Technology Education Design posted some very important clips this month, which I feel every leader growing our sport must view, to be both a better teacher, and to give you more energy to do the wonderful things each of you are doing in that task. Three different areas, all vitally important areas of knowledge each of us should know.

The Importance of PLAY

Some of you know well how strongly I feel about the game teaching the game. In my recent trip to Iowa to do a coaching clinic along with Mary Wise of Florida and other great teachers of the game,  one of the things I felt that got the hundreds of coaches to really start thinking about their role was taking them back to when they learned to ride a bike. My questions for them, and you reading this, are simple - How did you learn to ride that complex contraption? This is a skill being acquired that could kill you (unlike volleyball) and which over the years hundreds of thousands - perhaps millions in total --  of children get injured from just abrasions to serious head injuries. So, tell me, did your folks hire a bike riding coach for this process? Did they put you through bike riding drills? Did they send you to bike riding camp?  .... The almost universal answer is nope...yet you learned to ride a bike so well, you can not ride for years, and then just get back on and ride as if you had not stopped riding.

Several years back I spent time working with the National Institute for Play, and have been advising the Coaching School founder Gary Avicious who brings together a group who understand the importance of play in every child's life. You can see what Gary has been creating. Stuart Brown, who also advises Gary, is the CEO of the National Institute for Play, and TED just posted a speech he gave last year on play being vital, not just fun. It will give you a chance to "meet" Stuart and learn of the research that he has been doing over the decades. 

Wooden Wisdom

Anyone who has visited my office, has likely seen the huge signed poster of John Wooden's Pyramid of Success, the dozen or so books by Coach Wooden or about him on my library shelves, and even the statuette on my desk of him holding a rolled newspaper. Coach Wooden has been a part of the USA Men's team successes over the years, as Marv Dunphy did his PHd thesis on the man. When I was writing the first IMPACT Manual in 1988, I asked Marv to share 25 words or less that he learned from doing his thesis on Coach Wooden, having been gifted hours and hours of one on one interview/Q&A time with John in the process of crafting his tome.  Marv told me he did not need 25 words, he just needed two. BE CONSISTENT. That was what he learned most of all from studying Coach Wooden, the importance of always being consistent for players and for all in the program.   New coaches in our sport may not know of Coach Wooden's incredible teaching skills, but this new TED posting will give you a chance to hear and see this legendary coach's thoughts on success.

Passion and Shining Eyes

Andy Pai, our hard working CAP staffer down the hall, has been meandering through TED as well, and this week re-introduced me to yet another great clip, on growing music - with parallel worlds to what we do as coaches and work together to grow our sport.  The characteristics of the leader you represent for our sport in presenting your dreams and expectations...Zander has so much charisma and energy is it empowering to just watch and learn from him.  Ask yourself, who am I being if my players' eyes are not shining - for a conductor does not make a sound and yet creates such power and beauty...

Three homeruns on TED, that I hope you all watch, as you will see three gifted teachers sharing their knowledge in stories and ways that will help you be a better coach. Previous blogs note the value of meandering through TED, to see Sir Kenneth Robinson on how creativity is diminished, and other Wooden speeches and much more.  To each of you reading this, thanks for coaching, and let us know your thoughts on these when you feel so inspired.