I have been reflecting today on three excellent education and development opportunities I have had as a coach in the last twenty-four hours:
I am fascinated by the role the four coaches play in The Voice. Notwithstanding the mediation of their comments, I find some of the insights Seal, Joel, Delta and Ricky offer have immense resonance with sport performance. Each show, they share their vision and understanding. I like in particular how each brings a different perspective to what it will take to win The Voice competition. I thought the appreciation of Luke Kennedy’s performance exemplified these perspectives. If you have time listen to Ricky Martin’s comments (from 4 mins on in the video clip of the performance, ending with “Now let’s go somewhere else”).
Meanwhile I was able to watch two episodes of the Australian Story, Know Thy Enemy, featuring Anna Meares and her story from the Beijng to London Olympics. As a coach I enjoyed hearing from Anna about her coaches and learning more about Martin Barras and Gary West. The real bonus in Part Two of the program was to hear Anna Meares and Victoria Pendleton discussing their rivalry and their mutual admiration. I was left thinking about how a coach would enable an athlete to flourish through mutual recognition and how these two athletes were greater than the sum of their parts.
The final revelation of the day for me was discussing Iris Murdoch with my wife, Sue. Iris Murdoch’s writings were the subject for the Mongarlowe Book club this month. Sue has read all of Iris Murdoch’s writings and she has introduced me to A Severed Head. As I listened to her introduce and explain the tangled plot of the novel, I wondered what kind of a reading list I might develop for coaches. I need to read The Severed Head but from Sue’s explanation I will be intrigued to find out what energy brings about a resolution of the personalities of the characters. I think this will help me understand how excellent coaches work … infusing athlete egoism and hedonism with large helpings of humility to engender calm.
Quite a day!
Ricky Martin (Screen Grab, The Voice)
Thanks, Coach! (Australian Sports Commission)