Beyond Bound

Beyond Bound

Professional Development For Athletic Directors by Athletic Directors | Episode #1 Getting Better Together: Insights from Brian Petersen C.A.A.

Professional development is an ongoing journey for educators, and athletic directors (ADs) and coaches are no exception. The path to success in the world of athletics requires dedication, continuous learning, and a commitment to growth. In a recent series titled "Brian Petersen: Development," an experienced athletic director shared invaluable insights for ADs and coaches looking to improve themselves and their teams. Brian Petersen, who has 15 years of experience as an athletic director and an extensive coaching background, discussed the importance of embracing five key maxims to sharpen one's competitive edge. In this article, we delve into these maxims by Brian Kight and explore how they can benefit you in your role as a coach and athletic director.

Maxim 1: Train at the Level You Intend to Perform

To achieve excellence in any field, including athletics, it's crucial to train at the level you aim to perform. This principle, famously exemplified by the legendary Michael Jordan, emphasizes the importance of pushing one's limits in practice. Jordan's commitment to making his practices as intense as games themselves reveals the idea that hard work and preparation eliminate fear when the real competition arrives. As coaches and ADs, we must ensure our athletes understand this concept and strive to train at a level that mirrors their performance expectations.

Maxim 2: Find Pleasure in the Pain of Uncomfortable Work

Being uncomfortable does not solely refer to physical exertion. It encompasses challenging moments, confrontations, and pushing boundaries. David Goggins, an ultra-marathoner and Navy SEAL, epitomizes the mindset of embracing discomfort as a path to personal growth. Coaches should encourage their athletes to find pleasure in tackling difficult tasks and embrace discomfort as a means to improve.

Maxim 3: Appreciate and Aspire for Better Opponents

In the world of educational athletics, it's essential to shift the perspective on opponents. They are not enemies but rather crucial elements in the journey of self-improvement. ADs and coaches must refrain from blaming opponents or officials and instead use challenging opponents as opportunities for growth. Dr. Alex Diaz's perspective, "playing the best to see who you are," highlights the importance of seeking out stronger opponents to assess and elevate one's own capabilities.

Maxim 4: Obsess Over the Few Simple Disciplines That Give an Advantage

The difference between success and failure often boils down to the finest details. Obsessing over the small yet essential disciplines can set coaches and teams apart from the rest. The commitment to those little things, the "last 10% climb," can make a significant difference in performance. Coaches must instill the importance of these disciplines in their athletes, promoting attention to detail and dedication to the finer aspects of their sport.

Maxim 5: Move On from the Last Moment

Success and failure are fleeting moments in the world of athletics. Whether you win or lose, it's vital to focus on the present moment. The championship process is about the journey and the effort put into every step. Coaches and ADs should not dwell on past outcomes but remain attentive to the present and the path ahead.

Three Key Considerations for Athletic Directors and Coaches

To implement these maxims effectively, ADs and coaches need to reflect on their own practices and the culture they promote within their teams. Here are three important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Be Honest: It's essential to be honest with yourself and your team. Are you avoiding uncomfortable situations, blaming others, or failing to address challenging issues head-on? Acknowledging these behaviors is the first step toward improvement.
  2. Details Matter: The culture you create within your team is reflected in the details you allow. Ensure that you prioritize attention to detail and set high standards for your athletes. What you tolerate becomes your team's identity.
  3. Embrace the Championship Process: Focus on the journey, not just the destination. Wins and losses are often beyond your control, but the effort and commitment to the process are entirely within your grasp. Encourage your athletes to invest in their growth and development, rather than fixating on outcomes.

In the world of educational athletics, ADs and coaches play a pivotal role in shaping the experiences of young athletes. Embracing these five maxims and the three key considerations shared by Brian Petersen and his colleagues can lead to personal and team growth. Let us remember that the road to success hasn't changed over the years—it remains a path of hard work, dedication, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By getting better together, we can shape the future of athletic excellence.

Learn more about how Bound can help you Lead More... & Manage Less in your role as an athletic administrator: Click the button below to schedule a google meet with us.