The Power of Expectations

Something that is often overlooked and I intentionally work with my clients is the power of expectations.

I think it is safe to say that after living through the pandemic, we have come to realize we are playing by a new set of rules, yet our main objective is the same. To win. (Based on what your definition of VICTORY is, of course!). This is tricky for everyone, but especially for the coaching leaders responsible for getting their teams to perform at the optimum level with a new set of circumstances.

As a college basketball coach, I quickly realized that one of the challenges you have is the amount of discretionary thinking time your players have and the significant influence their outside environment and circumstances have.

You try to be around them as much as possible. Morning weights and conditioning, breakfast check, class check (yes, that really happens), organized workouts, practice, study hall, and on and on. Still, they have plenty of time to hang with their crew, call back home, jump on social media, watch tv, go out, and a whole bunch of other influences that had the potential to pull them in the other direction. Things that could affect their thoughts, moods, beliefs, and behavior.

How do you handle that?

There could be a lot to unpack with that question but let me boil it down to one thing that, as a coaching leader, will help you get your team to consistently perform at a higher level.

Ask them what their expectation of themselves are. I am not talking about numbers, awards, wins, and losses.

What are their expectations of themselves as it pertains to:

  • Attitude >>  It is the first choice they have every day.
  • Effort >> Do they show up every day and put in the work, especially when no one is looking?
  • Authenticity >> Do they operate with honesty, integrity, and vulnerability?
  • Resiliency >> How much are they willing to endure?

Make sure to develop a strategy where you lead your team to lean into these things every single day no matter how they are feeling.

This was originally published as a weekly newsletter from Ed Molitor, with The Molitor Group. If you’d like to receive the weekly newsletter, follow this link to subscribe.


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