A book review of Ulitmate Crush: Waseda University Rugby, Leadership and Building the Strongest Winning Team in Japan Katsuyuki Kiyomiya translated by Ian Ruxton. The Japanese love slogans. Ultimate Crush, which was coined for the Waseda University rugby team, translates differently according to the dialect used*, but the core meaning of “overwhelming victory” is clear. MORE
8 essential rules of end of season performance reviews
How do you make certain your end of season performance review makes real difference to next season and is not a waste of time, energy and money? Here are my 8 essential rules…
At the end of the season, players, coaches, management and staff sit down together and try to work out what went wrong, what went right and how to do it better next time around. Make the process more positive.
1 FEEDFORWARD – NOT FEEDBACK
Everyone talks about wanting feedback – but they are lying. No one really wants to be told what they did wrong in the past – what they want is feedforward – suggestions, ideas and direction on how to improve in the future. No one ever achieved success in the future by looking backwards. So don’t waste any time in your review by looking at the past season – it has gone.
2 THE LAST GAME OF THIS SEASON (AND THE REVIEW PROCESS) IS THE FIRST GAME OF THE NEXT SEASON
Use the end of this season and the review process to set the standards and behaviours for next season. If you are already lagging behind the competition, the earlier you start the continuous improvement process the better.
3 CHALLENGE WITHOUT BLAME: ENGAGE WITHOUT EMOTION
Performance reviews are often a waste of time because it becomes a game of blame and a commotion of emotion. Seek the views, opinions and comments of everyone involved with the team without judgment, blame, emotion or finger pointing.
4 ATTENTION TO DETAIL – GET THE FACTS – ELIMINATE THE FICTION
Performance reviews should be about what actually happened and not what the media, a few fans and a Board member thinks happened. The first step in every Performance review process is a commitment to data collection and the establishing of facts, evidence and a detailed, systematic analysis process.
5 BE SYSTEMATIC – LOOK AT ALL THE PERFORMANCE ELEMENTS
No one performance element can be totally responsible for the success or failure of the team. Look at coaches, players, facilities, management, sports science, sports medicine, rehab, resourcing and the other performance elements – in isolation and in combination.
6 CHANGE SOMETHING
In high performance sport, the dumbest attitude of all is the old “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. History proves again and again that this year’s winning team is often the least likely team to win again next year – due primarily to the “if it ain’t broke…” attitude. Every team is moving forward – the name of the game is learning faster and changing faster than the opposition.
7 MAKE DECISIONS AND COMMUNICATE THEM CLEARLY, CONCISELY AND IMMEDIATELY
Performance reviews are worrying times for all staff – particularly when they are accompanied by a major change, e.g. a new head coach, new CEO etc. All decisions and actions arising from the review process should be communicated quickly, clearly and appropriately to the people who are effected by them.
8 DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO
The purpose of doing a performance review is to accelerate the rate of change of the team and in doing so enhance the performance of the team next season. Talk is cheap – but winning comes from implementing consistent quality actions.
Once you have gone through a detailed, thorough, professional review and made changes based on the findings – persist and persevere with them. Many teams will spend a fortune on their end of season review, make 1001 changes then go back to their old ways if they lose a few games early in the new season.