The answer to this old Jewish proverb is “the story.” Every coach needs to become a better storyteller, as humans simply remember the facts and important parts of what you want to teach, when you weave it into a story. You have been wired to do this since you were very young, when morals and important ideas were shared with you by bedtime stories. Who went to bed being told bedtime facts? Back at the dawn of civilization, and even before, the elders taught the future of their family by storytelling. Cave paintings were stories being told. It is no different with the athletes you coach, whether on a team or in individual sports – they will learn better as you become a better story teller.
Music in its own right is a form of storytelling. Weave music into stories and you can remember the story for the rest of your life – take this opening “Well this is a story about a man named Jeb….” Every movie of course is a story, no matter how short the movie is. So use the power of story in your own words, that of others in movies and song and develop the leadership of each and every player you contact. It’s important, and it’s one of the best ways to make a difference in the lives of your athletes – by sharing the stories that matter, inspire and empower them to be the best they can be. You will see this story telling soon in every Olympian who competes, medal winners or not. And for those who are working too hard to get through my past blogs, here is a summary of where the stories as told by videos that impacted my coaching over these recent years, can be found. Perhaps the most important is in the video of the IMPACT of coaches….found among other videos in this section of the USAV Grassroots page: http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Grassroots/Videos My blog lists are below.
Finally, there is a recent article in the Harvard Business Review June 2013 issue. I strongly suggest every reader take the time to digest entitled “How to Give a Killer Presentation” These “Lessons from TED” by the curator of TED, Chris Anderson contain ideas on framing your story to the top ten errors you need to avoid in giving a presentation. It is a gem of an article, filled with both stories and ideas which will make you a better coach, and also, a better teacher for your athletes in how they can develop their own stories better, for school, work and play. If you have a story to share that came from being a better storyteller as a coach, we would love to hear it, share in the comments and let’s all learn from one another.