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How Jeremy Lin Did It

There’s no such thing as an overnight sensation. By the time a star has emerged before the public, he has put in thousands of hours of work behind the scenes. It was true in the case of the Beatles, who worked years in a night club in Germany. They honed their craft and by the […]

How Tom Coughlin Became a Champion

No wonder the New York Giants are tough, tough enough to win two Super Bowls in the last five seasons. Their coach, Tom Coughlin, is as tough as they come. How tough? Well, not glass-eating, phonebook-ripping tough, but tough enough to do this: Coughlin once asked a player to give him a top-to-bottom list of […]

Language and Coaching

The other day on a cooking show, the host said she was making a classic French dish. “Classic French dish,” she said, “is code for lots and lots of butter.” Wow! That really made me think. I’ve heard the phrase “classic French dish” many times, but I never attached the same meaning to it that […]

Practice Design

Lately I’ve been working with coaches on practice design. They want to know how to make the most of the time they’re given. For more efficient and effective practices, start with the advice I heard legendary high school basketball coach Bobby Hurley give at a clinic last year in Iowa. “Write down your practice, and […]

The Magic of Feedback

Today I got my car inspected. During the wait in line, a thought occurred to me. Car inspection is nothing more than a form of feedback. Here’s what happens: You take an action (bringing your car in) The car gets observed. You learn if the car’s condition is adequate. If it is not, you receive […]

Theory of Improvement

Not long ago I heard a coach complain that his players do not take the basics they learn early in practice and put them into the games they play later in practice. They do not take them into real games, either. This is a common lament, and it comes from failure to understand a principle […]

Two Powerful Coaching Tools

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” ~ Albert Einstein

This is Day Two of the Gold Medal Squared coaching clinic in Catonsville, Md.

Though the sport is volleyball, the principles and ideas apply to coaching any sport. Two such ideas came across powerfully yesterday.

Meaningful Work

Yesterday we spoke about making the gym experience a meaningful one for the athletes. It turns out that acclaimed author Malcolm Gladwell has something to say about the topic. Being interviewed by Charlie Rose, Gladwell lists the elements that go into meaningful labor. (You can watch it here; the part about labor comes well into […]