Kerr, who played for 15 years in the NBA was a TV analyst, broadcaster and served in the front office of the Phoenix Suns before he was named a head coach. He has studied the game for most of his life, but he's also studied other things: human nature. Kerr went out of his way to meet with every player before the season began. He flew to the Black Falcon's nest in Miami to meet Harrison Barnes. He took this team bowling—yes bowling. I'm sure he wasn't as concerned with throwing strikes but rather than they spend time together in a way that fuels their competitive natures. He also did something that every coach and teacher ought to consider. He visited and shadowed another coach. (With all due respect, it's hard for me to get super excited about his visiting Pete Carroll).
Every faculty member at the school where I teach is required to observe a colleague once a year. Too often it feels like another requirement to complete. Of the twelve years I have taught at St. Ignatius, I think I have checked that box and hastily completed the official "Collegial Observation Form" two days before it's due...or errr......after.
Logistics aside, I have never regretted the time I spent in a co-worker's classroom. You get ideas of how to run things differently—for better or for worse. You gain insight into how personality can motivate and accentuate a lesson plan.In addition to a new lesson plan, you get a sense of pace and space, timing, when to ask questions and how to ask them. Sounds a lot like basketball doesn't it?
|I love that he visited another coach, but did it have to be this one!?|
I was talking to our head football coach yesterday. He was telling me that he wants to observe the varsity boys' golf coach. You might wonder why or how anything from a sport like golf might transpire to a contact, team sport like football. But what he understands is that the head boys golf coach is a great coach. He had led both girls and boys cross country teams and now golf teams to championship upon championship. Anyone should be asking the question that we are asking of Steve Kerr: How?
I have always believed it's best to study the behaviors and choices of the people we admire most. That is exactly why I sought a spiritual director twelve years ago. The holiest people I know have them. Teachers and coaches, make time this season or in the new school year to shadow and observe someone you admire...someone who is committed to excellence...see what they do and make it your own. And have fun doing it.
Coach and athlete