by Dana Cavalea April 24, 2017

If you are a Coach... I have a message for you.
Let's start with this: Start Coaching Again (it is not all about the research- research has become a marketing tool)
What I have seen over the years in the field of Coaching is a domination of metrics and numbers leading a charge in the opposite direction of connection and development of players.
Now.. does this mean numbers are bad? Nope.
I used to take preliminary numbers/ measurements every season on my players, getting a baseline, and from that point, I would design program that are customized to the players. I would then re-test through the season, and judge my programs based on improvement.
What is getting me sick in sports and general coaching is that we are so hyper focused on numbers and metrics that we forgot what the field of coaching is all about.
It is about connection. Connecting with those you work with, getting them to trust you, and from that point, steering them in the direction you desire them to go based on a personal and common team goal.
We need individuals to succeed so we can achieve the team goal. Over the past 5 years, I have seen a transition of players acting more like small companies (which by salary they are), looking at their bottom line numbers in all categories of performance, often times leading to a overthinking, over-analysis, over-hiring gurus, and adding more circus tricks to their repertoire of drills and training.
Many Companies and self-proclaimers on the outside have actually found a way to monetize and profit off this, calling those that don't comply as "Old School", " Salty", and basically calling out their years of "practical experience, on-field experience" as "not good" or "not progressive enough"...
But maybe the Coach K's of the world, the Wooden's, Phil Jacksons, Joe Torre's, Lasorda's,and Lombardi's were on to something when they talk about putting the players first.
Maybe they understood how to really get an ROI (return on investment) without approaching their team like a Wall Street ticker symbol.
I learned some great lessons working for Joe Torre- and the most important one was presence, followed by simplicity, followed by what you see, is what you see and is real.
He Managed from a people first position, not paying much attention to all the metrics, but only the "key indicators".. but placed much heavier weight on his ability to intuitively feel and read people.
Coaches need to start feeling, using their intuition to guide, trust, dictate, and lead people.
They need to be trusted by the Front Offices outside of the numbers-- much like Sully navigating his jet-- if he trusted the books and the text, he would of sunk into the Hudson River.
The acquisition of "research-based knowledge" is great... along with University training, but it has a minimalistic translation to the real world of sports and coaching.
These statements are bold, but as somebody who was judged on "production and results".. not experiments, I will share with you that I navigated the rough seas not with text, but with feel and intuition.
For those that are employing Coaches, look for the ability to relate. Look for their ability to connect. Look for somebody that is like-able, focused, approachable, and committed outside of themselves. Look for passion. Do not be swayed by a great powerpoint- we can all manipulate the variables and make "research" say what we want.. just look at all the infomercials that own late-night tv.
And remember- we are in a time where anybody can say they are a Coach. Do the research on credentials. By credentials I am referring to on-field experience.
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Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

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