Bless You, Mildred and Frank Gandola
I just called a young man by the name of Ken Gandola who played for me from 1966-1970. His mother, Mildred (94), just passed away. We reflected on the good old days and how much I loved and respected Mildred and her husband Frank and how they had reciprocated that love over the years. Frank and Mildred cared very deeply about their son Ken, but they also believed in the young coach to whom they had entrusted their son.
Sometimes we get in a hurry; we let a practice, a game, a season slip by far too quickly. I was always in a hurry. I thought I needed a quick fix or a new play, but Mildred and Frank taught me it is the caring and the sharing that makes all the coaching hassles worthwhile.
When Frank died a number of years ago Ken called and said, “One of your great friends has just passed away. He loved you.” When I spoke with Ken today, he said, “Mom loved you, coach.” I am grateful to be called coach. It has taken me a long time to slow down and I want to say a prayer and a thank you to Mildred and Frank for believing in me. I am blessed that they called me coach. I am blessed indeed.
How quickly the summer flies. Now that my Nike summer travels are over, the real head coach and I are busy getting The Golden Whistle ready for publication.
Also, we’re excited to announce that our very first virtual master class is coming soon. Quick hitters is the topic and I will be showing you ways to turn them into gems that will really work for your team. Make a Quick Click here to get advance notice as soon as all details are published.
The Olympics have really pointed up to me that nothing comes easily and that trying to take shortcuts will not work. The stories of the competing athletes (as well as those who didn’t make the Olympic teams) show that the only path to their awesome performances is one that is long, unswervingly committed and filled with challenge.
Although Team USA came together rather quickly, that is only because of the unbelievable amount of time and dedication that each player and coach has put into the game throughout their careers. Coaches and players who are looking for the easy way or the quick fix to solve their problems had better look again.
Wooden’s 10 Ways to Be a Better Coach
Improve yourself so you can help others improve.
Effective teaching is the key to being an effective coach. Here are John Wooden’s 10 characteristics of a good teacher- coach. But remember, this process cannot be sped up. It takes time to get to be one of the best coaches ever!
- Knowledge of your subject. You must continue to learn. You must learn time management skills.
- General knowledge. Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you will die tomorrow . Study psychology. Be a reader and formulate your own philosophy.
- Teaching skills. Listen and lift. The best teachers learn from their players.
- Professional attitude. Learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Handle conflict with a an open mind, calmness and reason. Coach K is great at this.
- Discipline. Never discipline with negative emotion. The purpose of discipline is to teach, not to punish.
- Floor (classroom) organization. You must be prepared. This takes hard work and careful planning.
- School and community relations. The happiest moments in life come from making someone else happy. Volunteer to help others.
- Coach-player (teacher-student) relationship. Players need examples more than criticism. Set a good example. Be reasonable. Listen.
- Warm personality and genuine consideration for others. Be more concerned with loving than being loved.
- Always desire to improve. When success turns your head you face failure.
Quote of the Week
A good coach maintains a sense of calm in the midst of chaos and creates chaos in the calm moments. He must know when to change and when to adjust to change that has already happened.
Be careful that the ground you stand on today is not quicksand. “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)
Time is Life
The insight: A player came in to my office needing to talk. I was really busy and hassled and brushed him off. He went back to his room, packed his bags and went home. That was twenty years ago and I’m still filled with regret. Oh, how I wish that I had taken the time to talk to that player.
The pep talk: Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. Be quick to find time for those people in need of your help.