I am back. Hopefully for good.
This phrase “Just Do It” , one of the biggest Nike ads that often featured Michael Jordan, is always inspiring. I am a basketball coach, and I spent the last weekend in Tunica, Mississippi at the Nike Coaches Clinic listening to Bob Knight, Bob Huggins, Brad Stevens and others. It was an amazing learning experience, and they had such amazing insight to offer in the art of coaching. Listening to these extremely successful coaches talk about what they do with their teams day in and day out helped me realize that they have the same concerns I have with my team. That is very empowering, and inspiring, and I left the clinic thinking I could do amazing things with my coaching staff and my players.
The biggest message that I got from many of the coaches was the idea that great coaches are great students of the game. Stories of extremely successful coaches sitting in on clinics and asking questions of other coaches showed me that these men and women look at professional development the same way we do as educators. We all know we have things to learn when it comes to teaching and that the need for learning will never cease. The other big message I got from the coaches was that the number one indicator of success is hard work. Brad Stevens, the extremely successful and fairly young Head Coach of Butler University, said that invariably the most successful coaches are the hardest workers. They are the ones putting in extra hours reviewing film, in gyms recruiting all the time and meticulously preparing practice and game plans until the late hours of the night.
Ok so what do we have? Constant Learner? Check. Hard Worker? Check. But does that guarantee success. I don’t believe so. To me the greatest success stories always come from those men and women that work hard and learn but also go out and buck the trends and blaze their own trail doing something other people haven’t thought of or haven’t put in the effort to do properly.
My favorite questions are the ones we don’t readily have answers to, in fact ones that we aren’t sure answers exist for. How do we stop bullying? How do we deal with lack of motivation? What do we do about inappropriate uses of technology in our classrooms? These are the beauties. The questions that no PD or extra elbow grease will ever entirely helps us solve. These provide us with the perfect opportunity to “Just Do It” and try something. What do we have to lose? It’s not like anyone has successfully eliminated bullying or stopped kids from sending inappropriate pictures to each other.
The talks this weekend motivated me immensely, its no coincidence that I decided to pick up the blog again today. As we look to wrap up our school years and plan for the next ones, we will all be presented with questions that continue to baffle us. My advice is not to run out and go to a conference on bullying, or spend all night tonight coming up with lesson plans to address the issue, my advice it to take a risk and try something different. I want to, and I want to be able to discuss it with others who have. Odds are good whatever I try may fall flat, but at least we will know better for trying, and if you are out there trying something and sharing it we all might find answers to those baffling questions together.
So hey! Just Do It. Then share it with all of us.