I just finished reading a great book called Presentation Zen – Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds. I found this book stimulating on two levels, first the improvement of my presentation style and methodology, secondly the application to my day to day to coaching. He has a quote from Leonardo da Vinci that speaks volumes “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” It really got me thinking again about simplicity and communicating ideas in coaching. I am convinced that anyone can make something complicated. He stresses the beginners mind or the child’s mind from Zen teaching. The beginner or the child is curious, they have no preconceived notions, they explore and discover. They do not have the limits of prior knowledge of the right way. The experts mind imposes limitations. The expert is confined by their expertise. Somehow in coaching we have gotten to the point where a coach is not an expert unless they can make movement and sport skill mystical and complex. In my experience that is not the functional path, that is a one way dead end street. The essentials of movement are quite simple and beautiful, the body will self organize and adapt to the movement problems that challenge it. As coaches it is our job to help the athlete solve increasingly complex movement problems by giving them the basic skills. Think of fundamental movement skill as the alphabet and multiplication tables of movement. You can’t write a novel if you do not know the alphabet. Emphasize basics, master basics, if you are making it complicated simplify it. If you can’t explain your training philosophy between floors in an elevator it is too complicated. Remember simplicity yields complexity.


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