Coaching Today

How to Train Young People to be Successful at Work

 

By Swen Nater

Swen Nater played for Coach John Wooden at UCLA, was part of two NCAA national championship teams and then played 12 years of professional basketball. 

I work at Costco, in the corporate office. I’ve been here 17 years. I also played sports. I truly believe a sports coach can do much to help young people prepare to function successfully in a corporate office-type environment. By “successfully” I mean, be productive, be an asset, be likeable, help the company reach its goals, get promoted, and generally be happy.

I wrote down 12 things I thought were necessary to be successful here. Then, one by one, I determined if sports could prepare a person in that area. In each case, it could.

  1. Discipline to get the job done right and on time
  2. Working hard
  3. Loving what you do
  4. Discovering how to improve and move up
  5. Being an effective member of a team that is working on something together
  6. Being at work and being on time
  7. Being creative
  8. Being subordinate
  9. Helping improve or change things
  10. Being responsible and dependable
  11. Knowing how to be led
  12. Knowing how to lead

After I wrote them down, it hit me – John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success covers many of these. So, I went back and entered the Pyramid traits (in parentheses).

  1. Discipline to get the job done right and on time (DEPENDABILITY)
  2. Working hard (INDUSTRIOUSNESS)
  3. Loving what you do (ENTHUSIASM)
  4. Discovering how to improve and move up (AMBITION)
  5. Being an effective member of a team that is working on something together (TEAM SPIRIT, COOPERATION, FRIENDSHIP)
  6. Being at work and being on time (INTEGRITY)
  7. Being creative (RESOURCEFULNESS)
  8. Being subordinate (LOYALTY)
  9. Helping improve or change things (LOYALTY, COOPERATION, ALERTNESS)
  10. Being responsible and dependable (RELIABILITY)
  11. Knowing how to be led (LOYALTY, FAITH)
  12. Knowing how to lead (POISE, CONFIDENCE)

I was so excited. Yeah! Through youth sports, The Pyramid can prepare someone to be a great worker and a great asset to any company. So tell your child, “Sign up for a team. Here’s a Pyramid of Success. Take it with you and make sure you get all of these things out of it.”

That sounds silly, right? A child can’t use the Pyramid of Success to prepare for the workplace; that’s the coach’s job. And I hear, some coaches have. If you know of someone who was trained in youth sports through the Pyramid, please call me.


Reprinted from Proactive Coaching LLC

 

 

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