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Oct. 26, 2021

Obstacles are the Way to Success

Obstacles are the Way to Success

Loyola Academy (Wilmette, IL) head boys basketball coach, Tom Livatino, is today's guest, discussing challenges facing educators both in and out of the classroom and the importance of staying positive while always seeking solutions during times of adversity.


Episode Links:

Loyola Academy on Twitter

Loyola Academy

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

Toughness by Jay Bilas

Grit by Angela Duckworth

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LukeMertens44@gmail.com

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Transcript

Luke:

This is episode 12 of The "I" in Win podcast.

Tom:

They come back and they say, coach boy, that was some really tough stuff we went through. But man, that made me a better guy that made me a tougher guy that made me really resilient. And that, that really makes me proud that we had that impact on our guys.

Luke:

Okay. Thanks for tuning into the I, and when I want to welcome our guests, Loyola Academy's Head Basketball Coach, Coach Livatino, or thanks for being on the show today.

Tom:

Thanks, Luke, excited to be here, excited to talk, uh, coaching and philosophy, and a ready to dig in.

Luke:

So let's start with that moment. You knew you wanted to be a high school teacher and a coach. Tell me about it.

Tom:

Wow. Um, that's funny. It's kind of a long story. So, uh, I, uh, I was a better football player than I was a basketball player. I went to the university of Wisconsin and played a little bit of football. I graduated and, uh, I thought I was going to go into sales. I thought I had a sales job with Adidas. Uh, it was a done deal and it didn't happen. So from there, I honestly didn't know what I was going to do. An old family friend who is a coach, a high school, a high school coach and was a great family. Friends of ours recommended me to this, uh, grade school, this Catholic grade school in Evanston. And, um, I said, yeah, let's do it. And so I jumped in and, and, uh, was a PE teacher there preschool through eighth grade. I was the athletic director. I taught, uh, I coached girls and boys seventh and eighth grade basketball. And I started coaching high school football at Evanston and seven years later. Um, I, I knew that's what I wanted to do, so I decided to go back to school. Um, and at that time I transitioned to coaching, uh, varsity football at Nutrere and varsity basketball at Loyola and got my teaching certificate. And, um, and that's when I knew, I think much earlier in life though, I knew that this was sort of. What I was good at. Right. So when I was a kid, I was the guy organizing the different games. I was the guy that was, you know, kind of motivating people to play. I was the guy drawing up the plays in flag football, and I kind of, that was sort of what I was really, really good at. I wasn't really, really good at school. I was lucky to be pretty decent at some at sports. Um, but I also had sort of some leadership abilities, some innate leadership abilities. I also come from a family of two. My mom's a teacher, my dad's a teacher, my uncles, my aunts, you know, I married a teacher. We have a lot of teachers in our, in our family. So, um, my brother's a athletic director, so, um, yeah, so that's sort of, sort of, uh, when I found out and in that journey, like it was the best way I could have ever, possibly gotten into education and teaching. The biggest thing I think about my coaching journey is. Fraught with failure, uh, you know, micro failure, big time failure. Uh, and that's something I've really gravitated to, you know, failing forward, dealing with adversity. Um, and so I, I've been really, really lucky and I've been around some absolutely amazing coaches, right that shaped the journey. Uh, I had a high school coach, a high school football coach, Tom powers. Who was a hall of Famer at Evanston who was big time old school, and I just loved them. I just never wanted to let him down. He had an amazing attention to detail. We watched film way back then in the eighties, that was, you know, way. Well ahead of its game. I had a basketball coach, uh, John Macon, who had a huge impact on me. And then I worked for so many great coaches. Uh, John real at Evanston Dan Mortier and Denny hall at Nutrere. Um, my biggest break was Jonno Laughlin, and you know, and these are all of these guys are hall of fame coaches, right. And just great men. Um, but John Laughlin gave me my chance to move into the high school game, you know, right. From being an eighth grade coach right into the varsity. And we had immediate success and he is today. My biggest mentor. Uh, he's a tremendous, tremendous friend. Uh, he's a gentlemen. Um, and then Rick, Mel naughty, uh, along the way while I was coaching at nutria, kind of took me under his wing and really taught me so much about coaching more the X and the O is we share a very same, uh, similar temperament. Uh, we're pretty emotional guys. We've had many conversations. He's a, he's a very good friend. And then Paul primer, who I worked. Uh, at Evanston who really, who really became a, you know, almost a second mentor to me and taught me a lot of different things about being positive, being a better man all the things that really didn't involve the X's and O's, even though he's a very good XNL coach, he just really dominated all of those things and making people feel better about themselves. Um, so that's a little bit about my journey. I just been really, really lucky

Luke:

and it sounds like this profession really just came naturally to you. And why do you think that was, was it due to your experience as a student athlete yourself? Is it just that you're a good people person? Like what is it that just kind of came naturally?

Tom:

At first, the first is, is I think the most important was thing. I really liked being around kids. Right. And at that time I'm 22 years old and I get thrown into a classroom and I'm dealing with preschoolers and I'm dealing with eighth graders and those eighth graders are 10 years younger. Yeah. You know, nine years younger than me. They're not that much younger than me and I'm not sure what I'm doing. And I just, I just quickly had a bond with them. Right. I just, I really enjoyed being around them. Uh, even though I was young, they just gave me a lot of energy. Um, it was a lot of fun. I took it very, very, very seriously also. Um, like I wanted to be successful at that time. You know, it, it was more natural friendships with them. Um, And I, you know, and I'm not sure I was teaching a whole lot of life lessons, right. Then I would impart wisdom on them. Like if you're going on to the next level, these are some of the things you need to do. And by the way, these are some of the things you're going to need to do to be pretty successful off the court, because it's not going to work out for a lot of you guys and girls. Um, so I think initially it was just that I really liked being around kids and, and that only grew and grew and grew into. And so when young people and coaches, you know, form a family, a team in a common goal, uh, to improve and go along this process that we call a season, which really lasts, you know, for us 11 months, um, you, you get really, really tight with those people and then you become friends for life. And I tell our players all the time, like, and I'm not bashful about saying. My job right now is not to be your best friend. That, that is the last thing I'm going to be as your best friend right now. You know, what, what we'll probably, and hopefully grow of this is that we will become friends. Right? And then when you graduate. You know, our relationship will turn and then I wind up at your wedding. Um, we'll play golf together. You know, this last weekend, I was lucky to play in this Ryder cup event. And, uh two of my former players were, were, were playing because they become really, really good friends. So there's a lot of different people that have just turned into lifelong friends. And there's not a better job in the world. Like I, I've never gone. To work and thought, oh man, I can't believe I'm going into work today. I've absolutely loved every single day of it. I really, really have, and I've been lucky to work at some really great schools, especially loyal academy. Right now. It is an absolute joy to go to where the really super positive people or the really good administration and that, that obviously helps.

Luke:

Well, that's great to hear. I know there's definitely people that don't feel that way in the profession and they're feeling a little overburdened, overworked, maybe a little under appreciated. So that's why I wanted to have. Uh, guys on like yourself to talk about the fact of, Hey, you know, we need to stay positive despite these tough times. And we do have a great job in spite of us. And you touched on it being a really important job that we can't take lightly, but you know, you're an experienced teacher and coach now. What do you wish you would've known before becoming head coach?

Tom:

Well, the first thing I would have liked to have known when I was in college, I was, you know, study education. So you can get your degree right away. So you don't have to go back and spend two more years doing it. Um, but besides that, um, you know what, that's a tough question. I think the biggest thing that you learn when you're young is just experience, right. And you surround yourself, or you're lucky enough to be around veteran teachers and veteran coaches. And, and the biggest thing is like, soak it up, right? Oftentimes I think young people have all the answers, right? They they've got all the answers. They're there. They're ready to do everything better than the other person. When really what you need to do is sit back, listen. And I, and I was coming up in a time where that was very, you know, we were really, really lucky. So that was a time back in, in, in, in at least in high school basketball where you'd have to go out scouting and you're out on your own, you know, now everything is filmed and, and the head coach and the varsity coaches break everything down. Then I'm out there all by myself and I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing, but I'm trying to figure out. And I worked for some very patient people. Um, and again, I think it's just. Surround yourself with people that are going to let you fail and also hold you accountable. Um, but let you come back from those mistakes. And then the other thing is, is just your own education. And now just speaking strictly as a coach, like, um, I think the journey takes a lot of different twists, so right away as I, as I was transitioning into a high school basketball coach on my journey to become a head. I wanted to make sure that I became an absolute master at everything that had to do with basketball period, like every X and O from every defensive or offensive every aspect. So I, all I did was clinic. All I did was go to practices. All I did was watch tape. And I said, I have got to become the smartest guy because I, that, wasn't my thing. I wasn't the best high school basketball player. I wasn't a college basketball player, but I absolutely loved the game. And, and that's what I did. And then I realized, all right, well, I've done all this, you know, and that was just, that's such a small, small part of what being a coach is. And head coaches find that out right away. Right. And that's what overburdens, I think a lot of. There's all the other stuff. So dealing with budgets and dealing with parental issues and dealing with administration and dealing with all of these different things. And you have to realize, I think right away is like that's part of the job. Um, I was lucky my first job, I worked for an ex nun and, and she said, she said, Tom, don't, don't get caught up with the teachers that always complain about stuff. Separate yourself from that. And figure out a solution instead of complaining about it. And that really stuck with me. Um, you know, so I'm not really found in the teacher's lounge a lot. Uh, I, you know, I, I'm lucky we have a great P department and great coaches, but I'm, I'm kind of busy trying to be the best coach and teacher that I can, for the majority of my day, while I'm at work and I'm not in class.

Luke:

Well, that's, that's great advice that you ever received from, from her. And I was just going to ironically say, well that you must not go into the teacher's lounge very often, but you beat me to the punch. Cause yeah, sometimes those could be negative places.

Tom:

It's a really tough place, especially now, now, you know, and like, yeah, these times have been really, really challenging. They're really, really tough. And there's things that you can complain about, but like, I, like, that's not my job. Right. Someone else has that job to make those decisions. My job is to live that decision as best I possibly can. Right. And make it as positive for the people that you know, I'm responsible for.

Luke:

Well, that's, that's a, that's an outstanding outlook. And it's important. Remember that the kids didn't ask for any of it either. So it's really more important to have the outlook that you just, that you just gave, but let's talk about those challenges in the classroom, and this is not necessarily have to do with you. This is just what you're hearing. And again, it's not even about your school, just generally speaking, enlightened our audience as to what are some of the challenges that teachers are facing in the classroom.

Tom:

Yeah. I mean, as it relates strictly to COVID right. It has to do with everything, right. It has to do with masks and it has to do with, you know, being on zoom and it has to do with, uh, teaching a different way. And really, all it has to do with, to me is like adaptability, right? The rules of the games have changed, how you go about everything, how you prepare as changed. And so it's about being able to change yourself but that's difficult. It's not easy, especially for veteran teachers. Most of the time, you know, I think everyone kind of gets caught in, in what they do and, and it's hard to change. Is it even if it's, if it's, uh, if it's a technology thing, right. I've been doing it this way, my whole life. Now I have to do it this way. Um, and I think what you find is, is that you, as, as you, as you adjust as you change, you're like, wow, this is a pretty good way of doing it. I'll give you a quick story. So when I was coming up, um, Coach a Laughlin head coach at Loyola. We didn't do a lot of film stuff. Okay. So I'm like, coach, we gotta start doing this. We gotta start watching film with our teams. We got to scout a little bit more. And so back then, right. It was the old, you know, the old VHS tapes. And I thought, man, this is the greatest stuff ever. These VHS tapes. Awesome. And we'd find a way to, to make it work and okay. And then we came out with the, the, the, uh, you know, the DVDs and I'm like, no, I don't want to switch. This makes no sense. Three months later, I'm like, how did we ever not have these? Then we move on to the video editing systems like huddle. And I was like, no, you know, I'm not really keen on this now. I would never know how to write. So there's always a better way to do it. You just have to be able to be adaptive. And spend some time to learn about it because there is a better way of doing things. There is a better way of doing everything. You just have to be open to growth. The other thing I guess is, is, is that most teachers just want to be supported. Right. And for the vast majority of my career, I've had tremendous support from administration, from parents, uh, from my family, from our players. And that's, I consider myself very, very lucky. And when that goes, when it goes south, I would understand how any coach or any teacher would feel like they're in a, this is a really difficult job but I've been lucky in that regard.

Luke:

And let's talk about now specific to coaching basketball. What are again, not necessarily you and your program, but generally speaking, what are some of the challenges that head basketball coaches are facing at the high school level?

Tom:

Um, you know, a lot of them are logistics, to be honest with you, like, uh, playing in masks. Yeah. No one likes to do it. No one likes to wear them, but that's, that's the pathway to playing. So, you know, you find it, you find a way to go and do that. But logistical stuff that's going on now, like is, is it's very difficult to get buses. Okay. Well, we'll, we'll find another way. Right? I just think that it's so much about being adaptive, adaptable to whatever's thrown at you. And so I don't classify myself as a super positive person when I coach sometimes because I'm very, very emotional, but I think I'm a tremendously positive person as it relates to adversity and, and stuff. Not necessarily going our way, especially logistically. Um, and I think that directly translates to our players and our, and our students. Like a lot of, stuff's not going to go well. And a lot of it's going to be self-induced right. We're going to make mistakes. Our players are going to make mistakes on and off the court. Our coaches are gonna make mistakes and, you know, you have to own up to those mistakes and then you have to move forward and you have to be in an environment where you're able to do that. Um, so coming back to school this year, you know, teachers were talking about, well, our sophomores are really gonna be like freshmen and our incoming freshmen are really gonna be like eighth graders. And, and quite honestly, that lasted for about three weeks and then everything was back to normal. Again, I don't like, I don't like being around people that complain about students or athletes or situations. Like, I want to see the way through the situation. I don't want to complain about the situation. There's always something positive that can happen next. And so like these, these students there, they were, they, yeah, they, they didn't know what they didn't know. Right. We had freshmen in high school who didn't have an eighth grade year, so they were a year behind, but boy, they snapped to right away and all credit to them and all credit to their parents. Right. And all credit to our administration and our teachers. You know, that really dug in and helped out a little bit more and caught them up to speed, you know, but everyone's kind of back and flowing and things are moving in the right direction. Even my own kids, you know, having, having to, I had to miss, you know, miss more than a year of in-person school. Um, and just to watch them kind of, you know, bounce forward is really, really cool.

Luke:

Yeah, it's kind of that adaptability piece you've brought up before. You're right.

Tom:

it's just, it's just to me, it's just so important and it's so it's, so, uh, it's such a teachable moment for our kids. Like things are going to go wrong, man, and you just gotta be able to find the next best way and I have to do that better in the moment. Like as we're, as we're coaching a game, like I. Nearly perfect at that. I'm not even close. Like I have to find a way to be a better version of myself to do that and help our kids when we're playing.

Luke:

Let's stick on this positivity thing. I think it's really important in the profession of education and coaching. Um, and I know you said, you said, ah, you, you tend to not always be the most positive guy, but from what I'm hearing coach, you are a positive guy and I'm really liking what you have to say. And I would argue that in side of a classroom, on the court, you know, on the football field, you name it, you have 16, 17 year old kids looking to you and they're. React to adversity the way that you react to adversity. So, why is it just so crucial that every day as a teacher or a coach you're positive and on your game, as much as you can be, despite the fact you may be having a bad day or you don't feel your best.

Tom:

Yeah. Well, yeah, like you said, you're the person in front of them and you are the, you're the one who has to model the behavior that you want to practice that day or in your classroom. So if you have no energy, you have no. Then how do you expect them to have that? So that's one thing I think I do bring every single day is a lot of positivity, a lot of preparation. Um, you know, before I'm going to go into practice. You know, probably four hours, you know, either preparing the practice plan, watching the film of practice, scouting our opponent, talking to our other coaches before we go into that practice. And I don't expect that out of our, out of our players, by any stretch, they have way more important things to do. All of their academic classes, hanging out with their family, right? Their faith life, uh, their friends, their peer groups. They have so many different things on their plates. But if I'm not on top of my game, if I'm not modeling preparation and energy in a positive attitude, then it's really very difficult for them to do that. And then the other thing is like, I, I'm going to be honest with them, you know, it's an old coach K thing. Yeah, he has, he's very famous for saying, like, I'm not going to lie to a player, you know, to make them feel better. And that's very similar to how I approach it. Like, I'm going to tell you the truth as to what you're doing today at practice, right? This is how you're playing. And this is where I think I know you can play, so let's, let's get there and this is how you get it. And then if you don't do it again, I'm going to remind you, I'm going to, I'm going to keep on you because I'm my standards for you. My expectations for you are probably higher than you have for yourself, but over time, because I have high standards for you, you're going to see, wow, I'm achieving more than I thought I ever could. And then you're going to start setting high standards for yourself and then the improvement and the growth is going to have. And also the resiliency, right? So one of the big things in our program, we have a mantra and it's, you know, we do hard and we stole it from a baseball coach. Um, and all it means is, is that we do hard things really well, right. Things that take no skill, things that define your toughness. Uh, we are going to dominate those things. And so that's what a lot of our programs about, especially in the off season when we. You know, really work with our guys in terms of skill development, but we're going to develop them physically. We're going to develop them mentally. We're going to develop them as leaders. And those things are so important and they're are also the reasons you win. Right? So like I tell our team every single year, the team that communicates the best is going to be the team that wins our second. Right. And I believe that I truly believe that, you know, when we go into certain games of the year against the rival teams, you know, I say whoever, the toughest team is, is gonna win this game. Right. It's not, to me. Skill development is tremendously important. That's all about 10,000 hours. Right. And putting in the work and you being dedicated to that, and you having an accountability to your work ethic. And we talk a lot, a lot about that. But this toughness piece, this mental toughness piece is gonna, is going to carry with you for a really, really long time. And, um, and I feel like I fail at that, uh, oftentimes, but it's a standard that we, we kind of set for our guys and it's something that they really gravitate to. And so most of the guys will come back and we're really lucky. Our low, we have a very, very strong alumni group of players at loyal. Um, and I have a pretty strong alumni group of players that I coached at Lincoln park. Um, those coaches are really lucky to have that, right. That's, that's such a rewarding piece of this, but they come back and they say, coach boy, that was some really tough stuff we went through. But man, that made me a better guy that made me a tougher guy that made me really resilient. And that, that really makes me proud that we had that impact on our guys.

Luke:

There's no doubt. Those, those little victories. I ain't even shouldn't call them little, but I'm saying little because it's a, it's, it's a ten second conversation, but man, those little victories are what validate all of the time that you're talking about, that you put in as a coach and you realize it's a heck of a lot more important than any type of hardware that you may have hanging on your walls right now. And. Yeah, I'm not surprised based off this conversation that you have those comments coming back to you. Cause it sounds like you're doing things the right way and you're teaching life lessons. And again, that positivity piece. And I love the mental toughness piece. I know. In my opinion, I could be wrong. It's just something I see that it's something that's lacking in, in kids today. I think there is we're, we're missing the mark on mental toughness a little bit, and I just see it. And even my own kids in my own household, like they think the world revolves around them and that's just not, that's not life, but I digress that I read about these lessons. You're teaching kids and, uh, they happen in the rambler room, which I guess that's a team room that you kind of develop is that.

Tom:

Yeah, we were really lucky to be able to get a room in the facility and the rafters that used to be just kind of a place where they, they housed the Christmas trees and we turned it into like a film room. Um, and other teams use it as well. But it's kind of like a place where. You know, we, we, we can watch film, we can have meetings, we go at halftime of our home games and post games, and it's a celebration room. It's a, you know, and there's a lot to be said about that. Like, you know, there's just so many great coaches out there. So like, you know, when, um, everybody is really pounding on coach Nagy right now, but man, when they went. And they, they have that electricity about winning in the room. Like they celebrate that. That's just awesome or stuff Joe Madden used to do with the Cubs, with the dress up days. And the, this a lot of fun stuff like celebrating, you know, those successes are really important because there's a lot of tough stuff that goes along the way and you have to be able to sell it. Small successes, big successes and wins on the court are important right there. They're not, we don't minimize those either. Right? That's our basketball goal. Our basketball goal is to reach these different goals within the game. And if we do that, then we're going to reach the goal of winning the game and then we should celebrate that. And then we should go back to work. But most of the things that go into that are like small things like communication and leadership and being a resilient and, and having some toughness and having some mental toughness and being a great, great teammate and understanding your role and just all things that are so transferrable to post athletics. Um, and we do a lot of temp team building stuff leading up to the season in the season that happened in that room and it happened outside of that room. Um, and most of the credit honestly goes to our coaching staff or coming up with these really different, cool ideas and the ability to do it at Loyola and having a parental group that's that, that understands and values. You know, some of the, some of the stuff that we do and has, and understands what the end game of it is. Right. You know, the long game, like what's, what is the ultimate thing that's happening? And our parents have been tremendously important in our program. And I think that that's something that does not happen everywhere. Um, if you don't have parents that are, that, uh, that are in line with your vision, it's just a what's going on. It can be very problematic. Um, they don't share the same vision and they don't let you coach your team, um, and understanding what the end game is that. That's um, that's, that's, difficult. That's very, very difficult.

Luke:

Yeah. there, there's no doubt that you have to sell your parents on your vision. And I like what you said about winning, like that's our basketball goal. And I think that's how you kind of have to talk to parents a little bit. Like here's my goal for your son at. As a human right, I'm going to teach a mental toughness. I'm a teach them how to respond to adversity, um, and teach them how to remain positive in dark times. And now here are my basketball goals. We're going to go win the Chicago Catholic league and we're going to go on and we're going to win a state championship and there's gonna be bumps on the road. That is really important to get parents on board or you're right. It becomes difficult. And you, you touched upon some difficult times that you have to face as well. And maybe you're not always as positive with those moments. So let's talk about at times you may lose your why. I think we all do. I think we all lose our why a little bit, and maybe we get a little too caught up in the wins and the losses, and we may be going through a bad stretch and not playing well. And we're getting bad emails and bad press write-up. How you get your wide back, how do you reset yourself? How do you refocus yourself? And then come back to being positive and realizing that there's a larger purpose and it's developing young kids rather than just winning basketball games.

Tom:

Yeah, I think you just, you have to have some sort of philosophy. You have to have some sort of mindset and a lot of what goes on in your own life, uh, uh, kind of galvanizes that, you know, tough times that maybe you've gone through or, or stuff with your family that you've gone through or whatever it is in your journey. Right. And that can date back to when you were younger, you know, up until whenever. But I think that you just have to have some resiliency, right. And you have to love, love your fate. So it's called a moral fight and that's just like wherever you're at, you've got to embrace that. There's a book that we read as a team called the obstacle is the way by Ryan holiday. It was a really, really great read for us. And it's all about whatever's thrown in front of you. Don't complain about it. Find the positive in it and move forward. Fail forward, wherever it is. Right. Love, love the situation that you're in. Don't waste any time, not doing it. So quick story. We're in 2017. And we have a good team. We have, uh, we have, uh, we have a nice team. We have great guys, but we're really struggling to find our way and to buy in to exactly, you know, how and why we play a certain way and what w w w what we have to do in terms of roles. So we go on the road and we lose a really, really bad game. And then we're going on Christmas break, and it's the first time we're traveling down to Florida. Okay. And we, and we fly into Fort Lauderdale. We got to drive in these and these, these small vans all the way across alligator alley, over to Naples, right. And our, our, our, our, our, uh, our car breaks down. It gets a flat, and we're on the side of the road for about three hours. And our guys are talking about, Hey, the obstacle is the way the obstacle is the way, and they weren't being, they weren't joking about it. They were seriously talking about. And so we can get finally get to where we're going. And we're lucky because now we have a lot of time with the guys individually and we have all these different meetings and we start galvanizing all of this different stuff and we go on and we win this tournament. We go on and make a great run and go pretty deep into the playoffs, win a championship. And so it was really, really cool, but it all had to do with nothing that had to do with basketball. And, um, so staying grounded in that I think is really, really important. Surrounding yourself with, with coaches that share the same vision is really important, too. It's hard to be around people that are not able to snap forward. Um, I think taking care of yourself in terms of like getting sleep is really important. It's amazing, you know, you, you, you, you play a bad game. You have a bad practice, whatever you've talked to, the important people in your life about it, you get some feedback. Um, You go to bed and the next day, you know, I'm, I am 99.9% of the time. Like, here we go, we got this it's we gotta figure it out. And that's you just have to have that resilience. So, you know, I don't know if that really answers the question about the Y. It's just understanding that you're in this for, for, for the journey, right? This is all a process. And that process has to do with working with the young people, you know, to, to, to improve them. And as you do that, you're going to improve your team. And it's going to be a by-product of that journey of that process and that knowing like you're going to have a lot of failure in this.

Luke:

Well, you gave one good suggestion. I'm a book already that I'll include in our show notes. Do you have any other recommended resources for coaches to, to dive into and read that you recommend for helping them in their journey on leadership and leading, you know, young

Tom:

yeah, I mean, the obstacle is the way is a no brainer. Um, I read a lot, so I have a gazillion of them, um, you know, some specific ones, uh, to basketball or why the best or the best bike, Kevin Eastman. Uh, a really, really good book about kind of an old school coach is the miracle of St. Anthony, um, toughness by Jay Billis is a 100% solid goal. I mean, that's just, that's as good as it gets in terms of just understanding why people are successful that has nothing to do with the skill of whatever sport it is. Right. It could be, it could be ping pong. It does not matter. Um, There there's there's, there's a lot of them like grit by Angela Duckworth is a phenomenal book. Um, the culture code by Daniel Coyle is awesome. You know, I try to read about six books a year and then I take notes on them. You know, I used to do it in longhand and then I saved those. And then I'm able to go back through those notes and read them and catch up on some stuff. Cause it's amazing as I get older, how much stuff I forget I've kind of annotated them on my phone and now I save them that way.

Luke:

Yeah. You want to hear what an English nerd I am. I read and I highlight, and then I go back and long hand, write down my highlights and then I type my longhand into computer. So then I have the ability to go back and read them. So, uh,

Tom:

well, that's, that's the best way to do it. I mean, I just think that there's so much, so much good stuff in there and you just, and I also think that keeps it fresh, right? Like, okay. What's this next leadership strategy, right. Okay. Wow. How Steve jobs did it like this? Wow. Okay. How can I relate that into this? You know, there's a lot of professional development meant that you can do simply by reading.

Luke:

Yeah, no, no question. And what if someone's listened to this and they're like, man, I want to reach out to coach Livatino, this sounds like my type of guy could learn from, would you be willing to share, Uh if you're on Twitter or an email address or something for people to get in contact with you?

Tom:

yeah, of course. Yeah. Please reach out. Like, I, I do probably like four for individual or group, uh, like coaching clinic. With coaches every year. Like they come in and we talk about whatever they want to talk about it. So it's a young coach, it's an older coach. We sometimes we have round tables. Um, I love that stuff. Absolutely love that stuff. So yeah, my email is T Levitt, Tino, L I V as in Victor, a T as in Tom, I N as in Nancy, O at Loy, L O y.org. You can follow us on Twitter too. Uh, at, B capital L a M men's B ball. Um, and I think that's a pretty good follow we've kind of taken some of our content down a little bit, um, in terms of the stuff that we've put out there. Uh, we used to, I used to put out pretty much everything that we did. Um, so we. Back slid a little bit on that. But I think it's a pretty good understanding of what we value. And especially if you could go back in time on it and you could see some stuff, um, but yeah, please email me. I'd love talk to any coaches that are interested in any of this.

Luke:

Well, I appreciate you sharing that information and being so willing to talk with me and who will only talk with anyone who reaches out to you. I could tell you that we've, you know, despite the fact that you've never met in person, you galvanize me. I'm excited about you. I'm a fan of Loyola basketball now and, and, uh, I really liked the things you had to share. Um, although I don't coach basketball, I want to come to one of these coaches clinics because I really enjoy having these conversations. And I think there's so much crossover between sports and things that we all can teach each other because we all have the end game and in mind, and that's the kids. So thanks so much for, uh, being so generous with your time and sharing all these great coaching nuggets with us.

Tom:

Hello. Thank you. And thanks for what you're doing. Uh, this is a tremendous resource. Uh, for, for all coaches and teachers and especially younger coaches and teachers, um, like this is exactly what would have been up my alley when I was a young coach. And it's exactly what's up my alley now. So

Luke:

As always, thank you so much for tuning in, and again, please consider recommending this podcast to somebody else. If you are finding value in it, we want to spread the word and get the message out of this important subject matter. If you haven't yet been there, please do check out our new website. Again, that's the I in win.com. And with that, please remember the more 'I's we impact in this world. The more everybody wins. That's the"I" in Win!.

Tom Livatino Profile Photo

Tom Livatino

PE Teacher/Head Boys Basketball Coach