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Issue 438 - "Preparing Players to Coach" (Anson Dorrance Part Seven)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 438
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



As the Woman's Soccer Coach at the University of North Carolina, Anson Dorrance's teams have won 22 National Championships In 42 years. In addition to winning championships, Coach Dorrance has had a knack for developing players to become coaches.
Four of his former players (Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, UCF; Janet Rayfield, Illinois; Lori Walker-Hock, Ohio State; Angela Kelly, Texas) are among the most successful NCAA Soccer Coaches today. There are numerous others who are assistant coaches and High School coaches. His method for preparing players to become coaches could be effectively applied by businesses to prepare employees to be future managers.
In his fantastic 1996 book, Training Soccer Champions, with Tim Nash, Coach Dorrance discussed how he applies the Socratic method of teaching (asking and answering questions to draw out ideas) to engage his players and prepare them for the future:
"We use the Socratic method constantly in our teaching. There's a wonderful kind of social pressure in the Socratic method that is very effective. No one wants to be humiliated. So, when you ask a question to the team, the Socratic method, if used correctly, involves everyone, not just the one person answering the question. You don't say, "Debbie, what about the balancing forward? Where should she position herself?" When you say that, everyone in the room falls asleep except Debbie. They are not involved in answering the question, so they stop listening.
But if you say, "What is the position of the balancing forward in this situation ... Debbie?" You pause between the question and who you assign to answer it so everyone feels they might be called. Now, everyone in the room has answered the question in their minds because they're afraid you're going to ask them. Everyone must answer every question you ask before you assign it to someone. It's wonderful.
All our players come here without too much of an understanding of our system. A lot of players come in as wonderful players with unbelievable talent, but they certainly don't understand how to express what they know. A lot of great players don't really understand how to verbally express the timing of their run, even though they understand how to perform it.
Here, they learn how to express it. We are going to ask them, and they are going to have to tell us back. All the players that have been trained in my system can express everything verbally because they are asked to do it all the time.
I think that is one reason we have been successful in placing so many young women in the coaching profession. They are very confident when they get out in front of a group. I tell them they are going to be amazed at how much they know and how clearly they can express it. In four years, all our players are basically ready to coach because they not only understand the game, they understand how to verbally explain the game."
Can your team members explain your system?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



People Like Him

People liked him, not because
He was rich or known to fame;
He had never won applause
As a star in any game.
His was not a brilliant style,
His was not a forceful way,
But he had a gentle smile

And a kindly word to say.
Never arrogant or proud,
On he went with manner mild;
Never quarrelsome or loud,
Just as simple as a child;
Honest, patient, brave and true:
Thus he lived from day to day,
Doing what he found to do

In a cheerful sort of way.
Wasn't one to boast of gold
Or belittle it with sneers,
Didn't change from hot to cold,
Kept his friends throughout the years,
Sort of man you like to meet
Any time or any place.
There was always something sweet

And refreshing in his face.
Sort of man you'd like to be:
Balanced well and truly square;
Patient in adversity,
Generous when his skies were fair.
Never lied to friend or foe,
Never rash in word or deed,
Quick to come and slow to go
In a neighbor's time of need.

Never rose to wealth or fame,
Simply lived, and simply died,
But the passing of his name
Left a sorrow, far and wide.
Not for glory he'd attained,
Nor for what he had of pelf,
Were the friends that he had gained,
But for what he was himself.

Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)






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