For The Assistant Coaches: “Are You A Thermostat Or A Thermometer?….Here’s 5 Ways To Tell”

February 7, 2020

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I wanted to toss a little something at the assistant coaches out there this time.  As we evaluate players constantly – and ask them to evaluate themselves – it’s also important to give yourself the occasional “mirror look” as an assistant coach. There are some major differences between a thermometer and a thermostat – here are some ways to give yourself an honest look….

  1.  DO YOU STAY CALIBRATED? – A thermometer can’t maintain itself, someone has to pick it up in order to get the information they need.  Because of this, it has many limitations.  A thermostat – if “maintained” regularly, can give you what you’re looking for at a moment’s notice.  What does being calibrated look like for you as a coach?  Taking care of your body and health.  Feeding your faith daily.  Blocking out quality time with your family/kids.  Maintaining the proper perspective on winning…and losing.  Controlling your emotions so your message doesn’t get buried.  These are all things you can control.  And if you do, everyone around your facility will be better for it.
  2. BE “EARLY” FOR YOUR HEAD COACH – Thermometers are on time – just when you pick them up. By the time you read a thermostat, it’s done the work early.  By “early” for you, I don’t mean being in the office at 5am.  If you keep yourself calibrated and taken care of, it allows you to handle things for your boss in a timely fashion.  STAYING ONE STEP AHEAD CREATES “MIND SPACE” TO ADJUST – just in case. And as you know, there’s always adjustments that have to be made – whether it be scouting, recruiting schedules, practice planning ideas, operational issues – the list is endless.  The body is always faster when the mind is in the right position.
  3. BE PART OF THE SOLUTION – A thermometer can tell you what’s going on.  All the time.  It just can’t do anything to form a solution.  If the room is too cold, a thermometer has the ability to affect the outcome for the better.  A THERMOMETER CAN READ THE ROOM, AND ALWAYS GIVES THE ROOM WHAT IT NEEDS.  This is a great question to ask yourself as an assistant – do you give the room what it needs? Or do you tell your head coach it’s raining without the effort to go find an umbrella?  Do your absolute best to “give the room what it needs”….when it needs it.
  4. ALL ABOUT THE TEAM….ALWAYS – A thermometer serves one person at a time.  That’s it.  A thermostat takes care of everybody.  Again….about the room.  When seasons are going really well, often times assistants can attribute too much to their “influence” on current outcomes.  When times are hard, these same thermometers are hard to find. A thermostat is going to keep an even keel about itself.  If you’re a thermostat, you know that “it’s not about you”, but always about the organization…..always.
  5. NO COMPLAINING, AND DON’T BE A VICTIM – Thermometers ask the question, “How come?” Or “Why did that happen to us?”  They are way too influenced by uncontrollable outcomes.  Thermostats ask,  “How can we?”, or “Let’s find a way”.  The circumstance is what it is.  The room is too hot, what can I do to help the situation? Road games are hard.  Referees make terrible calls and get scared of home crowds.  Players get injured.  Boosters can’t help themselves and only like you when you win.  Again, this list goes on and on.  Every situation has a “next play”.  Thermometers stay on the hunt to find the next right thing to do.

I hope these thoughts and nuggets are a help for you.  With the season 2/3 done, see if you – starting with yourself – can get 1% better in the next month.  Find something concrete and attack it.  Then get with your players or your position groups and do the same thing.  One thing.  One percent better.  Best of luck down the stretch!


One Play At A Time,

Alan 🙏🏾🏀💪🏾🙌🏾

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