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The Message

Know your message. Read more

A Linear Approach to a Nonlinear Event

There is no doubt that the hammer throw is a rotational event. But recently I can’t help but thinking that there might be other ways to approach the event. A circle, after all, isn’t that different than a line. Zoom in one one far enough and it looks like a straight line. Read more

Vern Sitting

Seeing Things Differently

Are you seeing what you want to see or what is actually happening? There is an old aphorism that is particularly appropriate: “You don’t need to see different things, but rather to see things differently.” Today take a minute and look at what you are doing and try to see it differently. Read more

Dimensions of Communication

The ability to clearly communicate your message is the key to effective coaching. Unfortunately as coaches we too often rely on one dimension of communication – talking. A wise coach once told that you that have one mouth, two eyes and two ears for a reason. Watching and listening should occur in that ratio to talking. Read more

Letter to a Coach Beginning Their Career

Dear Coach:

Congratulations on beginning an exciting journey of discovery. You have checked all the boxes in terms of your preparation, you have interned, you are certified and you have your degree in sports science. Those are the keys that unlock the door. Now the fun starts, the real work begins, you get to apply what you have learned. Be prepared to pay your dues, 90% 0f coaching is grunt work. Not much science, just a whole lot of detail work that no one ever teaches you in school. Now you have to practice and learn the art of coaching, to become skilled at your craft. You will learn by doing, by making mistakes and correcting them and moving forward.
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Words

6a00e5521cccd0883401b7c706748d970b-320wiCommunication is the essence of coaching. Obviously there is verbal and non-verbal communication. Lets focus on verbal communication. What you say and how you say it has incredible power to convey the message. The Dictionary-1basis of verbal communication is the words we use. In my first year of coaching one of my mentor coaches emphasized to me that words create images in the receivers mind, subsequently those images create action. Therefore it is very important to carefully select the words that will convey the action that you want to see the athlete achieve. Sounds easy, but just like everything it takes practice. Read more

What matters most in coaching?

If I were writing this 30 or 40 years ago it would have been a very different blog post. I would have focused on technical knowledge, the importance of understanding training theory and the nuances of periodization. Don’t get me wrong all of that is important if you want to be a good coach, but if you want to be a great coach there is more to it than that. The technical part can be learned fairly easily through study, observation and practice. The difference makers are what some people would call the intangibles, the social and emotional intelligence that allows you to connect with you athletes, your colleagues, administrators and parents on another level. Simply put it is mastery of communication skills. Read more

More Reflections & Recollections

Communication is the key – Master all modes, don’t forget non-verbal (Body Language) it may be the most essential. Read more

Use All Dimensions Of Communication

Foundational Beliefs #6 Use All Dimensions Of Communication

Coaches are usually great at talking, but talking is only one dimension of communication. A wise man once said you have two eyes, two ears and one mouth for a reason. It is easy to talk, but that is not necessarily communication. Are they listening? Are you delivering a clear concise message that they are listening to that will elicit the desired response or behavior? Explore listening more. Read more

It Is Always About The Athlete

Foundational Beliefs #2 – It Is Always About The Athlete

It is so easy to get caught up in the intricacies of technique and training and lose focus on the athlete. It is the athlete we are guiding to be better. A wise old American football coach put it quite succinctly – “It is not the X’s and O’s it is the Jimmies and the Joes.” Read more