As I’ve grown and evolved as a coach, it’s made me a think a lot about the coaches I’ve had in the past. I went to a very small high school (graduating with 47 people!), and we didn’t have some of the big, alpha male sports like football, wrestling, etc.
Growing up, basketball was my first love (insert random Indiana joke here).  Regardless, I remember being outside with snow and ice on the ground shooting baskets, trying to work on my game. I had played a ton throughout middle school, and figured that would be no different as I got into high school. As an athlete, I always thought that if you wanted to make someone better, you should make it a point to relate to that person. To figure out what makes them tick, and to help push the appropriate buttons to get their best effort.
Instead, by the time I finished basketball my senior year, I’d about had it with the sport. When you’re 17 or 18 years old, who wants to go to practice and be yelled at for hours on end?
Looking back, I’m sure I was a whiny little brat, and if I was a little bit more objective I’m sure I would’ve looked at my coach differently. And there were athletes that this approach worked with – some athletes respond incredibly well to this style. But just as you need different cues to get someone to move efficiently in the weight room, the approach you use to get through to different athletes is critical, and I think that’s molded me as a coach. They say that a great coach doesn’t see you as you are now; they see what you’re capable of in the future.
This has been something I’ve long since carried with me when coaching my clients and athletes.
I need to show them that I believe in them, perhaps more than they believe in themselves at times.

Quite simply, I know that they can achieve their goals – whether it’s losing body fat, gaining muscle mass, or getting stronger.
If you work with clients and athletes for a living, I’d implore you to look critically at yourself and your approach. Or could you make a small change that leads to a positive impact in their life and performance. Looking back, I know that all of the coaches that I’ve spent time with cared about me as an individual – as a human being. But I also know that the ones I related to the best were the ones that I worked the hardest for, and got the best results with. She stepped in and took a talented team with some real knuckleheads and focused us and made us better. Most basketball coaches have their teams shoot a bunch of free throws throughout practice to try and improve.
Our in game free throw shooting seemed to be a lot better during that segment with her as the coach. December 11, 2014 by Malia Hollowell Filed Under: Most Popular Posts, Plato's Blog, Teaching Tips 6 CommentsIdeas for ages 3 to 8. Our roundup of 32 must-try classroom management hacks includes our favorite tips for reinforcing positive behavior, placing kids in groups, taking mini brain breaks when they need to burn off some extra energy and so much more.
Have each table color in a square on their bravo chart every time they do something positive. Grab some playdough and balloons and make some wacky sacks kids can squeeze when they’re feeling anxious.
Use our FREE editable lesson planner and organization pack to group, plan and keep track of small group instruction {plus tons more!}. Teach kids about personal space by sticking sheets of construction paper on to your small group table with contact paper.

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About Malia HollowellMalia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher turned founder of Playdough to Plato and The STEM Laboratory - sites sharing addictively fun learning activities for kids. He was cut from a cloth similar to that of Bobby Knight – in your face, no BS, and infinitely demanding – sometimes to the point of being unreasonable. We weren’t very good as a team, and I’d basically had the joy of the game beaten out of me. The guy obviously knew the game and I learned a ton from him, but his coaching approach wasn’t well suited to me as an athlete.
These were both younger guys, and both of them were demanding without being confrontational or in-your-face. My time is valuable, and I don’t like to feel as though it’s being wasted on someone who isn’t serious about improving themselves. Dimming the lights and letting kids lay down can help take their energy down another notch too. Chart with the class so that kids can learn how to be self managers when you’re working with small groups. She earned her Master’s in Education from Stanford University and spent seven years teaching in a classroom. There are so, so many components teachers need to orchestrate well in order for learning to happen. At least 3 times, he went after fans who were berating us (my Dad had to pull him off 2 of them).

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