How do you Handle the Pressure?

Can you handle the pressure?

March Madness is here and it got me thinking about how to handle pressure.  No matter what our day-to-day life consists of, we all deal with some form of pressure.  What are the best ways to deal with it?  How can we harness this pressure and use it for positive benefits?  I have compiled some tips on how to deal with the most pressure-filled situations and come out on top.  Make sure you let me know your thoughts and strategies as well.  Enjoy!

  • Embrace it. When you start to feel that nervous emotion stemming from external pressure forces, convince yourself that you are, in fact, excited.  It’s a positive spin on the internal emotions we experience.
  • Model the behavior. Your team will learn from you and your behaviors.  Try and stay cool in front of them even in the most tense situations.  Think Greg Popovich and Bill Belichick.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. You cannot overprepare.  Be confident as the team leader and your team will follow suit.
  • Stick to what you know. Stay basic if you have to, but never deviate from what you have prepared or studied.  Stay within yourself.
  • What do you see yourself accomplishing?  How does it feel?  Visualize your successes before they happen.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson delivered his leadership keynote in font of students and faculty at SUNY Brockport recently.  His 2017 is filling up, so reach out if you would like him to speak to your team!

Life Tip #77:   Six days of labor, one day of rest

100 Wins in a row and counting? What are you doing to stay Consistent?

How are you staying consistent?

In honor of the UConn women’s basketball team and their amazing 100 game win streak, I think it’s appropriate to chat this week about consistency.  As a basketball coach, staying consistent should be high on your list of priorities.  During my career, my teams had 23 consecutive seasons of .500 or better.  As I preached consistency, the players responded.  I learned many things in regards to being consistent.  Below are some tips I have compiled for you.  Let me know how you stay consistent in your daily routines.  Enjoy.

  • Understand your “why”. Your team must know their values and reasoning for competing.  As a unit, what is your “why”?  What makes you tick?
  • Consistently improve yourself. Before you seek to improve others, you must improve yourself.  Constant and never-ending Improvement (CANEI) is what I always strive for.  How do you consistently improve yourself?
  • Build trust. Consistency in building trust takes hard work.  Prove to your team that they can trust you will do what you say.  Lead by example and your team will follow.
  • Raise your standards. Play and operate to your own standards you set for yourself as a team.  Always think to yourself “how can we get better?” and you will consistently grow.
  • Seek feedback. Consistency is built upon feedback and help from others.  You can’t do it yourself and it always helps to welcome a second (or third) opinion.  When was the last time someone offered you their feedback?  How did you receive it?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson lead the Greece Athena boys basketball team to 14 straight final fours of their NY State Sectional tournament and the team this season has kept that streak alive, continuing their run with a semi-final game today.

Life Tip #25: Always lead by example

How to Overcome Negative Procrastination

How do you overcome procrastination?

Each day, we are faced with tasks and items that need to be done.  Procrastination can sprout up at any moment and convince us it’s okay to wait or not perform the task at all.  There are some rare forms of positive procrastination, but for the most part, it’s an ugly characteristic that must be dealt with.  I have learned some tips and tricks over the years on how to deal with this unwelcomed train of thought.  Let me know how you deal with it as well!  Enjoy.

  • Create energy. In your life, there will be many opportunities for you to sleep in or be lazy.  I have found if you exercise regularly and eat well, you will have more positive energy to avoid procrastination.  Going to sleep at a decent hour helps as well.  Develop inner energy for yourself.  How do you create energy for yourself?
  • Setup daily disciplines. Whether it’s when (or how) you brush your teeth, eating breakfast regularly, or how you get dressed, you must develop daily disciplines.  This will help you feel accountable for all your actions.
  • MVPs every night. These are your “Most Valuable Priorities” that will help prioritize what’s truly important to get done.  Recognizing the true aspects of your life that need attention is a step in the right direction to kick your procrastination habits.
  • Bunch activities. Be efficient and do multiple things at once.  Bunching your activities together will help free up time to continue on your path toward success.  How do you multi-task each day?
  • Reward yourself. Each time you accomplish something or find yourself being productive, it’s okay to treat yourself as a reward.  This will create a sense of positivity in your brain that procrastination is not an option.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is re-releasing his Anniversary version of his book on March 1st?  It has been 11 years since the J-Mac game and he is still sharing his story with others.

Life Tip #34:  Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

What did we Learn from the Super Bowl?

Did you watch the Super Bowl?

As a former coach, I typically view games through a very unique lens.  While most might be watching for the excitement and thrills of the game, I am watching for teachable moments.  Things we can learn from moving forward.  While watching the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history last week, I picked up on a few things.  Here are three things that I learned from Super Bowl LI.  Enjoy.

  • Power of perseverance. The Patriots were down 28-3 in the second half of the biggest game of their lives.  In any sport, that is normally an insurmountable deficit to overcome.  They stuck to their game plan and persevered through unlikely odds to come out victorious.
  • Sticking together in adversity. Some might say the definition of adversity is being down 28-3.  The Patriots could have folded, but they stuck together and remained calm as a team.  Had they panicked, there would have been zero chance for a comeback for the ages.
  • Failure to adapt. The Falcons, on the other hand, did not do a great job at adapting to the flow and style of the game.  Had they done a better job playing with the lead and recognizing their situational surroundings, they could have been in the winners’ circle.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson is re-releasing his anniversary version of his book in honor of the 11-year anniversary (February 15th) of the J-Mac game on March 1st.

Life Tip #32:  The harder you work, the luckier you get

What Does Your Perfect Team Look Like?

How do you build your Team?

Last week, I shared part 1 of my how to build a great team series.  This week, I continue my TTEAMM acronym and give you the second three crucial aspects of a perfect squad.  While we all want to win and be successful, sometimes we overlook the key aspects of building a successful group of people.  Here are a few more tips to focus on when searching for perfection.  Enjoy.

  • As you may have heard, attitudes are contagious.  We must find people for our team with an attitudes that match the overall goals of the group.  If someone has a poor attitude, it can infect the group as a whole.  How can they handle good and bad situations that arise?  Make sure your team is filled with positive attitudes that stop at nothing until the job is done.
  • What is your teams’ why?  Find people who will be able to align with the goals and values of the whole.  Be very clear and carve out roles for each individual.  This will help establish boundaries as well as optimize the efficiency while attempting to accomplish certain tasks.  What is your why?
  • Mental toughness. Having team members who don’t get too high or too low is crucial to your success.  Being mentally tough takes more than just being thick-skinned.  Your team must learn to deal with adversity and success alike.  Do you have what it takes?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson’s former boys basketball team at Greece Athena High School in Rochester, NY is currently 15-2, lead by his former assistant coach.

Life Tip #66:  You can’t live a perfect day without doing something nice for someone who can’t pay you back.

What are the Ingredients of a Great Team?

How do you make a great TTEAMM?

A great team is something that can be built.  With the right ingredients and development, any group of people can come together for the betterment of everyone and form a strong unit.  This week, I give you the first three letters (T, T, and E) of my TTEAMM acronym with the focus on building a great team.  As you read them, think to yourself; What is a great team really made of.  Enjoy.

  • In order to have a great team, they must trust one another.  Trust must be earned and awarded at all times.  The instant trust goes away, marks the beginning of the end.  Trust each other, trust leadership, and trust the process.  It can take a while for trust to be built, so stay patient.
  • You must have a unified common goal amongst your squad, bringing everyone together for a sole purpose.  I always liked to take my players out for dinner outside of the court.  These little activities can go a long way in building a team atmosphere.  How do you get your team to stay together?
  • Those who have drive and passion should have a spot on your team.  They know what it takes to be successful and don’t stop until goals are achieved.  It is crucial to stay upbeat and focused throughout the journey.  How is your enthusiasm?

Did You Know?  In honor of the 11-year anniversary of the J-Mac game, Coach Jim Johnson and J-Mac are speaking at a local school in Rochester and also giving a basketball clinic to 6th-graders.

Life Tip #65:  You should always look to add value to others

Are You Using ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ Enough?

Do you use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’?

Growing up, our parents always preached manners and politeness.  Do you still have manners today?  In business and leadership, it can become crucial to use your manners and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to be more effective.  As we interact with those around us, we must show our respect.  Below are some tips I have compiled on how to use our manners and be upstanding individuals.  Enjoy.

  • Consistently use ‘please’. With strangers, friends, co-workers.  They all deserve to be treated with respect.  Do this consistently, so it becomes second nature.  Whenever you ask for something, attaching a ‘please’ to your request can go a long way.  Do you consistently say ‘please’?
  • Thank immediately. This is the best way to show appreciation toward someone.  As soon as someone does something nice for you, make sure you reciprocate and show your appreciation by saying ‘thank you.’
  • Show it in different ways. Use your words, notes, letters, texts, emails, etc.  There are many ways to show your appreciation toward someone.  No matter who it is, if they deserve your thanks and praise, give it to them.  It becomes a nice added touch that they will remember for a long time.  How do you show your thanks?

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson spoke in front of 230 meeting planners and professionals last week at the National Speaking Showcase in Minneapolis, MN.  His 2017 calendar is filling up quick!

Life Tip #45:  You never get a second chance to make a first impression

Have you thought about Leaving a Legacy?

What will your legacy be?

As we go about our daily lives, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and what we wish to accomplish.  How do you wish to be remembered?  What will your legacy say about your life?  These types of questions must be at the forefront of your mind each and every day.  It is crucial that you carry yourself in the highest manner as often as possible.  Recently, I was asked about my thoughts on my former team (Greece Athena High School, Rochester, NY) and their 7-1 hot start.  I have thus compiled some tips to help you leave a legacy worth remembering.  Enjoy.

  • Develop a leadership philosophy. Live with the philosophy that everything I touch turns to gold.  This will rub off on others and they will be ready to lead when you are gone.  What is your leadership philosophy?
  • Be a role model. Set a high standard for yourself as well as your team and expect to live up to those standards.  Once you have achieved your goals, raise these standards and set new goals.  Always seek to grow and develop ways to strive forward consistently.
  • Train and develop leaders. Prepare others to take over once you are gone.  This will allow your program or organization to not miss a beat.
  • Have a succession plan. Once you are gone, who will take over?  What will the new regime look like?  How will it operate?  It is important to have these items taken care of while you are still involved.

Life Tip #65: You should always look to add value to others

Do you Have a Financial Independence Plan?

What is your financial independence plan?

In order to achieve financial independence and wealth, much like anything else, we must have a plan to get there.  In my younger years (teens and 20’s), I did not see the value in saving or starting a retirement account.  I wish I had.  Starting your retirement account 5-10 years sooner can result in a significant amount of money when you retire.  Below are some other financial tips for you to include in your financial plan.  Enjoy.

  • Set a financial goal. What do you wish to earn?  What do you wish to have when you retire? What percentage should you invest?  All of this is specific to you and your life, so make sure you set your goals sooner rather than later.
  • Pay down your debt. Student loans, car loans, and even your mortgage can burden you for a long time.  Make sure when you come into some extra cash, you pay down these debts as it will save you much more in the long run.
  • Seek ways to increase income. Whether it’s at your current job or your dream job, find ways to increase your value and ultimately, increase your pay.  Don’t settle for your current situation.  Maybe start a side job to earn extra income.  Live the lifestyle you can afford.  How can you increase your income?
  • Seek advice. Your parents, coworkers, or even other friends can be a great resource of information and advice for you.  Make sure you utilize their knowledge to create your own plan.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson was a late bloomer when it comes to investing and saving.  He didn’t start a retirement account until he was 33 years old.  It’s never too late to start!

Life Tip #4:  Pay yourself first, make it a high priority to start a retirement account

2017: How can you Create Positive Change in your Life?

Are you creating positive change?

Now that the new year is here and 2017 brings nothing but hope and wonder, how are you creating positive change for your future?  In this week’s #CJJblog I am going to give you a few tips to help ensure your future is bright.  Below are some thoughts I had, but be sure to let me know if I missed anything.  How are you preparing for your future?  Enjoy.

  • Develop a morning routine. This will start your day on a positive note and set the tone for the entire day.  Eat a good breakfast, exercise, or read 30 minutes every morning.  Do this consistently and you will find yourself having more productive days more often than not.  What do you do in the morning to get your day started on the right foot?
  • Organize your life. Whether it’s your car, your office, or your home, get it organized as soon as possible.  The feeling you get after cleaning or organizing something meaningful to you is unlike any other.  Positive actions lead to positive thoughts, which ultimately leads to positive action.
  • Write down your goals daily. Start with your top 3 list of goals, then expand outward.  If you do this on a daily basis, you will soon end up with a master list of your top 10 goals, where you can focus on what really matters to you.
  • Create/join a mastermind group. There are endless benefits to surrounding yourself with like-minded productive individuals who share your goals and values.  A mastermind group will also help to serve as an accountability partner, whom you do not wish to disappoint.  Do you have a mastermind group you can talk to?
  • Change one habit. Whether it’s eating poorly, smoking, or exercising regularly, I challenge you to make one improvement on a bad habit you are trying to break.  Make positive change in your life and positive outcomes will soon follow.

Did You Know?  Coach Jim Johnson will be attending the National Speakers Bureau Showcase in Minneapolis, MN on January 12th.

Life Tip #29:  In decision making, always ask yourself “If I make this decision, then what?”

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