A few weeks ago, I had a post about a book and made reference to the fact that I would have loved to have read it when I first started coaching. In fact, it would be in my Top 10 books that I think could've impacted me greatly as a young coach just starting out. I have since received a great number of requests asking for the complete list and so each day, over the next few weeks, I will list a book that I think young coaches would benefit from reading as they start their coaching journey. I would imagine that many will be looking for X&O books -- just as I did when I first started coaching -- but instead you will find a list of books that will not only make you a better coach, but a better person. Books that concentrate on teaching, goal setting, communication and leadership.
Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway,
This certainly an outstanding book for a beginning coach/teacher as it breaks down so many phases of "getting better at getting better." As the authors mention in the opening paragraph: "The three of us are first and foremost teachers. And though this book is for readers in a wide variety of fields, it began some time ago as a book for and about teachers. Still, if you are a parent or a manager or a coach or a mentor or a leader in your organization, you'd have a hard time convincing us you weren't a teacher anyway."
WHAT YOU SHOULD MEASURE AT
You should measure two
1. The effectiveness of
Does doing something in practice actually enable people to do it in
2. Practicing the right
Are you practicing the things that need to be practiced in order to improve
The typical coach will often watch a game as an unfolding narrative.
Coaches may look back at a game and have a general idea of how it went:
"We played well." "We struggled to play together as a
team." "We had trouble on defense." But to determine
what it is that you should be practicing, you should look at games (or lessons,
surgeries, or sales pitches) as a series of date points. Instead of
subjectively evaluating how your team played, look for specific data that
reflects the skills you have practiced. For example, how many players
made diagonal runs? How many teachers asked their students to do something
again if they didn't have 100% participation? How many times did a
particular sales strategy result in a sale?
Collecting and measuring date on performance post-practice allows you to
evaluate your own effectiveness in facilitating practice.
IMPROVING YOUR PRACTICE PLANS
No one would argue the notion
that you need to plan out your practices. Coaches, managers,
organizational development teams all plan for the time they have to develop
their staff. As we have learned from our work at Uncommon over the past
several years, chances are that what you are doing now probably isn't nearly
good enough, if you want exceptional results from your practice sessions.
Specifically, we are perpetually astonished at just how much it pays off to do
1. Plan with data-driven objectives in mind
2. Plan down to the last minute
3. Rehearse and revise the plan
Coaches and leaders often fail to recognize that planning practice must be a
data-driven endeavor. What is more, the best coaches constantly adapt
their practice in response to what they learn about the needs of their team
from on-the-job performance and from the results of practice itself. As
people succeed at tasks, you add complexity; as they struggle, you reduce it.
Good plans for practice leave nothing to chance. There is no question of
which drill will be inserted where, or who will get a chance to practice which
skills. There is no mid-practice poll of what favorite drill to do next,
no free time earned for efficiency in completing activities. Plans that
lead to successful practice account for each minute with useful activity.
COACH WOODEN ON CATNIP
When his teams first
practiced shooting or dribbling, John Wooden often made his players
work without the ball. "One of the challenges I faced during
practice," he wrote in Wooden On Leadership, "was the
distraction caused by a player's natural instinct and desire to score baskets
or grab rebounds. Either urge is such a powerful siren song that it's
hard to make them pay attention and learn the 'dull' fundamentals that ensure
success in scoring and rebounding -- such things as pivoting, hand and arm
movement, and routes on plays." Wooden called the seductive draw of
things that recall the drama of performance too directly on intensely
"catnip," because they can drive participants to distraction.
While our instincts often tell us to recreate those situations to make practice
more useful, he tried to remove them during the learning process.
5 PRINCIPLES FOR SPEAKING
Economy of Langauge
Fewer words are usually stronger than more. Being chatty signals
nervousness and indecision while choosing words carefully shows preparedness
and clarity of pupose.
Do Not Talk Over
Make a habit of showing that your words matter by waiting until there is no
other talking before you begin. By ensuring that your voice doesn't
compete for attention, you domeonstrate that the diecsion to listen isn't
Do Not Engage
Once you have set the topic of conversation, avoid engaging in other topics
until you have satisfactorily resolved the topic you initiated.
Stand Up/Stand Still
In every comment you make,you speak nonverbally as well as with words.
Your body can show that you expect people to follow your request. When
you want to express the seriousness of your directions, turn with two feet and
two shoulders face the object of your words directionly. Make sure your
eye contact is direct. Stand up and straight or lean in close (this shows
your level of control by deomonstrating that you are not she or afraid; you
don't crouch down to a dog you fear will bite you). If the student to
whom you are speaking is distant, move towards him
When you get nervous, when you are worried that studetns might not follow your
directions, when you sense that your control may be slipping away, your first
instinct is often to talk louder and faster. When you get loud and talk
fast, you show that you are nervous, scared, out of control. Though it
runs against all your instincts, get slower and quieter when you want
control. Drop you voice. Make students strain to listen.
Exude poise and calm.
A bonus blog post from Practice Perfect on positive framing.