Criticism to test the open mindedness of sport professionals. Though not for an inflammatory purpose. To the contrary, to inspire evolution; as criticism lies at the bedrock of knowledge creation.
The foundations of sport coaching reside in parochialism, nepotism, gerontocracy, dogmatism, traditionalism, and received wisdom. The entire lot of which are the bulwarks of progress.
Strip away the technological advances that are ubiquitous in sport analytics, diagnostics, and measurement...focus only on coaching methods, practice, and drills, and one is hard pressed to note remarkable change in comparing what is done today, in sport practices, to what was done 50 years ago.
In order for sport coaching and practice to experience the same type of exponential advance as is seen in Silicon Valley it must assimilate comparable cultures that are rooted in criticism, best ideas win, collaboration, innovation, and perhaps above all...a self-driven initiative of all coaches, no matter your tenure, to remain students of learning throughout the entirety of your career.
Instead, however, and particularly once coaches reach the professional level, an unspoken dysfunctional culture exists in which dedicated learning nearly comes to a halt. Coaching conferences amount to the professional level coaches, if you even go, socializing in the common areas as 'one wouldn't dare admit he has much to learn by openly demonstrating his continuing education'. Lest when the time comes that the athletes/team aren't winning, and the draconian finger begins to point looking for a scapegoat, it lands on the coach whose open efforts to learn more suggest to the 'authority' that this open admission that there's more to learn is somehow related to the deficiency associated, via confirmation bias, to the lack of competitive success.
The problem must be solved by correcting for the errors that exist at the very top of an organization; at the highest executive level in which the owners, CEOs, presidents, and managers must be educated to the magnitude of knowledge that goes unknown, yet underpins the fabric of every perception, every thought, every decision, and every action of administrators, staff, coaches, and athletes down to the level of tactical execution.
At present, the perception of what is relevant in coaching is tantamount to the visible portion of an iceberg. This visible portion is only 10% of the iceberg's total mass. The remaining 90% exists unseen, beneath the surface of the water. Yet this 90% constitutes the overwhelming majority of the iceberg. Just the same, the 90% unknown in coaching represents the solutions to every problem that is not yet even recognized by coaches as existing, yet the existence of these problems explains the lack of achieving what is achievable in addition to every hope or expectation that is not realized.
The talent and abilities of professional athletes represent one of the most potent compensators for vulnerabilities at the level of coaching and management.
This dynamic allows for large scale errors to continue to go unnoticed, and even masquerade as coaching excellence, because a talented athlete that works hard can win, IN SPITE OF incompetent coaching.
I thought very hard about this for over ten years, and my solution was to write a book that would serve as the catalyst for causing the largest scale paradigm shift in the history of sport coaching.
Click to purchase: The Governing Dynamics of Coaching