"I'll make it...."

Posted by jlubans on April 14, 2010  •  Leave comment (0)



Hoosiers, the 1986 movie, offers some excellent coaching insights.

The story is about the Hickory Huskers, an underdog basketball team from a tiny Indiana high school that makes it all the way to the state championship tournament.

As the embedded video shows, the championship game is tied and down to the last shot. Gene Hackman, the coach, calls a time out. In the huddle Hackman prescribes a play that uses the best shooter as a decoy and gives the ball to someone else to take the last shot. You can tell from the player’s expressions they don’t agree with Hackman’s decision, but no one says anything – until the star player speaks up, “I’ll make it.” The coach, with nary a skipped beat, re-considers and says OK.

Here the Coach is the learner and is able to recognize the better idea, at least that it is for this team, at this time. Whenever I see this scene – the players huddled around the coach – in a standing room only crowd – I wonder about how a manager gets a staff to speak up, to speak up when the pressure is on to say nothing, to go with the loudest voice or the most authoritative voice. What qualities did this coach bring to the team that enabled one of the players to speak up and, in the end, to help him be a better coach?

If you have seen Hoosiers, what's your favorite coaching part? One of mine is at at 2:36 mark of this selection - the opposing coach consoling the player who was covering Jimmie.

Leading from Center photo

Posted by jlubans on April 13, 2010  •  Leave comment (0)

When I saw these players huddling without their coach I wanted to find out more about their teamwork and decison making.

This photo, by Toni Tetterton, comes from the book's chapter on a women's basketball team; a team which I followed for a season.
The photo sums up what highly effective team are about: supportive (note the linked hands and arms), focused, productive, time conscious, and engaged.

Parent is Rochelle Parent, the player who told me she has begun to "like the rain" because it is rain (adversity) that makes the sunny days stand out.

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Rocks & Change

Posted by jlubans on April 07, 2010  •  Leave comment (0)

I use this quote to set a context for my classroom discussion of the changes underway in higher education - something that has been happening for two or more decades, prompted by the Internet.

What does a quote about rocks have to do with the modern organization? Quite a bit. When change is upon us, it is good to realize change is unavoidable, inevitable - even in the landscape. Any time we find ourselves certain that the old way of doing something is OK, think again:

“Do not trust rocks. A rock resting on the rim of the Grand Canyon may give an impression of strength and permanence but as soon as a man turns his back the rock will resume disintegrating and sneaking off to California. And it is not only that particular rock that is unreliable. Every rock everywhere is growing smaller or larger, rising up or sinking down, or creeping about the planet in a scandalous manner.”

- Editor at Time Life Books. Quoted in Readings from the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, , Edited by Alison Murray Kuller, June 1986. Rockland Maine, HIOBS. p. 59. Spiral bound.