“When a WHY is clear, those who share that belief will be drawn to it and maybe want to take part in bringing it to life. If that belief is amplified it can have the power to rally even more believers to raise their hands and declare, “I want to help.” With a group of believers all rallying around a common purpose, cause or belief, amazing things can happen. But it takes more than inspiration to become great. Inspiration only starts the process; you need something more to drive a movement.”

Key Takeaways: “How to Rally Those Who Believe”
  • Drivers of any movement
    • Partnering WHY with HOW & WHAT
  • Celery Test

We were introduced to “The Golden Circle” during Part Two with ‘WHY’ as the focal point for any organization’s mission and the key driver for the actionable decisions of ‘HOW’ and ‘WHAT.’

Part Four shifts the model into a 3D point-of-view to discuss the top-down infrastructure where inspiration starts at the point of ‘WHY’ followed by compartmentalized leadership to reinforce ‘HOW’ to differentiate via ‘WHAT’ is offered, produced, or provided.

“If people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it, and if all the things happening at the WHAT level do not clearly represent WHY the company exists, then the ability to inspire is severely complicated.”

This brings us back a bit to the Basketball on Paper rationale about individual statistics reflecting good teammates and team results depend upon strong individual play. The inspiration of ‘WHY’ from any organization falls on deaf ears if there aren’t groups at the level of ‘HOW’ and ‘WHAT’ valued for their contributions to the same vision.

Celery Test

Every coach has picked up ‘tricks of the trade’ from someone and somewhere. We learn from experience. We learn by studying the game through film, discussion, or more recently Zoom calls. The Celery Test is about taking advice and applying it through a filtered decision-making process as opposed to plagiarising a program after seeing one coach have success with a certain style and presume it can translate to any other team.

Consider diets to styles of play. One infomercial will tell you to avoid dairy to lose weight, while the next ad indicates it is all about fasting, yet none of seem to work. At a coach’s clinic, you may walk out of the gym excited with notes on increasing pace of play and full-court pressure as the difference-maker for next year. Meanwhile, a neighboring coach has taken notes on packline principles and halfcourt sets to turn things around for their program. Both of may work or fail depending on how it is installed, fit for the personnel/program, and believability by all involved.

Long story short, the Celery Test is about doing what is best for you. It is your body. It is your program. The best ingredients are what fits you the most.

“It’s not that the other advice isn’t good advice, it’s just not good for you. The advice doesn’t fit.”

It reminds me of the conversation we had with every prospective recruit at our program (Division III level), which I felt was very compelling at the time when we spoke to the family.

There is a difference between a team and a program.

A team will focus on the following:

  • The Record for 1 Season
  • Each year is different (style of play, rules, expectations, etc.)
  • Academics is an individual responsibility
  • New theme for every season

While a program differentiates themselves:

  • Tradition / Legacy
  • Continuity of Expectations
    • Style of Play
    • Academics & Career Development
    • Practice Environment / Pick-Up
    • Attire
    • Offseason Participation (Year-Round)
  • Language & Terminology
  • Core Values & Identity

Consider some of the best programs and franchises in all of sports: Spurs, Patriots, or any blueblood programs on the men’s and women’s side (Duke/UK or UConn/South Carolina). These organizations are programs built on the cultivation of culture with a clear vision of how to be sustainably successful. Each program has a clear identity. These coaches didn’t reinvent the wheel that just recognized how the wheel can spin effectively and efficiently based on the surrounding environment and resources they are provided. This can be seen at every level; it is likely the program which is suggest to be a well-oiled running machine because it has gotten to the point where the coach has to do less teaching and more managing.

Every program starts as a team. And every head coach has the opportunity to build that team into a program based on their own vision. The Celery Test is about being aware of all the options that could contribute towards success, and understanding that the healthiest one is what will likely work best moving forward.

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