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Upper Hand

Sports Management Blog

Key to Success: The importance of knowing your role

on Aug 21, 2012 5:55:24 PM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
  Know your role! Having played on many sports teams over the years, at all levels, one thing that I have learned is the importance of knowing your role. The great business mind and bestselling author Jim Collins has a great quote about this very topic – “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” How important is that quote to any high performing sports team?   Everyone wants to be the star, and that is not inherently a bad thing…as a coach I want players who all have the desire to be the best. But we all know that everyone cannot be ‘the star’ and in order for a team to be successful there needs to be a clear understanding by EVERY member of that team on what their specific role is. When I say EVERY member, I mean EVERY player. In basketball, in order for a team to perform at full capacity the athletic trainer, team manager, 12 th player on the bench and high scorer all need to understand what is expected of them and work towards executing it, every day. I know, I know…it sounds cliché and obvious, but the vast majority of the time what seems so obvious is overlooked. I am a firm believer of the notion of “knowing your role” as I have lived it and currently try to live it in all aspects of my life. I think that KNOWING YOUR ROLE is one of the many keys to success. If you know what your role is on any team, organization or in a relationship it should be clear what is expected of you. If you know what is expected of you, it should be clear to you what you need to be doing to achieve and exceed those expectations and be successful in all aspects of your life. My college basketball experience is a great example of this. In my head (the head can be a very scary place!) I should have played more, scored more, etc…but in reality, my role was to lead, be the hardest working guy on the team, and eat up 15-20 minutes a game as a defensive specialist and provide a ‘spark’ off the bench. Did I want my role to expand? Absolutely. I worked hard every day for that to happen. But the truth was I couldn’t handle the expanded role I wanted, though I strived for it. I did however accept and master the role that was given to me by my coach and I drove tremendous value in that role. I gauge my success not off what others did before me, but by what was expected of me in my role. And defining success that way, I had a great college basketball career!   I close with a brief thought about one of the greatest “know your role” players in the history of sports. Robert Horry won seven…yes SEVEN NBA championships…over his career. He earned the name “Big Shot Rob” which is further proof of why he is one of the great “know your role” players ever. Robert Horry never put up anywhere near All-star numbers, but he knew that he added tremendous value to any team he played for by adding a scoring threat and the ability to hit big shots in key scenarios. And he was a HUGE part of each of those 7 NBA Championship teams. Challenge: Know your role. Know what is expected of you. Work to surpass those expectations! Written By:  Eric Blumenthal
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Key to success: knowing you are in the right place at the right time

on Aug 8, 2012 4:00:17 PM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
We’ve all heard the saying “ success is being in the right place at the right time.” Well my late grandpa had a different take on this saying. His version of this saying is a piece of advice I work to live by each day…it’s a simple addition: “success is knowing when you are in the right place at the right time.” My dad tells a great 'would’ve/should’ve/could’ve' story that occurred during his college days that fits perfectly into this topic. A college friend of my dad’s proposed a new invention that he came up with. A device that people would use in their lawns for weed prevention; it would chop weeds up effectively and help with lawn maintenance…crazy idea, right? Well, his friend needed a modest investment in return for a partnership in this new invention. The investment opportunity was turned down by my dad and many others. What is the conclusion of this story? The “Weed-Whacker” was invented and eventually sold for MILLIONS of dollars. A perfect example of the difference between “being in the right place at the right time” and “ knowing when you are in the right place at the right time!” My dad was certainly in the right place at the right time, but he didn't know that he was there! My contention is that we are all in the right place at the right time; we just have to push ourselves to “know” that we are. As each of us wake up each day we all have the unique and individual opportunity to change the world we live in. We have the opportunity to live our best day and reach our personal next level of success…whatever that success may be! This lesson is especially important in youth athletics and should be conveyed to all youth athletes. Too often we all get caught up in how things did not work out for us and who is to blame for that ‘failure.’ We must push youth athletes to focus on what they can control, keep their eyes open to every opportunity and seize the unique opportunities that each athlete has in front of them. I was fortunate to hear the great College Football Coach Nick Saban speak. One thing he said was he looks at every single individual play as having a life of its own. He is obsessed with winning each and every play of a football game; whether it is a kick return, an extra point attempt or a quarter back kneel, his team has to win it! He acknowledged that he loses many plays, but he learns from them quickly and focuses on seizing a victory on the very next opportunity. In closing, attack today! Attack the opportunities that are in front of you and live your best life. Pass this teaching on to your friends, family and children and watch the impact it has on their lives! Written By:  Eric Blumenthal
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Keys to Success - Greatness is not born. It is grown.

on Jul 13, 2012 2:08:00 PM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
                Greatness is not born. It is grown. One thing that I find frustrating is when people say, while describing anyone who is successful (whether it is sports, business or any activity): "Well, they were born with natural ability" or "How lucky are they to be so good" or "It must be nice to have all that God-given talent." If you find yourself in that discussion you need to remove yourself from the conversation because you don't need to conform to that type of thinking. NOTHING positive comes from that type of thinking! Are some people born with stronger natural abilities to perform certain tasks? Absolutely. But DO NOT kid yourself; those people you think are "blessed" with natural skills are working harder than the rest of us “wishing we had their natural talent.” Here is a great example to support this discussion. Did you know that over 12% of the players in Major League Baseball are from the Dominican Republic? The Dominican Republic is a small island in the Caribbean with a population 1/35 th of the United States…but 1 in 9 players playing in the Major Leagues in the United States are from the Dominican Republic. Does this mean that Dominicans are born “better baseball players?” Absolutely not. The country loves and embraces baseball. The young athletes play the sport from the time they can walk, and they WORK to be GREAT. They have great teachers throughout the country and due to economic conditions in that area baseball is probably one of the few things kids can do to “play." I was blessed to have been brought up by parents who lived by the message from the great poem " The Man in the Glass." The message is simple, be the best YOU...every day...and you will be happy, fulfilled and successful. If you are the parent of a youth athlete focus on how you can motivate your athlete to be the best that they can be! Don't worry about others...other kids who are their competition to make the team, their opponent next week or their coach who isn’t playing them as much as you would like...teach the lesson of " The Man in the Glass"...the message of maximizing "You." Don't measure your "greatness" or the "greatness" of your youth athlete by anyone else other than the person staring back in the mirror! Be the best YOU! #TeamTRAINlete "Like" us on Twitter - www.twitter.com/trainlete "Follow" us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/trainlete
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