Monday, December 15, 2008


As part of the sport's analogy series I want to continue this week by continuing to give background information about myself and my start with this organization. I have been an athlete nearly my entire life. I have played on numerous basketball, football, and even baseball teams throughout my career. On those teams I found a way to become a leader as a captain of nearly every team that I have been apart of. The hard work that I put into athletics, and lets not forget academics, allowed me to earn and accept a full-scholarship to Northwestern University as a member of the football team. Due to a career ending injury I was unable to display my athletic ability on the football field at Northwestern, but I am able to continue to display my leadership ability in the field of Social Service!
Last week's article talked about the behind the scenes action that takes place in order for a program to work. The GM, Head Coach, and the Assistants met to not only discuss the overall picture but to diagram a play for the end of the 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, and beyond. We will call the play the "pitch." In the meeting we discussed the basics and the small details that can and will lead to bigger and more consistent success in our games(short yardage play). We talked about communication, consistency, accountability, and team work; and how using these concepts to diagram and carry out plays are keys to success!
Now it was time to 'call the play in!' Following announcements during the tutoring/mentoring sessions we huddled up and provided both mentors and mentees the play! The Head Coach, the Assistant Coaches, and all of the players sat in the huddled and discussed the play...the "pitch!"
For the pitch to work there are a lot of tasks that each member of the team must do.
1st...The Head Coach, Assistant Coaches had to know and understand what play needed to be called
-a simple play (the pitch) to just get a 1st down...not a touchdown all in one play
-cover the small details of the program (name tags, weekly expectations, resources etc...)
2nd...The play had to be communicated to all of the members on the team
-the leaders of the team (volunteer coordinators) needed to know what all they needed to do and how to do it
-know the expectations of the program
-the importance and value of their consistent participation
-aware of resources
-THE LEADER'S OF THE TEAM MUST 'PITCH' THE INFORMATION TO THE Mentors and Mentees...and continue to practice the play until each player gets the 1st down!!!
3rd...The Head Coach and the Assistant Coaches must then observe the play, see what went well and what didn't go so well, and continue to work with both the mentors and mentees so that the 'pitch' is a successful play.
This is just one play in the Cabrini Connections' playbook. The 'pitch' is simple and basic play designed to get a short amount of yards, but if each member of the Cabrini Connections' team works as a team, communicates properly, knows and understands what is and is not working...and uses that information to perfect the play, then the 'pitch' can and will be successful throughout the game! Small successes such as everybody making an effort to put on name tags after signing in, putting the chairs up/cleaning their space before leaving, and enjoying their time at Cabrini Connections are short yardage plays that can lead to big gains in the near future!

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