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Issue 570 - "Resolve Problems Quickly" (Del Harris Part Twelve)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11 Issue 570
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



In September of 2022, legendary coach Del Harris was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Over sixty years, Coach Harris has displayed excellence at every level, first as a player, then as a High School, College, NBA, and International Coach.
Coach Harris and Coach Wooden both believed it was important to: "Resolve Problems Quickly." In his excellent book, On Point: Four Steps To Better Life Teams, Coach Harris does a wonderful job of discussing this topic:
"The team builder will be dedicated to becoming a quick problem solver. In doing so, the elements of concern for others and the ability to communicate effectively again become big factors. Do not let problems turn into disasters.
Teams that are known to have good chemistry are ones that settle conflicts quickly. Especially when a situation requires a stern reprimand, it is best not to have too much carryover time before resolving the conflict. When you wait to resolve a problem, you extend and magnify it. Unresolved issues that carry on for days are destructive.
On the other hand, being patient to avoid overreacting is an important attribute to cultivate as well. One of the best bits of advice I received in all my years of coaching came from my first general manager, the late Ray Patterson of the Houston Rockets. He was a masterful GM, who engineered championships with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Rockets. During my first year as a head NBA coach, he gave me this simple admonition: "Remember this. Whatever happens, don’t overreact." When I follow that counsel, it pays off. When I do not follow that advice, I am the one who generally pays."
In his book with Steve Jamison, My Personal Best, Coach Wooden described his method of resolving problems: "When discipline was required, I tried to dole it out in a manner that was firm but fair, with no emotionalism or anger attached. Anger prevents proper thinking and makes you vulnerable."
Former assistant coach Eddie Powell said that Coach Wooden’s discipline was:
"Immediate and fair, and he never wanted to bruise the dignity of the person who was being disciplined. In that regard, Coach Wooden preferred to discipline in private and reward in public."
After disciplining a player, Coach Wooden moved on by not mentioning the incident again.
Do you bring up past mistakes when trying to influence someone's future behavior? Is that a good idea?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




Watch Video

Application Exercise



The Beauty Places

Here she walked and romped about,
And here beneath this apple tree
Where all the grass is trampled out
The swing she loved so used to be.
This path is but a path to you,
Because my child you never knew.

'Twas here she used to stoop to smell
The first bright daffodil of spring;
'Twas here she often tripped and fell
And here she heard the robins sing.
You'd call this but a common place,
But you have never seen her face.

And it was here we used to meet.
How beautiful a spot is this,
To which she gayly raced to greet
Her daddy with his evening kiss!
You see here nothing grand or fine,
But, Oh, what memories are mine!

The people pass from day to day
And never turn their heads to see
The many charms along the way
That mean so very much to me.
For all things here are speaking of
The babe that once was mine to love.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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