I have long been persuaded of the merits of the nurture side of the nurture v nature debate.
As a coach I have always believed that hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work. I have seen it over and over, a hard working athletes that could be seen as less talented rising to the challeged while othersince refuse to do what is required.
Books like ‘the talent code’ and ‘bounce’ convinced me of the myth of natural talent, that there may not be any such thing.
I am comfortable with the thought that everyone can, given the correct stimulation at the correct time, achive all their goals.
The frustrating bit for me has become the reality that as a coach I see my athletes 4 hours a day, from the age of about 12……windows of trainability are narrowing for skill acquisition and I cannot control the stimulation they get outside swimming or before they even start swimming.
Then I read that the 10000 hour ‘rule’
10000 hours or 10 years (20 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, 10 years)
was something that ‘just sounded good’
The truth is, I don’t know if talent exists, and I don’t care. We could spend our entire careers waiting for that special talent to walk through into our program and miss the hard working athletes that we can encourage and motivate to be the very best athlete they can be.
The 10000 hour rule may not be a rule in the strictest sense but it can’t hurt.
Personally I’m still a nurture kinda guy
Uncle Ben’s words ring so true….not my uncle Ben, I don’t have an uncle Ben…..Peter Parkers Uncle Ben.
“With great power comes great responsibility”
Only problem with being the Head Coach is that I get all the responsibility and none of the power LOL.
I don’t enjoy the non coaching responsibilitiesthat are thrust upon me as Head Coach.
The reality in age group swimming (maybe all age group sport) is that when a swimmer performs well it’s because that swimmer is naturally talented or has worked incredibly hard. When they don’t perform it’s because the Coach has messed up. I am discovering more and more that as Head Coach the ultimate responsibility for athlete performance rests on my shoulders, even when I don’t coach them directly.
I had thought for a while that the solution would maybe be to bring in a new head coach and allow me to move to a coaching position with the senior squad. The truth is though that I would probably hate that too. A new head coach would want things done their way…..I would want things done my way……conflict would be inevitable.
I think a better solution would be to get better at the stuff I hate, the planning meetings, the parents meetings, the committee reports, the budget planning.
I have a vision for where I want the club to go (every year feels like year one of the journey at the minute) so I need to be better at selling that vision to the parents who want instant gratification, the coaches who have come through a system that conflicts with the vision and the athletes.
If I can’t sell that vision then what is the point in even having it?
Ohave before I forget, I am adding an International Potential Pathway within the Club. Trying to think of a cool name for it anacronimfor it but all I can think of is
And let’s be honest, no one wants be on the LIPP Squad 😕