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Greetings from Chandler, Arizona!
Welcome to the 14th edition of Monday Morning Edge.
Each week, this newsletter seeks to help coaches like you think better, coach better, and live better.
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First, some personal news…
Next week, I am starting a new job at Tread Athletics in Charlotte, NC.
I’m thrilled about the opportunity and am pumped about what’s to come for our athletes, coaches, and the entire baseball community.
I don’t want to bore you with details, but here are three things about the job for the curious:
- What’s the job? My official title is Director of Operations, but titles don’t mean too much in a startup.
- What about pro ball? I’ll never turn away a conversation. With that said, I believe in what we’re doing at Tread and do not view this as a temporary solution until pro ball gets “back to normal.”
- Why? Many reasons: uncertainty about pro ball’s immediate and long-term future, I believe in what Tread has built, I want to be in a position to expand the pie–not just cut out a slice. There’s more, but that’s 80-90% of it.
Now, you may be wondering, “What does this mean for Monday Morning Edge?”
Have no fear, Monday Morning Edge will still be in your inbox every week.
So without further ado, here’s what we’re going to cover in today’s newsletter:
- My latest blog post on what coaches can do to learn better
- The only thing that matters in startups (and what that teaches us about coaching)
- How to live a life of personal renewal (and why it’s important in the first place)
- Why snacking is what’s holding you back from doing more meaningful work
- An inspiring Mister Rogers story
- And highlights from the Monday Morning Edge Online Community
New Blog Post
We often think of “learning” as an activity separate from “doing”. This is the fundamental assumption behind our school system–you spend x years of your life learning and then the years after that doing.
But this understanding of learning is flawed–especially for coaches.
When COVID-19 turned the sports world upside-down, coaches from every corner of the world found themselves with more time than they knew what to do with. As natural over-achievers, we doubled, tripled, and quadrupled-down on the vast number of learning opportunities available to us.
But there’s just one problem with this: without a context to apply your new knowledge, learning is stunted.
This problem requires us to rethink learning and be proactive to make sure that we actually learn.
I wrote about this problem and offered two strategies to increase your learning in my latest blog post⬇️
Articles of the Week
1. The only thing that matters by Marc Andreessen (Article)
There are three core elements of any startup: team, product, and market.
There’s been much debate as to which element is the most important.
Should you focus on hiring the best people? Building the best product? Finding the best market?
If you don’t want to read it, I’ll save you the time: the #1 reason startups fail is lack of a market. Therefore, market is the most important thing. Without people who need what you have to offer, you’re destined to fail.
But saying that the market is the most important element of a startup raises a bunch of nuances.
Surely you need a good product to satisfy that market, right? And who’s going to build the product if you don’t have a great team?
There’s clearly significant interplay between the three elements.
Andreessen addresses this in the essay by saying that the most important thing–the only thing that matters— is product/market fit.
As Andreessen writes, “Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.”
He continues on:
“Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital — whatever is required.”
Coaches can draw an interesting connection between this idea of product/market fit and what we do every day.
This is how I’m thinking about it…
The market is your team–players, staff, everybody.
Your product is what you have to offer–programming, cues, communication style, culture, and everything else that makes up your team’s daily experience.
If it’s true that the only thing that matters is product/market fit, what does this mean for you, a coach?
Let’s imagine that you have a player who doesn’t seem to jive with your coaching style. They’re “uncoachable.” You don’t have product/market fit. What should you do?
You could wait for him or her to come around–to adjust their behavior to your product. To change their wishes, desires, and attitudes so that they align with your product.
Or, you could adjust your product to fit the market. You could change your coaching style to adapt to how they prefer to be coached. You could ask questions to uncover their motivations and intentions so you can deliver an individualized coaching experience. You can take responsibility for the present lack of product/market fit and work to fix it.
Most startups fail because they never find product/market fit–they don’t adjust to what the market wants.
Coaches who fail (or refuse) to find product/market fit with their players, staff members, and the media face a similar fate.
Finding product/market fit is difficult, but the payoff is enormous.
So, let me ask you: which will you choose?
2. Personal Renewal by John Gardner (Speech transcript)
“In the stable periods of history, meaning was supplied in the context of a coherent communities and traditionally prescribed patterns of culture. Today you can’t count on any such heritage. You have to build meaning into your life, and you build it through your commitments — whether to your religion, to an ethical order as you conceive it, to your life’s work, to loved ones, to your fellow humans. Young people run around searching for identity, but it isn’t handed out free any more — not in this transient, rootless, pluralistic society. Your identity is what you’ve committed yourself to.”
3. The First Rule of Prioritization: No Snacking (Article)
“The default position for a smart team without a clear plan is to snack.When I see teams at startups rushing to copycat the latest feature of the day, or swapping “Sign up now” with “Sign up for free”, I’m always reminded of this lower left. Snacks. Even in their best case, these projects are low impact for the absolute majority of companies.If you want to have a high impact team stay away from low impact work. Eat, don’t snack.”
Random Bit of the Week
After seeing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood last winter, I did some additional research into Fred Rogers.
The most remarkable thing for me was the intentionality that Mr. Rogers put into every single aspect of his television shows.
While we’re all doing different things, we can learn a lot by studying the way Mr. Rogers chose to live his life for the benefit of others.
To see my notes from The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, click here.
MME Online Community
As of this writing, the Monday Morning Edge Online Community has grown to 21 members!
We also had our second office hours chat on Thursday night where we talked about how to set up your personal website, business models for 1-on-1 coaching services, how to come up with the topic for a blog post, and more!
To get access to past recordings, recommended resources, a private Slack channel, and a growing community of supportive coaches to help you grow your online audience, join the community below.
I’d like to close this newsletter by sharing the recent work of six members of the community:
Hockey Character: TJ Manastersky, Head Hockey Coach at Curry College, recently wrote about character and the importance of aligning your culture with the character skills of potential players.
Why College Baseball Needs More Transformational Coaches: TJ Wharton, Maryville College Baseball Coach, published this blog on why the real purpose of a coach is the transformation of the individual.
Learn from outside sources: Drew Carlson, Hockey & Performance Coach, shared some quick thoughts on why coaches should look outside their sport to gain a competitive edge.
Inverting The (Hockey) Pyramid: Jack Han, former NHL & AHL coach and current hockey writer, draws on soccer history to propose a new formation–having more defensemen on the ice than forwards.
Swing Fast: A Guide to Developing Rotational Power: Bill Miller, CSCS and new author, shares his methods behind developing powerful hitters, golfers, hockey players, and more in his first-ever eBook (available on Amazon).
Hockey’s Arsenal Newsletter: Greg Rezak works in finance by day, hockey by night, and recently just launched an email newsletter on the Substack platform. His recent league talked about how to suck less in adult league hockey.
That’s all for this week. Thank you for reading!
Take some time to read the articles and send me your thoughts in an email. I promise to read and respond to each one.
Have a great week,
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