Effective communication, culture, consistency of effort and preparation

sent by Nick Grantham | 24th November 2020

"It would seem that new information is best understood through the lens of something we already know."

Nick Winkleman

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How often do you repeat the same cue over and over and feel like you are not being heard? ?How many times have you tried to explain a theory or concept to someone and they stare back at you with a glazed expression on their face! Chances are you've been using overly literal or technical language to try and get your message across. If you're struggling to get information to land, maybe you need to consider a different approach. As Nick Winkleman, author of The Language of Coaching says, maybe it's time to 'go analogue'. I used to apologise for using analogies in my coaching and teaching because somehow I felt I was dumbing down the underpinning message or concept, but it turns out that analogies are really important building blocks of communication and when used appropriately they can stimulate learning. When I explain periodisation in terms of Russian Dolls, lightbulbs go on above students heads! When I coach a goalkeeper explode off the ground as if they are tipping the ball over the crossbar the goalkeeper produces a maximal vertical jump. Analogies are a really useful communication tool and they can are a great way to take existing knowledge to help people learn new concepts or movements.

Source: Nick Winkleman

"Behaviour is contagious."

Damian Hughes

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In his book The Barcelona Way, Professor Damian Hughes ?explains why we need the presence of Cultural Architects, "we do things because we see our peers doing them."? Cultural Architects are the key figures in a team, organisation or changing room who are able to change the mindset of others. There are normally 3-5 key influencers that can become your secret weapons when trying to nudge culture along. I know from experience that as a coach it can be tough to try and challenge or change existing cultural norms. Rather than making sessions compulsory or creating a long list of 'fines' I prefer a more subtle approach that requires a slightly longer run-up! To shift behaviour in the right direction I'll figure out who the 'dressing room leaders' are, my Cultural Architects. Their behaviour will be contagious and these are the people I need on my side. When their teammates see them doing something in a particular way, they are far more likely to copy their actions. There will be key members of the coaching and playing staff in your organisation that can help you. It's your job to find them and use them.

Source: The Barcelona Way by Damian Hughes

"Brick by boring brick."

Nick Saban

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What does coming back from a career-threatening injury, working toward an Olympic final and trying to land a job in performance sport have in common? A philosophy created by Nick Saban called 'The Process'. Whilst the big pictures; returning from injury, competing in an Olympic final or landing the dream job are important endpoints, all of the hard work to achieve a goal boils down to consistently putting into place the right actions in the right order in accordance with a plan. No athlete makes a comeback without executing a plan. Olympic medallists don't just turn up on the day and have a go. Successful graduates don't cruise through university and walk into their dream job. Short cuts and life hacks won't lead to long term success. If you want to be successful you're going to have to work on the process, every day, building it brick by boring brick.

Source: The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

"The separation is in the preparation."

Russell Wilson

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Some of the athletes that I work with know I like a quote and they know I like to make notes in the small red Moleskine notebook I carry around with me. Recently one of the athletes I coach came out with this gem from Russell Wilson and it went straight into my Moleskine. It's so simple, which is probably what makes it so good. Over my 23-year coaching career, I've come to realise that what separates the good coaches, athletes, managers or business owners from the great, is their levels of preparation. If you want to stand out, make sure your level of preparation elevates you from good to great.

Source: Russell Wilson

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