The Certainty of Uncertainty

I’ve let a month go by without putting anything up here on The Coaching Conversation, but I have been writing, and reading, and working. I just have not been sure that I had anything to add to the greater conversation at this time. Many of my friends and colleagues are producing great content and sharing […]

Want to Build a Stronger Team? Social Capital is Key.

Here’s an interesting article from the business world on how social capital helps build stronger teams.  Margaret Heffernan, writing at, points to social capital as a key to building a successful team. So, what exactly is social capital? Heffernan defines it as “the trust, knowledge, reciprocity and shared norms that create quality of life […]

Leadership on the Court

Sports Illustrated named The Golden State Warriors their “Sports Person of the Year.” The article details a dynasty being built around strong leadership on the court and an equally strong culture that binds the coach and front office. Stephen Curry’s leadership on the court is highlighted: Curry is the anomaly: a skinny point guard who […]

The Importance of Peer Leadership

Here is an older (2013), but entertaining article in the New York Times sports page regarding LeBron James and his new found ease. The article asked numerous journalist to answer the question, “Do happy people make history?” After this past NBA championship the answer appears to be yes, but there is no easy answer to […]

Making the Transition from Assistant to Head Coach

The transition from assistant to head coach is an exciting time, but it also carries with it potential pitfalls and new problems. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” –Arthur Ashe I just discovered Mike Deegan’s email newsletter.  He writes regularly about life lessons from sports and coaching. The particular […]

Leadership from a Player’s Perspective

“To me teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.” Coach K Chiney Ogwumike dissectsthe various aspects of floor leadership while writing a blog at ESPNW about her Stanford team’s recent Pac-12 Title. “Even though I could never admit it out loud, in my head I […]

The Value of Complaining

There are times in your life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints. Rita Dove Phyllis Korkki wrote an interesting article in the Jobs section of the New York Times about complexity of complaining in a group environment. Research indicates that there is some value in an environment that tolerates the appropriate […]

“Next Play”

Next play– a phrase used by Coach K at Duke–is a great example the powerful example coaches provide for leaders in other disciplines. Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, interviewed in the New York Times by Adam Bryant, highlights the important lesson he gleaned that one should not get stuck in any error or linger […]

Building A Coaching Culture

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin I went to dinner the other night with a few friends who happen to be high school coaches and teachers. They have all been working in these professions for decades. The conversation was lively and free […]

Pause, Listen, Respond

Nicole Lindsay has an interesting article on Lifehacker with some really good advice on how to take constructive feedback. Her recommendations begin with suggestion that one should pause before responding, which requires tremendous maturity, but is a skill worth practicing.  The advice on how to take constructive feedback reminds me of the Victor Frankl quote […]