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Issue 406 - You can't teach everything you know to everybody. (Roy Williams Part Eight)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 9 Issue 406
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



A great teacher/coach must have extensive knowledge and then use self-control to teach that knowledge in small increments that team members can absorb, collaborate with and act on. "The first test of teaching is application."
Hall of Fame North Carolina Coach Roy Williams, in his book with Tim Crothers, Hard Work, described how he applies this principle in his pre practice huddles:
"Our 'Thought for the Day' is a concept I learned from Coach Smith. I have a file of over 1,000 inspirational phrases that I've collected from airline in-flight magazines, NBA scouts, PGA golfers, and lots of fans who have sent them to me in the mail: See the rocks in your path not as obstacles, but as opportunities to climb higher or If you want to leave footprints in the sands of time — you better wear work shoes. On the first day of preseason practice, the Thought for the Day is always the same: It's amazing how much can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit.
Sometimes I'll spend 20 minutes before a practice picking the thought that I believe best pertains to the mindset of my team at that moment. Then during the first huddle of practice every day we spend a few minutes talking about it. We'll read the thought and then I'll ask the players, "How does that relate to basketball?" And then I'll ask them, "Okay now, how does that relate to life?""
The method Coach Williams uses with his Thought for the Day is more effective than just posting the thought on a bulletin board because by having his players read the thought and then asking them, "How does that relate to basketball?" and "Okay now, how does that relate to life?" he gets them to collaborate and then act on the idea.
Coach Williams described how he uses the same type of approach in his pre-game talk:
"When all the players are dressed and seated, I go in. I've seen NBA teams write 40 things up on the board before a game. I'll write down no more than three because that's all I think my players can absorb. I might write, five guys run both ways as fast as you can, or be strong with the ball, nothing casual, or the team that wins the battle of the boards wins the game.
After that meeting, the players go out to the court for warm-ups and I meet them back in the locker room seven minutes before the game starts. I'll cover my three points of emphasis again and then we come together, kneel on the floor, put our hands together, and I say the Lord's Prayer. I always add three words at the end. I say, "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Together please, Lord. Amen." Then I tell them, "Play hard, play smart, play together," and I send them out for a final warm-up."
Coach Williams is "Clear, Concise and Compelling." Are you?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



The Contented Man

I'VE had a heap of fun and I've had a heap of sorrow,
I've had a heap of pleasure and I've had a heap of pain,
But I 'm treading just as gayly, just as bravely toward tomorrow,
And I 'm looking for the sunshine, but I 'm ready for the rain.
Always hoping for the best,
For the peace and perfect rest,
Always hoping for the sunshine and the roses dripping dew;
But should gloom and sadness come,
They will find me never glum,
I will greet old grim misfortune with a cheery howdy-do.

I've had a heap of laughing and I've had a heap of sighing,
I've had a heap of sadness and I've had a heap of mirth;
And I've come to the conclusion that in spite of all our trying,
We are bound to meet some sorrow as we journey on the earth.
For the best I 'm always praying,
But life isn't always playing,
And whatever is my fortune, be it good or dismal quite,
I will try to take it bravely,
And to view my duty gravely,
Still believing that what happens is inevitably right.

I've had a heap of winning and I've had a heap of failing,
I've had my share of praises and I've had my share of blame,
And I've come to the conclusion that life's sea on which we 're sailing
Is made up very justly of proportions of the same.
For the calm and pleasant weather
I am thankful altogether,
And I 'm hopeful, ever hopeful, that no more storm-tossed I'll be;
But should storm clouds quickly lower,
I will neither shrink nor cower,
But I'll face the gale serenely and I'll try to ride the sea.

O, I've known a lot of people, and I've heard of many others,
But I never knew or heard of one who hadn't tasted woe;
All the fathers here and brothers here, the sisters and the mothers,
Must meet with disappointments and with sorrows as they go.
Not a one that Fate has missed,
Or a sunbeam left unkissed,
Each has tasted pain and pleasure, each has suffered good and wrong;
So, while hoping for the best,
I am ready for the test,
I will face whate'er is sent me, and I'll sing my way along.

Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)






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