“The cool thing about being part of the Indians organization is that the people we hire are always curious and interested in developing and getting better.” – Lake County Captains Manager, Luke Carlin
Cleveland, OH - On the morning of Thursday, August 15, Positive Coaching Alliance-Cleveland hosted its annual Breakfast with the Indians event on the corner of Carnegie & Ontario. The Corner Bar at Progressive Field was at capacity with current and prospective partners, sponsors, and active supporters of PCA eager to learn from three of the Cleveland Indians player personnel; Matt Blake (Assistant Director of Player Development), Luke Carlin (Manager of the Lake County Captains, Single-A Affiliate of the Indians) and Alex Eckelman (Assistant Director of Player Development). The panel was hosted by multi-award winning broadcaster, Al Pawlowski from SportsTime Ohio.
The overarching theme of the conversation was leadership and how to motivate individuals to perform at their highest level. One attendee stated “It was interesting to hear the similar processes of athlete development, relationship transparency, and culture building happening in professional baseball and how it parallels to what we do at the high school level.”
One of the resounding themes of the conversation was that results should simply be an outcome of the process or as Carlin put it, “When you can create change with the roots, you can get the fruits.” A successful process is grounded in relationships. Relationships are developed through the establishment of trust and confidence between player and coach. “It’s about getting to know the player and what he’s passionate about. That passion might even be something off the field.” Said Eckleman. This thought process is in direct alignment with filling the emotional tank which is one of PCA’s core principals.
In order to establish trust and confidence, coaches must develop and maintain a growth mindset as coined by PCA National Advisory Board Member, Carol Dweck. The Indians coaching staff will often times take an online course, read a new book, listen to a new podcast or even attend a conference mid-season to support the development of their players. Blake suggested that there are times that a coach needs to look internally if their players aren’t continuing to progress. Coaches need to continue to ask themselves “Are we putting the right work in? If not, what else can we consider. Is the drill wrong or am I coaching it wrong?” said Blake.
“The cool thing about being a part of the Indians organization is that the people we hire are always curious and interested in developing and getting better.” Said Carlin. This mindset is in direct alignment with one of PCA’s core principles, the ELM Tree of Mastery which is intended to help individuals identify what is in their control.
At the conclusion of the panel, attendees had the opportunity to express their interest in supporting PCA-Cleveland and the growth of the PCA movement in Ohio.
At the very end of the event, as an appreciation for the impact they are having on the lives of the young people in their communities, guests were surprised with the unique opportunity to go down to the field and spend time in the dugout. While in the dugout, they had the opportunity to engage in one-on-one conversations with Blake, Carlin and Eckelman.
Needless to say, everyone leaving Progressive Field that morning was motivated, enlightened, and had an enjoyable experience. Although the conversation was centered around sports, the content of the discussion was directly applicable to all aspects of life whether it is on the field of play, in the office, or at home. Simply put, when done right, sports teach!