Behaviors and Standards

Alignment of Expectations and Standards 

Two weeks ago I wrote about the importance of personal alignment. Making sure your actions are aligned with your beliefs and values.

Last week I wrote about making sure there is clarity and alignment with your standards and expectations.

And this week I want to talk about healthy accountability and how critical it is. Leaders must create alignment between the expectations/standards of your program and the behavior of people.

In short, as a leader, you must hold people accountable, IN A HEALTHY WAY, to the standards and expectations of your program.

There are two ditches that coaches/leaders fall into when it comes to accountability.

Ditch 1: Passive

The first ditch is simply not holding others accountable. Whether because you think you can’t win without a certain player so you overlook their disruptive behavior or you just struggle holding people to a certain standard, this will damage the culture you are trying to build and cause a loss of respect for you.

Ditch 2: Aggressive

The second ditch is the coach who abuses his ‘power’ by treating people like pawns in his/her game. This usually looks like demeaning, berating, and harshly criticizing them.

All you have to do is a quick search on Youtube and you can see coaches ‘holding’ their athletes and assistants accountable in a way that will make you cringe.

One ditch is passive, the other ditch is aggressive and both will cause people to lose respect for you and you will lose the locker room.

Holding people accountable in a healthy way is one of the main keys to building a great program!

On paper, this sounds really easy. But as a coach you know it is anything but easy.

BUT it has to be done.

Knowing your values, standards and expectations is critical to being consistent with your accountability.

Based on your standards, what would you do in the following situations and what is your temperament in dealing with these situations?


– Athlete shows up late for a practice

– Athlete has terrible body language and no energy during practice

– Athlete gets caught vaping on campus

– Athlete is late for the bus

– Athlete doesn’t have the proper shorts on for weights

– Athlete mouths off to you

– An assistant hasn’t called recruits for two weeks

– An assistant is rude to a university employee

– An athlete comes to camp 30 pounds overweight

– An assistant coach and an athlete get into a heated argument

– An athlete gets caught cheating on a test

There are two keys at play here.

1. What do you do (discipline)

2. How do you respond (temperament)

How you respond in these moments gets very little thought compared to what sort of discipline is dished out. I want to challenge you to spend time thinking and preparing how to respond in a healthy way.

Responding in a healthy way is critical to winning influence and trust in your program.

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Travis Wyckoff

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