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Nicole Moore | Women in Coaching

Nicole Moore

Bring On The Office Games!

The New Year is just around the corner and I have had some time to reflect on the profession of coaching, starting a program, our first year of competition, and working with a staff.

 

With a new staff, we have worked hard to get the program up and running, getting to know each other, our teaching styles, and how we work in the office. There is much more to our staff than what is presently been there and as the leader of the group, it is up to me to pull it out of all of us, including myself.  Mentoring is very important and a responsibility that I am compelled to do well at as it may (and I hope) be our staff that is the future of great coaches!

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Motivation…Find It….Share It!

 

We are now nearing the end of the fall semester, campus is quiet, the office is still, and the holidays are right around the corner. Our team has left campus, excited to be done with finals and to spend time with their families.

 

It is now our job to walk that fine line of giving them their time to relax and recharge while at the same time motivating them to work out, take care of themselves, and prepare for the spring season.

 

Why is motivation important? Here are a few points that are apparent in both the athletic and business realms (great website: www.managementstudyguide.com):

 

1) Motivation will help improve the level of efficiency.

  • Players will want to practice, train and play. The more they do this, the more likely they are to produce positive results.

2) Motivation will help lead to achieving team and personal goals.

3) Motivation enhances the relationship with others.                       

4) Motivation leads to a stable environment where coaches and players are on the same page and working hard towards positive team and individual results.

 

So now for the how. Here are a few things that as a coach you can implement or take on to help with building motivation in your players.

  • Use a self-evaluation. In order to evaluate others, you must know your strength and weaknesses and you also must gauge your level of motivation.
  • Know your staff.  As a coach, you should work to get to know each and everyone of your players. It is never too late to start this and they will see that you are investing in them! You will learn what they need to be motivated and how you can motivate them. It also tells them that you care about them and their success. That in itself can be motivational.
  • Give feedback constantly. Everyone likes to know how she is doing, so give her that knowledge! Your team will have to self assess and you are an integral part of helping them do that. In order for them to play to their strengths and build their weaknesses, they must know what those are, and feedback helps with that. Base your feedback on facts and your own observations.
  • When they do something good, let them know! Give them recognition in front of their peers, tweet it, post it, email it. For younger players, let their parents know as well. It is great to acknowledge those who are the best, but it is imperative to recognize those who also go above and beyond their individual targets. Build them up!
  • Be who you want them to be! Be a role model for your team and your players. They will learn what to do/act and what not to do/act from what you do.
  • Use your mouth…by SMILING. This ultimately can go a long ways with keeping your team motivated and they know that when coach is happy, they as individuals or as a team must be doing something right! It helps to build trust and acceptance between player and coach.
  • Respect your players. Respect them as individuals and for what they bring to your program. Everyone has a gift, sometimes it is up to you as the coach to recognize the gift and to have it recognized by teammates.

 

Motivation may just be the missing link to your program!

Nicole Moore Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Stetson University

nmmoore@stetson.edu  @stetsonlacrosse

Creating a Network and Using It!

The academic year is in full swing and I am back in the halls with my coaching colleagues. After a busy summer for all of us it has been great to catch up with those who I work with and start the support system at our university.

 

Because of this and by the recommendation of our mentors at the NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy, I have taken it upon myself to gather our female coaches from all sports from lacrosse to crew, to find a monthly date to meet up, share a professional piece of advice, and talk about the challenges and how we can support each other at our university.

 

It is my hope to get the Women’s Coaches Morning Crew off the ground and running so that as female coaches, we can support each other and help each other grow as coaches in our respective sports. This idea does not have to stay within a college or school, this to0 can branch out to other schools, and yes, even your rivals! Bottom line, we are all coaches and we all have the power to make a difference. We should strive to support and grow all female coaches!

 

So, how to start?

 

  • Get a vision of what you want the group to look like. Reach out to your female colleagues and see who are interested and available.
  • Find a time, date, and space that is conducive to fit the number of coaches and a space that is confidential.
  • Including food or beverages is a great way to “entice” others to take part
  •  Make sure the meetings are consistent (once a month, twice a month, etc.).

 

Once you have your colleagues in agreement to attend and contribute, make a decision of how the group would like the meetings to run.

 

  • Will there always be one leader who introduces scenarios or information to share?
  • Will each coach who participates be in charge of leading it for a different session?
  • Will it grow into weekly informational emails or monthly newsletters?

 

Once you get your group together and get in a groove it is always helpful to look back and reassess.

 

  • What can be changed to make the group run more smoothly or to create more consistent attendance?
  • What can be added to enhance the group?
  • Who should be recognized for their efforts and contributions?

 

Let this thought sink in. Coaching is easier when you have that support system and sometimes that support system just needs to be discovered. That support system can be just steps down the hallway.

 

Get together, share information and knowledge, support each other, and grow as coaches!

 

Happy Reading!

 

Nicole Moore Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Stetson University

Be a Palm Down Team

Body language is a powerful tool and one that we as coaches use everyday with our athletes and those around us. Many times our athletes will emulate how we communicate on the field, to each other, to the officials, and to their opponents. It is our duty to closely examine how we (and our athletes) communicate.

 

I was recently told a story from a very wise coach who told me about being a Palm Down Program. We were conversing about the use of body language and the affects it can have on a team and the team culture.

 

This wise coach told me to think about one of the most commonly used gestures in coaching. I quickly thought of the exasperated coach, arms stretched, palms up, questioning a call by the official or the decision making of a player. That thought then morphed into an image of a soccer player, arms up, palms up, after a call that she did not agree with. From that, the picture of a disgruntled  fan, arms up, palms up, yelling from the bleachers.

 

All of these are examples of negative body language all had palms up.

 

We need to be a palm down program. Think about it. Arms out, either to the side or in front, but with the palms down, what conjures in your mind? We have this? Slow it down? Control? Calmness?

 

Key words, control and calmness. This gesture can bring both for your players and your program.

 

Instill it in how you coach, both during games and in practice. Talk to your players about the difference between the two, ask them about what they perceive when they see such gestures and challenge them to them examine their own body language.

 

Become a palm down program and build up the team.

 

 

Happy Reading!

From Coach to Parent: How To Get Your Daughter Crossed Off Our List

Yes, that is sarcasm dripping off of that title, but it is a Friday and after a summer full of recruiting, I thought that it would get your attention.

So please, if you are a coach, read along and see if you agree. If you are a parent, keep your eyes going and your mind open, as you may read something that helps your daughter in the recruiting process.

We all have our bad days, we all have times that we get caught up in our own emotions and sometimes the emotions of the game, but it is during those times that we should watch ourselves, bite our tongues, and keep our lips sealed. We do our best as coaches to do so and I hope, as parents.

So, as a coach, I have made my list of things that I have seen parents do that make me want to cross their daughter off of our list.

1)   Blatant disregard for the NCAA rules- I am not saying that parents need to memorize what the NCAA does and doesn’t allow but I am saying that some education should take place. A quick Google search will bring up numerous sites that offers this information. As a coach, it sets me at ease when parents know, understand, and abide by these rules. It tends to keep us coaches out of sticky, awkward, “gray area” situations.

2)   Obscenities and abusive language yelled at referees, your daughter, or your daughters teammates- There may be many reasons for this (as stated above) but it doesn’t need to happen on the sidelines for all other spectators, college recruiters,  parents, players, and coaches to hear. It does make a recruiting coach wonder if those same actions will happen on the sidelines at the college level. Worse than that, it makes some coaches wonder if your daughter will act the same way.

3)   Belittling the decisions of the coach- This too can make a college recruiter wonder if this will happen at the next level and if they are behaviors that your daughter will exhibit as well. Even if your daughter is a star player, team dynamics and cohesion go a long way for most coaching staffs. The coach of your daughter is probably doing the best that they can do for her and for the team. If there is a disagreement, a discussion off the field may be a better decision than letting it out for all to hear.

4)   Stalking on the sidelines- Depending on the timing of the recruiting process and the level of division, there are times that college coaches are and are not allowed to speak to you or your daughter. Education of the NCAA rules will help with this and most of the time, if a coach can and wants to speak with you or your daughter, they will.

5)   Lying in the recruiting process- Coaches want to start out with honesty in the process, and as a parent, you would want the same from that coach. To start out with fibs is not a good way to go. Again, this may backfire greatly and the recruiting process could be ended abruptly. Honesty is the best policy and communicating through any difficult issues or conversations are best, for your daughter and for the future program.

6) Pitting one program against another- The coaching world can be small and many of us are close friends and honest colleagues with each other. We talk. We talk about your daughter, we talk about you as parents. It is best to be careful of trying to use a different program in such a way.

As coaches, we diligently take notes on the sideline, we watch the actions of your daughter, on the field and off. We look for those all stars, those program changers, and we also look for those student athletes who are of character. Our notes are just not of what takes place on the field but of all the information that can be drawn out of the recruiting process.

These are a few examples of the negative aspects that can be seen on the recruiting sidelines or during the process. There are a lot of positives as well. It makes me smile and it is noted when a parent gives encouragement not only to their daughter but to her teammates and her coaches. I take note of how a parent meets their daughter after a hard fought loss and how they celebrate in a courageous win. I observe their interactions with other parents and how they present themselves on the sideline and when they converse with the youth coaches.

When parents are positive, supportive, encouraging, and engaged, it is noted…usually with a star and/or a drawn in smiley face. With the competitiveness of this recruiting process, that positivity surrounding your daughter can go a long way in most coaches books.

Happy Reading!

 

What Coaches Can Learn From Glee’s Rachel Berry

For those of us who follow Glee, Rachel Berry is a person who you either love or you hate, and these sentiments can flip flop, week to week.

At times she is tied up in herself, a true self proclaimed “diva”, and the majority of the time, looking out for her best interest and her future of becoming a star.  But she is also driven and ambitious, successful, and dedicated.

Despite having flaws that turn many people off, there are a few things she does well, and as coaches, we can learn from. These actions are her use of daily affirmations, positive self talk, and looking out for her well being.

 

Let us all learn from Rachel!

 

 1)   Daily Affirmations- In numerous episodes we learn that Rachel wakes to inspirational music and steps onto her exercise machine (one example of well being, daily exercise) with a quote, goal, or photo in front of her that drives her towards excellence.

We can take a page out of Rachel’s book and use music, exercise, and written reminders to start the day off. Here are some other ideas:

  • Use Adjectives That Empower- Use such adjectives when speaking or writing about your daily affirmations. Many lists of empowering and positive adjectives can be found on the web.
  •  Use Mini Exercises- Practice mini exercises daily. Here’s an example; If you want to become a more concise speaker to your team, practice as if you were speaking to them, using the exact concise terms that you would use (this also helps to rid your vocab of negativity that you may use with your team).
  •  Use Role Models- If you have a mentor or role model, say to yourself how you will be like them. What is it about their personality or what do they do that you want to adopt?

2)   Positive Self Talk- “You may laugh because every time I sign my name I put a gold star after it, but it’s a metaphor, and metaphors are important. My gold stars are a metaphor for ME being a star”. –Rachel Berry

The majority of us are our own worse enemies and critics. Have you ever taken note of how you speak to yourself about yourself? Would you ever use such negative language about your best friend or a stranger? If not, why would you treat yourself with hostility and disgust (be honest, we really do beat ourselves up)!

Here are a few steps to turning negative self talk into positive self talk. We need to be our own best friends!

  • Become Aware of Your Self Talk- This is the first step. Many times coaches do not even realize the negativity that they keep in their heads and spew out in their own mind about themselves. Start to recognize what you say to yourself, keep a journal. Write it on a post it note, look at it, and then write a positive thought under it. Fold the post it so you cannot see the negative.
  •  Do a Self Assessment of Your Self Talk- What are you saying in your self talk, are you mainly negative or mainly positive? Does it depend on what situation you are in? Are you negative in certain competitive or stressful situations?
  •  Ask Someone You Trust to Tell You The Truth- Find your most honest friend that will tell you really how it is and ask them about the self talk that is going on in your head.
  •  Change Your Self Talk- Use the example above. Other ideas, write out positive self talk cards that you PRACTICE, that’s right, practice; when negative self talk creeps in, use a physical act, like snapping your fingers, and follow it with positive self talk; surround yourself with positivity and positive people, try to distance yourself from negativity.

3)   Take Care of Yourself- Get enough sleep, fuel your body with the proper nutrients, exercise and meditate daily, love those around you, and make time for yourself.

Score It- One of the Best Weeks of My Life! 2012 NCAA Women Coaches Academy

 

 

It’s a Friday night and I am now exhausted, but in a good way. For the past week, I have had my mind opened, bent, blown, and then pieced back together, thanks to the NCAA Women Coaches Academy, Atlanta 2012. 44 coaches from different regions, sports, divisions, and backgrounds all came together as individuals and by graduation, left feeling like a team. After a week of networking, communication, legal issues, history of title IX, work/life balance, team and staff management sessions and creating friendships and connections, I leave tired, but hungry for the future. It’s that same feeling after a hard workout where you just busted your butt but you know it will pay off in your future.

 

IF YOU READ JUST ONE LINE IN THIS POST, READ THIS….

 

If you’re a NCAA female coach and strive to master the skills of coaching outside of your sport’s X’s and O’s, you are CRAZY to not attend the NCAA Women Coaches Academy!

 

Check out the quick video of interviews taken from the 2012 Atlanta NCAA Women Coaches Academy:

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

You have probably read about the NCAA Women Coaches Academy, Alliance of Women Coaches, and other programs put on to benefit and grow the female coach but never knew how to get connected.

 

I’ll help you out with that. One click, below, and you have the opportunity to be exposed to a wealth of life changing (both professional and personal) information.

 

 

http://gocoaches.org/programs-and-events

 

 

Happy Reading!

Nicole Moore Stetson University Head Lacrosse Coach   www.gohatters.com

 

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