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Leadership

What is Coaching and CoachAyers.com

What is Coaching? 

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Coaching is a one-on-one interactive relationship that helps people identify and accomplish their personal and professional goals faster than they could on their own. Think of Coach Ayers as an assistant coach whose responsibility is to ensure the Head Coach becomes a better leader, who leads with vision, values, and the ability to lead a program into long lasting success. 

What is CoachAyers.com?

CoachAyers.com is a coaching firm founded by JT Ayers. Coach J.T. Ayers is a proven leader who has demonstrated a unique ability to teach, motivate, and direct students, athletes, coaches, and professionals, helping them to maintain high levels of engagement and achievement. As a coach and mentor, Coach Ayers has worked effectively with athletes and professionals on all levels of the spectrum, proving his ability to impact leaders where they are, and helping them get where they want to go. Coach Ayers is a self-motivated educator and coach, exhibiting strong discipline, effective planning, organization, and leadership skills. 

Who do we typically coach?

A wide variety of people can benefit from coaching. In our practice we focus primarily on:

- Leaders who are striving to work smarter rather than harder

- Coaches who desire to be more effective in their programs

- People who are trying to balance life and work priorities

- Leaders who are interested in creating intentional vision with values

- Leaders who want to accelerate their own personal growth and achieve measurable goals

- Organizations that are seeking to develop high potential leaders

We specialize in coaching high potential people, organizational leaders, and team leaders looking for someone to walk alongside them in order to help them achieve their goals.

Interested in receiving Coaching? Contact Coach Ayers and become a better leader today. 

Connection Between Mental and Physical Pain

Connection Between Mental and Physical Pain

Dr. Naomi Eisenberger has found that social rejection and physical pain are intrinsically linked in the brain, so much so that a lack of the former can impact the latter. What this means to your leadership. 

Good Leaders Make Hard Decisions

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It will happen. Someone will challenge your vision. Something will get in the way of progress. A cancer will develop and grow unless dealt with in the proper way. As a leader you will face opposition on your road to success. It isn’t fun, it isn’t easy, and it is always necessary. I once read, “To think that you are going to lead without making mistakes results in procrastination.” This in turn makes you simply ineffective.

So what do you do when you know you need to make the Hard Decision?

1.    Weigh your Options

What will be the fallout from this decision? Will it be positive or negative? Will people be angry even though it is the right call? Can you live with that? The best leadership advice someone told me was, “Choose you battles wisely.” Is this one worth fighting for?

“What is right isn’t always popular, what is popular isn’t always right.”

2.    Seek Counsel

Do you have a group of trusted advisors? Do you have someone you can bounce ideas off of or get advice from; someone who sees the bigger picture? You will not be able to see all angles yourself. There will come a time when you need to depend on other trusted friends who understand the Big Vision and endgame. This is a very important group because your leadership will succeed or fail based on the advice you receive. 

3.  Make decisions with the information you have now

Hindsight is always 20/20.  As a leader, you will never have 100% certainty that you have all information. You must act when you need to. You may be criticized later for not knowing certain information, but this can’t deter you from making a decision with the information you had at the time. You must do what you can with what you have at the time.

4.    Focus on the Future

Recently, two of my top athletes came to me and said they were only willing to make 3 practices a week accompanied with a short list of demands. These two athletes would guarantee victories for most dual meets. I had to make the Hard Decision. Character is more important than wins. I communicated to them my expectations about coming to practice everyday and putting their team first. They made the decision to not participate on the team this year. The Future consequences outweigh the immediate needs every time. The consequences will be a program full of athletes that respect and trust their leadership. These lessons will not only affect their sport but their future as adults.

5.    Own the Fallout

You will not be able to prepare for everything. Not making a decision is deciding to do nothing. This is leadership suicide. Don’t be afraid to fail. Make a decision, learn from it and become a better leader each choice you make. Own the consequences and take personal responsibility. Those you lead cannot be thrown under the bus because you listened to them. You are the leader and the final outcome of any decision is on you. 

Think like this:

Good outcome – your advisors get the credit.

Bad outcome – you take responsibility.

Regardless of the outcome (good or bad) your advisors, audience, followers, athletes, or employees will work hard for you because they feel safe in your leadership.

Decisions are at the heart of your leadership success. There will be times when the critical moment for a decision must be made and it can be difficult, nerve-racking, and accompanied with much anxiety. Great leaders balance emotion and anxiety with reason to make the best decision they can with what they have. They think about their employees, customers, athletes, and the future success of their program or organization.

Can you make the Hard Decision? When have you had to make the difficult choice? How did it turn out? 

6 Steps to Speech Success

There they sit with an attentive ear. They sit in silence with anticipation of what you will say. As a leader you are about to address your audience with something important.

What have you done to prepare for this event?

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I have been an assistant coach for a head coach who was never prepared for his team meetings. It showed. Before practice even began he had lost the team. How do you follow or respect your leader when they seem to have no idea where they are going themselves? 


Knowing what to say and how to say it is crucial to being a leader.

Here are 6 easy steps to help you:

1. Brainstorm

Spend some time thinking about what you want to say. Ernest Hemmingway has been attributed to saying, “Write drunk and edit sober.” Think like that. Put everything down, brainstorm, and get all your thoughts out on paper. Then read it over again, edit and organize your thoughts.

2. Organize

Put your thoughts in order. Basic psychology states that people will remember the first and last thing you say. Organize your speech with that in mind.

3. Your Delivery

How are your going to say what matters? Some issues you must be passionate and inspirational about. Others you can breeze through. You audience will become conditioned to pay attention more or less based on your different tones of voice. Don’t mix this up.

4. Stay Focused

Keep ideas clear, relevant, and simple. If you say too much, too much will be lost. I personally believe in addressing only 3-4 things at a time. If I miss something, I’ll get to it tomorrow.

5. Rehearse 

I don’t always practice my speeches out loud or in front of a mirror, but I always go through them in my mind before hand. A quick rehearsal helps me keep all the steps in mind and is beneficial for my delivery.

6. Work the Room

Make eye contact with individuals. Be seen. Napoleon was supposedly short. I’m sure most of his speeches were from his horse. I’m sort of vertically impaired, so I have my team sit or take a knee so everyone can see me. Get feedback. Have another trusted leader watch you and give you feedback. Ask them to tell you if you have any weird ticks or habits. Do you say “um” too much?
 
As the leader of the group it is your job to cast vision, objectives, and goals. You are the face of the program, organization, or group. However, getting up in front is the first step. Know what you are going to say, organize your thoughts, prepare your delivery, stay focused, and rehearse. Now watch your group soar!  

Communication: The Most Important Factor to Leadership Success

Good communication is one of the most significant aspects of your leadership. In today’s world there is so much technology that is used for communication. Your target audience has a variety of ways to receive information from you.  This is an exciting and ever-changing world that we live in, but here is your problem:

How do you effectively communicate to so many people in so many different formats?

How can you reach everyone according the their preferred methods of communicating?

Your athletes, parents, administration, fans, and other interested parties are already using these tools for communication.

 Are you?

 Here is your solution and guide for leadership communication in the 21st century:

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1.    Team App

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I think we are one of the first teams to create an app for our program. This has been a game changer! I send out notifications, have resources, schedules, maps, lists, etc. all on this thing. This tool is used for people already in our program who need to know inside information.

 

2.     Mass Email with MailChimp

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Email is outdated. Crazy, right? But it is. When emailing a large group of people you need a way for your audience to receive information that is quick, easy on the eyes, and very informative. MailChimp is fantastic. It’s free (unless the group is too large) and allows you to create an online newsletter sent as an email. In my experience, 78% of people who receive my newsletters view them on a phone. Mailchimp makes it easy to read, scroll, click, etc. You design a custom template for every email. For you, the work is relatively minimal.

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3.   Team Website

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You need a place where you can put important information, update it regularly, and people can find it easily. I love directing people to our website. This reminds me of that saying, “You can give someone a fish and he can eat for a day, or you can teach a person to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.”  Once people know where the information is, they can get there by themselves the next time and keep going back to get what they need. I typically don’t hear from them again. Use Squarespace and develop your own site. You can do it for $8 a month!

4.     Twitter/Instagram/Facebook

Create updates people are interested in. Other people can add pictures to the group with a #hashtag. This allows your audience to have a group to belong to.  Your program can be the cool group on campus. 

5.     Phone call

Some people still like phone calls. Bring back the personal touch in communication.

6.    Texting

Quick and easy. 99% of my athletes and coaches prefer this mode of communication. They can get back to me right away, or once they have thought about a response. Often times, they are somewhere they can’t talk, so it’s quicker.

So which on is the best one? Answer: all of them. Start with asking your audience how they like to give and receive information or which one they prefer to communicate with.

Ask:

- Best way to reach you (phone, text, email)?

- When can I expect your reply (immediate, hour(s), days)?

 It is simply impossible to become a great leader without being a great communicator. – Mike Myatt Forbes .com

How to Think About Your Mistakes

How to Think About Your Mistakes

If athletes were afraid to make a mistakes, the world would have no hurdlers.

If athletes were afraid to make a mistakes, the world would have no hurdlers.

Mistakes and Failure will happen. It’s inevitable. Even as I type these first few sentences, I am filled with dread and anxiety wondering if I’ve made errors. We don’t like mistakes. We cover them up and try to hide the failures. We simply do not want people to know or think that we are not doing a good job. An effective leader learns from their mistakes and is not afraid to face the fear of failure.

Expect to make a mistake.

Nothing comes out perfectly. Babe Ruth struck out twice as often as he hit home runs. Albert Einstein failed his college entrance exam; teachers described him as “mentally slow, and adrift in foolish dreams.” Walt Disney was fired from his first media job for “lack of imagination.” Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. I recently talked with a coach that felt his team was very good; they just couldn’t win a game.

How about Competing not to Lose

This philosophy will only result a “self-fulfilling prophesy” – you will lose.  When has playing it safe worked? This never works out in the long run.  The solider hiding in the foxhole will get hit. The real question is are you competing to hold back and find excuses?

I think this attitude and mindset extends beyond the playing field. I would say that most people play not to lose. In other words, most of us live in such a way that our main focus is on not ruining our lives with some kind of a major failure.

 - Steven Furtick

In the face of a decision or future goal, go all in. There will always be the possibility of failure. If you are gonna fall, fall bravely and with style (see hurdler above). This has little to do with actual falling, but if you are going into something and make a mistake do it fearlessly and aggressively – so you can learn from it.

We will never be able to completely avoid mistakes. Now when a mistake happens, and it will, think of it as an opportunity to:

 1. Be optimistic

Character is revealed not in the wins but in the losses. You can control your response to this mistake. Expectations – don’t be too surprised. 

2.   Take Responsibility

It’s probably everyone’s fault but yours. I have seen coaches blame their athletes for “not listening,” or not “following the game plan.” I have been guilty of this in the past. Of course you made the greatest game plan since John Wooden, but if they only listened. But let’s be honest, the “buck still stops at you.” You are the boss, the leader, the coach. Taking responsibility is a crucial step in this process. 

3.    Learn

- What could I or should I have done differently?

- What can I learn from this?

- What can I take away from this that will help me in the future?

4.   Get over it

I read a post a long time ago that was worth saving. JC Maxwell explained: 

The five behaviors of people who haven’t gotten over past difficulties:

- Comparison. Either measuring your failures against those of others, or convincing yourself that your circumstances were harder than theirs.

- Rationalization. Telling yourself and others that you have good reasons for not getting over past hurts and mistakes. Believing that those who encourage you “just don’t understand.”

- Isolation. Pulling back and keeping yourself separate from others, either to avoid dealing with the issues, or to continue to feel sorry for yourself.

- Regret. Getting stuck lamenting or trying to fix things that cannot be changed.

- Bitterness. Feeling like a victim and blaming others for negative outcomes.

No matter what behavior you are experiencing; it isn’t good. This loss, this mistake, this failure might be the best thing that has ever happened to your leadership. Find that teachable moment for both you and your team.

 Be optimistic about the opportunity, take responsibility, learn from your mistake, and get over it. I know this is easier said then done. Find a friend, a coach, and/or a mentor – they will help you.

Now be prepared, better yet expect, to make a mistake. Then be prepared to achieve more then you ever thought possible. 

Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast

Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast

I read many articles online about leadership. One article that I love is, Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast. You can click here and read an article in its entirety.  I have adjusted the ideas of the article to fit my life and platform, but the overall concept is mind blowing. I believe some of these ideas can be useful for you as well.

Every Morning I Wake Up To A Big Scary Fire-Breathing Dragon