Playing the Game

Make Day asked my opinion on how important it is to have played the game to coach? I think it depends if you are an athletic development coach or an actual sport coach. If you are a sport coach it is good to have some exposure to the game as a player at some level. With professional baseball the pedigree they often look for is someone who has played Major League baseball, this results in severe inbreeding bordering on incest. It allows little creativity or innovation. I think Bill Belichick is the coach he is because he did not play pro football. From a conditioning coaches perspective I really do not think it is necessary, in fact it is an advantage to have not played the game. There is less bias and preconceived notions, more objectivity.


At 4/18/07, 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been in the pro and collegiate basketball business as a PT/AT/Performance Specialist for 8 years now but have never played basketball in my younger years.
I think Vern is right in saying that it could be an advantage bacause you can be more objective.
Developing the "coaching eye" (knowing when training is too much or too little) is more important. Another vital skill is being able to show your athletes the proper way of doing the things you are having them do (eg. how to properly do a clean and snatch, perfect running mechanics, etc.).
More power to you Vern.

Dennis Aenlle, PT, CSCS
Philippine National Basketball Team
San Miguel Beermen (PBA)
Ateneo Blue EAgles (UAAP)

At 4/18/07, 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you it is not necessary to have played the game; but I do think that you need to know the game. I will talk to you further about that at another time. You were eons ahead of time for baseball; but I know you have touched a lot of players that you came in contact with as well as coaches and athletic trainers.

I think my 2 initials is enough don't you think?


At 4/18/07, 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only TC is a TC-Nation?

I believe some of the best coaches were players that didn't excel in their sport. They could understand, respect, listen, see and identify with a whole and the parts that make up the whole. They are not Expert Athletes, they don't have a chip, they are not looking for the glory, the fame, or the money they have healed themselves only to return with a strong message. "WIn the Work"!

1980 Olympic Men's Hockey Team. That Man change the way we learn, teach and think what could be! Do you believe in Miracles?

He did.

Some of my best coaches were the PT's that fixed me up. No one cares about a broken athlete PT's do. Thank God for PT's Thank God!

Well at least NY has the Rangers!

At 4/19/07, 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thoughts everyone. I asked the question because playing the sport is hands on experience which can not be gained in a seminar or a class. Just because you played the sport does not mean you really studied the game so there is a definite give and take there. Regardless, I think you need to be able to look the part and be able to demonstrate in some manner.

I think the same can be said about sportscasters. You do not have to of played the game to be a good sportscaster but it can help. The great coaches and sportscasters all have something in common regardless if they played the game - communication skills - which often what keeps players from being sportscasters and great coaches.

Mark Day

At 4/19/07, 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happens before speaking or communicating it?

Seeing it.

Great sportscasters/coaches (even referees and umpires) see it, then transform it into words, with passion and poise, objectively.

Great athletes see it then transform it into action.

At 4/24/07, 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who are truly special go beyond seeing, they envision. They can create or recreate in their minds movements,scenarios break them down and create from that vision a program/coaching scheme that is effective.

Jonathan Hewitt ATC


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