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You never know the Gift your next phone call will create! A lesson in networking, the words we use, and discipline

By April 19, 2019 No Comments

Among many things, I host a coach mentoring program for aspiring college coaches; more than 100 of our alums have gained jobs in the NBA and NCAA through our program.
Networking is the life-blood of getting and keeping a college job. 
Today I talked to a frustrated coach who could not stay disciplines with his networking. I asked, “do you go into the day thinking that you have to do more networking this week?” “Yes,” he said.
“How are you planning your day to ensure you network?”
“Well, I don’t, really……but I know I should.”
My Advice: Set a timer for Noon. When the timer goes off put everything down, and get stationary, stamps, and your pen. Write three handwritten notes to three coaches on your target group of relationship building. It will take no less than 11 minutes to write all three. (more later on the art of the handwritten note, RB Style). Then, by 12:11 pm that day you have done a good job of discipline and the result was making three strong connections to influential coaches through a handwritten note. THE LIGHT WENT OFF!
“That’s so simple,” he said, “but I’ve never thought about it like that.”
Then I thought of an analogy, which I think can always strengthen other tasks. 
I said, “Have you ever told a player to “player harder” or “give 110%?” Of course, we all have.
I said, “What changes in behavior, quality of play, and execution do you get from your players when you use those words?” He said, “Nothing.”
OK, now what if you said, “You have not blocked out 3 of the last 4 possessions on the defensive boards. I want to see you first see the ball, turn and make contact, with your hands up and feet moving, and if needed rebound out of your area with two hands.”
Now, if you tell a player that, will he have a better chance of executing and being productive in the next 4 possessions? Of course he will.
What’s the secret sauce?
It’s the words you use and the specifics you must use when instructing players. Just as I used specifics when I asked you to change from “I should network more” to “writing three handwritten notes at noon.”
One thing I continue to learn as a mentor, instructor, and friend—you NEVER know the value that can come out of the next conversation. It’s a real gift we have every time we come in contact with someone or talk on the phone.
Think about the lessons here!
Would appreciate your comments.

Randy Brown

About Randy Brown