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Issue 658 - "Overcoaching" (Bill Belichick and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 13 Issue 658
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


Coach Wooden’s textbook, Practical Modern Basketball, is 452 pages long, yet on the topic of important coaching methods, Coach says: Don't give them too much, but teach well.
To combine the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) and achieve the proper execution of many minor details the teacher must select, from their extensive knowledge, the most important items to teach each group of students and within those selected topics, teach the details.
Coach Wooden's comments on over coaching gives some important insight as to how he did this:
Over coaching can be more harmful than under coaching. I think the tendency is for inexperienced coaches to give too much. The younger coach sometimes tries to impress his youngsters with how much he knows. If you over coach you don't do many things well."
Pro Football’s greatest and perhaps most knowledgeable coach, Bill Belichick, put it this way:
"We try to tell the players exactly what we want them to do. Not 800 things to remember. But these are four things you need to do—'this is how we're going to approach this mini-camp; this is how we're going to approach today's practice. When you call the team up at the end of the day or at night, you can say 'here are the four things we talked about in the morning and let's grade that. Let's see where we are today.
That's also for when we go to a game-plan situation as well. So, whoever our next opponent is, the first thing I'll do when I bring the team in is tell them 'Look, these are the four things we have to do to win this game."
When you give people too much information you may confuse them and hurt their ability to execute properly. As John Wooden said: “If you have to think about it, it’s too late."
Are you over coaching?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



At Dawn

They come to my room at the break of the day,
With their faces all smiles and their minds full of play;
They come on their tip-toes and silently creep
To the edge of the bed where I'm lying asleep,
And then at a signal, on which they agree,
With a shout of delight they jump right onto me.

They lift up my eyelids and tickle my nose,
And scratch at my cheeks with their little pink toes;
And sometimes to give them a laugh and a scare
I snap and I growl like a cinnamon bear;
Then over I roll, and with three kids astride
I gallop away on their feather-bed ride.

I've thought it all over. Man's biggest mistake
Is in wanting to sleep when his babes are awake;
When they come to his room for that first bit of fun
He should make up his mind that his sleeping is done;
He should share in the laughter they bring to his side
And start off the day with that feather-bed ride.

Oh they're fun at their breakfast and fun at their lunch;
Any hour of the day they're a glorious bunch!
When they're togged up for Sundays they're certainly fine,
And I'm glad in my heart I can call them all mine,
But I think that the time that I like them the best
Is that hour in the morning before they are dressed.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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