Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Top 10 Blog Posts

KBJ Academy Top 10 Blogs:

#10: Trust 

9/20/18 - Building a team of any capacity requires for people to trust.  There are several levels of trust that must be developed in order for the team to reach optimal success.  Here are some areas of focus on building that leaders can evaluate:

1. In order to be successful, there must be a level of trust in the leader.  People who do not believe in their leader will not execute effectively and will not invest all they have.  

2. Another key area to be aware of is the level of trust in each other.  These are the most common areas of vulnerability because you have different people coming from different backgrounds, beliefs, systems, lifestyles etc. trying to figure out their role within a team.  

3. The last area that I want to bring to light is trust in the process.  I can say this from experience playing on several teams, coaching several teams and also running businesses managing million dollar budgets --- "if your response to failure is blaming someone else, you won't have a lot of trust in your process.  People want to know that they can be safe to make mistakes in your organization and not be ostracized because of it."  Now can you effectively correct and criticize people who make mistakes....absolutely!  Do not get it confused, you can and should always correct mistakes made, but the process that you develop as a leader must give room for mistakes and have prepared steps to recover.  

#9: People Builders

5/22/16 - Why did you decide to become a coach?  Is it to help people?  Is it to win games?  Is it to be in authority? Is it simply out of a love and passion for the game?

Whatever your reason, have you began to develop your purpose on a deeper and more fulfilling level?  If you have been coaching for more than five years, I hope the answer to this is YES.  Hopefully by now you see the effect you can have on players, coaches and community members and you choose to use that in a positive way. "Our young people are the future leaders for our world and we have to prepare them to take this opportunity to serve, lead and uplift others." 

#8: Screens

5/20/18 - Its one of the most utilized offensive fundamentals of the game.  Whether you are playing 3 on 3 or a full on 5 on 5 real game competition, screens are a great tools that should be practiced daily.  What is  screen?

Image result for setting a screen in basketballScreen - When a player uses his/her body to block a defender to get their teammate open for a shot.  One of the most historical teams of all time UCLA won 10 national championships with great offensive techniques which included spacing, ball movement, players moving with out the ball, timing and screens!  To this day, the UCLA screen is still being used throughout the country because of the tremendous success this screen opens up when used correctly.  

KBJ's 4 Tips to using screens:

  1. TIMING: Wait until the screen is set before you move, if you are moving at the same time as the screener that's an unforced turnover (moving screen)
  2. SPACING: make sure you have adequate space to set/use the screen
  3. RUB: Rub off screener shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot so the defense can not slide through
  4. AWARENESS: Take what the defense gives you. Check to see if the screener's man helped over - then the screener is open, or if helpside came over, then their man is open  

#7: Community

4/22/17 - One thing that I always enjoyed about playing sports was being apart of something that was bigger than me.  I truly believe that anyone who has ever been apart of a team, understands how that dynamic can help you get through the highs and lows of life.  You draw closer together during loss and you celebrate with each other when you succeed. Things that seem impossible alone, become attainable when we know someone is there to support us.  It becomes your community.    As we continue to grow older, we move at times and join new communities.  We have some people leave our communities.  I believe one of the most valuable things we can create in any job, school or neighborhood is to establish a sense of community.  When you have a community, you have unity. You have people who care for one another.  You will also have people that support you even when you feel like giving up.  The best part about a community is that you are never alone.  You have people that look forward to seeing you and miss you when you are gone.  Who doesn't want to belong to a community?  We were created to connect with one another.

#6: Giving Back

6/7/16 - One of the most beneficial gifts we can attain on this earth is wisdom. The actual pursuit of knowledge is a life long process but as we grow and learn, we should not forget to give back to others.  So to continue growing our business - KBJ Academy and giving back to other coaches or players that might be seeking answers we are in the process of building on our services to offer.

#5: The Play

8/2/17 - "play" in sports is nothing but a standardize way to play the game of the sport that's being played.  Within a play, there are a lot of elements that go into performing a play.  Different elements that go into performing a play is formation, what action is being performed in the play, and what are all options in the play that should be looked at in attempting to reach team goals in the game.  Coaches, what is your play?  How does your team learn all elements that make up the play?  For example, any business or organization you work for have policies.  Policies are the "plays" within an organization.  Procedures are the elements that employees learn to make policies work and without procedure, there is no policy, without policy, there's no reason for procedure.  How will your team be successful?
  • Formation
  • The Action Performed In The Play
  • What Are The Options Players Can Use
Now that we have discussed three elements within a "play," remember what was mentioned in the first paragraph; "a play is nothing but a standardize way to play the game."  As much teaching and repetition that goes into players being equipped with all the different elements of a play to run that play to perfection, a key phrase to remember is "play the game."  Coaches, players can run plays more freely to showcase their talent within the play if you break down the play so they can "play."


#4: Learning Styles

11/21/17 - As promised, I want to expand on my previous post about the 4 different learning styles according to the VARK model.  VARK is an acronym for Visual, Aural, Read/Write and Kinesthetic as the four main learning domains.  My first year as a head coach, I decided to have each player take this quick 5 minute test that helps me see how they best learn.  As I went on through the years of coaching, I studied them so well, now I can pickup on someones learning style simply through conversation and hearing their tendacies.  I have also become more observant and I watch when the light bulb goes off so I can make a mental note to help with teaching those individuals.  You can learn more about the VARK learning styles here:

For creating a positive learning environment, it is important that as a leader, teacher or coach you are aware that everyone learns in different ways and at different speeds.  I want to write this blog to be more about how to implement and apply these learning styles.  Have each player and coach take a learning style survey so you can better understand how to get information across to your team.  

As a coach, once I got a hold of really appreciating these learning styles I was able to create environments that would accommodate these different learners.  Another reason my teams play so hard for me and my players give me such great effort is because they UNDERSTAND what I am saying.  Not because of me being a "great coach" but really more because I am compassionate and understanding that not everyone learns the same way.  So I must be sensitive to them individually.  Preseason is so vital to teams bonding and really understanding my expectations as a coach.  So I must intentionally create practices, meetings and film sessions that engage all learning styles so that each one of my players is able to grow and learn our team identity and style of play. 


#3: Feedback

11/16/16 - I often hear coaches say they give their players constructive criticism.  Some have said that this generation of players are too "sensitive" to receive it.  I want to challenge all coaches and really any person in authority to try the concept of giving feedback instead.

Here is the difference. See constructive criticism - although in your eyes - you think you are really helping. As a coach and even a player I received constructive criticism and gave it. What I came to finally realize....At the end of the day - it's still criticism. It's like saying this will be a "friendly tornado." It very well could be friendly, but you better get in a closet because it's still deadly! A tornado is a tornado! So you can dress constructive criticism up however pretty you like, it is still criticism.

Coaches are not critics. Coaches are teachers of a specific sport. With that being said,we are not called to criticize, but instead to teach. So to sum this up - I encourage you wherever you are to give feedback.

#2: Mental Toughness

3/1/18 - I can recall as an athlete being told to have mental toughness and even coaching players saying the same thing.  What is mental toughness?  How can one have mental toughness without first being taught how to do so?  Here are a few quick tips on mental toughness that can apply to athletes, coaches, employees, managers, leaders or even children:
  1. Define your Identity: Know who you are.  Know who you are capable of.  Know what your strengths are.  Know what your weaknesses are.  Write these things down and be confident in them.
  2. Repetition is the pre-requisite to Confidence.  You will be confident in something you do repeatedly (even if it is the wrong thing).  I have seen players take bad shots and they are confident in those shots, because its what they have always done.  I have seen children not get their way and throw a tantrum because it has worked in the past to get there way, so they keep doing it.  So when you see these bad habits - redirect them to what is appropriate.  Then repeat this and have them repeat the correct habits.  This could take weeks, months or even a few years before you see a change.  You will know that their confidence has shifted when you no longer have to redirect, that they are self led.
  3. Confidence in your own identity and gifts will be huge keys in this next one which is Cooperate with others.  Collaboration or better known as Team Work in today's world, because we cannot expect to have success in life - alone.  How can a team be successful if the people within are jealous and manipulative and trying to tear one another down.  The ability to work with others, be confident in your own identity and appreciate other's strengths - is pivotal in our life.  We must be ok with others having success.  We must also be empathetic when others have pain and do what we can to help them keep moving forward.

#1: Creating A Learning Environment

10/23/17 - As we travel and help other people WIN in their goals and aspirations, we had a very interesting dialogue that I want to blog about and share:

  1. Connect with each PERSON and Create a Sense of Belonging
  2. Listen Actively
  3. KNOW Your Audience
  4. Accommodate EACH LEARNING STYLE 
  5. Have a PLAN
  6. Articulate the GOAL
  7. Evaluate and Give FEEDBACK