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Cobra Kai & Leadership

In Coaching, Leadership by Coach Brock

Watching Cobra Kai on Netflix, I was thinking about how this highly unrealistic show could be applied in the real world. Certainly, basketball coaches shouldn’t covert their clubs into gangs that brawl with their neighbourhood rivals but I thought of some other ideas and sent them to the Internet. Spoilers after the break.

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Basketball Lessons

In Coaching, Leadership, Teaching by Coach Brock

After reflecting, I wanted to post some thoughts about how I feel regarding recent events in the news: One of the best aspects of basketball is the opportunity to compete with diverse people. When you play the sport long enough, you realize that anyone can play, irrespective of their background, gender or stature.  When you want to win, you pick up the players who will get buckets, no matter who they are.  Success on the court is earned by skill and effort, as it should be in life.

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Star Trek Leadership, Part VI: Chain of Command

In Star Trek Leadership by Coach Brock

The simmering Federation-Cardissian tensions come to a boil in “Chain of Command.” Edward Jellico replaces Jean-Luc Picard as captain of the Enterprise and everyone feels the stress from a rocky leadership transition. In this case, leaders can learn what not to do by noting the consequences of poor choices made by Starfleet and its officers. A conflict between Captain Jellico and Commander William Riker distracts from the key objectives, endangering millions of lives. Radical Honesty As the episode navigates towards the climax, Jellico needs an expert shuttle pilot for a dangerous mission. He speaks with every shuttle pilot onboard and …

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Accountable Athletes

In Leadership, Sports by Coach Brock

In the middle of the 2008 season, David Ross was cut by the Cincinnati Reds and thought that his professional baseball career may be over. He eventually signed to be a third-string catcher with the Boston Red Sox put played sparingly for the remainder of the season. After the team lost in the 2008 American League Championship Series, General Manager Theo Epstein told Ross that he had heard some rumours that the catcher was a bad teammate but added that he had not found this to be the case in Boston. Ross was concerned about his reputation: as a free …

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Star Trek Leadership, Part V: Dealing with Disaster

In Star Trek Leadership by Coach Brock

For me, one of the fascinating aspects of Star Trek: The Next Generation is their collaborative problem solving. All team members have a role to play and everyone’s best efforts are integral to success. Characters don’t come to blow, there are few battles between egos and situations must be analyzed critically. In the episode “Disaster”, the Enterprise is impacted by quantum filaments and all members of the bridge crew must step forward and lead. Delegate Responsibilities: Captain Picard is stuck in the turbolift with three children who received top honours in a recent science fair. Children have long been a …

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Building a Culture

In Leadership by Coach Brock

Creating a culture that lasts from season to season is one of the coach’s most challenging tasks. When all team members buy in, significant successes can be reached so it is worth the effort. For a culture to truly come to life, the responsibility for its development must be shared by players and coaches alike. Give Players Ownership When New Zealand All Blacks coach Graham Henry took over after an unsuccessful 2003 Rugby World Cup, he began by making players responsible for the team. At first, the coaching staff identified some players who were negative influences in the clubhouse and …

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Star Trek Leadership, Part IV: Overcoming the Odds

In Star Trek Leadership by Coach Brock

Leadership assumes many forms: some lead by example and others delegate while standing by the side, some issue precise instructions and others leave room for creativity, some focus solely on the outcome and others emphasize following the correct process to get there. During the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Peak Performance,” diverse crew members must act as leaders and determine what philosophy suits them best. A Starfleet battle simulation places Commanded Riker in charge of the antiquated U.S.S. Hathaway. Accompanied by a skeleton crew, Riken is given forty-eight hours to prepare for a war games exercise against Captain Picard …

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Homer vs. Flanders

In Leadership by Coach Brock

When Springfield experiences an epidemic of childhood obesity (again), the town turns to Pop Warner football to encourage kids to exercise more. Like they previously did with minor hockey, the adults abuse their positions of responsibility and monopolize the activity. Homer and Flanders take turns coaching the team and offer two contrasting coaching philosophies. While the team wins the championship at the conclusion of the season, it can be attributed more to the talent of the players involved than their coaches. The team is initially coached by Ned Flanders – who is motivated by his community spirit and his desire …

Leaving Nashville

In Leadership by Coach Brock

On Tuesday, the Nashville Predators suspended two of their late season acquisitions, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov, for missing curfew during a playoff series with the Phoenix Coyotes. The players, ostensibly added to the roster in order to strengthen the squad for the postseason, appear to have lost focus at a critical time as they were allegedly sighted at 4:00am in a Scottsdale bar the night/morning before a lopsided loss that placed the team at a 0-2 deficit in the series. When a group of people comes together to form a team, nothing is more disheartening than when a few …

Broken (Bullpen) Telephone

In Leadership by Coach Brock

During Game 5 of the World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals were placed at a disadvantage when a miscommunication occurred between the dug out and the bullpen and incorrect pitchers were warmed up. Consequently, the Texas Rangers score two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, enabling them to win a pivotal game.

Results Oriented Work Environment

In Leadership by Coach Brock

Last week, during an friendly with the Lost Angeles Galaxy, Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli received in a ball in the clear and elected to spin around and attempt to kick it backwards towards the net. He missed badly, fans jeered and teammates threw their arms up in exasperation. Coach Roberto Mancini substituted the striker immediately, which led to a blow up on the touch line (using Italian words which should not be repeated) and a tantrum by the twenty-year old player. For Balotelli, it was another incident in a tumultuous career.

Brock and the Deathly Hallows (2/2)

In Leadership by Coach Brock

On one hand, this final film is far better than the disappointing book upon which it is based and it redeems its predecessor. Nobody will claim that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II will evoke the same emotions as classic series like Star Wars but a late-night screening at the Varsity Cinemas ended amicably, without any audience member feeling compelled to vandalize the theatre in rage or inspired by fierce apathy to set the screen ablaze. The film does its job — no more, no less. The hero mythology resolves itself adequately. Harry must face his past, his …

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Star Trek Leadership, Part III: Starfleet Academy in the Delta Quadrant

In Star Trek Leadership by Coach Brock

Star Trek remains extremely popular because of how the stories are analogous to many modern situations. It is a science fiction genre that does not overwhelm the viewer with technology; the characters – and humanity – remain the focal point. During a syndicated episode of Voyager entitled “Learning Curve”, Lieutenant Tuvok encountered Maquis crew members who were unwilling to follow Starfleet routines. The renegades were incorporated into Voyager’s crew after both were stranded in the Delta Quadrant although the partnership was not working entirely smoothly. Starfleet demanded strict adherence to procedures which was a stark contrast to the Maquis philosophy …

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Star Trek Leadership, Part II: The Wisdom of Captain Picard

In Star Trek Leadership by Coach Brock

College coaches may send envelopes full of money via Emery Worldwide, professional coaches may be found guilty of sexual harassment forcing their organization to pay $11.5 million in damages, and international coaches may enter a non-disabled team in the Special Olympics but one person can always be relied upon for his leadership is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise. During a recently rerun episode of The Next Generation, Chief Engineer La Forge and Commander Riker submitted and unsatisfactory performance review for Lieutenant Barclay to Picard. The captain ordered the pair to reconsider their evaluation of the socially awkward lieutenant. It was …

Coaching the Players on the Team

In Leadership by Coach Brock

ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries have been very intriguing. Some of have covered famous events, others have brought intriguing issues to light. Directed by Billy Corben, The U covers the rise and fall of the Miami Hurricanes football program in the 1980s. To me, the Miami Hurricanes program is interesting because of how a small academic school in Coral Gables won four national titles during a span of twelve years. The University of Miami had flirted with the idea of becoming “The Harvard of the South” but decided to place greater emphasis on football as the 1970s came to a close. …

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Star Trek Leadership, Part I: Humans and Klingons

In Star Trek Leadership by Coach Brock

When Commander Riker volunteered to serve aboard the Klingon vessel “Pagh”, he encountered several challenges as he adapted to the new environment. Star Trek frequently used a utopian vision of the future to show how humans can better interact the episode “A Matter of Honor” is no exception. As a participant in the Officer Exchange Program, William Riker enters a new culture and must judge when he must adapt and when he must stand for his convictions, as a Benzite named Mendon does likewise as the Enterprise’s science officer. At first, he displays a tough exterior to his new shipmates …