In my research for What Teachers Can Learn from Sports Coaches, I had the opportunity to interview numerous high-profile, highly successful coaches at the high school, NCAA and Olympic levels. As I began getting feedback on the book from educators, I realized there were plenty of school leaders with wisdom to contribute on this topic. Inspired to seek more expert advice on the topic, I asked a number of former coaches who now serve in school leadership positions to weigh in on the following question: What lesson or principle about teaching that you learned while coaching do you most frequently emphasize with your teachers?
If the wisdom below strikes a chord with you, be sure to reach out to the individuals and let them know. I'd also to encourage you to build your PLN by following them on Twitter.
What lesson or principle about teaching that you learned while coaching do you most frequently emphasize with your teachers?
Brett Howard @brethoward33
If you are average, you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top. Who wants to be average?
Mike Zavada @mikezavada
You have to be persistent and positive in your language. Best teachers and coaches will have students who are able to repeat back language used to describe certain skills 20 years later. These catch phrases repeated over and over ingrain a mental picture of the outcome expected. This is an essential teaching/coaching skill. Also, the more consistent you are, the better teacher or coach you will be.
Jon Bosworth @bosworth.jb
Organization and communication need to happen first.
Lucas Leavitt @Lucas_Leavitt
The importance of explicit instruction and repeated practice is vital. As a tennis coach, initial explicit instruction is mandatory to be able to help players learn the correct mechanics of each stroke. Without repeated practice, the muscle memory will not be able to take place and these strokes will not become second nature to the players. This is exactly the same in teaching. Teachers must be taught explicitly how to use specific strategies or methodologies and then need to be provided opportunities for repeated practice where corrective feedback can be given.
Michael McDonough @msquaredbhs
I learned that fair doesn't mean equal. John Wooden wrote about that. If you are working with a student or having to discipline then you should have a fair reaction. It doesn't mean that it's equal to another person who may have done the same (or similar) action. A coach handles different players differently, motivates differently, yet is fair.