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Issue 444 - "Who's in your audience?" (Anson Dorrance Part Thirteen)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10 Issue 444
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login

 

"WHO'S IN YOUR AUDIENCE?" (ANSON DORRANCE PART THIRTEEN)

 
 
Sometimes when two people have a conversation, the person doing most of the listening takes away something completely different than the person doing most of the talking intended. This situation also occurs in a group setting because different people in the same audience may take away different ideas from the same presentation which may or may not be what the presenter intended.
 
As the Woman's Soccer Coach at the University of North Carolina, Anson Dorrance's teams have won 22 National Championships. Coach Dorrance coached the Women's Soccer team at UNC for 33 years and the men's team for 13 years. In his fantastic book, Training Soccer Champions, with Tim Nash, Coach Dorrance gave an example of the way different audiences respond differently to the same content.
 
"You don't need to show a videotape to a women's team to critique them. If you are in front of a group of men giving them general criticisms of a game, a videotape is crucial. If you are saying there was not enough defensive pressure in the game, every male in the room is think¬ing, "Yeah I was the only one working out there. The rest of you were useless." In his mind, he immediately blames everyone else for the lack of defensive pressure.
 
If you made that general criticism to a women's team, and said, "This is garbage. Our defensive pressure was terrible." Every woman in the room would think, "He's talking about me."
 
I find it interesting that a male will look at the video and see everyone making mistakes, including himself, and start to blame everyone else for his inability. But a woman will see herself and take full responsibility for that problem emotionally. With women, a video is more effectively used to show that they can play well and to show the positive aspects of the performance.
 
Not that you can never show negative aspects of a performance to a women's team, but seeing their mistake on tape does not really help them. If you tell them they made a mistake, they'll believe you.
 
I do not want to pretend that men do not respond to positive things, but you must have a balance of showing the positive and the neg¬ative. Coaches tend to only stop practice during an entirely negative environment to point out and correct mistakes. Yet one of the best times to stop a training session is during or right after a brilliant series of performances to confirm exactly what you want."
 
Who's in your audience?
 
 
 

Yours in Coaching,
 
 
Craig Impelman
 
 
 
 


 

 

 

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Application Exercise

COACH'S FAVORITE POETRY AND PROSE

 

The Scoffer

If I had lived in Franklin's time I'm most afraid that I,
Beholding him out in the rain, a kite about to fly,
And noticing upon its tail the barn door's rusty key,
Would, with the scoffers on the street, have chortled in my glee;
And with a sneer upon my lips I would have said of Ben,
'His belfry must be full of bats. He's raving, boys, again!'

I'm glad I didn't live on earth when Fulton had his dream,
And told his neighbors marvelous tales of what he'd do with steam,
For I'm not sure I'd not have been a member of the throng
That couldn't see how paddle-wheels could shove a boat along.
At 'Fulton's Folly' I'd have sneered, as thousands did back then,
And called the Clermont's architect the craziest of men.

Yet Franklin gave us wonders great and Fulton did the same,
And many 'boobs' have left behind an everlasting fame.
And dead are all their scoffers now and all their sneers forgot
And scarce a nickel's worth of good was brought here by the lot.
I shudder when I stop to think, had I been living then,
I might have been a scoffer, too, and jeered at Bob and Ben.

I am afraid to-day to sneer at any fellow's dream.
Time was I thought men couldn't fly or sail beneath the stream.
I never call a man a boob who toils throughout the night
On visions that I cannot see, because he may be right.
I always think of Franklin's trick, which brought the jeers of men.
And to myself I say, 'Who knows but here's another Ben?'

Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)

 

 

 

 

 

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