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Development

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Bright reflections playfully explore contemporary topics and aim to make you think. They are always teasing, sometimes provoking, but never judging.  With a flirt to sport and business… John Wooden once said about being a coach; ‘someone who can give correction without causing resentment’. Firmly believing in being a positive focussed coach, there are still different types of individuals that make up the team. Some types need that harsh comment to shake them up and do what they can and need to do. Others rather want you to show them where to look, but not what to look for. Thinking of how coaches in all sorts of levels act towards a certain performance, excluding the focus on the resources and timeframe, I collected information from readings and experiences and summarised this on the base of three ‘coach’ questions. Who is a coach? A coach is the same person in sport, home,…

Bright reflections playfully explore contemporary topics and aim to make you think. They are always teasing, sometimes provoking, but never judging.  With a flirt to sport… Wait, wouldn’t it be; think smart, train hard? Or even harder or smarter? You probably would know someone, that have been working with a great coach or leader. What coaches and leaders all have in common is the passion for their sport or business. They live and breathe it. However, only a few have the ability to be truly inspired leaders or coaches and achieving KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Before sharing ‘how’ to think hard, train smart, I would like to define ‘what’ its connection with KPIs is. Ever been asked to give it 110% or 200%? If anyone in life can give 100%, that 100% will reach a new level. In simple words, you can never give more than 100%, it is all together a different 100% that comes in…

Here are eight things I wished I never did as a coach, and what I should have done instead: 1. I Focused on Outcomes (Instead of Learning): I was so competitive as a player, so naturally when I started coaching, that carried over. Results mattered. A lot! I judged everything by whether we won or lost, not how we played, or how much we improved. When we lost I questioned my players effort, attitude, focus, you name it. When we won, nothing else mattered. I was willing to compromise a lot to win, including relationships with players, respecting officials, and maintaining the integrity of the sport. That did not serve my players well.  Instead of focusing on “did we win?” I should have focused on “did we learn?” Every practice and game is an opportunity to learn, and often in losing we become more reflective learners. It is an opportunity to allow…

For any child to be able to learn, grow as a human and learn about life there have to be moments of failure and during their sporting career there will be many. The children feel bad, you feel bad as a parent but there is nothing that you can do about it?  Well actually there is and failure is a golden chance for both you and your child to turn a negative into a positive.  Failure should purely be seen as an opportunity to learn! I guess the million dollar question then is, how do I help my child deal with failure? Don’t lose your cool with them Don’t get angry Listen to what your child has to say- ask them for their feelings? Encourage them to try new things and that failure is part and parcel of the process. Minimise criticism Keep losing in perspective Be a good role…

1–       Be a lifelong learner and master of your craft: the number of NCAA, world and Olympic titles that guests on our Way of Champions Podcast have won is approaching 100, and the one commonality amongst the best coaches is that they are lifelong learners. Peter Vint, former USOC Performance Director, said it best when describing USA Women’s Volleyball Coach Karch Kiraly: “He has a deep curiosity and a relentless pursuit of becoming better.” YES! 2–       Be a good listener: This is one quality that all great leaders possess, the ability to listen to their athletes and use what they hear to craft great practices and build great teams. Great listeners are great connectors, and the ability to connect is a core competency of quality coaching 3–       Coach the person, not the sport: you don’t coach soccer, you coach Johnnie and Jimmy. Every single person in your group needs something slightly different from you.…

1–       Demeaning children: I just read this incredible letter from a coach who is dying of cancer. He reflected on how he speaks to the kids, and how he may be giving his last pregame talk. If we are not OK with our words being the last words a child ever hears from us, then those words should never leave our lips. As Coach Russ Powell concludes in his letter, “I simply refuse to make a player feel bad because they’ve missed a penalty, misplaced a pass or lacks natural ability in their game. Now you may read this and dismiss it that’s your choice. The one thing to think about is, you never know when your last team talk will be or the last time you see your child play football. I know that time for me is soon and I want to make it an incredible experience.” 2–       Ignoring…

Why work hard if you are a prodigy/natural talent? ‘The term of prodigy/natural talent is a misnomer! Athletes that believe that they are a natural talent lose motivation: Why work hard if it’s all about the right genes?’ Why are some promising young athletes unable to reach the top whilst their ‘less talented’ peers do get there? How come some athletes get motivated by adversity while others just quit? Why are some players unable to deal with feedback while others actively look for it? How come one athlete is constantly searching for new challenges whilst others prefer staying in their comfort zone? The above are some questions that are on the minds of many coaches, but are only seldom answered. The mindset-theory offers a theoretical framework in which one can find an answer for the aforementioned questions. Regrettably, most coaches/trainers do not have any knowledge regarding mindset. Since ‘knowledge only…

With a flirt to water polo… What do you do? How do you do it? Questions that are less important after understanding the why. Why do you wake up to go to training? Why do you want to learn? Why do I do this drill? The ‘why’ also works on self-reflection and stimulates the positive actions by self-acknowledgement. In The Netherlands where I grew up these were normal questions. Even to ask teachers, heck even to ask teachers in primary school (hence the Dutch educational system is in the top 10). From athletes, coaches, parents, stake holders point of view, the ‘why’ is more important than ‘how’ and ‘what’. Without reason, true motivation will lose its power over time. Why athletes do certain drills has to be made clear. Athletes also need to ask for clarification and, from a coaches’ point of view, the question also needs to be…

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