30 second time outs

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lessons Learned

Having not had a great high school or collegiate experience with
coaches, When I first stopped playing and got into coaching
I thought that I knew better and had all of the answers.
After a few years I realized that I had mentors that were letting me
hang around (regardless of how stubborn I may have been) and I was
not letting them mentor me. So we began to get in open debates and I
took to becoming a real student of the game.

Allowing yourself to be exposed to a variety of ideas and styles of
play helps you solidify what you really believe and enables you
develop your own unique philosophy, instead of just being a clone of
those that you played for.

Later I realized that one of the the most important aspects of teaching was that a player recognized that they made a mistake - not to just let them know how much I know, that I'm in charge and then chastise them for making it. If a player knows that he made a mistake, what to do to correct it, and he also knows that you know - that is far more important than
the tirade that lets him know how upset you are over it.

Developing an economy of words allows you to be more productive in
practice. I remember in practice my first 3 or 4 sentences would be
useless to the kid.

Typical rant: "Dog-gone-it Johnny, how many times are you going to
make that mistake... we've been working on this for a month and you
are still doing the same stupid things that you were doing the first
week in practice... you're so much better than that ...I can't
believe...yada. ..yada... yada..."

At that point I hadn't done a thing to help him yet. He's now checked
out and entirely unable to hear whatever advice I was eventually
ready to give. Get to the point - the tirade is useless. (then when
you finally do have to let loose it will really mean something!:? )

I read a study in Psychology Today by Tharp and Gallimore that
followed John Wooden during his final year and categorized all of
his communication to his players. As a college project I audio-taped
my own practices to try and compare the amount of instruction,
information, praises, criticisms, hustles, etc. I've tried to, less
formally, go back throughout the years and analyze practices
accordingly to keep myself in check.

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