Vacation’s Over, Catching Up on Reading

vacation's overVacation’s over. I’ve been on vacation for the past week which means I’ve been reading and watching quite a bit, but not writing, blogging or tweeting. I know I’ve missed some interesting stuff, but I’ve also had a chance to read some books and catch up on articles and magazines I’ve been putting aside.

Back to work I go.

Coaching Book :

In honor of March Madness I read John Feinstein’s book The Legend’s Club

In the past, I have read and enjoyed other Feinstein books including A Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled

vacation's overBeach Read:

Keeping up with the times I read a true beach read, Tom Clancy’s True Faith and Allegiance

March Madness

IU Fans  (The Assembly Call)

Wisconsin v Villanova (ESPN)

Northwestern (LA Times)

Michigan Gets Perspective (Courier-Journal)

Largest Comeback in Tournament History (The Daily Pennsylvanian)


Blatter and Platini (AP)

Pep Comments on John Stones (Independent)

Beyond Sports

How to Prepare for a Pandemic (NPR)

Neuromyths of Learning Styles  (Guardian)

Exercise for the Brain (NYT)

America’s Top Students are Immigrants (Money)

The organization found that 33 of the 40 finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search–the leading science competition for U.S. high school students, run by the Society for Science & the Public and now known as the Regeneron Science Talent Search–were the children of immigrants. Specifically, 30 out of the 40 finalists had parents who worked in America on H-1B visas, the option that is no longer available for expedited processing due to a recent policy change from the Trump administration.

Vacation’s Over

Sunday Links: “Let Me Convince You To Save More Money”

Time to spring forward today with our Sunday Links. I’m including some links on investing and the need to save more money, as well as my traditional coaching links.  Not everybody enjoys these topics, but a little time, energy and focus early can save a lot of time and worry later when it comes to financial independence.

Save More Money

But first the coaching links, beginning with a New Yorker article whose idea I return to often…

Does a Coach Need a Coach?

*Personal Best: Top Athletes and Singers Have Coaches, Should You? (New Yorker)

The concept of a coach is slippery. Coaches are not teachers, but they teach. They’re not your boss—in professional tennis, golf, and skating, the athlete hires and fires the coach—but they can be bossy. They don’t even have to be good at the sport. The famous Olympic gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi couldn’t do a split if his life depended on it. Mainly, they observe, they judge, and they guide.

*Joystick Coaching (Noall Sport)

To conclude, although I think that joystick coaching has it’s uses I think coaches should really invest more time in delivering problem-solving learning situations during their sessions as much as possible. By focusing on the way in which your players look at problems and solve them with minimal help, you will receive incredible amounts of wealth (goals, higher performance, motivation, happiness and self worth for example) from your players.

*We’re Going Down a Bad Path (Coaching Search)

*Putting the Players First (Player Development project)

*Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect (Slate)

save more money

*Mourinho on Chelsea  (ESPN)

Save More Money:

save more money*How a Little Bit of Retirement Planning Goes a Long Way

*Mark Cuban Talks to Young Investors (A Wealth of Common Sense)

*Let Me Convince You To Save Money (The Collaborative Fund)

So people’s ability to accumulate a meaningful amount of savings is more in their control than they might think. If you view saving more as something that requires a big (or higher) income, it can seem out of reach. In fact, it does for many people because their expenses grow as fast (or faster) as their income. But if you view saving as changing your perspective on how much you need to spend in a way that also lowers the amount of savings you need to become meaningful, it’s more in your control.

Our World

*Why We Believe Obvious Untruths (New York Times)

Knowledge isn’t in my head or in your head. It’s shared.

*Why Did Life Move to Land? (Quanta)

*When Evidence Says No, But Doctor Says Yes  (ProPublica)

*Spring Came Early (New York Times)

Have you read?

Paint a Picture When Communicating With Your Staff

I have always been very clear that a coach needs to paint a picture when communicating with athletes. Don’t just say a word like hustle or a phrase like change your pace, but paint a picture of what that looks like. Use names. Add context on the field. Otherwise each athlete on your team will use his picture or her definition and you will lack the organization and cohesion that you are after.

paint a picture when communicatingToday I read a blog post that reminded me we each should be as attentive to language with staff.

Marcus Walfridsen writing at his own website has a nice reminder up.

Now, imagine that you are part of a coaching staff and your head coach talk to you in general non-contextual terms, saying for example ”be sharp in your coaching today” in the staff meeting before the training session. What does that mean? How will you be able to deliver a high-quality training session when you do not know what the head coach wants? This problem is only made worse by the difference in coach education between countries and the terminology that can differ even between coach educators in the same federation. The consequence is that when you have received your coaching license and arrive at the staff meeting you have the same amount of different interpretations of the same word as there are coaches in the room.

Of course we each “know” this, but have you been as diligent with staff as you are with your team?

Each miscommunication or failure to be on the same page is confusing for everybody, the head coach, the staff and the players.

Walfridsen even suggests we go over important common language with our staff on a regular basis.

These guidelines can be things as making sure everyone speaks action language, only use terminology that has already been explained and understood by everyone, and most importantly say what you really mean all the time. Make sure to repeat this process a number of times during the season to keep everyone  of your coaches on the same page.

This is an excellent suggestion and one I intend to incorporate systematically into our process.

Pete Carrill, Legendary Princeton Basketball Coach

The Smart Take From the Strong

Pete Carrill, legendary Princeton basketball coach, wrote one of my favorite coaching books.  The name of the book is The Smart Take from the Strong is a play on the quote “The strong take from the weak, but the smart take from the strong.”

When I was a young coach working at a very academic school, I read it multiple times. (The other book I read often during this time was My Life on a Napkin by Rick Majerus)

Pete Carrill, legendary princeton basketball coach Continue reading “Pete Carrill, Legendary Princeton Basketball Coach”

Sugar, Sugar, ah Honey, Honey

Sugar, sugar…ah honey, honey…did you know the song was first offered to the Archies (as in the comic strip) and not the Monkeys? I just learned that and that it reached number 1 on the charts.

sugar sugarAnyway, back to sugar. I’m trying to quit it and all its many forms and I’m finding it super hard even though I would not have identified myself as much of a dessert or sweet eater.

Why quit?

Continue reading “Sugar, Sugar, ah Honey, Honey”

Fitbit May Not Help You Lose Weight. So What?

There was a new study out recently that said wearable devices like the fitbit may not help you lose weight.

The results for “the idea trial” were released and showed that adults who were tracked for a year and a half lost more weight with diet changes alone than did those who also wore a fitbit. In addition, those with the fitbits were no more active, nor were they fitter than the others.

Yikes. That doesn’t sound good.

To this I say, who cares? I still love my fitbit. Why? Well probably cognitive dissonance to be honest.

But, I also think it may be a few other factors.

Continue reading “Fitbit May Not Help You Lose Weight. So What?”

Develop the Person, Develop the Player

"Educate the educators"

I recommend you read this editorial by Mark O’Sullivan in The Irish Times about the role the youth coach plays in developing both the person and the player.

The club has a part to play in the child’s broader education; the values, attitudes and behaviour that are cultivated through sport can be positive influences over the course of an entire life-time and if they like playing the game then that should be encouraged too. But it is vital to get the balance right and with this in mind we need to pay more attention to educating the educators.

The role of the youth coach is a more challenging concept than ever. They play a key role in developing and motivating the children they come into contact with. But there is an ever increasing obsession with identifying talent at an ever earlier stage, with many of the changes to children’s sport, however they might be presented in public, tied into these goals.

I’ve written about the tendency to try and identify the future professionals at too young an age and the need to let kids play more in our training sessions. I will continue to link to those who are offering compelling evidence and editorials on the topic.

Develop the person, develop the player.


develop the person, develop the player

Saturday Links: Practice is Everything–Every Day a Great Day

Great links this week beginning with Pete Carroll narrating a video from the Seattle Seahawks entitled Practice is Everything. He gives the different keys to running a great training session.

Practice is Everything

Practice is Everything*Practice is Everything Learning How the Seahawks Practices (Youtube)


Continue reading “Saturday Links: Practice is Everything–Every Day a Great Day”