May 6, 2021

Leading with a Broom and a Shovel with Cori Close, Head Coach of UCLA Women’s Basketball

Leading with a Broom and a Shovel with Cori Close, Head Coach of UCLA Women’s Basketball

In Episode 28, Cori Close, Head Coach of UCLA Women’s Basketball, talks with Phil about lessons she learned from her mentor, John Wooden, her personal “Why,” what a broom and a shovel have to do with leadership, her Close Conversations, healthy...


In Episode 28, Cori Close, Head Coach of UCLA Women’s Basketball, talks with Phil about lessons she learned from her mentor, John Wooden, her personal “Why,” what a broom and a shovel have to do with leadership, her Close Conversations, healthy conflict, gratitude, Championship Level Habits, doing the next right thing, and how work done in the dark gets revealed in the light. Specifically, Cori discusses:

  • Issues with specialization in one sport too early (2:52)
  • How she developed her passion for soccer, basketball, and leadership, and how she got to be where she is today (4:02)
  • Some lessons she learned while being mentored by the incomparable, John Wooden (8:56)
  • Her personal “Why” and life mission, and how it informs her leadership (12:40)
  • What are the things from sports that will stay with us for our whole life (14:44)
  • Why she has a broom and a shovel in her office (18:55)
  • How we can find and what we can learn from her Close Conversations on social media (21:44)
  • Why healthy conflict and tension is necessary for any healthy team (24:34)
  • A “have-to” vs. “get-to” mentality and why it matters (32:54)
  • Creating and reaching Championship Level Habits (39:16)
  • Doing the next right thing in the midst of the wrestle and getting back to neutral (45:57)
  • What she wants her players to know when they leave her program (53:16)
  • What she has learned directly from basketball (and soccer) that she has used in her life and leadership outside the game(s) (54:41)
  • How the work done in the dark gets revealed in the light (58:34)
  • Her book and podcast recommendations (1:00:44)

Resources and Links from this Episode

 
Transcript

Phil: [00:00:00] Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks again for being a part of this show. Thanks for your download. Again, I am Phil Darke. I am your host, and I just love being able to bring amazing people to you so we can learn together about how we can be better leaders, how we can be better in our homes, how we can be better in all of our relationships. If you haven't done so already joined the Facebook group that we have.

It's How Soccer Explains Leadership. We try to keep it simple here and if you have anything else you want to connect with me on, you can do so Phil@howsoccerexplainsleadership.com. Always love hearing from you always love hearing any questions, any comments, any ways that you you know, you just think that you could help with the show too.

Love to hear. If you think you'd be a great guest or other people that you know, it'd be a great guest. Please let me know. I take that seriously. A lot of the guests we've had on the show are references from other people. In fact, today we have another one of those, a really fun conversation today. [00:01:00] It's a little outside of the soccer world, but I have no doubt we'll be able to make the connections and we will be able to learn a ton.

And today we have Coach Cori Close of UCLA Women's Basketball and she is with us today covered from LA, I assume. So, Corey, how are you doing? I'm doing great,

Cori: [00:01:19] but I need to tell you that I am a psycho soccer fan. I sit on the bench with Amanda Cromwell and UCLA soccer, non COVID years. And I grew up playing way more soccer than I did playing basketball.

So I feel right at home here. You, you know, my, the outside world may not know, but I'm, I'm, I'm a closet. Soccer is my first love, so let's go.

Phil: [00:01:42] No, not anymore. I mean, now, now it's like, everyone knows you're out. We're fantastic. This is great. I love it. Well that, that just totally threw me off. I, now I got to change every now.

I'm just kidding. We're going gonna, we're going to stick with some w w what we got kinda on the pseudo script, but that is that's awesome. I love that. And I think I'm assuming you use a lot of that in what [00:02:00] you do and you're coaching basketball. I know when my son played basketball, he became a better soccer player.

My sister-in-law's played on the state. Basketball championship and soccer. They literally were changing in the car on the way to the games. And so there's a lot of ways that we can get better at each other's sports by playing the different sports.. Totally

Cori: [00:02:15] agree. Yeah. I definitely like, especially how I teach passing and spacing definitely comes from my soccer background and angles and all of those things.

So, yeah, really appreciate the cross-reference on that. And truly, I'm a huge soccer fan.

Phil: [00:02:29] That's great. I actually use pretty much the same basketball drills when I'm coaching keepers. And I'm like, if you've played basketball, you know, this we're basically doing footwork all the time. It's the same footwork, cornerbacks and football, the same footwork, we're all doing the same stuff.

So, that's again, This is another plug for something else, but that's why multi-sport athletes, you know, I think that's something we need to bring back. I don't like all the specialization, but we don't have that in the script, but you see you shaking your head. You agree with that?

Cori: [00:02:54] I totally agree with that.

I think not only from a an emotional standpoint, I think it's, it's just not that [00:03:00] healthy to specialize that quickly. But also just by the time they get to me if they specialize too early, they're burnt out. They have too much overuse injuries on the same kinesthetic movements. And so I don't, I I've found that it actually hampers the long-term development to specialize too early.

And it's, you know, I think it's not good emotionally or physically or tactically actually.

Phil: [00:03:22] So I couldn't agree more. Yeah. I, 100% agree with that too. So we just went a little out of order there, but that's, that's why I love what I do. we can do that. We come right back and say, all right, now I'd love to hear from you just, we kind jumped right into it, but love to hear just kind of your story a little bit, for those who don't know who you are you know, they can, they can find out pretty quickly on a search.

I think you made Wikipedia. That's when, you know, you really made it in the world when you're on Wikipedia. But if you could just briefly share your story of how you developed your passion for basketball, soccer leadership, and, and really where you got to be, where you are today.

Cori: [00:03:52] Well, I think that the really short version is my life was changed through leadership and sport and bottom line.

And so [00:04:00] I grew up in the Bay area and my father was a teacher and coach and really was about, you know, how we can affect lives through sport. And my family, my dad also was a Young Life leader and, a big part of young life is going to where the people are and earning the right to be heard.

And how can you make a difference in other people's lives? And it's really a, it's a ministry. And, you know, I think that I just grew up that that was the lifestyle that my family sort of, the rhythms of our household was sports, enter into each other's world, community, discipline, life habits, and it's surrounded through really centrally through sports.

And then I went to college at UC Santa Barbara played basketball there. And I actually, I never played club basketball, actually played club soccer, but I did not play club basketball. And at that time there just weren't as many scholarship opportunities in soccer as there were in basketball. And so I had an opportunity to go that direction and Millie, my family probably couldn't have afforded to pay for me to go to college otherwise.

And so that's sort of how I [00:05:00] stumbled from soccer into basketball was really from a financial perspective. And at that point, it really is the change, the trajectory of my life, obviously, because I've now been a college basketball coach for 28 years. but went to UC Santa Barbara played under a great coach, Mark French, who was all about he really based this entire coaching philosophy on Covey's book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and habits of excellence.

And he was so consistent with that and he was just such a principled centered leader and it just changed me. And you know, I was just really fortunate with that. And so I went to coach at UCLA right out of college. For two years, then I went back to UC Santa Barbara for nine, then Florida State.

And then actually my first head coaching job was at UCLA. And so really fortunate of that. But when I went to coach at UCLA, the first time from 93 to 95, I had the unbelievable opportunity to be mentored by John Wooden uh, the most successful college basketball coach of all time. But more than that just the most [00:06:00] incredible mentor of people.

And so I just got to sit under him and learn from him and ask him questions. And I don't care what sport you play. His Pyramid of Success still to this day is the most widely used business motivational tool said by Forbes magazine. It really transcends sports and really is, is really about principled centered leadership and building really great habits.

And so to make a long story short my life was really changed by sports and leadership and having an opportunity to impact others. And so my opportunity to pay it forward has really been to go into coaching myself and to try to take some of those great examples and try to be as we would say, poured out every day.

And for the sake of others and using sport as really an opportunity to coach people's hearts. I remember going to coach wooden and saying, you know, what would you tell me, coach, what would you tell me? And he said, just remember, you're really not coaching jumpshots, you're really coaching people's hearts.

And always remember that you're coaching people's hearts first. So really on the unending quest to be an uncommon for [00:07:00] me to be an uncommon kingdom transformational coach. And that's what I pray for every morning is that I would try to grow in that area and try to affect people's lives along that vein.

Phil: [00:07:12] I love that. I absolutely love that. You know, John Wooden, what an amazing man leader. It's one of the things I remember even just when I saw that first, one of the videos that I watched you, and you talked about being able to mentor under him 15 years. I don't envy a lot of a lot of people, but I definitely envy that.

Knowing the little I know I got to meet him very briefly. A funny story, very short version of it was we're at a final four breakfast actually in Atlanta and we were in the post. post talk, whatever room where my wife was on Athletes in Action staff and his granddaughter happened to be talking with us.

We didn't know it was his granddaughter. And we had my baby, daughter who's now 19, And she said, Oh, my grandfather loves babies. Hold on, hold on a second. I do, who's your grandfather? And he says, Oh, it's Coach Wooden. And I said, Oh [00:08:00] wow. So she takes. She takes my daughter. She's like, do you mind?

And I said, no, go for it. takes my daughter to Coach Wooden and says, Hey, Hey grandpa, grandpa it look at this beautiful baby. And so he stops the autograph line, ends up just talking with her for about a minute and a half and flashing pictures. And so the, his granddaughter says, if you give me that picture, if you send me the picture, I'll get it signed and get a pyramid of success and send it back to you.

And I never forgave my wife for not for losing that phone number. But all that to say what a great man and, you know, you talked about one of those things that he taught you that you'll never forget. I have I have imagined it's like asking me what my favorite movie is. It's a really unfair question, but what are a couple things that he taught you that really just stuck with you and it really made it into your everyday coaching?

Cori: [00:08:45] Yeah, and you're right. This is so many it's. I it's like this sort of playing all the memories in my head, as you asked that question, but you know, one that I just used this year we had a disappointing loss in the NCAA tournament.

We were ranked in the top [00:09:00] 10 all year. We'd been through incredible adversity, but we had a disappointing loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament. And I was talking to our team and this phrase that Coach Wooden used to say to me all the time, it came back to me and I shared it with our team is that he would always say, never let the score of your last game, win or lose good or bad overshadow the growth and journey of an entire season.

And, you know, it's so easy to do in that moment. You know, the emotions are so great and, and of course we're all competitors, but you know, in that moment, I just didn't want the disappointment of that loss. Of course you want to learn from it. Of course, we want to, Have a situation where we are better moving forward from it.

But in that moment, I just really didn't want to overshadow the incredible journey growth. I didn't want that score to overshadow that. I mean, it really bottom line is it's process over product, right? How do you define success? And at the top of his pyramid of success, you know, it's the peace of mind really knowing that you've done your very best and I think that would be a [00:10:00] big piece is just how he he just used everything. The value was always in the process of the day. How do you grow in character? How do you invest in a teammate? I think that really drove his attention to detail. The other phrase that I use all the time is one of our core values as a program is being a lifestyle giver.

And he would always say the only way to have a perfect day is to give to somebody else with no expectation of anything in return. And, you know, I said, if you choose to be a lifestyle giver every day, when you wake up, if you set your mind on how can I invest in impact in someone else's life you have a great chance to have a lot of perfect days.

And so I really have tried to use that as a principle of our, of our program. And I would say the last one that just really comes to mind is our, one of our other core values is a growth mindset and he, every single time he just was such a consummate learner. Anything that happened to him. I mean, you're the definition of a growth mindset.

Is that everything that happens to me today is an opportunity to learn and [00:11:00] grow, right? You can, you don't have to look at the world as something that's happening to you. You can take it and use it as an opportunity. You know, if you so choose, and he was so good at choosing that whether it was a disappointment, whether it was adversity, whether it was a victory, it was always an opportunity to learn and grow.

And he would always say drink deeply from good books all the time. And then, you know, he'd always talk about love and balance were the two most important words in the English language. And, and how does that how do those two words help you with your families, with your business with your sports teams, anything in life.

And so I just loved his relentless quest to learn and grow no matter what arena or what stage of life he was in. And that's something that I'll always take with me.

Phil: [00:11:42] Yeah, that's just me. I mean, I can't even imagine. It must be so often you're just coaching and those words are coming back all the time.

What an amazing opportunity. I mean, I know the books I've read just the stories come back. I refer to him as many as any and that's just through the book. So that's awesome. What a, what a, what a great privilege that you were able to have there and [00:12:00] the best part about it. You don't, take it for granted and you're using it and you're able to continue that legacy at, at the school that he coached.

I mean, wow. that's just phenomenal what it would a great opportunity. So with that, as you have taken what you've learned from John Wooden, what you've taken, what you learned from other people I imagine you have taken that consummate learner and it seems like you are to be able to, take all that and put it together really in your why, what is your purpose?

What is your personal, why? And why you exist. Yeah,

Cori: [00:12:29] well, you know, for me, my personal quest is that I want to honor God in everything that I do.  my personal relationship with Jesus has been it's just been life-changing for me and it's a daily walk and it's something that I hope influences how I love and lead people in my everyday life.

And that doesn't mean that everyone is like me. It means that I want. You know, the Orthodox Jew on our team to feel the same love and leadership. as someone who also, maybe someone does a disagrees with me [00:13:00] in some issues, but they still feel so unconditionally loved. And, and that's really what my relationship with Jesus calls me to do is to invest selflessly to operate of the highest levels of integrity and to love and lead people the way that if they were all my daughters I'd want those that my daughter loved and led.

So, you know, that really is the source of my why. And then I would say just part B of that is I just believe in the power of life skills through sport. And, you know, I don't think there's been anything more formative of my self-esteem my time management, just the way I think and teach you know, the list goes on and on and, and I cannot think of a more powerful arena to teach life skills is through competitive sports and specifically for me team sports.

So, I'm very, very passionate about how sports is going to raise up the next generation of leaders. it is really important. You know, I'm very competitive, I'm very driven, but it's more important of what that's going to create down the road than [00:14:00] it is what we're doing X and O wise or wins and losses.

Phil: [00:14:04] Yeah. I assume, you know, based on the fact that this podcast exists, that we definitely share that desire and that why of just really being able to teach help people to flourish through this, through these games that we love. I mean, there's so much more than games and, anybody who has lived in a leadership role and played in these sports knows that there's so much more than X's and O's and wins and losses.

And if you're not teaching that, and you're not knowing that you're missing, I think, I think you're missing everything personally. No,

Cori: [00:14:33] I remember there was such a distinct story that I had with our Director Of Mental Training at the time, his name is Joshua Medcalf and he's written several books, Chop Wood, Carry Water, and Burn Your Goals.

And a bunch of other things have been very influential, but he was working with our team and he brought our team out into the center of the court of Pauley Pavillion. And he said, what are the two things that are going to be with you for the rest of your life from these four years? And one of our players said a banner baby.

I want to raise a [00:15:00] banner Pauley pavilion. Someone else said, man, I want to give me a ring. I want the Natty give me that ring. And he said, you know, the quest for that level of excellence is a worthwhile quest. And to hold yourself to that kind of competitive standards in the way that you train has great value, but he said they won't stay with you for the rest of your life.

He said, banners hang in gyms and rings collect dust. He said, but what will stay with you for the rest of your life from these four years and this experience is who you become and who you impact. And that's really stuck with me. And, and on my fourth day on the job, when I got to UCLA, one of Coach Wooden's alumni, who I had not met before, but John Vallely, he walks into my office and they say, Hey, you got to meet with the Dribble for the Cure guy.

And I was like, okay, you know, I'm overwhelmed. I don't know what I'm doing. And I sits down across from me. And he just launches any. He said I've been married 38 years because of the well that Coach Wooden taught me, I've started three successful businesses because of what Coach Wooden taught me. I've conquered cancer three times because of [00:16:00] the strength Coach Wooden gave me.

And then he really got me said, I've excuse me. I survived the death of my 12 year old daughter because of the way Coach Wooden loved me. And I just was sitting there with my mouth open, just like tears in my eyes. And then he pretty much went on to say, Hey, welcome to the family. And glad you're here.

And I'll see you at dribble for the cure. And he walked out and then I ran over to my computer and I looked him up and he didn't even mention that he was a starting guard on two of coach Wooden's national championship teams. And he played seven years in the NBA because it paled in comparison to the man he became.

And I just thought, that's it. Right? That's it. Who they become and who they impact that will stay with them forever. The, he didn't even mention the banners that he raised. He didn't even mention the years in the NBA because his heart changed his character growth and how it formulated, who he became as a man was so much deeper and so much more important.

And so that really, that's the story of my, [00:17:00] why that's the vivid example of how many John Vallely stories can we create and how many people can we have come back in 10 years, 20 years and be like, Oh my gosh, who I've become and who I, who I'm able to impact has really brought me to where I am today and how many of those stories can we create and narratives, can we help facilitate?

And now, now we're doing something that's going to last

Phil: [00:17:25] folks. If, if you didn't really. If you're like on a treadmill right now and you're running and you kinda miss that last part, rewind it, get off the treadmill, rewind that that's, I mean, the right there is the why of this podcast, right there is why we're doing what we're doing and why I hope if you're coaching or you're leading people.

That's why you're doing what you're doing. If not, I think you're missing so much of your opportunity as a leader to be able to build into people so that they can flourish. You're basically creating and cultivating that environment to help others to flourish. And if you're not doing the non, not just talking on the field but in life.

[00:18:00] And yeah, I couldn't be more proud of my, my soccer team. When we went through our vision framing at the high school level. Not many people are doing that, but we knew it was really important. And they said, why do we exist? And what's our goal. What's our one goal for this season.

And they said, well, to win league and they go, well, we could win league and still not be good people. So, you know, our mission is to help others and ourselves to flourish in soccer and in life. So what is that? You know, and so they basically came up with, yeah, we want to win, but we also want to be a healthy and joyful team together.

And I was just like, that's a pretty good, that's a pretty good thing, you know? And so for high schoolers to be able to do that pretty amazing

Cori: [00:18:45] well, and you're, you're whether you're in high school or whether you're from the number one most successful sports organization in history in the All Blacks, you know, from New Zealand, right?

The, in their book Legacy, they talk about sweeping the sheds, right. And their best [00:19:00] players and their GMs and their their executives sweep the sheds every day. And, and I think about, just servant leadership and what that looks like and how that changes hearts. You know, it's just, it's a, it's a huge piece of that.

And in my office, I have two props. One is a broom that hangs on my wall. That reminds me to, in my arena to sweep the sheds, to be a servant leader that. Th that point of humility and service and putting others above yourself is just such an imperative piece of leadership. And the second one is a shovel and you know, I've been really influenced by John Gordon and and he's actually in the middle of doing uh, leadership podcast this week.

you can get for free. But on the positive summit, but he talks about if you really want to see the fruit, which we all want the fruit, right? Whether it be your player's growing or whether it's winning, but if you really want to see the fruit, then you got to nurture the root and that spend your time on the soil, spend your time on cultivating and digging in deep, you know, and then trust [00:20:00] that through that real work that the fruit will come.

And so there's a shovel sitting on my wall right next to the broom. And, and those are really two of the foundational things that I want to start. My leadership every single day is be a leader that's a servant willing to sweep the sheds and spend my time on nurturing the root. Don't focus my time on what I see in the fruit.

 Phil: [00:20:21] Yeah. It's funny. You mentioned Legacy. And I mentioned in a previous interview too, that that's the most recommended book in this podcast, in this soccer podcast. A rugby book is the most recommended book because it is such a great one. We actually had an interview talking about that book with one of actually my daughter's coach Graham Roxburgh, but Yeah, fantastic. We talked about props and reminded me, I neglected to say, I have said this because we have talked about Ted Lasso so much on this show that the Pyramid of Success is on the wall of Ted Lasso his office. So, you know, even this funny, great soccer show has that pyramid. So that's just a side note for going back to Coach Wooden and the impact and influence [00:21:00] he's had.

The backstory of that is Sudeikis' coach in high school, his basketball coach talked about Wooden all the time. And so he's been an impact on him and now is playing a coach later and he's like, well, if I'm gonna play coach, I'm going to have Wooden on the wall. But you know, you, you also, so to, to kind of transition a little bit, you have these great, you know, I think you call them Close Conversations if I'm not mistaken and that's on Instagram or Twitter or something, but one of those things, how do people get ahold of you?

Like I told him, how do you, how can they connect with you? How can they see, you know, find you on social media? If they, if they like what they hear today, Well,

Cori: [00:21:33] it's so funny. I have to look it up to make sure I say it right. But I think it's just @coachcoriclose on Instagram or on Twitter. And Cori Close on Facebook, I think so.

Yeah, it would be just a privilege to be a part of that with you. I think that what you said, I loved earlier in the podcast talking about just growing together. Right. We're showing up together with a point of man, what can I learn from you and how can I, how can I listen better? How can I just come alongside  And that's really what I try to do in those [00:22:00] little car rides or those conversations is just share what, what I'm learning. And whenever I'm doing those little vignettes, the really they're just preaching to myself, right. It's reminding myself. And I always say, you know, God already knows that we're going to forget, but he asks us to be disciplined to continually remember.

And so honestly, it's my discipline to remember and to go, Hey, remember what you forgot Corey, and just connect, connecting with people that are in doing the same things. You know, you, you asked me about coach wooden. One of the things he used to always talk to me about is just because you have a bigger title, doesn't mean you're a better coach or a better leader.

You know, some of the best leaders and coaches, he said he ever met were, middle school, you know, soccer, middle school, whatever it is that maybe didn't have a great title or wasn't recognizable. But they were so impactful and a great teacher and he learned from meeting them. And so really that's my posture of doing those things as let's just share what's going on in each other's hearts and let's call each other up to the excellence that [00:23:00] I think that's in all of us that we just need to continue to be disciplined, to flourish in and

Phil: [00:23:04] to develop.

Yeah, that's so good. And you know, we hear how many stories have we heard about that person who thought that they didn't really do a whole lot, but the person that they influenced and impacted changed the world in some amazing way. And then the fact the matter is, is that other person that was part of changing the world.

And we all have those impacts that we may never know this side of happened. We may never know here, the impact that we have on different people. But if we can just continually have this again, the why of I'm helping others to flourish, I want to create these environments. I want to be able to pour into you as if you are that person who will change the world because you will change someone's world.

Everyone is a leader of someone and you are impacting people, whether you like it or not. And if we have that posture it's how can we learn? How can we teach what we know and how can we share what we've learned with others, just with this idea that, you know, we're all in this together. Right. And so, and that's why, especially [00:24:00] with people in team sports, that presumably they get the power of synergy, right.

In teamwork and collaboration, they should be able to get that in life too. So, you know, with that, you talked about this recently on one of those conversations or one of those, videos, but just the idea of synergy and teamwork and how dealing with conflict well is really a necessary part of that.

Can you talk about that? Because a lot of people think of what we want to create this conflict-free environment, because that's how we're gonna make sure that we're, copacetic and peace and harmony and all things are good. But why is conflict actually good if we handle it? Well,

Cori: [00:24:37] Yeah. And let me just be really candid.

I hate it. I mean, it's not fun, but I think the reality of what I've found is, when do people grow the most in life? They grow when they're able to learn how to conquer hard things. You know, I asked this of recruits all the time, I'll say, tell me the time in your life that you're most proud of who you were.

And almost a hundred percent of the [00:25:00] time they talk about when they hit some adversity and they had to. Go into deeper places and find overcoming strategies and they did, and they that's what they were most proud of. So I think about, you know, entering in, in those places that are really hard and that if you really want maximum growth, you got to sort of swim in the deep end that's in that way.

And one of my coaching friends, who's the head coach at Pitt. He used to always say, Cori, do I have to come with my floaties for this conversation? We're going to go into the deep end or can we just, you know, swim around in the shallow end. And I would always joke with them and say, well, I mean, if you, if you want shallow trust, if you want, shallow safety and the relationships, then we can, you know, just swim on the steps.

But if we really want real maximum. Trust if you want to enter in and, you know, you think about also in terms of leadership and impacting people, if you if you go back into your life and go, okay, tell me about the person that impacted you the most and why [00:26:00] it usually is someone who came alongside you when it was really difficult and jumped in the trenches.

And I really thought about that a lot last year in the pandemic and how much adversity we were going through is that, you know, what did I want our players to say about how I entered in during this really, really challenging time? And I think that that's, if you aren't willing to go into the tunnel of chaos and work through it, and then see what happens on the other side, if you're not willing to go there, you're really never going to have those moments where someone says, man, Cori impacted me because she was willing to get in there.

And when it was really hard work through hard things, let me tell you some of the raw conversations we've had surrounding racial justice and racial inequality. They have not been comfortable, but predominantly I have almost 70% of my sport is made up of women of color. And if I want to impact deeply, I gotta be able to go in as a white leader and go, what don't I [00:27:00] understand, how can I hear you better?

Where have I hurt you? I mean like, and I've had to ask for forgiveness and some really big things, but what has come out of that conflict? And there has been conflict, it has been difficult, but the trusting relationships that have come out of that, the deeper places of safety and trust that were developed from that place.

I just do not think you can skip steps to have those things. And I think if, you know, you brought real community, let alone real teamwork or collaboration you gotta go to some of those uncomfortable places or you're just gonna, you're just, people are going to hold back because they're going to wonder, is it really safe?

Can I really trust you? Because until you're going into adversity and fire and you overcome some things, you're just not really sure.

Phil: [00:27:46] Yeah. You know, and, and I think that the, the part that you can't, you also can't skip. And one of the, one of my favorite books out there on, on teams and organizations is The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni.

And he talks about healthy leadership teams. And that [00:28:00] comes out of Five Dysfunctions of a Team, right? With the idea, we can't skip that trust, step, that building trust, right. Which then leads to healthy conflict. And so if you have a team and you just go right into those conversations, that's not going to work without the trust.

Right. You got to have that trust so you can have vulnerability, so you can have healthy conflict. And that's something that is so critical, critically important in these, in these conversations. That actually is another John Wooden quote, I saw recently online, which was, whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who argue with you.

Right. And that idea, but not smart people who you don't trust and who don't trust you. Right. You don't want to just have arguments for argument's sake, but you know, you look at scripture how iron sharpens iron. So one man or woman sharpens another, right? This idea of that forging of that iron is not a comfortable process, right?

It is strikes and it hurts. And it's goes through these difficult things that we're going to really struggle through. And like you said, that [00:29:00] certain personalities, I mean, everyone knows the show that is listened to knows. I study personalities, some personalities they'll, they'll avoid conflict, like the plague, but.

We still need that conflict and we need to help people understand that conflict can be healthy. And the other thing that Lencioni talks about is when you have trust conflict is the search for truth. When you don't have trust, conflict is politics. Someone has to be right. Someone has to be wrong. And that's something that I think is so important to remember is this conflict can be really healthy and really good if we trust and we're healthy as a team.

So. Love that love what we

Cori: [00:29:41] call that the healthy tension, right? Just that, that place that some tensions are meant to be resolved and some tensions are only meant to be managed. And I think, you know, when you're in a healthy place, you're not supposed to take away that tension, that, that the healthy tension is really good for growth.

And it's part of the purity [00:30:00] process. And it's part of the character building. And it's part of what links your organization together, because as you have courage to be vulnerable in that way those relationships are you're, you know, you feel like you're, you owe not owe them something, but you're right.

Really excited to be responsible and take ownership to the person for your left on your left and on your right. So I think that that healthy tension is just has great rewards and, but like anything in life, it's important that you have boundaries because there can be unhealthy tension and unhealthy conflict and having the awareness, but also to have the people around you that are willing to help you call out the difference.

Phil: [00:30:36] Yeah. You know, and one of my favorite sayings is everything has its shadow. the idea that we have all these great things, internet, it has a bad side, the dark side. Absolutely. And you know, or whatever it is, right? So the tension, this conflict, if people are just unhealthy and you have no trust, and that's what we see on [00:31:00] social media all the time, right.

We have people just yelling at each other and they don't even know each other. And in Miles MacPherson has a great book that just came out called The Third Option, you know, talking about. And I talk about this all the time is starting with what we agree on. Right? How, and that's what we talked about is that third option.

My friend, who's immediate mediates in the middle East. That's what I said. He said to me, I said, how do you do that with all these different people who hate each other? He says, we start with what they agree on. It's quite simple. Yeah, that

Cori: [00:31:24] is really powerful, you know, just to be able to say, what are we for?

You know, we spend so much time on what we're against, but I bet if we focused on what we're both for, which is a different way of saying that same thing we'd have, we'd have a lot more success, commonality, unity and we probably get a whole lot more things done.

Phil: [00:31:41] Absolutely. I mean, I know the other podcast I do, if you've, if you've heard it out there, folks, you know, I, I did an episode on abortion and I had the pro-life human coalition president with a woman who wrote a book called Pro-Choice and Christian.

And most people are like, that's crazy. What are you going to do? You're going gonna be like, look, let's start with the question which I [00:32:00] did was, what do you guys agree on? They listened to each other's interviews that I did with each of them individually. And they started with that. And that set the tone for the rest of the conversation.

Yes. They agree on a lot in that topic. But if you look outside of that, one of the things MacPherson talks about is, you know, 99.5% of our DNA is the same. Me, you other people, different colors, different races, different everything. Right? So when you start with that and you start with, we bleed red, when you start with all these different things, it changes everything.

So, well, it should, anyway, I think, especially if we're on the same team and we start getting to know each other, it's hard to hate something or someone you love. And so if we start with that, I think will go a long way. So the other thing that kind of it's, it's easy to segue to this next thing I want to talk about, which is this idea of gratitude and it, the idea of a have-to versus get-to approach to life, to sport, and really why that matters.

And I know you've talked about this a little bit, so I'd love to hear you share on that.

Cori: [00:32:56] Well, it's so funny. I had a great example. I just shared about our team the [00:33:00] other day, I'm on a bunch of NCA committees right now that are making some decisions. And so I had to miss the first part of our skill session the other day.

And I'm up in the conference room as this glass partition and down below is our practice court. And I'm in the middle of presenting to this law firm about some of these issues. And I got completely off track. Cause I hear this roar of man they're the high five and they're so excited to be there.

They're just absolutely. And what I told them after practices, I could tell they were having an I get to day. They understood that they were lucky to be there. They were fortunate to have the opportunity to interact with each other. That they had, we always start every single practice with mindset time that we can't, it's not mind

hope it's not mind maybe you have to set your mind on the things that you want it to focus on. And I could tell from up in that conference room that they had set their mind on. I get to that they were going to be up people and players of gratitude that day. And they were going to [00:34:00] treat every thing that they were going to do on that front.

And it was so obvious. It distracted me from  my whole presentation that I was like, Oh my gosh. and then when I got to go down and join them afterwards, I got to share that it just changes everything. And I know that I'm a very competitive person. I'm someone that's always going.

What's next. What's next. I think one of my boundaries in my own life and heart is to start out every day, writing down 10 things I'm thankful for and 10 truths. I want to anchor my life by and that day. And I do it over and over and over because left to my own devices. I'm going to focus on, well, what didn't happen?

What do we going to do here? And it just changes everything. It changes my anxiety level. It changes my optimism for the day. It changes my other centerdness versus what's wrong with my own life, heart, whatever else. And we tend to compare up all the ways we don't usually compare down, which. You know, those kinds of things.

And so I just think it's [00:35:00] such a formidable thing. And, you know, you'd asked me about my why earlier. That's a real foundational piece of my faith is, you know, I'm just, there's so much I have to be grateful for from the inside out. And one of the things I write down every day is I'm thankful for the gospel.

You know, I'm thankful for there. For me, that's a, that's just a total perspective change for me. But even our players you know, at the end of every practice we do something called what went well journals because we know that in our minds, they're going to leave the gym and they're going to focus on the turnover when the coach yelled at them, what fill in the blanks that our minds tend to go there first.

And if we. What healthy perspective. We have to set our minds on the other side of that. And so they write down 10 things under their control that went well that day. And, you know, I set great screens today. I was a good listener today. I handled feedback. Well, you know, I sprinted the floor every single time.

Now, all of a sudden you've gone from negative visualization to [00:36:00] honestly positive visualization, which increases the opportunity for those things to happen more frequently. And so I just am a huge believer that number one, you won't do it naturally, or I don't do it naturally.

I should say. I think our default mode or our flesh mode kit takes us other places. And so it has to be intentional. It has to be something that's a big part of your discipline and habit, at least it's been, but when you do that, It changes how you interact with others, how you love others what your loop in your brain is doing.

And so it's been a major shift for me in my health as a leader in how I interact with people that are closest to me. And I think, you know, gratitude is really, one of the biggest indicators of a contented life. And so I want to sow that seed as often and as intentionally as I possibly can.

Phil: [00:36:50] Yeah. You said it's not our default. I remember one of our previous guests, Brad Miller he's with the organization called Soccer Resilience.  and he talked about 80% of [00:37:00] our thoughts are negative. And it's just crazy. When you think about that in, in, in, how can we. Change that right. And it is, it is gratitude.

And you know, that all those gratitudes studies that we don't need to repeat, I'm sure everyone's heard them. If you do three things, you're thankful for every day for 21 days, it'll be on your way to a habit. Obviously it's three cycles of that to actually create a habit. but, you know, we'd all know the comparison is the thief of joy and all these other things, but, you know, it's the ways to.

Best keep us out of that is really to have that get to, yeah. Just think about the things that you've done because you get to just this morning at my men's group, I was talking with a friend of mine and he said, I got to go get my, I got to go take my kids to school. And I said, you get to take your kids to school.

And he looked and he goes, I know, I know. And I go, no. I mean like, seriously, like, think about that privilege. You get to have that car time with your kids. They're off to school in a couple of years and you won't get that anymore. So even if it's five minutes and [00:38:00] you're just praying with them or five minutes, and you're just saying, Hey, what are you going to do today?

What's your goal for today? How, what do you hope to be able to do at school? Like just these quick moments that you won't get back. Right. But you get to have, and, and it's just, it's just amazing how that shift, that little shift. That one word, actually the book that I was able to write with a bunch of coauthors, that's one of the sections of it I wrote was that get two versus have-to mentality when it comes to working with kids and working with orphaned and vulnerable kids.

And if it's a duty. Yeah, it's a crutch. You know, CS Lewis has that quote, a duty as a substitute for love. It's a crutch and no one uses a crutch if they don't have to and something that I love and live by too. So with that, you've talked about habits. Another great book that I've read recently is Atomic Habits.

Think James Clear wrote it, but I don't know if you've read Atomic Habits, but it talks about systems in the context, rather than focusing on the goal, focus on the system to get to the goal. You talked about this idea of championship level habits and the critical process, the [00:39:00] critical importance of process and systems in goal setting and the pursuit of goals.

Can you talk a little bit about that?

Cori: [00:39:05] Well, you think about it, you know, if, if you're a boss, you're a CEO of a company and you're hiring someone to do a really important high level job. And and if, if you are interviewing them and all they talk about is how important it is to get there. How, how, what we got to get to this goal, we've got to get to the goal.

We've got to get to the goal. And then you have your next interview with the same position. And someone says, man, you know, I'm going to, this is exactly what I'm going to do this day and this day and this day, and this is what my principles are going to be that are going to govern that this is what I'm going to, how I'm going to treat people.

This is the plan. This is the exact process that's going to lead to that vision. And they spend 90% of their interview on the process, which as the CEO, are you going to be more confident to hire, you know, someone that's wishing that to be true? Another story that always gets to me is John Gordon, actually, he went in and I think he spoke to eight NFL teams in the preseason and he did the same thing.

With all eight [00:40:00] teams this particular year is about maybe five years back ago. And, and he asked them all to write down their goals for the season. You know, what do you want to accomplish individually, collectively, you know, whatever else. And then he'd have some of them stand up. And in every, all eight locker rooms, they were almost all the same.

Like I want to be in the pro bowl. I want to go to the super bowl. I want to, you know, do whatever I want, you know, whatever the case might be. And he said, as this was going along, you know, like, what do you think that's happening in the 49ers locker room? When I did last week, what do you think? And they were like, well, probably the same things.

So it hasn't helped throw those pieces of paper into the middle. And he says, okay, let's start over. What are going to be your commitments this year? You know? No, don't even talk about the Superbowl. What are the commitments and the growth that's going to be required of you to lead you to that end? And I just think it's so it's so important.

It actually, if you are thinking about the goals too much, Almost not at all. We only talk about goals one time a year, that's it just to inform and reverse [00:41:00] engineer our level of process. But I think if you have one eye on the goal, that means you only have one eye on what it takes to actually get there.

You actually lessen your chances of arriving at that place by focusing on it more than you should. So I just think it's, you know, you look at organizational leaderships and companies you know, systems or teams that have been very successful, whether it be legacy as you already referred to it, a big influential book that I've been really read.

Actually our team went through it twice. This year was It Takes What It Takes. You know, but, or Chop Wood, Carry W ater has been impacted every single one of them, whether they're talking about Amazon or Microsoft or whether you're talking about the all blacks rugby team or you're talking about John Wooden's championships.

That's the theme. They really don't talk about the goal as much as they talk about the process. And, you know, if you want to hold yourself accountable as a leader analyze your process, analyze your daily habits, analyze the [00:42:00] behaviors that actually make up your culture. You know, culture is not some saying on a wall and a pretty mission statement.

A culture is a series of habitual habits and behaviors that make up the consistency of that culture. And so, you know, I look back and we're doing this right now. We're reviewing our season as a leadership team and as coaches and staff, and we're not looking at, losing or winning or how many, we're not looking at that, we're looking at our process.

And we know that that will drive the end game in, in essence, at the end. So couldn't could not obviously impassionate about that. You can sort of see my body language or you can probably hear it in my voice, but I just think that we missed the boat so often, especially in youth sports. We get it all mixed up.

And I think that unfortunately it takes a long time for a lot of kids to unlearn that. Whereas if we really not, and it's not people misinterpreted that doesn't make you less competitive or less committed to excellence or less. Committed to a [00:43:00] championship level process. We call them uncommon habits, but you know, the reality of what we're trying to accomplish there, it's not sitting around kumbaya and everyone gets a trophy.

It's about how elite can your consistency be? How much in the simplest of things, can you be elite in your consistency of executing those at the highest of levels? And so, I'm just a huge believer in that. And I just wish so many so many of us didn't get so off track.

Phil: [00:43:26] Yeah. And it's, it's, it's funny you say that as far as it, it doesn't mean you aren't competitive.

It doesn't mean you aren't competing at that highest level. Obviously you're UCLA, you know, I mean, there's no question, but that's what I always talk about with people is the dirty little secret is when you're doing the DISC process, when you're doing goal setting and not just setting a goal, but dealing with process and systems, when you're taking the time there, you're going to win more games.

I mean, look at John Wooden. I mean, no one won more than that guy. But he didn't focus on winning focused on people, like [00:44:00] you said. And when you focus on the people, when you focus on the process, then the results will come. If you focus on results, the results likely won't come. And so, you know, and I hear so often and I, I have I'm preaching to the choir here.

So often we talk about these ideas so much that we think we've actually accomplished them in our minds. And there's, you know, studies on that too, that show that brain activity, whatever, if you tell the more you talk about it, the more you think you've done it. And the idea of, you know, don't say I'm going to try to do it because trying, you know, just do it.

Right. Yeah. And so what does that look like? And so, yeah, so, and, and the processes and the same, there's not one process that's going to work for everybody. There's not, you know, there's different personalities involved. There's different cultures involved. There's different. You know, every coach will have a different culture.

I mean, you and Amanda at UCLA are gonna have different cultures. It's not just cause different sports cause you're different people and you're gonna have different personnel. And every time a new person comes into that team, it's a new team [00:45:00] and it's a new culture because you need not, there will be similar things, but it's going to be different because you have different people.

And so that's, what's going to make that up. So absolutely Hey, man, this is great. I just love, I love it when there's feel I just get too excited. Sometimes I talk too much, you know? And so this is about you though, where they can learn from you too. So, but the LA the last thing that, from those, from those videos that I, that I picked out was something you said, and I just loved the way you said it.

So I just want to get you to get a little bit behind the, behind what you said in that short little video about, you talked about doing the next right thing in the midst of the wrestle. And I just love the way he sat and even just how much he wanted to say that sentence in the midst of the wrestle, I just like how that sounded.

But I always talked to people about doing the next right thing, but, you know, as you talk about it in the midst of the wrestle, what'd you mean by that? And what can we learn from that?

Cori: [00:45:46] Well, like any good thing that I say in those videos I stole from somewhere. But you know, I think that two books that I, when I've already referred to, but that particular wrestle concept come from a book by Lisa Terkeurst called, It's Not Supposed to Be [00:46:00] This Way and talking about how you go through life when you got really big disappointments and how do you, how do you navigate that.

And especially if you're a person of faith, you know, how do you navigate when you're disappointed with God and don't understand what's going on. And then she talks about very vulnerably, her own journey and. She talks about being good in the wrestle when you're wrestling with that, you know, I think sometimes, especially as Christians, we think, Oh, we're not supposed to wrestle.

We're not supposed to have any questions or that's like, you have, you don't have big enough faith if that's the case. And, and I think that's what, you know, it really challenged me and I actually really encouraged me, is that actually, no we need to be honest about that and where we are in that, but we also have to make good choices within the wrestle and it's okay to wrestle.

And to be honest about the wrestle, and I think it goes back to how you look at conflict and how you look at adversity.  So I think that's really the piece is when, when you're really trying to have right perspective and it's really hard, or when you're really disappointed or you're [00:47:00] really anxious how do you get yourself to just think about the next right thing in the wrestle?

And the wrestle part is the next right thing part, I should say is the neutral thinking. The idea of behavioral-based thinking is trying to take that. Feeling out of it, the emotion out of it, not that emotion feeling doesn't have value, but in that particular context, especially in competitive sports, but I just think in life in general yeah, we get really riled up.

Sometimes. I know I do. And it's really just about stepping back and going, okay, what's my next right behavioral step. And literally we were playing at Oregon and we have been at several leads and they had come back and it was the last two minutes of the game. And they had just gone on a 10-0 run and we call time out and we get into the huddle and I hear my senior captain Lindsay Casaro saying, Hey, get back to neutral.

Does it matter that there was a bad call? Doesn't matter? That they made a 10 Oh, run. What's our next right step as a team. And then she just went, what's your next [00:48:00] right step? What's your next right step. And really that's what it's like. You know, whether you're having a hard time in your marriage or whether or not, we have to be acknowledged the wrestle, we gotta be present and good in the wrestle.

And then we have to be able to say, Hey, what does this situation require me taking out of the reactionary emotion and determine what's our next right behavioral step. And that's really the definition of neutral thinking, right? Is that's what It Takes What It Takes by Trevor Moawad really talks about that's the basis of neutral thinking and how it applies to sports, but how it applies to life.

And so that's really the backstory behind that is that life brings a lot of wrestle. if you're not running from it or you're not trying to mask it, you have to learn to be able to enter in and be good in the wrestle. The wrestle is going to come and it's going to, the adversity is going to come.

And then how do we build the awareness as well as the discipline to ask ourselves and then execute the next right behavioral step in a neutral fashion. I don't think we have to go from having [00:49:00] really deep wrestle to being Pollyanna and positive all the time. I think that's one of the things that we think we have to do, especially in faith.

I just had, God is good. You know, everything's going to work. Right. You know, I think that's, I don't think that's what scripture teaches personally. And I think the reality for in business in life and faith is that, you know, we gotta be honest about the adversity and the wrestle, but we have to make good choices and be responsible for our choices not out of our emotion, but out of our principles, even in the midst of the

Phil: [00:49:30] wrestle.

Definitely. I think one of the reasons that resonated so much with me is the last couple of years, just with the ministry that I run, we've had a lot of, issues come up and a lot of things. And a lot of people were saying a lot of things. And we, as a team just kept saying, we just need to do the next right thing and you know, not let all this noise affect us and on a team, you know, think about it.

You know, you miss a three point you're missed five, three pointers in a row. No, do the next right thing. Yeah, take that next shot. You know, you can make them take the next shot. [00:50:00] I go back to Ted Lasso had referenced it. I don't know if you've ever seen it, but one of the things he says there was be a goldfish and the guy's like, what are you talking about?

He goes, has know, shortest memory of any animal would be a goldfish. Right. And that idea of, you know, it'd be a goldfish on that, but remember the right, remember what you do well, and in an organization in, like you said, in a marriage and parenting, right. We mess up what's the next right thing. It might be apologizing.

It might be cleaning up a mess. It might be doing the dishes. It might be being that servant leader in some way, you know, talk about sweep the sheds. Is it just picking up the balls at the end of the, at the end of the game and bringing them to the car? Yeah. And isn't

Cori: [00:50:35] it that way in, in so much in life.

And I use soccer all the time with our players because. You know, in soccer, you are rewarded so little. I mean, you can do so many right things. And sometimes I always tell Amanda this and drives me crazy about soccer, and that's why I can't coach it is that you could be the better team that day in basketball.

If you're the better team and you execute better, you usually win. [00:51:00] Whereas that doesn't always happen in soccer. In my opinion, I always tease Amanda about that. But the reality of soccer that I, I really admire is the mental toughness, because you are rewarded so rarely for doing so many right things, you know, you can put so many sets together, string together.

So many passes do so many right things. And for whatever reason, you're not going to be rewarded with a goal at the end. And what are you? You know, it's 3-2, 2-1. I mean, there's not very many were basketball. I mean, there's a lot more opportunities, but you still, what's a great three point shooting percentage.

It's still below 50%, at least, you know, it's still, you're going to fail more than you succeed. So where does your focus need to be? It's on your response. It's on doing the next right thing. It's responding to failure and it's not on being perfect. And we have so many perfectionists that they let that illusion, that they're going to be perfect, or [00:52:00] somehow they can arrive at that standard, which is absolutely impossible.

And then it hampers their ability to respond, meet adversity you know, handle failure. And the reality is they're going to be handling failure much more than success. So that's a much higher value in sports and in life.

Phil: [00:52:18] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I can't agree more. I will say that the one, one game recently that may not have been the better team in basketball that won the game was Gonzaga beating UCLA.

And then that night, that night, I think that UCLA was a man, what a, what a game, but that's a whole different story for a different day. But yeah, so that's, so that's so good. And, and again so many good things in this, hopefully we'll be able to have another conversation down the road whether it's on here otherwise, but there are a couple more questions I want to just finish off with one of the questions I like asking coaches, especially is what is one thing that you hope that all your players will understand and live out when they leave in your case, UCLA basketball program.

So like, basically if they haven't learned this from when they [00:53:00] leave your program, you will feel as if you have failed them. What would that be like if there was one thing or maybe even two things?

Cori: [00:53:05] Well, I sort of go back to our core values, you know, and I developed them from that question, really?

What are the pervasive skills and values do I want them to leave here with, and. This isn't one of the core values, but I want them to feel unconditionally loved. They may not always like me or feel like the likes a whole different deal. But that they were unconditionally loved, but you know, I want them to have a growth mindset.

I want them to be lifestyle givers. I want them to be people of gratitude. Those are the three areas that we try to. That's how we teach the game. That's how we design, how we travel. That's how we interact is so that we can foster not always in word, but in everything, our actions and our role modeling and our dynamics and our behaviors that will, hopefully we can see the world through, how do we give not how do we get you know, that we can turn everything is an opportunity to learn and grow. And that we are going to plant seeds of gratitude and foster that in our hearts on a daily [00:54:00] basis.

And if those can be things that are a part of their rhythms of life, when they leave UCLA women's basketball, that's a really good thing. And if they're missing one of those, that's where I would take the most responsibility of falling short as a leader.

Phil: [00:54:13] It's really good. Again. Great, great things to learn from folks.

If you're, if you're listening to this, these are great things that we can TB teach in all our kids. You can't go wrong if you're teaching those things So here's a question we ask, usually it's soccer can be soccer too, cause you're obviously a massive soccer fan, but what lessons learned directly from the game?

You know, it kind of like we, we use the retaliator gets the red, or maybe the retaliator gets the technical in the basketball world. Uh, these ideas they're directly from the game of basketball, soccer, really any sport, but have you used in your life and leadership outside the game itself?

Cori: [00:54:46] I, you know, I don't think I've ever been asked that a great question.

Kudos to you. I have to think twice about that so

Phil: [00:54:52] to take it, if you need it,

Cori: [00:54:55] I think that. I think the couple of things, one, what goes back to what we just talked about [00:55:00] is that the response to circumstances is much more imperative than the circumstance itself.

So there's going to be so many things in life and what his coach wouldn't always say. If you focus on the things that are out of your control, it will adversely affect the things under your control. So definitely with, you know, bad calls happen all the time in basketball. And I know that from soccer, because sitting on Amanda's bench, I could yell at the rest more than she could.

So I, the full advantage but I think the bad calls happen. Missed shots happen. Mistakes happen that, you know, I just think that direct correlation that our focus is not on being perfect, but on responding to the circumstances at hand is just so important. I would also say this is maybe broader in sport, but definitely in basketball, one of my biggest joy.

About being a part of a basketball team for so long is being a part of something, how rewarding it is to be a part of something bigger than myself and accomplishing with a group of people, something I could never do, and we could never do [00:56:00] individually, but we can powerfully do collectively and to be a part of that and to watch five players in basketball so much, there's so many different styles to win the game.

So many different styles in which you can recruit to and all those different things. But the reality is, is the one that's most successful is. The ones that do things collectively that they would never do if it was a series of one-on-one games. Yep. And so be being a part of that is just, is really just a wonderful thing.

And you know, and I always, and I would say the last thing directly with basketball is that we talk all the time about what happens with the ball in your hands. You know, media talks about how many scores you got, how many rebounds you got, how many whatever, but 95% of the game is played without the ball in your hands, whether defensively or away from the ball.

And and I just think that's so important. If I, you know, from basketball is to, and everyone around you, your family, usually your entourage, [00:57:00] the media. The noise, so to speak is never gonna emphasize that. But if I could take one thing from being a coach or being a player in this game of basketball is to focus on the 95% and to shut out the emphasis and weight that's played on the 5% and make sure I'm good with the 95%.

Phil: [00:57:22] That's so good. And you know, you're listening soccer fan, you know, All of those apply to soccer just as well. Right? I mean, obviously the refs, you mentioned that every coach out there, they, yeah, I got probably I yelled at the refs last night. I actually caught myself. I was proud of myself. I didn't yell as much as I normally do.

So that was good growth growth. But yeah, that, that synergy that happens that you that's why we love the underdog story talking about the UCLA game against Gonzaga. It was like to watch them play was just beautiful to watch. It's we, we love seeing these average players and they're not, they're more than average, but you know what I mean?

Like we love seeing, not in that case, but in other cases, like seemingly less players at [00:58:00] every position, but they love each other and they care about each other and they play and their passion, they they're going to go out and they're going to do it. And they do. And we're like, yeah, I mean, Miracle on Ice.

Why do we love that story? Because of that, they brought all these players who weren't the best. But they were a team and he chose him for a reason,

Cori: [00:58:17] laid out, right. All the work they had done in the dark. We always say the work done in the dark always gets revealed in the light. And you know, they had done, they had lost their last four in a row before the NCAA tournament.

They were at 11 Seed play in team, but they had worked and believe me, we practice at the same time. Our gyms are right next to each other. I saw their work. I saw the grind. I saw the struggle. I talked to them about their disappointments and there's so much work in the dark, done both tactically as well as relationally.

And when subs hits that half court shot in overtime, what I loved is what, and it gives me chills, almost get choked up, thinking about it [00:59:00] organically. They ran to each other, those five guys. And they were just right here, huddled up and they just, it was just this right. And I just thought, man, that is a reflection of the work in the midst of their deepest disappointment.

They tightened together and they experienced it together because they knew that they had experienced so much and that they were going to disappoint as they were going to do. They were going to link together and these were their brothers and that's how it was going to end. And I just thought that you can't fake that, you know, that's a lot of genuine relational work that in your deepest disappointment that you went to your highest level of character and connectedness.

They're doing something, right?

Phil: [00:59:47] Yeah. And I mean, it's why we love team sports, right. I mean, it's just, it's these stories and we can, we gotta do stuff bigger than ourselves, right? Like, like you were saying, it's that, that is something that we are [01:00:00] continually saying. Whether, you know, you're searching for that or not, you are totally it's, it's gotta be bigger and more than ourselves or else.

It's just, it's just depressing. What's it about why what's the point. Right. But when you realize it is something bigger, it is something it's just, it changes, everything, changes how you view everything, which is, which is just awesome. So, one last question. This has been so much fun. I don't want it to end, but what have you read, listened to, or watched, we talked a lot about this, so it may be something we've already talked about, but what have you read, listened to, or watched that have most impacted your thinking on how basketball and other sports, whether soccer or anything else, explain life and leadership.

Cori: [01:00:34] Yeah, we have talked about a lot of them. You know, I think Win in the Dark, I think I might have a copy of it right here. I really have, I've been impacted about that book.

Joshua Medcalf and Lucas Jadin have really had a big impact on me already. But I it's a, it's a novel that way. I think that's been really impactful. I think the Focus 3, a leadership podcast with Tim Kight and now Brian Kight if you follow him on Instagram, he does some really [01:01:00] great things every morning that way, and they're sort of, discipline over default.

They just have, they've been really impactful in setting the stage for me as a leader as well as for our program. So I would definitely say those ones come to mind right away. But I would say the only other one that I've really been impacted on the last year is podcast by, Oh man, John Mark Comer.

And he wrote The Relentless Elimination of Hurry. And then he does the podcast with the author and his name escapes me, but they do a podcast on pretty much how busy-ness is just and hurry is squeezing the life out of us. And it's maybe one of the most impactful things of our time is just what that's doing to our souls. And it convicted me.

I there's, I think there's only eight podcasts in there, but it has just rocked me and I've done it twice through now and it's very challenging. I'm a hurry and hustler. And so it's been a real change in my framework to try to pause a little bit more and build a little bit [01:02:00] more margin

Phil: [01:02:00] into my life.

Yeah. Which is so important. And, you know, I hope that I hope that we're able to do that in different ways. Cause it's something that sustains the long haul. You know, if, if we're seeing this as a marathon, not a sprint which we should be, then it it's definitely something that is so critical, so critical to just be still, to just be able to have that silence, to be able to have that time where we can reflect.

We even talked about that earlier on today. So very much appreciate this. Thank you so much again, I hope we can continue this conversation at some point. I imagine the audience will as well. But there, there are ways that you can get, you know, as, as we learned earlier to follow Coach Close here and just be able to continue learning from her.

So thank you so much for all you're doing and for your consistency. And for building up these women to really be able to be set up for life, to be able to flourish. Thank

Cori: [01:02:45] you. Well, thank you for having me and thank you for what you're doing. And next time, I want to hear more about your ministry and what you've been up to, but it's really a privilege to be with you and we're all in it together.

So thank you so much for having me.

Phil: [01:02:56] Absolutely. Well, thanks again, folks, for all that you're doing. Thanks for being a part of [01:03:00] this show and thanks for just really again, engaging this conversation because the fact that you're listening to this means you're learning and you're growing and that's my heart.

That's what I hope more than anything you'll be able to do from these interviews we're able to do here, and you'll take everything you're learning and you'll apply it in your leadership. And however, you're doing that, whether that's in an organization, whether that's in a team, whether that's in your, in your home or elsewhere in your community and as always, we want you to learn as well, how soccer really does and basketball in this case to really do explain life and leadership.

Thanks a lot. Have a great week.