or speaking in parallel sentences is a rhetorical device that you will hear in most great speeches or presentations.  For example, Osteen recently said, “Once you know you’re a ‘no lack’ person, you won’t run from your enemies, you’ll run to your enemies. You won’t run away from college, thinking it’s too hard, you’ll run to it knowing that you’re well able.  You won’t run away from that management position, thinking that you’re not qualified, you’ll run to it knowing that you’re well equipped.”  Consider using parallel construction somewhere in your presentation.  It’s a memorable way to get your message across.
  5. Practice well ahead of time. Osteen says he prepares for five days ahead of each sermon. That means he begins to prepare, write, and rehearse on a Wednesday for the following Sunday’s sermon.  He’ll spend hours for each 30-minute presentation and he starts fresh every week. Whenever you see a leader who communicates so well it looks “effortless,” know that there’s a lot of practice that went into it.
  6. Avoid notes. Osteen’s preparation shows because he rarely speaks from notes, although he does have notes. The notes are placed discreetly on his lectern. He always speaks in front of the lectern or next to it. As he moves to another part of the stage, Osteen glances at his notes, makes eye contact and continues talking. Don’t break eye contact with the audience by speaking from notes. Give yourself enough time to practice so you can deliver your message with confidence.
  7. Inspire your audience. Osteen’s message is always positive and inspiring. Whether you’re a religious person or not, inspiration is very important in presentations and communications. Many people are uninspired, demoralized, and discouraged. They are looking for someone to believe in. Leave them on a positive note.

Osteen didn’t start out as a confident speaker.  In fact he didn’t want anything to do with preaching and was perfectly content behind the scenes at his father’s church. Once he decided to preach he was a nervous wreck, saying the week before his first sermon was the worst week of his life. He got through the first sermon and has worked on his skill every week since.  Becoming a great communicator is no longer a skill that’s just nice to have. It’s essential for success in any field, especially athletics!

--Adapted from

Big-time College Football Coaches Who Never Played Division One

Following up from the previous post regarding basketball coaches who never played here are some of the top BCS football coaches who never played football at the Division I level.

David Cutcliffe, Duke University. Cutcliffe attended the University of Alabama, where he worked as an assistant director of the athletic dormitory. In 1976 he took a job at Banks High School where he served as an assistant and later as the head coach. In 1982, he was hired as a part-time coach at the University of Tennessee. 

Hugh Freeze, University of Mississippi. Freeze attended Senatobia High School and the University of Southern Mississippi,  from which graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a minor in coaching and sports administration. In 1992, Freeze joined the coaching staff at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee, as the football team's offensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. In 1995, he was promoted to head coach.While at Briarcrest, Freeze also coached the girls basketball team from 1992-2004, and actually had more success in this role, with an overall record of 305-63 (.829 winning percentage), seven straight championship appearances, and four titles.


Dan Mullen, Mississippi State. Mullen played football at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. 

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State.  Fisher attended Salem College (now Salem International University) in Salem, West Virginia. He played quarterback during his time there.

Brian Kelly, Norte Dame. Kelly attended Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts and was a four year starting linebacker.


A Season In Their Words
Quotes From Coaches From The Preseason To The Postseason ©

A follow-up to the best seller A Season In Words, Dan Spainhour has followed the same format except this time all of the quotes are from coaches! A terrific motivational tool for any coach at any level!

Want to copy & paste the quotes?

Is Playing Experience Required To Be A Great Coach?

"One of the most overrated thoughts out there is that if you weren't a great player, you can't be a great coach," said Frank Martin, head coach at South Carolina. "It's a big fallacy."

Indiana's Head Coach Tom Crean's playing career didn't extend beyond high school ball but that hasn't prevented him from reaching the upper echelon of the coaching ranks. More than 10 years ago, when Crean was at Marquette, a prospect informed the coach that he would be signing elsewhere because he wanted to learn from someone "who had actually played the game. I took it as a slight,"  Crean said. "It motivated me. I told him, 'You do what you want, but when we play you, make sure you pay attention to the double-teams we put in place to keep you from scoring. The kid redshirted his first year and hardly played the year after that. He eventually became a decent player, but we won a lot more against his team than we lost. I think I made my point."

Study the résumés of some of the NCAA's top coaches from the past few decades and you'll find guys who struggled to make the varsity squad at their high school. And that's if they played at all. Frank Martin led Kansas State to four NCAA tournament berths in five years despite never flourishing as a prep player in Miami. Rick Majerus, who tried unsuccessfully to walk on at Marquette in 1967, sparked Utah to the 1998 NCAA title game. Before coaching Gonzaga, Mark Few was a star point guard at Creswell (Ore.) High School, but his playing career ended there.

The 2011 Sweet 16 featured four coaches -- Crean, Baylor's Scott Drew, Marquette's Buzz Williams and Cincinnati's Mick Cronin -- who never played college basketball. (Actually, it's five if you include Roy Williams, who only played for North Carolina's JV team.)

There are some who even believe that being a star player beyond college can be detrimental to a coaching career. In other words, the best players don't always make the best coaches. One head coach said a running joke in college basketball circles is to use caution when hiring former NBA players as assistants. The reason? "They're lazy," the coach said. "If you were a star player, you were catered to, so some of them have problems catering to someone else. You might have been great at making yourself a good player, but you might not be able to make someone else a good player -- or you might not be great at paperwork or recruiting. Coaching takes a type of 'servant' attitude at times."

Baylor's Drew won't go that far, but he agrees that having played the game has little to do with coaching it. "Coaching in college is about assembling a team, which is different than playing," Drew said. "There's the paperwork, the speaking, the recruiting. The on-court stuff is just one aspect of it. You've got to do it all to be successful." Drew never played varsity basketball in high school.

Frank Martin traversed the high school ranks for many years. "As a guy who was an inferior athlete, I knew how hard I had to work to even give myself a chance," Martin said. "That's what I try to relay to my players." The mantra has served Martin well at the high school level and in the college ranks. He spent four years as an assistant at Northeastern and two at Cincinnati before joining Bob Huggins' staff at Kansas State in 2006. When Huggins left for West Virginia after one season, Martin was promoted to head coach. Because he had no college head-coaching experience, Martin's hiring was criticized initially, with the thought being that he only got the job to ensure that standout signee Michael Beasley wouldn't ask to be released from his national letter of intent. But after averaging nearly 24 wins in five seasons and reaching the Elite Eight in 2010, no one is questioning Martin now. "Everyone said I was hired to keep Beasley," Martin said of the player who was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NBA draft. "At the end of the day, Michael Beasley averaged 14 rebounds as a college basketball player. That might be more than he's grabbed in any NBA game. It's always been my opinion that, if I can get a really talented player to do the really hard work--to grind it out and compete on every play, every shot, every pass -- there's no limit to what they can do."

Proud as he is of his accomplishments, Martin said he knows he must continue to evolve as a head coach. "I love listening to people's minds and getting different perspectives," Martin said. "If you're willing to learn, you've got a chance to teach."

Martin's path from high school benchwarmer to millionaire college head coach is nothing short of remarkable, but there may not be anyone in Division I who has paid his dues quite like Virginia Tech's Williams. A decent player at Van Alstyne (Texas) High School, Williams said he could've made the roster at various "Bible colleges" across the country. But those opportunities didn't appeal to him. Buzz Williams worked as a student manager at a junior college before getting his start as an assistant. Williams began his career in 1990 as a student manager at Navarro (Texas) Junior College. His first job was sweeping the floors. At that point, he said, he began sending 425 handwritten letters to college coaches each week, inquiring about potential opportunities.

Every week of every summer in college was spent working at a different basketball camp, Williams said. By the time he was 21, Williams had been hired as a full-time assistant at Texas-Arlington. He was making $400 a month and living in a dorm room -- and he loved every minute of it.

"I felt like I was coaching the Lakers," he said. Williams said his lack of playing experience hasn't been a factor with his players. If anything, his trek to the Division I ranks helps him relate to the Golden Eagles, many of whom are former junior college stars who had to work extra hard after being overlooked in high school.

"Maybe there are coaches who played at a high level who, because they were really good players, didn't have to do the things that I did," Williams said. "I don't hold that against them. But I didn't have a choice. A lot of people want to be a head coach, but they don't want to be a junior college manager first. I think it helped me. I wouldn't change anything about my path."

Neither would Crean, who preceded Williams at Marquette. "Coaching is like being in a mile race," Crean said former head coach Fran Fraschilla told him. Considering his work ethic, it's hardly a surprise that Crean found himself coaching Dwyane Wade in the Final Four at Marquette in 2003 -- or that he's now the head coach for one of the most tradition-rich basketball programs in America. Other than that one conversation with a recruit, Crean said his lack of playing experience has never been an issue. "At the end of the day," he said, "you've got to have confidence and passion. You've got to have a knowledge base and you've got to be able to make people better. If you can make people better, they'll gain confidence in you, and then you'll gain confidence in yourself. In the end, it really isn't a factor."

--Adapted from

Thought for the week: Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.

A Season In Words by Dan Spainhour

The Coaching and Leadership Journal Enters Its Fifth Year And Growing

August 31, 2016 Winston-Salem, NC. The Leadership Publishing Team announced this week that their monthly journal, The Coaching and Leadership Journal  (CLJ) will continue into its 5th year. The Journal's first issue was published in August 2012. At that time, Dan Spainhour, founder of the Leadership Publishing Team and curator of the journal said, “I am so excited about the Coaching and Leadership Journal. I believe this monthly journal is just what the busy leader needs. There is so much information out there and it can be so time consuming trying to find it. Coaches don’t have time to read blogs, and other material that can provide some really great information. Our journal allows them to get the information they need without having to waste time searching for it. I believe the top people in any profession never stop learning and that is the main objective of this journal--provide coaches and leaders the means to learn without having to waste their valuable time.”

The Journal's subscriber list includes coaches from every college sport as well as numerous athletic administrators on both the collegiate and high school level. This past year the Journal had a renewal rate of 72 percent.

"I am so very proud of our Journal. It is especially gratifying to watch our journal grow. When we launched in 2012 there was so much speculation that subscription-based print journals were dead. But I knew what my years of experience had taught me. Top leaders want to read and they want to learn--they just don't have the time to waste on irrelevant information. In an era where most magazines feel very fortunate to get a renewal rate of 50 percent, I think our renewal rate of over 70 percent shows that athletic leaders realize the value of our publication," said Spainhour


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