GROW THE GAME CONTEST #1 (Ended 01/05/15)







Answer with ONE SENTENCE ONLY, long or short. 

Here is the Question:  WHAT MAKES A GREAT COACH?

The Winner is: Wait, not so fast my friends: There were many that we liked. So here is the “honorable Mention” list: Alan B. Miranda Jon Maxwell Leah McCleery Shrinivas Reid Perry Brody Jimerson Connor Bell – It was not an actual sentence, but we like the concept of “Less yelling at games”. Eric A. Wendt Sr. Hugh Barber David Miller The final 3 were: Kevin Henry Thomas Rea Matt Ellinghaus I had to pick one. Matt, I loved it, but the grammar, not so much. The winner is Thomas Rea. Thomas, your sentence was impeccable as were your thoughts. You didn’t mention team, but then neither did I… Thomas Rea - A great coach is one who understands the individuality of each player and combines those characteristics in order to form the best environment for players to thrive within. KEEP IT SIMPLE for I am STUPID – KISS Contest rules state (or they soon will) that Indeed it is okay to make THE sentence long or short. I tried not to be prejudicial in any way about that. However, grammar and spelling DO count here, because I am THAT guy, and also MORE (words) is not always more better, and it doesn’t matter how many commas and colons get into your writing game, three or four hundred words is not a sentence. In my library of anything, that is at least a full-blown short story. I was also somewhat surprised by the number of people that could not write, and I claim no expertise my own self, a correct, complete, clean sentence, but we do live in the text age after all. Seems like a damn shame. Of course 2 or more sentences of an answer would be, well, TOO many, too, so we lost a few down that grammar run-on road. People, this is how one spells losing, l-o-s-i-n-g, or l-o-s-e. It is not spelled loose, but I see it every single day. I can’t still spell worth a damn, but Word can….It (English) was once a great language. Word! LOVE POTION #9 We strongly believe that there is more than one way to be a great coach. We do not pretend to own any kind of definition or secret potion for making or being a “Great Coach”.

Beyond that, the most perfect world would still have some imperfect parts, and coaching equations can truly only be evolution from the inside out. TEACHING IS ONE WORD – LEARNING IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ONE Here are a few things (is it just me?). I am big on body language and phraseology. I prefer the concept of a great coaching/learning environment, rather more than ‘teaching’ them this or ‘educating’ them about that. There must be a FIELD OF DREAMS where learning can happen. It is a big picture, the team, and at the end of the practice day does it really matter whom or even what ‘taught’ them or one of them something? No, it matters what they learn, one or more, and how that feeds the team dynamic. If a coach gets caught up more in their personal part of the teaching process than he does with the passion for ‘big’ team or individual learning, then that can easily take a team along the less-than-efficient route to improving every day methinks. I suppose this word use technicality/delineation denied a few in this contest #1. You will have another shot at the goal. Some answers that came in had the word ‘learn’ and ‘learn from’ and things like that, and that seems good, but I admit that I was surprised that only a very few of the answers used the word listen as integral to one sentence on great coaching. Actually, disappointed might be a more correct description of how that hit me. I fully encourage a team or person acting in a manner that would be characterized as gracious. At its simplest, ‘polite’ and ‘tactful’ are good ways to be, not only after you lose, but all the time, and when you are OUT and about with a group they have impact on public life, and in a way just as much as ‘after a defeat’. Everyone says it is not all about winning and losing, but then, there it is, sOOOOO exactly that. What I mandate most is good leadership and very open lines.

Cristine Morrison wrote this and it is two sentences (=X), and it is very typical of the thoughts sent in. “A great coach , is someone who can inspire, lead , educate, and motivate their team. Yet someone who is also strong enough to grow with and learn from their team and also take defeats gracefully. Christine, you had for me for the entire first sentence, but the second with “take defeats gracefully” sent me out the door. Graceful, gracious in defeat and those thoughts with that word kept showing up in my reading all these comments. I assume this is the positive coaching directive in many how-to-coach books. The more it (acting gracefully) came up, the more I thought about it. I looked it up. First of all, a great coach (in my humble opinion) addresses his/her team almost daily about how to act in many different places and times of day for that matter. Who does this team want to be? Who are we? The talk needs to begin on DAY ONE and just continue forever. Certain things need to be done certain ways with this team, and that, in my opinion, goes far beyond how a team acts when they lose AND when they win. It is WHO you are not a face that you put on. I think I spent MOST all of my yell-at-the-ref time preaching to the team, so maybe that gave me a head start. All situations need to be prepared for, not just the losing part, though, and I am so sorry, but it does not matter how old or what gender they are. So, what is gracious? This is kind of conglomerate of a couple random sources; Gracious – It is an adjective 1)    full of tact, kindness, and politeness 2)    condescendingly indulgent to perceived inferiors 3)    Luxurious or elegant 4)    Displaying divine grace, mercy, or compassion. courteous, kind, and pleasant : smiling and gracious in defeat. • pleasantly indulgent, esp. toward an inferior. • elegant and tasteful, esp. as exhibiting wealth or high social status Sorry, I do not mandate the/my word. We all learn together how to accept whatever, but we will find the appropriate adjective for our acting action together. You know, like a team. Getting ‘right’ is not always simple no doubt. I talk as a coach about appropriate behavior and situations for different ways to be starting day one at practice no matter what level. It is part of seeking our team identity. We show ourselves as a team by how we act when we lose, when we win, or even how we act getting in and out of elevators on the road or at the local Burger King or whatever. There is no rule specific to how to act when you lose. It is important that as a team they act appropriately in whatever circumstances. Great coaches do not need to tell their team to act gracious in defeat.







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