All coaches want to get better, but how many have a structured plan to do that? Getting better doesn’t happen on its own. Professor Wade Gilbert’s job is to study the best coaches in the business, and on this episode of the GAINcast he joins us to talk about what the best coaches do to improve their craft, including some common traits of high performing environments and ideas on how to practice better.
Notes and quotes
Gilbert is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Fresno State University. In addition to his recent book Coaching Better Every Season: A Year-Round System for Athlete Development and Program Success, he also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the International Sport Coaching Journal. Our conversation some of the recent coaches he’s learned from and general ideas on making practice better.
Lessons from the road
- 5:15 – Reflecting on finishing his book.
- 9:45 – Lessons learned on the road: “No matter where I travel it always come back to the people. You are coaching people. The best coaches have good people skills and can make connections. “
- 11:45 – Thoughts on Joe Gibbs Racing: “We often talk about high performance coaches, but it’s about high performing. It’s about what you do. “
- 15:00 – Lessons from Mike Lepp on finding purpose.
- 22:00 – Working together and using healthy internal competition to strengthen the team.
- 25:15 – Social physics and how high performing companies create interactions: “Think about ways you can force people to be in the same space. You have to change the environment to change behaviors. “
Making practice better
- 36:45 – Making practice better: “Never mistake activity for achievement. You put in the time, but ask yourself if you really achieve what you wanted to achieve? The first column of the practice plan shouldn’t be time or activity, it should be purpose. It all starts with purpose.”
- 42:00 – See and feel: “There is real value in just watching a good training session, even across sports. You get all kinds of ideas. “
- 45:15 – Debriefing and prebriefing: “Everyone does some type of debriefing, but how much pre-briefing do we do. How do you prepare? You wouldn’t just let an athlete show up and compete; a coach can’t just show up and coach. “
- 47:00 – Developing a noticing plan: “What you will pay attention to and what you will ignore?”
- 53:15 – Closing thoughts and the Fresno High School project: “Are you getting 90 minutes worth of practice in 90 minutes?”
To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- The monthly theme on HMMR Media is the art of coaching, with numerous articles, podcasts, and videos looking at the topic from different perspectives. Join HMMR Plus so you don’t miss all the content on this topic.
- Check out Gilbert’s book Coaching Better Every Season: A Year-Round System for Athlete Development and Program Success.
- You can also learn more about Gilbert on GAINcast 7 and on Twitter @WadeWGilbert. His faculty webpage also has a variety of other resources.
- Gilbert referenced Joe Gibbs Racing and coach Michael Lepp. He was a guest on Episode 140 of the HMMR Podcast.
- A few recommended reads from this episode: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by General Stanley McChrystal, and The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle.