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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Coach Independent Thinkers

One of the primary goals of coaching should be to help develop the desire for players to think on their own.

As the coach you should have final say, but always encourage players to contribute their ideas. How can that be wrong? You are trying to encourage communication right? This is a form of communication. In a time out, I have to speak first. All systems have a hierarchy. I called the time out so I must have a reason. I need say what I need to communicate to the team, and then I encourage the players to contribute. Quick sound bites, you don’t have much time to do so. Sometimes your players will come up with a good idea that stands on it’s own. Kevin Eastman once said to me “you never know where your next good idea is going to come from”. Something someone says might spark a great idea for you. Sometimes they might have an idea that, you can build on, and sometimes it might not be a good idea in your mind, but you have final say.

Independent thinkers strengthen a team because they understand that different perspectives bring different ideas and solutions. Willingness to share ideas and perspectives makes for more robust solution solving and a true team approach. Independent thinkers must be selective. It is not productive to impede progress with the process of questioning everything, but they must have the confidence to voice their opinion.

Fostering independent thinking is the first step to creating critical thinkers. Once a player is a critical thinking they can access the situation to come up with logical conclusions. Encourage your players to contribute. After all it’s a team sport, and all should be contributing.

Dependent thinkers accept whatever they are taught and rarely question information or ask themselves if the information really make sense. Is this the type of player you want?

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