Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wednesday Review: Creative Coaching

Ok, so I know it's Thursday, but yesterday was a very eventful day for me as my phone died (fell in hot tub), I was traveling back from Cincinnati all day, and my laptop is currently not working. So anyway, I basically had no way of writing in here until I got back into Boston last night at 11:45 when all I wanted to do is go to bed. However, I did read a good book and wanted to review it on here for all of you to hear about. The book is Creative Coaching, by Jerry Lynch.

Overall I think the book was great, probably because I love reading and learning about coaching. I think the book details some great examples of how to coach outside the box and do things for the betterment of the athletes you are working with. Most of the book presents coaching situations where expert level coaches were presented with a decision to make regarding their actions. A couple of scenarios are presented and the results examined. Topics of the book include promoting a positive athletic environment, developing character, and effective communication. I think the section that impacted me most was the chapter on mental skills and mental strength. This is on aspect of coaching that I believe is often overlooked and underdeveloped, certainly soemthing I can work on more as a developing coach. Lastly, it was a great book to see how expert level coaches (Phil Jackson, Dean Smith, Bill Walsh to name a few) react in all situtations.

I think some areas where the book struggles is that most of the concepts are very basic level aspects of coaching. In addition, as with most of the coaching content out there, the evidence presented is only anecdotal in nature. Since much of the effects we see from our coaching are hard to measure, it is also hard to present concrete evidence of these effects. This can very very dangerous in the field of coach education because what someone reads in a book like this and hears Phil Jackson did something with the Chicago Bulls (NBA) and trys to implement that strategy with the local high school basketball team, it may or may not work. The take home message here is to coach within your strengths and your individual philosophy rather than solely taking the methods of those who have been successful around you. Take concepts you see presented and make them work for your system.

Check this book out it is a quick read and short in length, but with great content. The information you receive for the time it takes to read is definitely worthhile.

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