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Issue 250 - Don't Give the Team Too Much, But Teach Well

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5 Issue 250
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Coach Wooden wrote a textbook entitled Practical Modern Basketball. The book is 452 pages long. Coach Wooden’s book is one of the most extensive and detailed texts ever written regarding basketball; yet on the topic of important coaching methods, Coach Wooden says: Don't give them too much, but teach well.
We are sometimes given what may appear to be conflicting advice when it comes to proper coaching/teaching techniques. On one hand we're told to apply the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) and on the other hand we are reminded that success is only accomplished through the proper execution of many minor details.
As a master teacher, Coach Wooden was able to do both: keep it simple and teach the important details. Coach Wooden's comments on over coaching gives some important insight as to how he did this:
Over coaching can be more harmful then under coaching. I think the tendency is for inexperienced coaches to give too much. The younger coach sometimes is going to try to impress his youngsters with how much he knows. If you over coach you don't do many things well.
A great teacher must have extensive knowledge on their topic. From this catalog of knowledge, the teacher must select the most important items to teach each particular group of students and within those selected topics, teach the details.
A great teacher is clear, concise and compelling. He or she does not lecture on material unrelated to the subject being taught. Teachers sometimes do this unconsciously in an effort to impress the students with their general knowledge. It is confusing to the student.
The more you know the less you need to say. – Jim Rohn
Although he was teaching a team sport, Coach Wooden made extensive use of individual (one on one) coaching. This enabled him to fit the subject matter and teaching method to the individual needs of the student.
Here’s how Coach emphasized the importance of the coach being a teacher:
The coach must never forget that he or she is, first of all, a teacher. You must come (be present), see (diagnose), and conquer (correct). You must continually be exploring for ways to improve yourself in order that you may improve others, and welcome every person and everything that may be helpful to you. As has been said, you must remember, "Others, too, have brains."
Be a teacher. Follow the laws of learning--explanation and demonstration, imitation, criticism of the imitation, repetition until habit is formed.
The student will be better served if he or she is taught well on one topic than if they are poorly taught on many. Martial Arts legend Bruce Lee put it this way:
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
Are you teaching well?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




Watch Video

Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


Some Favorite Thoughts from Coach Wooden’s Library


 When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man the very angels leave heaven and go and sit in that house and sing for joy.


If you are devastated by sorrow, by disaster or calamity, get busy doing something. Keep your mind and your hands occupied. To do this will help you as nothing else will. I have tried it.

Dale Carnegie

If you have a worry problem, do these three things:

1. Ask yourself “What is the worst that can possibly happen?"
2. Prepare to accept it if you have to.
3. Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst.

Dale Carnegie.







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