Building confidence through the commitment of skilled practice and motivated play

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Excellence is never an accident. It is achieved only as a result of an unrelenting
and vigorous insistence on the highest standards of performance. It requires an
unswerving expectancy of quality from everyone.
Excellence is contagious. It infects and affects everyone. It charts the direction
of a program. It establishes the criteria for planning. It provides zest and vitality.
Once achieved, excellence has a talent for permeating every aspect of life.
Excellence demands commitment and a tenacious dedication. Once it is accepted and
expected, it must be nourished and continually reviewed and renewed. It is a never-ending
process of learning and growing. It requires a spirit of motivation and
boundless energy. It is always the result of a creatively conceived and precisely
planned effort.
Excellence inspires; it electrifies. It potentializes every phase of life. It unleashes an
impact which influences every program, every activity, and every person. To instill it is
difficult; to sustain it, even more so. It demands imagination and vigor. But most of all,
it requires a constant state of self-discovery and discipline.
Excellence is one’s life-line. It is the most compelling answer to apathy and inertia. It
energizes a stimulating and pulsating force. Once it becomes the expected standard of
performance, it develops a fiercely driving and motivating philosophy of operation. It
is a state of mind put into action. It is a road map to success. When a climate of
excellence exists, all things come easier.
Excellence is something every Babe Ruth manager and coach should aspire to and
should pass on to their players.
We all know people who are inspiring. But just how does one inspire others. Here are some simple ways you can inspire your players to be their best:
1. Be a good example. Players may watch what you do more than they listen to what you say. Be someone worth emulating.
2. Care about others. Your players may not care about how much you know until they know how much you care. Ask questions. Take a genuine interest in the participants.
3. Encouragement. Everyone goes through tough times. When you support your players and encourage them through tough times, you will inspire them to see the best in themselves and in the situation.
4. Be inspired yourself. Look for people, ideas, environments and knowledge that you find inspiring and motivating.
5. Share from your own experience. You have more to share than you realize. Mine the rich experiences of your life and share your wisdom from your unique point of view. You may be the only one who can reach one of your players with your inspiring message.
6. Be vulnerable. Be willing to share your failures, as well as your successes, in the game. Your players will relate. They will understand they are not the only ones with challenges.
7. Tell stories. Facts tell and stories sell. They inspire, too. We learn best from
parables and we all need to develop our own inspiring stories.
8. Be a good communicator. Increasing your ability to communicate effectively is a critical element for you to inspire your players. Watch how you speak and what you say. Invest in your communications kills.
9. Challenge your players. Many of us have had teachers or coaches of our own, who at times, seemed more like tormentors than mentors. They challenged us to do our best, and we were better for it.
10. Read. It may not follow that all readers are leaders, but certainly all leaders are readers. Stay informed. Share what you learn with others. Tell your players about books that have inspired you. Share the knowledge.
A positive coach helps players redefine what it means to be a winner through mastery,
rather than a scoreboard. They see victory as a by-product of the pursuit of excellence.
They focus on effort rather than outcome and on learning rather than comparison to
others. They recognize that mistakes are an important and inevitable part of learning and
foster an environment in which players don’t fear making mistakes. While not ignoring
the teaching opportunities that mistakes present, they teach players that a key to success is
how one responds to mistakes. They set standards of continuous improvement for self
and players. They encourage their players, whatever their level of ability, to strive to
become the best players, and people, they can be. They teach players that a winner is
someone who makes maximum effort, continues to learn and improve, and doesn’t let
mistakes (or fear of mistakes) stop him or her.