Finishing Strong… The Key to Success – July 2015

Having just finished Spring Soccer season, I am reminded that I really do enjoy coaching and find great satisfaction in seeing the kids and the team improve throughout the season. I coached Alex’s U-6 team this spring and was an assistant coach on Anthony’s U-8 team.

If you’ve been a subscriber and read my newsletter for a while, you may recall that in the fall of 2013, I was the coach for Anthony’s soccer team. This team was incredible, we had 2 kids that were the tops in the league and could score whenever they wanted. My goal and my challenge that year was to improve the rest of the team and make sure that the two advanced kids also progressed during the year.

When practicing and also in rotations during the game, I’d pair an advanced player up with a less advanced player, and both would benefit. The advanced player would help teach the less advanced player. And I’ve found, especially in life and business that the teacher is the one who gains as much if not more from the student when learning or perfecting a skill set. And then the less advanced player, with the help of his/her teammate, would learn the basic skills of dribbling, passing, shooting and would also improve.

The coaching that I did 2 years ago with Anthony’s team was much different, as the kids were a year older at the time and had some idea of how to play soccer, where to be on the field and the fundamentals to succeed. They were more advanced, and if I would rate on a scale of 1 to 10 where I could start coaching them from beginner to advanced-they were probably a 6.

We ended the year undefeated, which was unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but if you are going to practice and get better you might as well test yourself when it actually matters to see how you stack-up against the competition.

My experience this year with Alex’s team was much different. I think that 5 of our 8 kids had never played soccer before. I’m not sure they had ever played an organized team sport. If I could start Anthony’s team out at a 6 on the coaching spectrum, then Alex’s team had to start at a 1. The kids were lost the first couple of practices and games, and when some of the other teams were doing more advanced drills and were working on advanced skills, we had to take a step back in our approach.

After the first two games, I think we were outscored 15 to 1. Again, not the main goal, but the kids were lost out there: sometimes going the wrong way, sometimes just standing there not even looking at the ball. So my assistant coach, Amy, and I decided to go back to basics with the team. During drills at practice we would blow the whistle every 30 seconds and have the kids point at the ball. This got the kids to keep their eyes on the ball and at least know where the ball was going. Next we worked on some elementary passing and dribbling drills. We did this for 3 weeks before we started to actually implement the drills that some of the other teams were using.

Gradually about mid-season, the team started to improve.

During the Saturday morning games, the kids were more organized, and they were going in the right direction. They listened to the few basic strategies that we implemented as far as kicking the ball away from our goal if the other team got close. After not winning a game for about the first month and even losing one game 19-1, the kids were getting frustrated, but Amy and I could see improvement on the team. They were playing with better fundamentals, more purpose, and were progressing each game. Although no official score is kept, the kids all know what is going on in the games and knew that we hadn’t won a game all year. After every game I made sure to point out how proud I was of their effort and to empathize that they were having fun, but I could tell that losing every game became somewhat frustrating.

Coach Amy and I kept our steady course. We began each practice with the basics, always making sure the kids kept their eyes on the ball and that they knew the direction they were supposed to go. Then we’d add on some specific drills to improve their skill level.

With 3 weeks left in the season, the kids took a tremendous step forward. All of the little things that Amy and I taught weekly were building on each other, and it just clicked. The ‘Purple Stars,’ our team name, finally won a game. It was such a joy to see the expressions after the game. They puffed their chest a little and took pride in actually winning a game, after being winless for the first month and a half.

We went on to win our final 2 games to end the season on a 3 game winning streak.

It was the little steps they took throughout the season that allowed them to improve individually and as a team. After the game one of the fathers came up to me and said the son had played the prior fall, and the difference in improvement his son saw this season compared to the fall was amazing. It made Coach Amy and me feel good because we were able to help each child improve during the year.

This was a stark contrast to the strategies that I used when coaching Anthony’s more advanced team, but the results – improvement throughout the year – were achieved with both teams. With Anthony’s team we work on more advanced drills and really focus on individual improvement. However, with Alex’s team, we had to start with just pointing at the ball to identify its location and then work to running the correct direction. Then they could work on drills that would improve their individual skill set.

The Value-Driven Approach to Selling Homes takes the Same Philosophies as Coaching Soccer

When meeting with Sellers to determine the best course of action to maximize the Value of their home sale and to extract the highest profits, I have some seller’s homes that are on Anthony’s level and some that are on Alex’s team’s level. This is why when I meet with a seller the first time I don’t come with a canned script or listing presentation. I come with a pad of paper to take notes and talk with my client to figure out the best game-plan for their home sale. See, agents coming with a canned script don’t know how to adjust their strategies for sellers that are more advanced or some that might need more basic instructions to obtain max value.

Just recently I had 2 sellers on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Both homes were in Spring Ridge and both came from totally different starting points, but the end results were similar. One sold for the highest sales price in Spring Ridge in the last 10 months. The other sold for the highest Price-Per-Square-Foot in Spring Ridge in the last 3 years. Maximum profit doesn’t just happen. It’s engineered from Step One.

I met the first sellers in January. They had 5 children, and the husband was in the military. He traveled quite frequently, and the wife would be doing most of the work. I had Shari, one of my Stagers, come walk the home for her initial consult with the wife and Shari gave her an extensive to-do list. I mean, this home was nowhere near show condition, and I worried if it would ever get there. The wife even battled Shingles in March, so it delayed the process some. But she was a trooper, and she went through the check-list provided: Picking up clothes, organizing closets, painting over kids scuff marks on the walls, and having the spills on the carpet professionally cleaned.

Once she got through phase 1 of our Staging, Shari gave more detailed instructions about how to properly present their home to obtain Maximum profits. It took the sellers about 4 months to finally get the home ready. They followed Shari’s direction to a T. The end result: The sellers received a contract within 10 days on the market for the highest contracted sales price in Spring Ridge that was achieved in the last 10 months.

I met with the second sellers in March. Their home was the most amazing home that I had ever seen. They had spent $190,000 upgrading their house in the last 3 years, including a new kitchen with soft close cabinets and drawers, heated ceramic tile floors in the main living area and master bath, and a total redo of the master bedroom and bath including 5 headed shower jets with remote start. This is just a snippet of the upgrades. But their home was about half the size of the ‘high-end’ Spring Ridge home, so we had to overcome that size discrepancy. So this time, I brought in another of my Stagers, Jennifer, to Scientifically Stage their home to maximize the space and overcome the size issue.

The results on this sale were even more impressive, as the sellers received multiple offers within 5 days on the market and ended up with the highest Price-Per-Square-Foot that Spring Ridge has seen in 3 years.

Every seller that I meet ends up needing a customized solution and Game-Plan to help Maximize the value of their home. Some sellers are further along in the spectrum, some need more basic direction in the beginning. Just like the difference in coaching Anthony’s team versus coaching Alex’s team, I need to first identify the situation and then can start formulating and teaching sellers how to maximize profit. Maximum profit doesn’t just happen. It’s engineered, from step one.

The end game is always the same, whether it is coaching kids or clients… to improve from beginning to end and to put them in the best position to succeed.