As we wrap up Week Two of the NFL season and Week Three of the NCAA football season, I start to think about all the preparation and work the players and coaches have put in since February.
The players nurse their battle wounds, they hit the weight rooms, they practice their position skills. The coaches begin scouting, reviewing game film, and planning for the coming off-season moves they may want to make. The fans? Well, we like to second guess every decision every coach or player made in the previous season. We like to talk about how we would have done it better, or what play the players should have made, or what play the coaches should have called.
The point to all of this is that everyone knows what they have to do at any given time. If it’s time to hit the weight room, the players hit the weight room. If it’s time to report to OTA’s then everyone reports to OTA’s. If you have ever been to a training camp or practice for your favorite football team, you’ve seen how the practice breaks down. The linemen start by doing rep after rep of taking their first step out of the snap. The wide receivers run a button hook over and over again; then they run a five and out, over and over again. Everything runs like a well-oiled machine. Even, no, especially the basics, the fundamentals. The best teams in the NFL and the NCAA are the teams that also have the tightest structure to their off-season, their practices, and their game days. Nick Saban, head coach at the University of Alabama, and Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, make a plan and stick to it.
I coached lacrosse for 12 years and had much success; there was only one season in which we did not make it to the post-season. I started coaching without knowing much about what it took to coach a group of young men. I knew the game and how to develop the skills needed in my players. What I didn’t have any clue about was how to run a team; how to deal with parents; how to communicate to 26 young men who were more concerned about who their prom date was than what we were doing at practice that day.
One time, early in my coaching career, I had the opportunity to speak with John Danowski, head coach of men’s lacrosse at Duke University. He told me, “You have to have a plan for everything. Every drill in practice needs to be planned down to the minute. Then repeat it. Create consistency. Obviously, you change it if something isn’t working. But plan everything and repeat what works.” This was life-changing advice for me. My practices improved, and our gameday rituals led to more structure and better performance. It worked. I made a plan and repeated what worked.
Marketing organizations and insurance carriers love to tell you how good they are at helping you get in front of people or how good their products are. What most of them don’t do is talk about what to do with the rest of your time. Well, let’s make a plan and repeat what works. All of the top advisors around the country have something in common: They do the same thing every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.
I used what I learned from coach Danowski in my career, and I planned every hour in every day. We live in a world of constant distraction, and planning your day out will help you focus and achieve the goals you have set for yourself. When structuring your day, it is important to put everything in the plan. For example, from 9-9:30 am, I check and respond to my emails and voicemails. From 9:30-11, I call on prospects for recruiting purposes. These blocks on my calendars, generally, don’t change. It makes for a predictable and repeatable process. This doesn’t mean we can’t alter or change it if something comes up, but if it is an email that comes in when you are calling on prospects to set up a first appointment, we don’t get derailed from our current tasks.
Give me a call and I will help build a daily business process plan with you, as well as a marketing calendar to wrap up 2017.
Skol Vikes and Ski-U-Mah,
Director of Advisor Development