2016! What a year!
I was reflecting on one of my flights home from Bahrain about how I needed to do a year end review. I know its cliche at times as a large number of people seem to do their own as well but lets be honest the majority of personal websites and blogs are more for the writer than the reader…although I do always hope that those few who do read the posts get some benefit from it beyond just knowing more about me and what thoughts go through my mind.
Last month, while I was presenting in Bahrain, we discussed balance as a coach. No, not the single foot stability type but rather the juggling of ones life that includes family, physical health, emotional and mental wellbeing, goals, responsibilities, relationships, and the list continues for quite some time always being highly individual (with no kids my list was quite different than the majority of coaches in Bahrain) but still something that all everyone struggles with. Coach, brother, uncle, son, boyfriend, student, board member, and mentor are just a few and finding time to balance them all is something that I know I don’t do the best job of. Usually I find I empty the pendulum method of focusing in on specific areas. This not only allows me to make huge strides in a single area but also recharges the battery for the other side. Maybe not the best long term strategy but its working. I am happy, healthy (not including the few pounds I need to lose), and overall proud of who I am, what I am doing, and what I have achieved so far.
This year I was lucky to travel quite a bit: Toronto, New Jersey, Phoenix, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Saskatoon x2, Vancouver, Portland, Oregon, Burnaby, Richmond, Bahrain, and Bradenton, Florida. All of these trips fit into one of three categories….family and friends, track and field, or coaching. I separate coaching from track and field because I have been doing more and more in the coach development side of things and actually find that whole area invigorating. Don’t get me wrong I love being an athletics coach and my town spent around the oval office is something I love but when working in my general “coaching” mode I get the chance to think about sports, situations, athletes, teams, and environments that are new and foreign to me. This challenges me to think far outside my normal box and scope of thought. Bahrain was one of those experiences where coach development was at the forefront and I like to think I did a good job and will get more opportunities to be in that role in the future. I like to think that I have had a positive impact on those athletes, teams, and coaches that I have been privileged to work with but at the same time I hope they know that I benefit from the experience and appreciate the opportunity as well. While I am still brainstorming and thinking about my final masters project I am fairly certain that it is going to head down the coach development pathway.
One thing that I did set out do this year was read, a lot. The end result was 51 books. Apologies to those of you who were hoping I would get to 52. I slowed down through the fall and didn’t think I would get as close to it as I did and then ended up in Florida with two books that went by very quickly and wasn’t able to get my hands on the another. Some were amazing. Some were not so good. Others were some where in the middle. Reads that triggered some neurons but maybe nothing that shifted the paradigm too much. Here is the list. Not a ranking. Just the order from the first one I finished on January 2nd, 2016 to the last one on December 24th, 2016.
- Practical Sports Coaching – Christine Nash
- Developing the Leader within you – John C. Maxwell
- Mind Gym – Gary Mack
- Mastery – Robert Greene
- What Makes Winners Win – Charlie Jones
- Sports Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation – David Joyce & Daniel Lewindon
- 59 Seconds – Richard Wiseman
- Secret Tactics – Kazumi Tabata
- Riveted – Jim Davies
- Inside Running Basics of Sports Physiology – David L. Costill
- 3D Coach – Jeff Duke
- Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat – Chris Cooper
- Power – Jeffrey Pfeffer
- Best Practices Best Coaches – Andy Higgins
- You win in the locker room first – Jon Gordon & Mike Smith
- Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches – Yuri & Natalia Verkhoshansky
- The No Complaining Rule – Jon Gordon
- Fierce Conversations – Susan Scott
- Winning Matters – Frank Dick
- Training Camp – Jon Gordon
- The Hard Hat – Jon Gordon
- The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday
- Learning Leadership – James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
- It should have been gold – Calvin smith
- Learning in Sports Coaching – Lee Nelson, Ryan Groom, and Paul Potrac
- Leaders eat Last – Simon Sinek
- How to win friends & influence people – Dale Carnegie
- Talk like TED – Carmine Gallo
- Sports Biomechanics: the basics – Anthony J. Blazevich
- Sports Training Principles – Frank Dick
- The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
- Curious – Ian Leslie
- Just do it – Donald Katz
- Grit – Angela Duckworth
- How to say Anything to Anyone – Shari Harley
- Shift – Peter Arnell
- The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor
- The Team Captains Leadership Manual – Jeff Janssen
- Research Methods in Physical Activity 7th Ed – Jerry Thomas, Jack Nelson, Stephen Silverman
- Smarter – Dan Hurley
- Qualitative Research Methods in Sport, Exercise and Health – Andrew Sparkes and Brett Smith
- Sprints &a Hurdles – Gerard Mach (Canadian Track and Field Association)
- The Pressure Principle – Dave Alred
- The Imperfect Board Member – Jim Brown
- What We Need Is Speed – Henk Kraaijenhof
- Boards That Lead – Ram Charan, Dennis Carey, Michael Useem
- The Objective Leader – Elizabeth R. Thornton
- Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised in Brief – Henry Robert 3rd, Honemann, Balch, Seabold, Gerber.
- The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss
- Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
- The Slight Edge – Jeff Olson
I am going to try and read less this year in terms of quantity but definitely not hold back on the quality side of things. I have a few larger books at home and the office that I kept on putting off but I feel that 2017 is the right time to crack them open. I would like to say that I won’t buy anymore until I read what I have but that just ain’t the honest truth so best not to agree to it.
But what else I have been working on a new YTP template for some time and am finally nearing the end of this iteration. As I continually learn and need to adapt them I am sure this will only be another stop along the way but as a tool I feel that this one is a big leap forward in terms of its application capabilities as an athletics coach in the sprints and hurdles events. If anyone ever wants to discuss just send me an email.
Then there is school. At the time of writing this, New Year’s Eve, I am still working on a paper and presentation for one my classes which ends with these assignments, then there is one more course, and then literature review and carrying out the final project which will hopefully put me in a position to complete my masters by the end of 2017 or perhaps early 2018. I know I could get it done but at the same time I am focused on producing something that is regarded as having credibility.
But that is about it for this post. I have been trying to run while in Florida for training camp and so far have gotten 6 in but the goal is to continue this in 2017 and shed a few pounds that I am going to blame on my lack of mobility during the broken ankle period. We have had a great training camp here at IMG and have three more training days and five workouts to go until its back to Saint John we go where it is full swing into the indoor season with meets for 6 consecutive weeks from January 14 to February 25th then a week off before the Sport Nationals in Edmonton on March 9-11 after which all focus will be on the outdoor season and Canada Games.
Best wishes and thoughts to all in 2017! May the force be with you!