A few weeks ago, my daughter’s basketball coach kicked off a 5-on-5 team drill with the team. My daughter’s team had seven players, so he told them they were in charge of subbing themselves in and out.
One of the girls who started in the drill took her turn to sub out when one of the girls on the sideline said she was going in.
The drill lasted for over ten more minutes, but the girl never subbed herself back in. She stood on the sideline looking hopeful, but she never spoke up or asserted herself to come back in the drill.
As this was going on, I was wondering if the coach had noticed she was not in the drill.
Finally, he gave everyone a water break. When the reconvened, he huddled them up at center court. The first thing he did was to ask the girl, “where were you?”
She just looked at him and shrugged her shoulders. He told her he had noticed that she never appeared back in the drill.
With this, he spoke to the entire team and told them, “My mom always told me that closed mouths don’t get fed. If you don’t speak up and communicate with your team, you’re never going to get what you want, and you’re not going to help your team.”
The reason I attend most of my daughter’s practices is because her coach usually ends up teaching them at least few things that I think are good lessons for the team I manage at work.
This particular lesson was important because I’ve worked with a few people who would sit quietly and be silently mad when they didn’t get what they wanted. But they would never tell me or anyone else on the team what it was. And when you don’t tell people what you want or what you’re trying to accomplish, you can’t be mad when no one makes an effort to help you out.
If you want something, you have to let people know.