Blog Post #482 Great Coaching 2

Coaching or Team? Coaching Part II

Let’s look at our link in more detail today and the next few days!

According to this linked article great coaches:

#1) The Very Best Coaches Get Their Athletes To Believe In Themselves
#2) The Really Effective Coaches Do Not Use Embarrassment & Humiliation As “Teaching Tools”
#3) Great Coaches Are Great Life Teachers

Could a great coach make mediocre players great?  How about ‘teacher-coach’ (non-athletic) making students great?

#1) The Very Best Coaches Get Their Athletes To Believe In Themselves

This fall, I’ve been tutoring in math.  In particular, I have two regular students (I’ll call them Amy and Sarah – the first letters are correct, the rest of the names are incorrect).  

In general, these students have been beaten down by math.  Maybe put down by math teachers, turned off by math (or turned off by their math teachers).  One of these students started to say “I hate math”. That builds a block in the brain. “I hate math”; “I can’t do math”; “Math is stupid”.  Those can make a barrier to get anything in.

For this student, I’ve gotten her to say “I <heart> math”.  Attitude is tough.

In terms of coaching, the players have to believe in themselves.  In terms of learning, the students have to learn to believe in themselves and their abilities.

Great coaches have to be great motivators.  I’ve told my two students that they are really mostly learning problem-solving skills, and critical thinking when they learn algebra.  When was the last time you solved a quadratic problem with the quadratic equation? (Other than maybe some engineers or scientists, probably never).  But, learning how to solve problems is a supreme skill to have!!!

#2) The Really Effective Coaches Do Not Use Embarrassment & Humiliation As “Teaching Tools”

Embarrassing a student in front of his peers is humiliation – and may lead to that student ‘dropping off the team’, or (worse) retaliation!!  I’ve been trying to use humor when my students make arithmetic mistakes – like telling me that 1 squared is equal to 2. We all make stupid mistakes – and I have made several in their presence (not intentionally!!)  Extending this concept, I hate to use embarrassment and/or humiliation on any human being. (We are all made in the image and likeness of God). A second thought with this concept is trying to make positive comments and if you need to really correct an error in the athletes or students, call them aside one-on-one – don’t correct in front of others.  [Aside – watch where and how you do the one-on-one correction. I rarely corrected a student in a closed office (especially correcting a female student!! Find an open venue – or a glass conference room – where others can see you talking one-on-one, but there will be no opportunity for others to judge you for immoral conduct.

#3) Great Coaches Are Great Life Teachers

Coaching is for improvement – on the field (or court) or off.  Encourage, build up, support, help them believe in themselves!!!

More tomorrow.

Did you have any coached (athletic or not) that really made a difference in your life?


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Blog #481 Great Coaching or Great Players – Part I

Coaching or Team?


As we look at coaching (especially now in the football season), we hear the hype for great players (college level).  Some are Heisman Trophy contenders – and some are ‘wannabe’ contenders. Television announcers talk about the great players.  But how does it work – coaching or players/team.


Some college coaches are consistently in the top rankings.  You might recognize Urban Meyer at Ohio State or Nick Saban at Alabama.  So … does great coaching win games? Hmmm … I haven’t seen any coaches scoring touchdowns, throwing passes, rushing the ball or tackling this season.  Players do that.


Okay – do bad coaches lose games?  Again, coaches don’t score (or not score touchdowns).  They can field a team that has players that can score points though.


I want to highlight Max Hogden, coach of the Madison South Dakota High School team.  Max recently became the most winningest coach of the Bulldog teams. Now, think of high school football.  The coaching staff can’t go out and recruit players to come to your team (as do colleges); they can’t draft players (as in the National Football League).  They have to take the young men at that high school and make a team out of them. So, you take a 15-year-old kid, put some pads on him and make his a player.  Yes, the young man might have played a little in the middle school (or junior high) but is still pretty raw.


So, in a period of about 8 years, Max Hodgen has taken Madison High School football teams to the state championship twice and winning once. He has changed the record from 2 wins and 6 losses to 63 wins and five losses in the last five years.  And, yet, he has not scored any touchdowns himself or tackled opponent quarterbacks for losses, but however he is coaching, his teams are winning.


Now, you would almost expect a Nick Saban to win at Alabama.  As a championship-winning coach, he pretty much has his picks when recruiting.  Let’s say I’m a pretty good offensive tackle. I’m being recruited by Kansas or Alabama.  If I play at Kansas, I’ll probably be on a losing team through my college career, if I play at Alabama I’ll be a championship team – and might get noticed by professional football scouts.  Not that Nick Saban is a bad coach, but as compared to Max Hodgen the process is very different. Max gets his kids because they live in the Madison High School district. Nice gets his kids from top high school programs around the country.  


On the NFL level, there are many handicaps.  If you win the Super Bowl as a coach, you get the very last pick in the NFL draft (so 31 other teams pick players from college before you get a chance.  If you win the Super Bowl as a coach, your players will want more money – and your team has a salary cap – so some of your players will be free agents and be ‘hired’ by other teams.  BUT – you still find people like Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots still turning out winners while other NFL teams change head coaches about every five years. (Statistics say 4.3 years).  


So – what is more important?  Great coach – or great players?  More tomorrow.


What do you think?



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Blog Post #480 A Better Version of YOU – part 2

Becoming a Better Version of Yourself – Part II

I looked at this article yesterday and highlighted the first 11 items.  Today I will finish the list with comments

So, becoming a better version of yourself – part II

-12 Write answers on Quora.  I read quora (sometimes) but don’t write on it.  Maybe I need to look at this. Writing does help me – so writing this blog is good.  This article suggests writing on Medium and Quora – and I’m a little dubious on those.

– 13 Ignore social media.  This item from the article says that people only post the good and not the bad.  I didn’t post on Facebook when I had my two surgeries, although I did let a limited number of friends know.  Yes, you generally only see the good on social media – so don’t compare yourself to others. If you are being a better version of yourself, work on yourself – not comparing yourself.

– 14 Celebrate the small wins.  As you become a better version of yourself, have milestones that you can celebrate and write on the calendar and on post-it notes on the mirror in your bathroom.  You might want to give up, but when you see the small wins, you will be encouraged to keep going. Yes, the journey of a thousand miles does begin with a single step, but you can celebrate 10 miles, and 50 miles, and 100 miles and more.  

– 15 Stop pretending you know more than you do!!!  You are learning how to be a better you – and that means you are LEARNING.  Be open to your learning, ask questions, grow in your knowledge.

– 16 Embrace failure.  If you never started a race, if you never started to become a better you, you would never fail.  You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Even the best baseball players only get hits about 1/3rd of the time.  Even the best basketball players only make about ½ of their shots. Fail – but fall ahead – keep going

– 17 Call your family.  In the long run, who is going to show up as you lay on your deathbed?  Your boss? (probably not – especially if you retired years ago). Your family will be there – keep in touch with your family!!!

– 18 Exercise in the morning – get up and get going!!!  

– 19 Create a slide project.  Maybe not necessarily a slide project – but create something.  I have a large poster board that I am planning on making a great picture!!  (I have an artist deep inside me) [Aside – it is going to be so great, I’ll have to frame it, then I’ll have to make prints, and eventually will have my artwork in the major art museums!!!]

– 20 Help others – how else are you going to be a better version of yourself – help others (and, guess what, as you help others, you will feel great all over!!!)

– 21 Keep going – there might be some dead-ends, some failures – but get and get going.  Think of the great football teams like Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers winning the game – coming from way behind in the last minute!!!

While I might agree fully with all of the suggestions, you can always improve with a “Better Version of You”.  Many products announce changes with big and bold words “NEW AND IMPROVED” – you can do that!!!


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Blog #479 – Becoming a better version of yourself – part 1

Becoming a Better Version of Yourself

This article from Time Magazine caught my eye.  I’ll look at 11 of the items today and finish it with 10 items tomorrow.

The article’s first eleven items:

  1. Show up!!!  I remember three ideas from a former professor of mine:  (1) Show up; (2) show up on time; (3) show up on time – ready to work.  We all know people who are habitually late; and then when they do show up they have to get their coffee, talk to other people and gradually get into their work.  Hey – show up a half-hour early, get your coffee and by real ‘starting time’ you’ll be ready to go. (And, your boss will notice that!!!)
  2. Start at the beginning (see also point #4 stop looking for a secret trick).  If you want to be a great violinist (or runner or chef or whatever), you have to start at the beginning – there are no secret formulas or tricks.
  3. And – this is for a better version of YOURSELF – not anyone else.  You can only really change you!!!
  4. Stop looking for a secret trick – see #2 start at the beginning – above
  5. Use Twitter to network (and throw in some LinkedIn as well).  Networking, networking, networking!!
  6. In the beginning, you are not going to be the ‘best version of yourself’ – just get started – the details will come along with your personal growth.
  7. Recognize the opportunity at hand.  YES – you can learn (the internet is great for learning – as well as for wasting time).  Redeem the time – cut back on TV and wasteful habits.
  8. The article suggests writing on Medium.  Since I don’t write on Medium, find a place to write.  I’ve written a blog for years. is my current version and is generally a duplicate of my Facebook “Information Education with Bruce White” blog.  Writing is a way to reflect on yourself and on what you are doing to become a better version of yourself.
  9. Don’t count the hours.  This is an investment in you – While it might be helpful in the beginning to say “I’m going to be working on a better version of myself for an hour tonight”; eventually it will become a habit – you will WANT to invest in yourself.
  10. Accept help from others.  While this is like the network, network, network it extends into finding mentors and that that can guide, suggest and help you
  11. Launch a personal website.  You can get a paid website (like my: site) or free websites.  Work on it, write on it, blog on it.

More tomorrow.  All of this goes back to YOU – where do you want to go?  How do you become the best version of yourself? Do you become better by watching TV or by reading and writing?  Can you take classes to become a better version of yourself?

What do you think?


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Blog 478 – Climate Change may decrease BEER

OH NO!!!  Climate Change may decrease BEER!!!


The article says “Beer Drinkers Might pay more and find less of their favorite beverage as climate change comes for barley. Scientists expect that extreme droughts and heat waves will become more frequent and intense in the regions that grow the grain.”

Of course, the article also states: “The team looked at the areas around the world that grow barley, which is turned into malt for beer, and projected what will occur under five different climate warming scenarios by 2100”

My guess is that I’ll be long gone by 2100 (or, I would be 153 years old!!) – and, to be honest, I drink one (or two) beers a week (during Oktoberfest at Walburg Restaurant).  

The theme song for the Brushy Creek Brass Band is “In Heaven, there is no beer, that’s while we drink it here and when we’re gone from here, our friends will be drinking all the beer”.

(Or for my German-speaking friends:  Im Himmel gibt’s kein Bier, Drum trinken wir es hier. Denn sind wir nicht mehr hier, Dann trinken die andern unser Bier.)

So climate change will affect hurricanes, droughts, floods, tornados – AND BEER!!!  Hey Folks!!! Wake Up!!!

What do you think?


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Blog 477 The Times they are a’changing

Coaching for Life Success:  The Times they are a’changing

First, I am 71; second times have changed.

I grew up in the 1950’s with Father Knows Best, Beaver Cleaver, Make Room for Daddy; George Burns, Jack Benny and more.  As I was reflecting, it was very rare to have anybody other than white people on such TV schools (other than Jack Benny with Rochester).  

I heard jokes about blacks, Polish, and more.  Dumb Blonde jokes (and women in general jokes) flourished).  I remember a friend pointing out a car salvage yard (aka “junkyard”) and saying that was a women’s parking lot implying (untruthfully) that women were worse drivers than men.  Men were doctors, lawyers and professional people, women were nurses and teachers. <period>

As America (finally) accepted integration, some people had trouble with that.  My aunt who grew up in eastern Iowa with (generally) little racial problems moved to Alabama where my uncle (her husband) took her high school yearbook and cut out all pictures with African Americans in them.  (by-the-way that was in the late 1940’s right after World War II)

My mother (born in 1913) called blacks “colored people” – which actually wasn’t too bad as the major black organization at that time was NAACP – the National Association of Colored People.  

But, the 1950’s also had something new – a new world perspective.  The people that grew up in the Great Depression and went through World War II have been called “The Greatest Generation”.  The men (since very few women served abroad) bumped into different cultures in the Army. The men from Minnesota mixed with men from Alabama and California.  Then they went to Britain, France, Italy, the Philippines, and around the world. They returned home with a new view on worldly matters.

Plus the Americans as they were become more “Americans” than hyphenated American – like Irish Americans; Greek Americans; Polish Americans; and more.  While still a subgroup on the religious side, Catholics became integrated. In New Haven, there ceased to be Irish Catholic parishes; Italian Catholic parishes; Polish Catholic parishes; etc. and just became parishes for all.

Now – probably almost every American public school had enough diversity to amaze somebody from the 1950’s.  As Bob Dylan sang “The Times they are a’changing”. In my suburban Texas neighborhood, there are several obvious historical groups represented – including (gasp) Democratic Americans (that was meant to be humor).  

My doctors are mostly female (yes, women can become more than just nurses!!).  And, we find subtle changes up-and-down the line. I know gays, lesbians, transgender, and others.  The sign on the Statue of Liberty says: “With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Yes, the times are changing – we can accept or reject that concept.  But, we can’t really reject the actual change. Recently articles mentioned that the birth rate of white Americans is dropping below the ‘replacement’ level.  

For years our nation has been called a ‘melting pot’.  We do need to melt more – and accept each other as made in the image of God.

What do you think?



(And, tomorrow, “The times they are a’changing” with technology)

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Blog Post #476 YOU

Coaching for Life Success:  YOU

For the past two months, I have written daily blogs for life success.  

In one of the first entries, I had this:

Over 20 million of US students are in college according to the National Center for Educational Statistics ( )  millions more are in colleges around the world. They all have aspirations, dreams, and goals; they all want fantastic careers and good earnings.  Where do you sit? Unfortunately, as of 20189, there were over 150,000,000 (150 million) college students in the World. Yes, I know that many of you are not college students – but reading between the lines, there are a LOT of people in the world – and many can do what you can do – at a cheaper wage!!!

But the focus on these blogs has been YOU!!  You get to choose your attitude. You can say to yourself “I CAN DO THIS”.  You can put images of your success in your brain, you can speak words of encouragement to yourself, you can set very precise goals for yourself that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to you and timely.  

We looked at Jim Collins book “Good to Great” – that Good just isn’t good enough; we wrote about Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” where you need to be different, unique and special.  We saw the importance of networking and mentors. We thought outside-the-box and approached critical thinking and problem-solving.

The reality is that YOU can compete against the millions of college students, YOU can compete against those that can do the same job cheaper by having ‘value-added’ skills.  It is YOU – you determine WHO you are and WHY you function. What is deep within you? How can YOU be the best in your field?

While I will bring additional blogs on these topics back over time, I am going to move on to disruptive and innovative technologies that I find interesting.

Are there topics you would like to see?  Let me know!!!


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Blog 475 Bloom where you are planted

Coaching for Life Success:  Bloom where you are planted

In the past two months, my daily blogs have been about attitude, goals, achievement, BHAG, being great, unique, and more.  I have used (recently at least) the quote: “You can’t discover new lands until you lose sight of the shore”. BUT – there are times when you just can’t go off discovering.

We all know people that ‘cannot break away’ and go sailing the world.  We all know of people with mortgages, car payments, children with braces, elderly parents, tough jobs, not enough income to just get up and try something new.  

The same concepts still apply – but you need to adopt a “bloom where you are planted” mindset.  You can’t just up and leave a touch situation. Life isn’t always fair. So, make the most of where you are.  If you are working, adjust your attitude to LOVE your job (even if you think you can do something else for more money and more satisfaction).  If you are a janitor, be the BEST janitor possible. If you are a fast food worker, be the BEST fast food worker possible. If you are a mother, stuck at home with small children, but the BEST mother possible.  If you are stuck in a dead-end job, be the BEST possible person at that job. Don’t complain, don’t grumble – adjust your attitude.

There is an HGTV show – “Love it or leave it” where the family can have their home remodeled – and at the end, they get to pick that remodeled home (love it), or take a home handpicked with their wants and needs (leave it).  BUT – (again) – there are times when you just can’t pick up and leave.

There is a Bible verse “In everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18); another verse (Philippians 4:8) says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

My link today is to a book called “The Happiness Project”.  While slightly different from the “Bloom where you are Planted concept” – you can be happy anyplace at any time!!!  

My prediction is if you do really bloom where you are planted and make yourself happy, you can find and fulfill your goals – eventually.

So, do you grumble about how things are?  Change your mind and be happy where you are!!  Bloom where you are planted!!! (and taking the flower analogy) – be the BEST flower ever!!!

What do you think?


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Blog 474 Stepping over the edge

Coaching for Life Success:  Stepping over the edge

I LOVE adages.  Things like ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’; ‘if you want to find new lands, you have to lose sight of the shore’; ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’; “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.’  

I like heroic and romantic concepts.  I like the words enthusiasm, passion, elan (an unused word defined as: ‘energy, style, and enthusiasm’); greatness, ‘big hairy audacious goals’ (BHAG),  I want (on my deathbed in 30 years) to be able to say “I have no regrets”.

Maybe I read too many books about such stories – from the overwhelmed good guys overcoming the evil bad guys (like Star Wars); maybe I have listened to Zig Ziglar or Tony Robbins too much.  

I am now at an age (71) where others want to go fishing and play golf and relax.  I somehow find myself flooded with thoughts of ‘elan’ adventures (within reason – I am not going to climb Mt. Everest).   Can I step over the edge?

I am reflecting on how can I ‘step over the edge’?  What will excite me, and yet is achievable? Should I start a new business?  Harland Sanders started KFC at age 65; Grandma Moses started painting at 76; Tony Randall started a family later in life; Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote Little House stories; Gladys Burrill completed a marathon at age 92.  

Another concept is should I “burn-out” or “rust-out”.  Burn-out comes from too much work (in my humble brain that is good)!!  Rust-out comes from sitting around, waiting to die (no, no no!!!)

It doesn’t necessarily have to be earth-shaking – getting involved in senior ‘meals on wheels’; or volunteering in hospitals (as my parents did), or being a mentor or big brother/big sister to a kid who needs a parent figure in their life.  (My current student is in 6th grade and lives with his grandmother, mom and dad seem to be out of the picture). I just started with a reading program where I’ll be reading to two first grades for the next year. The literature suggests that kids that can’t read by third grade are destined for a life of trouble – gangs, poor jobs, poverty, crime.  

I am resolving not to rust-out – but to keep busy and keep making a difference in others!!!

How about you?


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Blog #473 MVV (Values)

Coaching for Life Success – Values

I was a Baldrige National Quality Award Commissioner for a year.  One of the criteria for the Baldrige Award was the entities MVV – Mission, Vision, and Values.  In some respects that is like the company/organization WHY statements. WHY is this company in business?  (And, an answer like “to make money” really isn’t deep enough.) Does this company have a mission (and a mission statement); does this company have vision on where they are going; and does this company have values?  Today I want to look at values – but on an individual level (that it – YOU!!)

What are YOUR values?  

Yes, what are your values? Do your values even come into play in your job and your life?  On Sundays (or day that you might worship) do you profess one set of values and on Monday (back at work) do you demonstrate by your life different values?  

A common religious value is called the ‘golden rule’.  It seems to be a thread in many religious (and non-religious) people “Treat people like you would like to be treated”.  Do you want to be treated nicely? Then treat others nicely!!

If your work has a saying “The customer is always right” – and do you live up to that?  Are you patient with the elderly lady in front of you at the checkout lane when she remembers she needed another item?  Do you roll your eyes, or do you understand? Can you think of that person like your elderly mother and be patient? (Could you even volunteer to run and get her dozen eggs?)

If you have a problem with an item that you purchased and needed to return – are you nice or are you belligerent?  While driving do you inwardly or outwardly yell at other drivers? Do you call the person who cut you off a ‘jerk’ (or even a stronger term)? Are you treating them as you would like people to treat you?  Most of us have been driving on a new (to us) road and all of a sudden realize that you need to be in the right lane and you are in the left lane. Do you cut over to the right in a furious and possibly dangerous manner?  Or realize that you might have to go to the next off-ramp or next intersection to make your turn and come back?

One of my Judeo-Christian values is to ‘love one another’.  I’ll admit I’m not perfect on that, but working on that. I remember the concept that love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous – do I always manifest that in my life?  No, but I’m working on it.

Whatever your personal philosophy (that is your values) – do they work into your everyday life?  Are you living your values? If not, why not?

Yes, we are ‘works in progress’ – but are we making progress – or staying the same?

What do you think?


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