Define the Win
by Keith Wahl
Complete Game has partnered with the Colorado Dugout Club, the high school baseball coaches association. As a part of that partnership, CG will be producing a series specifically for high school coaches. We hope these posts serve to unite, encourage, and resource the baseball community in Colorado and across the country.
January is a great month in the baseball coaching world. Through the ABCA convention and the state clinic we gain the opportunity to fellowship, grow, reflect, plan, and look forward to our upcoming season. As is customary, the opening speaker at the ABCA convention was Kevin O'Sullivan from the University of Florida, the 2017 College World Series champion.
The title of O'Sullivan's talk was "2017 Florida Gators: The Journey." This idea of a championship season being a journey and not a destination is a good one, an idea that has pervaded the consciousness of many coaches.
But what if your season's journey doesn't end in a championship? Odds are it won't. Only one team per classification has their journey end on the mound in a dogpile with a trophy. What about everyone else?
Because of the fact that only one team will win the championship, it is imperative that we "Define the Win." This doesn't mean you don't try to win the championship, it simply means that you define a win that may include bigger goals around the culture of your program, how your program can serve the community, or even a set of outcomes you desire for every player who comes into your program.
In Rod Olson's book, The Legacy Builder, Rod presents this idea in this way:
"To win games, I need to build a sustainable organization, one that makes sure everyone in the organization feels safe, secure and significant. I have to be sure all our employees and players are in balance professionally and personally. That means hiring the best coaches I can find, with philosophies of coaching and life that dovetail with each other. By focusing on the care of the individuals in the club, by focusing on the process instead of just the results, I control the pace here, instead of letting it control me. When I provide the tools, the incentive, and the care, the team wins games. The desired end comes out of the process that is executed one day at a time.”
How will you Define the Win for your program? What's the thing that your program will strive towards, championship or not? Spend time this month focusing on the process that will end in your desired results and Define the Win!