Creating an Atmosphere

I have had this post in draft for for a few weeks. It was prompted by a conversation I heard about Brian Ritchie‘s work with the Mona foma annual festival in Tasmania. This is a link to the 2010 Festival Site.
Brian Ritchie’s discussion of his approach to the festival encouraged me to think about how coaches create atmosphere in their training and competition environments. In an interview with the Australian Stage Brain outlined what Mona Fona is:

MONA FOMA stands for Museum of Old and New Art Festival of Music and Art. So everything that’s in the festival has something to do with music –even a visual art thing would have a musical element to it, whether it’s covering a musical idea or song and visual art combined. The idea also is to have some straight-ahead musical performances, ranging from funk to classical to noise music, a little bit of punk and other kinds of rock music here and there – but not the really commercial and boring kinds. It reflects my broad interest in music and art and also the interests of the museum.

I was particularly interested in his assessment of the festival program:

It is pretty overwhelming and it’s exhausting, maybe a little bit too ambitious – but it’s probably better to err on that side than being too cautious. I hope to refine it a bit next year, maybe simplify and not have it quite as sprawling [but] we’ll probably try to attract bigger and – well, I wouldn’t say better but more well known artists as well.

I was fascinated by how close these sentiments are to what coaches think.

This is a link to the Hobart Mercury’s review of the opening night in 2010. Nick Cave was the headline act for the 2009 Festival.
I am very interested in the points of difference coaches create in their daily training environments and how these environments translate into competition contexts. Brian Ritchie’s Wikipedia entry reports that:

Brian Ritchie (born 21 November 1960) was the bass guitarist for the alternative rock band Violent Femmes. His distinct sound comes from using Ernie Ball acoustic bass guitars, which is very uncommon in rock music. He is also one of the more high-profile users of the relatively new Barker Bass.
In addition to his bass playing, Ritchie is proficient at the shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute.

I like the idea that Brian Ritchie has a distinct sound and that his musical journey led him to a completely different instrument. Once again I see enormous parallels with coaches who live continuous professional development.
Photo Credits
Wrestler and His Coach


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