“ If you know your history, Then you would know where you coming from,” Bob Marley Teachers teach lessons and prepare students to solve problems on their own; conductors, as best I can tell, control the every movement of an orchestra. Basketball coaches constantly argue they are teachers because they use the basketball court as a classroom.
We all too often forget that as coaches we are teachers and educators. In business, my JOB is marketing. What I am marketing is a gymnastics club. In the gym, my JOB is to teach and educate. What I am teaching is gymnastics. We really have more in common with the college professor than the head coach of a football team.
We have all had coaches/teachers who we have respected as well as those who have scared us. WHICH ARE YOU?
produce competitive athletes, promote positive growth in your charges and make the overall experience fun and rewarding.
One thing I believe most coaches have in common are that we all aspire to be better coaches than we were gymnasts and be better coaches than what we had. We have to learn from our mistakes as well as the mistakes our coaches made with us and our team-mates.
You may have TAUGHT thousands of handstand, but each year you work with kids teaching it to them for the FIRST time. You should still get excited by it. Think of the 1st grade teacher who taught you to read- If they can get excited about a student learning to read a basic sentence, SO CAN YOU
How I thought of this lecture. Going to a meet and getting our butts kicked by a team. One of my coaches said- “how can they beat us- they can hardly speak English”
Not only were they trained to become a master of sport (similar to a degree in Kinesiology (the science of human movement. It focuses on how the body functions and moves.) They then specialize in gymnastics technique, pass a course in spotting.All this is great but we believe that it is because they are ALL TRAINED AS TEACHERS. All the technical knowledge does not help if they do not have the tools to communicate. Not every coach in the US is a trained teacher and there are some teachers who would SUCK at coaching.
In the early 90’s Doc Massimo did a survey of all gymnasts at JO Nationals through Olympic games. The gymnasts were asked to list in order of importance what they want out of a coach as well as traits they didn’t like or that were not helpful. What is interesting about this is that is was a cross cultural and international survey. The results were solid with very a very small margin of error. They do not need (or want) you to be there friend.They want you to be consistent.
The first thing I noticed what was NOT on the list.
They need to trust you and believe that you will never hurt them. I have a rule, they can come to me with ANY problem, but I will give them an honest answer and they may not like it. You can not coach an athlete without knowing what is going on in their life. How long did it take you to learn this skill? If ever? How hard is it for them to motivate themselves to come in after a full day of school or come in before school? Are you making it worth while and fun?
Tell them what correction they are need to make without a lengthy speech. (THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS A FOREIGN COACH MAY DO WELL. Not only were they trained with this as educator. They are forced because of limited vocabulary to be efficient with their words.
Keep your corrections to a minimum- A GOOD gymnast will only be able to make 1 correction in a routine. A GREAT gymnast may possibly be able to make 2. If you give more, they probably won’t make ANY or each one a little.I have heard people give 5 corrections on a level 5 handspring vault. They may all be good corrections, but there is NO WAY the kids is going to make it.
When they make the correction, you need to praise them! They did what you want. then have them try to do the next correction. If you don’t praise them, they are not motivated to make the next correction.
Possibly the most painful kind of humor but children do not understand sarcasm as humor. I have said this before, it is written in every educational text book. Don’t do it.
All kids pay the same amount and should get the same amount of time. Some kids work harder than others and get more attention that way.Don’t coach over my shoulder- COACH ME when it is my turn. Not the kid on the next event. If you cheer for them when you are watching me it tells me that What I am doing doesn’t count.
If you say YES but are annoyed they will stop asking or be afraid. If you say NO and they understand why then they are involved. I told Melissa Doucette that she could NOT do a Yurchenko full alone while the coach from Maryland was there. She understood why. -Have a balanced sense of humor (not up and down). We all have bad days and come in the gym stressed. What was fun yesterday needs to be acceptable today. If you have big UP and DOWN then your athletes will always be confused.
It makes use human. If you screw up, Say your sorry and tell them what you will do to fix it. If you don’t have an answer, tell them that and find an answer.
If you make 1 person a good example, You will have the rest of your group trying to emulate them and attract your attention. If you yell at 1 person for a bad example, You will have the rest doing their best NOT to get noticed. Miranda, “Great body position! Nice straight legs” - look around and watch everyone else straighten up and point their toes their body language saying, “LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME.”If you yell, “Maddie, get your back on the floor, open your arm pits.”Look around and watch everyones body language say, “Please don’t look at me”
Those who achieve success are not those who never fail; they are those who learn from failure and move on.
Lets look at the simple act of walking. As a baby, your parents carried you. (Or in Kips case the aliens delivered him)How many times did you fall trying just to stand?How about walking?The more you fell, the better you go.Now how about a gymnastics skill?
Wake boarding- How many times you are expected to fall (fail) before you make it?
Coaches as Educators Tony Retrosi Lecture
COACHES AS EDUCATORS <ul><li>Tony Retrosi </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
What is your background? <ul><li>Former gymnast </li></ul><ul><li>teacher </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of formal training did you get? </li></ul>
MY JOB Here is a list of things I teach every day. <ul><li>Biomechanics </li></ul><ul><li>Sports Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Sociology </li></ul><ul><li>History (Hey Tony, Who was the first one to do this skill?) </li></ul><ul><li>Strength/ conditioning </li></ul>
<ul><li>Nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Physics </li></ul><ul><li>Electrical Engineering (No that vacuum will not work unless you plug it in!) </li></ul><ul><li>English </li></ul><ul><li>Hair Dresser </li></ul>
<ul><li>Foreign Languages (Tsukahara, Shoposhnikova, Gienger, Deltchev...) </li></ul><ul><li>Etiquette </li></ul><ul><li>Safety and Risk management </li></ul><ul><li>Plumbing (I’d rather not talk about it) </li></ul><ul><li>Resource management (no, you get 1/2 a block of chalk) </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental conservation and Recycling (Use the chalk that is all ready on the floor) </li></ul>
In the end- what we TEACH is way more than just gymnastics.. It is a metaphor for life
A few words of caution- If you feel you can: <ul><li>Harass </li></ul><ul><li>Demean </li></ul><ul><li>Isolate </li></ul><ul><li>Compare in a negative way </li></ul><ul><li>Put down </li></ul><ul><li>Intimidate </li></ul>
<ul><li>Make fearful in any way (being scared of YOU or another coach) </li></ul><ul><li>Call Name (wimp, slug) or other disrespectful language </li></ul><ul><li>Erode Self esteem </li></ul><ul><li>YOU ARE IN THE WRONG PROFESSION </li></ul>
YOU ARE CREATING THE FUTURE <ul><li>YOU ARE CREATING THOSE GOOD AND BAD HABITS. YOU ARE CREATING THE ATTITUDE </li></ul>
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL GYMNAST? <ul><li>COACHABLE </li></ul><ul><li>RELATIVELY FEAR FREE </li></ul><ul><li>RESPECTFUL </li></ul><ul><li>WORK ETHIC </li></ul><ul><li>GOOD TEAM MATES </li></ul>
Actions do speak louder than words. <ul><li>If you want your athletes to work hard- BE THE HARDEST WORKER. </li></ul><ul><li>If you want your athletes to work smart- SPEND SOMETIME ON YOUR EDUCATION </li></ul>
<ul><li>IF YOU WANT THEM TO BE “COACHABLE” SPEND SOME TIME (AND MONEY) ON YOUR EDUCATION. </li></ul><ul><li>IF YOU WANT THEM TO BE GOOD TEAM MATES AND RESPECTFUL - YOU MUST BE A GOOD TEAM MATE AND RESPECTFUL </li></ul>
What we all have in common <ul><li>1 YOU ARE INCREDIBLY HARD WORKERS </li></ul><ul><li>2 I APPRECIATE ALL THAT YOU DO. Your time and commitment toward excellence is what keeps ME going. </li></ul><ul><li>3 WE ALL STILL HAVE A LOT TO LEARN </li></ul>
Some Questions to Answer about Yourself <ul><li>How far did YOU go in gymnastics? </li></ul><ul><li>What skills are you teaching that you NEVER did? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have an appreciation for what you are teaching </li></ul><ul><li>How “good” was your competitive coach? </li></ul>
<ul><li>What would the gymnasts that YOU work with say that they wish you would do differently? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes YOU a “good” coach? </li></ul>
<ul><li>Do they work harder? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they have greater technical expertise? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they have a better system? </li></ul>Why are SO many foreign coaches so successful in the US despite language problems?
The BEST coaches in the US are GREAT teachers whether they are teaching gymnastics skills or math.
Survey Results <ul><li>Relate to athletes with warmth but not as a peer </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize unnecessary verbiage </li></ul><ul><li>NEVER use sarcasm </li></ul><ul><li>BE FAIR- with attention and time (don’t coach over my shoulder) </li></ul>
<ul><li>Don’t say it is good when it isn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Have a balanced sense of humor </li></ul><ul><li>Say “No” with out guilt and “Yes” without resentment </li></ul><ul><li>Be willing to say “I am sorry” and “I don’t know but I will find out” </li></ul><ul><li>PRAISE when they make a correction </li></ul>
-LISTEN. <ul><li>Listen to yourself coach. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to your gymnasts. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to each other </li></ul><ul><li>and learn </li></ul>
SO YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL? <ul><li>You better learn to Fail </li></ul>
Failure is NOT an option. <ul><li>Failure is a prerequisite </li></ul>
Failure <ul><li>failure | ˈ f ā lyər| noun </li></ul><ul><li>Failure (fail, phail or flop) in general refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective. It may be viewed as the opposite of success . </li></ul>
<ul><li>Pete Carroll was laughed out of Foxboro and the NFL before he became the most dominant coach in college football. </li></ul><ul><li>Donald Trump was seeking bankruptcy protection before he made his real estate fortune. </li></ul><ul><li>Terrin Humphry made the USA National Team for the first time 1 year before making an Olympic Team. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The fastest way to succeed, is to double your failure rate. </li></ul>Most people achieved their greatest success one step beyond what looked like their greatest failure.....
Tolerate Failure <ul><li>It is part of the learning process </li></ul><ul><li>If you make a correction you will probably mess something else up. THAT IS OK, I EXPECT IT. </li></ul><ul><li>Without being willing to fail, how can you succeed? </li></ul>
Insanity: <ul><li>Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. </li></ul><ul><li>Albert Einstein </li></ul>
In our sport change is necessary. <ul><li>otherwise we would still be tumbling on horse hair mats </li></ul><ul><li>The Beams would still be made of wood </li></ul><ul><li>Bars would be close enough to hit your hips on. </li></ul>