Episode 29 – Values Connection

Your Sports Resource

In this episode, I talked about how we are aware of the importance of connection. It also lends itself to those behavior statements regarding communicating in a consistent and timely manner or communicating consistently and transparently.

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Introduction 00:00:00

This is the Your Sports Resource Podcast, where each week you’ll learn actionable strategies that you can implement so the operations of your club support your coaching staff and the direction of your organization. We are committed to excellence in youth sports leadership. Let’s get started.


Hello everyone and welcome to the Your Sports Resource Podcast. I know it’s been about four or five weeks since I’ve put a new one out.


I’ve been traveling and working with clients and it’s really just taking me forever to catch up if there is such a thing as catching up.


You know, in the podcasting world that’s a big no no to leave long breaks, you’re supposed to bank several episodes, so when you do these things like traveling, Uhm, you know the the podcast can continue with this weekly production, but


And you know in the planner in me that makes total sense, but until it doesn’t but at any rate, thank you for being patient and coming back to us today.


I’m going to talk about another value that has been chosen by quite a few of my clients. For those of you who may have missed it,


I started this series that discusses, or I started a series that discusses the most common values chosen by swim clubs and universities that I work with. If you go back to episode 27, I believe that’s where that begins. So today I’m going to talk about the value of connection.


Now that seems like an obvious choice when you’re talking about any kind of team, but I wonder if after all that we’ve been through over the last two years, the concern for our connection is even deeper than it used to be.


So, I feel like we all, and I mean all of us, took for granted our relationships, no matter if they were close and personal acquaintances professional or, you know, just coming across a server in a restaurant that you’ve never met before, right?


Our desire for connection is really at a completely different level. I mean, that’s what I feel. Okay, and within youth sports and from my perspective again swimming there have been many clubs that have closed or are really struggling today to put the pieces back together.


I’ve had clubs that are in areas where the restrictions were the most stringent, you know, and they’ve lost over half their membership and then let’s think about that, right so,


That’s less children on your team, that’s less income, it affects job security you know you end up taking another hit on volunteers, right? So, if you’re running a meat just because you only have 100 summers versus 400 now, I mean you still have to run a meat, right?


I’ve had a club where their whole board just ghosted the team. It’s really strange, right?


I heard some statistics the other day on the radio regarding the effects the pandemic has had on the mental state of athletes from youth and college, and even in that transitional period where they go from amateur sports to professional sports, right?


The numbers were more staggering than I expected and I really, I did my darndest to find them online so I could share them with you, but I can’t seem to find anything that’s recent for, you know, looking at 20 the years of 2019 through 2021.


There’s a lot out there from 2020, but I was hoping to share stats with you on this side of the pandemic. Really, at any rate, I I don’t want to quote you what I think the numbers were, but I do think we all have our own personal view on the toll, the years the pandemic has had on our connection with others, right?


And to be clear, this podcast isn’t about the pandemic. I was just making the statement that connection being a teams value has a very different meaning that it would have had three or four years ago, I believe.


I believe we’ve become more aware of how important that connection is. Alright, so let’s just talk about the value of connection.


If you remember when I talked about values and then the behavior statements that support that value they are for everyone in the organization. OK, so there for the staff, the volunteers, parents in the athletes. Having a connection means that you are aligned on the same page, support each other and have supporters, right?


That you have a deep emotional relationship that could really last a lifetime. You know for me just the other night I had a dinner with a friend that I grew up with swimming, right? He was in town with his wife and my husband and I met him out for a really nice meal in Dallas. It was wonderful to catch up I mean, I saw him with him in the 80s, right? So that’s a that’s a really long time ago.


Studies show that when people are connected within an organization, they commit to its success. When they align and they feel like they belong, they’re happier, they’re engaged and engaged without pretenses, which means they’re comfortable to have successes and correct failures missteps with little shame.


We all get upset over mistakes, but the shame usually comes in when you’re judging yourself really harshly and you don’t have someone else to reflect with having solid relationships means you tend to get a more realistic view of what you’ve done and how to move on?


And I don’t want to overshoot the basic connection of happiness, laughter and fun. Yes, for the athletes. That’s very important, but also for everyone else as well, right?


The power of a smile or laughter is astounding, and I know, I believe that we take it for granted and maybe we shouldn’t, OK?


So, let me share some behavior statements with you that my clients have developed to walk that walk with connection, right?


·         One lane, one team, one family.

·         In everything we do be kind, be present and engaged, recognize growth and show support for all.

·         Communicate in a consistent and timely manner.

·         Communicate consistently and transparently.

·         Acknowledge and celebrate others and unite as one.


This sounds great, right? There’s a lot of those behavior statements that talk about being one and celebrating and acknowledging others.


Maybe it’s always been this way. I don’t quite really remember when I was a swimmer, but I’ve noticed that when things don’t go well for us personally


That’s how we consider, and it clouds our behavior or maybe our lack of behavior towards others or maybe it’s that we can’t be happy for others when it’s all really not flowing well for us, and that’s easy to see with athletes, right?


So, I didn’t swim well, and I get into my own head and I can’t be happy for someone else who just did their best time right? But let’s look at it from the perspective of staff or parents or volunteers.


When we are feeling irritated with how things are going or even when we are disappointed in ourselves with something we have said or done, often having that connection and allowing yourself to shift mindsets and engage into the positivity of others


Then we can get out of our own funk or own negative self-talk. But you also can see things more clearly and resolve whatever the issue is in front of you.


Additionally, this has been a big thing for me for a very long time in my career when leading massive teams, whether it’s a department or a project, I have found that when you can be a solid teammate where you are open and honest in your words


And and how you listen to others then real collaboration can take place. When you have collaboration, then you’re able to come up with better ideas, better solutions, which creates better and more successful outcomes.


I see when working with clubs there’s always that one person maybe a coach or even sometimes a click within a board that just kind of has to be right, right?


They talk a lot about how they collaborate but what I’ve noticed is that they just kind of let others talk and then move on to their point of view, which means they don’t actually listen, and listening is a big part of collaboration. They don’t often reflect either, but I think that’s a a different podcast.


Now that last bit, I think also lends itself to those behavior statements regarding communicating in in a consistent and timely manner or communicating consistently and transparently.


But I think these also help you avoid misunderstandings and assumptions. You have probably heard when you leave a gap in communication that people fill that space with what they assumed to be true, right?


And unfortunately, we as humans seem to go to the negative side of things. But even with our children, I believe it’s important that we teach them how to communicate and as adults, I think we need to do better in with our own communication and remember that we’re modeling behaviors for our children, right?


Whether they’re actually your kids or your coach, or you’re a teacher. Not being afraid to say what you think and feel is important. Not being afraid to hear someone saying what they think and feel is equally important.


Now its key is how you do that, but how do we learn when we only talk to people who agree with us additionally, empathy is huge in building connections. Being able to understand how someone feels helps us grow and learn. Both in human nature and just supporting one another, which is what you’re trying to establish in a club atmosphere, but also


So, we put that lesson, you know, really into our own memory banks for when we find ourselves in a similar situation. But the kicker for me with empathy is that it takes your connection with somebody to a completely different level.


You may just wrap your arms around someone to support them, or you may offer them the you know just in time guidance or inspiration that they’re desperate in desperate need of.


That doesn’t mean you have to agree, it just means that you understand and you can feel what they’re saying and going through.


Connection is a strong value and I’m happy to see that it’s made its way into so many different clubs value system. To me, this means they’re putting a focus a a much needed focus on building connections and how we build connections. In today’s environment, and really coming out of COVID being purposeful with connection and not just hoping it takes place is going to be key to these clubs’ success.


Alright, well that’s it for today and I really appreciate your listening in.


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All right, everyone thank you very much. Be awesome.