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What is it that makes one college graduate stand out from their peers? And what do employers want more than any other skill when they are recruiting staff? According to the 2016 National Association of Colleges & Employers Job Outlook survey, the answer is leadership, team work and communication. Skills that leading universities are ensuring their students have by the time they graduate.
Leadership can be a complicated topic. There are literally thousands of well-meaning books and even more articles dedicated to demystifying what leadership is and how to be an effective leader. We know there are different ways to lead and many examples of varying styles and philosophies of leadership. Knowing how to be a leader can be confusing because even though new models of leadership are spoken about, at the same time, we see more traditional styles being enacted within politics, business and sport. To say it is confusing is an understatement.
Throughout August the world’s top athletes battled it out in Rio as part of the 2016 Olympic Games. But some far outshone others to take home the medals. According to Scientific American, researchers have a special term for these best of the best: superelites.
Rio was always going to be an unfamiliar environment for many athletes. As such, it was going to be uncomfortable.
And perhaps one of the biggest lessons to be learnt from the performances at Rio was that those athletes with the ability to best adapt to new situations and unexpected circumstances, achieved better results.
The University of Notre Dame Softball Coaching Staff are diverse and they are unique. Not only have they played together, they now coach alongside each other begging the question, what more could you learn from someone you have known so well for so long?
The book GRIT made it onto many coaches reading lists over the summer (including ours) and there has been significant media coverage on the topic too. The interest is well founded as more than ever before, Coaches are unanimous in saying that their athletes are lacking resilience, they aren’t as ‘tough’ as their teams in previous times have been. And not just physically tough, mentally tough. But is ‘grit’ really the solution needed? Has the word ‘grit’ become too interchangeable that the real definition has been lost?
It is not every day that we have the privilege of writing an article about a clients’ success that includes images of the team they work with meeting the US President. But, today is one of those days. We congratulate and celebrate the behind the scenes work of consultant George Naughton and his colleague Dr Jim Brennan with the 2016 National Championship winning team, Villanova Wildcats.
George Naughton has a long history with Athlete Assessments and has been using Athlete Assessments’ DISC Profiles within his consultancy for over five years. He enjoyed enormous success in 2016 when one of his clients, the Villanova Men’s Basketball Team, won the D1 National Championship. George shares his personal insights with us in this Q&A.
As athletes we all start at the very beginning and over time, develop the skills and techniques needed to be successful in our chosen sport. This process can be defined by the Conscious Competence Learning Matrix, or a 4 stage model outlining the various stages of learning an athlete goes through in order to acquire new skills.
There is interesting research, based on a Gallup survey of reasons for people leaving their jobs, which shows nearly 75% of people decided to quit because of their boss or the managerial working environment, and only 35.4% of Americans felt engaged in their workplace. If you think about it, this creates a massive and unnecessary cost to businesses, especially when you consider the cause and the fact that these numbers are fixable.
If there was a way to ensure that your children would get better grades at school, grow up to be more successful in their jobs, have higher levels of self-esteem and more vitality in their overall well-being, wouldn’t you want to give them this opportunity?
Beginning a lecture by explaining DISC theory may not sound exciting. But when the theory relates to how the students can find the best suited post graduate job, they tend to listen more carefully.
This was the case in Associate Professor, Dr Gonzalo Bravo’s Leadership in Sport Management class at West Virginia University.
I am a big believer in gender equality and passionate about equal rights, equal pay and equal recognition, not only when it comes to our female athletes, but for women in general.
I have a very young daughter and I hope that one day she will love sports as much as I do. She will certainly be encouraged to play, learn and get involved in a variety of sports as a kid. And if she chooses to take sport further one day, like most parents, I hope that she will have the same opportunities as her male counterparts.
This article will review and discuss the key aspects of personality and behavioral assessments and how they can be measured.
In order to do this, we must first review the distinction between personality and behavior. We must also evaluate the different methods of testing the two, specifically DISC (behavioral) and psychometric (personality) testing.
Both are used in creating organizational change and to encourage high team and personal performance, whether this be within an academic, business or sporting environment. It is important to point out that both have their merits and both will effectively provide objective data for otherwise subjective measurements.
As a Coach, when an athlete shows initiative and takes ownership of team culture, it’s a big deal.
Culture is a measure of the observable behaviors your team and organization promotes and accepts. Ultimately, culture is best defined as ‘the way we do things around here’ or ‘the way we behave around here’. Culture is not what you think, or want to do, it is what you actually do.
We had a chance to chat to Amy Hogue about life as Head Softball Coach at the University of Utah and about some of her stand out moments along the way. You can also read more about Amy Hogue in our article on Seniors Taking Initiative.
The Coach athlete relationship is recognized as a performance factor in today’s modern sporting environment. Like any other relationship it is defined by the quality of understanding, respect, trust and predictability that exists between two people.
What makes the Coach athlete relationship unique (when compared to relationships which may exist between two athletes or two friends outside of sport), is that it is drawn from our understanding of social science and how infants form attachment to their parents or what is also known as their primary care giver.
Sports in many ways is like education. Athletes need to be taught new skills, they need to be nurtured, especially in the conscious incompetence and unconscious competence stages of their learning where these new skills are still foreign to them, such as in youth sports, and athletes need to be given the best opportunities to grow and succeed by their Coaches and teammates. It is the overall environment, including a good Coach-athlete relationship, access to good equipment, training and competition environments, support mechanisms and athlete self-awareness that allows an athlete to be the best they can be. Similar to how a student given the best possible academic environment will thrive and grow into the best adult they can be.
An article has been published in the MIT Technology Review looking at the best-selling book Moneyball by Michael Lewis and how it has changed the way people think about data analytics in sport.
Lewis’s book introduced the sporting world, and in particular those with the biggest vested interests, a method in which player performance was measured and assessed using algorithms and science driven by the ability to gather vast amounts of data about players and the play during a game.
And while this is exciting, and having and relying on all of this data is tempting, unless you can find a way to make it meaningful to athletes, it won’t work.
We all know sports is good for us. We know it acts as a vehicle for life skills, gives us an opportunity to participate, be the best we can be and helps us develop resiliency during our training and in competition. But what you might not know is that former student-athletes are also stronger and more consistent, in areas of well-being outside of sports than non-student-athletes.
A national Gallup-Purdue Index study of nearly 30,000 US college graduates showed that former student-athletes are more likely to be thriving in four out of five areas of well-being that Gallup measures including purpose, financial, social, community and physical well-being.
Our role at Athlete Assessments is to help people become more self-aware. When you complete your CoachDISC or AthleteDISC Profile, you are essentially given the tools you need to become truly aware of the behaviors that help you and those that can be limitations. This is where knowing your DISC Profile Strengths becomes so valuable.
I recently had the experience of working with a young athlete who had just completed her AthleteDISC Profile. During our consultation, we discovered that all of the behaviors she had previously seen as being a limitation in her sport, were in fact behaviors that could be her greatest strengths.
One of the challenges we face as Coaches or as leaders at some stage of our career is when we feel like our values have been compromised. So what are our values, what defines them and what is the difference between our values and behavior?
One definition is that values are ‘principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life.’