Thursday, August 29, 2013


What is the purpose of coaching?  To expand that a bit, what is the purpose of teaching?  Or one of the purposes?  If you eliminate from consideration the mission to impart information, then what is left?

This question probably applies most to coaching -- or at least is easiest to see when we look at sporting events.  Picture the coach of a little league team.  Is he teaching them how to play?  Do they learn the rules and strategies of the game?  I hope so.  But what else?

What do we learn from the people who teach us?

When the coach is screaming at the child (or the teenager), what is he teaching (masculine pronoun only for convenience)?   If the only goal is to win, then what is the lesson?

If the teacher is telling the students, "You need to know this for the test," then what is the lesson?

I was at Rotary a couple of weeks ago.  The guest speaker was Ron Sowell, who is a musician in West Virginia and is part of Mountain State.   During the meeting he sang several songs, including one called I Thought his Name was Coach  Go here to watch the song.   Part of the lyrics are:
He taught me how to hit a curve ball
How to turn a double play
How to win with style and how to lose with grace.
Stand out on the dugout steps and whistle...
Atta boy Redhead
Way to go.
That's a great mission statement for all of us who teach.  Teach the basics, model grace and deliver affirmation.



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