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Beating the Odds

Coaching Stages

No matter how long you’ve been coaching, you’re at a certain stage in your development. You’re either novice, intermediate or veteran. You’re variously fascinated with technique, or tactics, or motivation, or team-building, or practice planning, or something else.

For the last several months, I’ve been drawn to the spiritual side of coaching. It began when I read an article on giving feedback. The author implored coaches to think about why they’re giving feedback — to really help the athletes or just to sound important?

From there, voices kept challenging me to think deeply about my coaching. A coach I met at a clinic showed me a book he’s writing on a vision quest he took with Native Americans in the Southwest. A parent told me about an athlete who was going through severe personal problems. An article invited readers to judge seasons on growth instead of scores.

Together, these voices brought me to Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson, who has won multiple NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. I’ve just begun it, but the themes of teamwork, sacrifice and harmony stand out.

What stage of coaching are you at now? What fascinates you? I would like to challenge you to find a book that helps you develop the aspect of coaching you’re examining. And I would love to hear exactly what book you select.

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Would you like to improve at what you do? “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success” can show you how! Are you a coach? “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” can make you a better one.


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