“Constantly search for creative ways to remind your athletes of how your respective worlds collide.”

Chapter 4 Takeaways:
  • Roadblocks to Coaching
  • Trust Tenets
  • 3R’s (+1) – Research; Relate; Reframe & Repeat
  • The Convergence of Coach & Athlete

This chapter brought two lists together with the focal point on developing connections with our athletes on a daily basis. The Roadblocks to Coaching are ways that we can attempt to get out of our own way:

  1. Focusing on our own agenda
  2. Always having to be the “expert”
  3. Wanting to be their friend
  4. Force Feeding – Stuck in our own methodology
  5. Surrounded by our social biases
  6. Allowing our emotions getting the best of us
  7. Seclusion from other coaches
  8. Failing to self-evaluate
  9. Being too “clean cut” – idealistic
  10. Being a course/certification junkie
  11. Expecting too much, too soon
  12. Not asking athlete’s of their opinions
  13. Taking things personally

The Roadblocks to Coaching are potential pitfalls for coaches that can hinder buy-in, while the Trust Tenets were identified as direct approaches to cultivating connections.

  • Fundamentals, Not Fluff
  • Educate, and the 3R’s
  • Make Em’ Laugh
  • Be Authentic
  • Empathy
  • Delivery & Persuasion
  • Autonomy

A few of these are resurfaced often throughout the book, primarily authenticity – where you can revisit Chapter 2 Internal Identification discussion. All Trust Tenets are defined with supporting suggestions of implementation. What I found most interesting came from the associated tenet of Education, and the 3R’s.


“The vast majority of our athletes haven’t studied what we have studied and don’t see the body’s architecture like we do. They have gone through their training in an ordered, not educated, manner. The goal is for them to begin seeing the movement they are performing as something that directly correlates to what they care about most.”

The actionable collision course that we aim to teach as coaches and athletes aspire to execute is the convergence between coach and athlete. In an attempt to ignite the most out of their potential we have to do our due diligence as coaches (research), identify an actionable plan for the athlete(s) to understand how to execute (relate), and provide it on a platform that can be applied to them on their terms (reframe).

The aforementioned quote stood out to me with consideration of when, at what age, my mind may have started to switch from simply following instructions or the mere satisfaction of competing to connecting the dots between the inner-details of the game and my actual trajectory to improve. Prior to college, I cannot vividly remember intently taking instruction for skill-development and conscientiously comprehending the application of the drill in correlation to my success in a game. Up until competing in college, my improvement as an athlete was based on the repetition of mock drills from any practices or workouts, in addition to playing pick-up (where I personally think the most growth occurs). For example, doing drills in the street consisted of progressive ball-handling drills or percentage shooting drills around-the-horn. I may be selling myself short to a degree because I felt like I played quite a bit, but to a large extent, I never performed those drills thinking this particular crossover should be used if the situation of event A occurs and this move is effective in response. Or these shots I am taking are most efficient for me because I tend to play off the bounce more, as opposed to coming off screens. In other words, I was under the impression of any repetition of any particular skill was productive repetition with a blind trust that it will work in a game.

“Constantly search for creative ways to remind your athletes of how your respective worlds collide.”

This is not an intended knock on the coaching I had during my adoloscence, as opposed to – likely – my immaturity of taking control of how I wanted to improve as a player. And I say this because as a coach we often teach with the assumption there is a compatible investment level between staff and the athlete.

“Over the years, I have referred to the use of this method as “talking in color” due to the way it tends to paint an image in the listener’s mind.”

Coaching Application

At what point do you think athletes start to conceptualize development with on-the-court success, as opposed to presuming the overall body of work will lead to results? And as a coach what are the best ways “talking in color” can best illustrate (articulate) the correlation between particular development creates optimal performance?


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