Be Like Joe Madden to Get the Most Out of Talent

28 Oct Be Like Joe Madden to Get the Most Out of Talent

Be Like Joe Maddon to Help Your Teen Thrive Under Pressure

Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs Manager, is renowned for his ability to manage his talented team, especially when the expectations and pressure are highest.  Here are four of his top tips that you can apply to help your teen perform at his/her peak when the pressure is most intense:


1.”Embrace The Target”

Maddon encourages his players to lean into expectations as opposed to living in fear. He wants them to run toward rather than away from the pressure.  His key question to his players is “where else would you rather be?”The obvious answer is that it’s better to be a talent-filled team capable of great things than a bad team with no pressure.   This philosophy converts pressure and expectations to positive concepts vs. negative, especially anchored by this second Maddonism,: “the process is fearless.”


2.“The Process is Fearless”

Importantly, Maddon does not place focus on wins and losses.  Instead, he famously tells his players that the “the process is fearless.”  Process is the one area that his players control.  His players maximize preparation through focus on fundamentals and participating in detailed strategy sessions to get ready for any opponent.  His players not only hone their ability but also, through this preparation, build confidence for game time situations.


3.“Do Simple Better”

Doing simple better means taking care of performance basics and maintaining a “relentless execution on fundamentals and technique.”  He helps his players avoid thinking too much and over complicating their jobs.  Kyle Hendricks illustrated this approach beautifully during his nearly perfect pennant winning pitching performance.  When he was interviewed after the game he said, “You felt the buzz around the stadium, definitely the energy. It was loud in there. But, at the end of the day, I didn’t feel much different. All I was trying to do was simplify and make good pitches.” he said his focus was sharp because he kept his thoughts simple.


4.“Respect 90”

Respect 90 refers to the distance between each base. Maddon stresses to players the importance of hustling when on the basepaths.  He wants to see his players try their hardest and run hard, no matter the circumstance.Hustle and work ethic are key to success in any endeavor.  Moreover, the “Respect 90” theme, similar to his emphasis on the process, allows the players to focus on factors they can control.


5.“Don’t Let the Pressure Exceed the Pressure”

Maddon recognizes that his players perform at their peak when they’re loose and enjoying the experience vs. very tight, worried about mistakes.  To create a culture of team bonding and fun both on and off the field, Maddon created a special Cubs “nightclub” room in Wrigley Field next to the clubhouse in Wrigley Field, where players celebrate and unwind together after games.  He creates fun events like pajama days and Blackhawk days, and even brings in farm animals and magicians to entertain the team after rough spells.  Javier Baez, who was interviewed after his NLCS MVP winning performance, talked about how much fun the game is for him, and noted that it helps him succeed on the field.


Adopt Joe Maddon’s principles as you coach and/or parent your teens and they will stay motivated and learn positive habits for a lifetime.

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