Welcome from Chandler, Arizona!

I hope you had a great weekend. 

Before we get into today’s newsletter, I have one bit of housekeeping.

Since writing State of the Newsletter two weeks ago, this email list has grown by a whopping 42%!

Thank you to all 57 new subscribers! I’m so excited that you’re here!

And I’d like to send a special thank you to Jared, Trent, Brian, Chris, Rob, and anyone I’m not aware of for your help sharing this newsletter. Without you, this growth would not have happened.

Moving on, here’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s newsletter:

  • 5 ways the power law shapes sports (my latest essay)
  • A 7-step formula for communication
  • A thoughtful piece on coaching motivation
  • Why you can’t “try to learn”

New Essay

5 Ways the Power Law Shapes Sports

Last week, I published Trust the Power Law covering the recent draft strategy of the Philadelphia 76ers. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out!

In this week’s essay, I wanted to expand on the power law and show some other areas that it exists around the world of sports.

The essay is called 5 Ways the Power Law Shapes Sports and shows how the power law functions in different sports contexts. Examples include: Ted Williams, the World Cup, NBA Championships, James Harden, and your even own coaching practice.

If you understand things better when you see it in the sports world, this is for you.

Book of the Week

I first read this book back in late 2018. Actually, I binge-listened to it on a drive to go visit Jess while she was still in college.

But I’ve since returned to it twice because it’s that good.

In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller shares an observation of his: that every good story seemed to follow the same 7-step narrative formula. He first noticed it while watching movies with his wife.

But then he realized something else. This formula for movies was also applicable to marketing.

Now, I know. This is a coaching newsletter, not marketing.

But that’s exactly why this is relevant.

You see, coaching is marketing.

As Cody Royle writes,

Old world marketing was about shouting the loudest, shaming people into taking action, and forcing your perspective onto their lives.
Old world coaching was about shouting the loudest, shaming people into taking action, and forcing your perspective onto their lives.
Modern marketing is about building trust, inspiring people to take action, and seeking their perspective so we can continue to do better.
Modern coaching is about building trust, inspiring people to take action, and seeking their perspective so we can continue to do better.

Coaches are far more than people who master X’s and O’s. We’re storytellers. We’re in the business of shaping human behavior. In other words, we’re marketers.

Which is why a 7-step formula for marketing is relevant for the work we do every day.

So, what is this magic 7-step formula? It goes like this:

  1. A character
  2. Has a problem
  3. And meets a guide
  4. Who gives them a plan
  5. And calls them to action
  6. That ends in a success
  7. And helps them avoid failure

Now, I don’t expect you to cycle every single piece of communication through this filter. That would be ridiculous and unnecessary.

But there is a lesson here to catch onto.

Coaching isn’t about you. It’s about them.

Article of the Week

Is it for you, or is it for them?

This week’s article of the week comes from Jack Han and Connor Cadaret over at The Hockey Tactics Newsletter.

It’s a short read, but don’t mistake brevity for a lack of quality.

The article tells the story of a 2005 encounter between All Blacks’ captain Tana Umaga and legendary coach Graham Henry. With a simple question, Umaga pointed out that Henry’s pregame talks weren’t having the desired effect.

It’s a lesson that sometimes better means doing less. Via negativa, as Nassim Taleb says.

So, is it for you, or is it for them?

Random Bit of the Week

I really enjoyed a recent podcast from David Perell and Tiago Forte called What’s Next in Education.

They covered topics like email marketing, leadership, working in small packets, and personal growth.

But the thing I wanted to pull out and share with you is this quote from Forte:

Learning is like love. The more you try to make it happen, the less it happens. It only can happen as a side effect, as a byproduct, of something else. So to me, what that is, is working on hard, interesting problems. If you find something that’s interesting or that’s hard and you just move toward it.
Learning just starts happening. You can’t, you can’t stop it from happening. And whereas if you try it, try to learn–oh, what is the densest form of learning, a textbook? Okay. Just open the textbook, just read as fast as you can and memorize. You [do] spaced repetition, memorize as many facts [as you can]. That has nothing to do with learning.
That’s something else. That’s memorization. So I think that this is something that’s fundamental to our core, our courses and our material too. People think of learning as this giant, one time, preparatory stage. I mean, learn, learn, learn, learn, learn, learn, and then stop. Do, do, do, do, do.
Right? And you only get one shot at each. Learning is what happens up until you’re 22 or 24 or 26 and everything after that is doing. But I think if you really collapse in your mind where doing and learning don’t even mean different things like that. I can’t even distinguish in my brain how those are different.
Then you realize that every interesting work challenge is a learning opportunity and any learning opportunity is a chance to create something.

Listen to the raw, unedited clip here.

My takeaway from this is that you can’t “try to learn.” If you do, you’re missing the point. Learning is a byproduct of living and working on things that stretch your boundaries.

When I set apart time as “learning time”, I find that I usually don’t meet that goal. Instead, I’m better off coaching, writing, or just having conversations with friends. Once I immerse myself in those activities, I can’t help but learn.

Photo of the Week

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

We got to spend a great day together in Arizona. I had every intention to share a picture of him cutting into a delicious medium-rare steak, but forgot to actually take the picture.

So you’ll have to appreciate one of the 7 Hawaiian shirts he packed for this trip instead.

​That’s all for this week. Like always, feel free to respond to this email or DM me on Twitter if you want to discuss anything in this newsletter.

Thank you so much for reading.

Until next time,


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