Daily Archives: July 9, 2008

Wise words from Bertrand Russell

Saw this quote from philosopher Bertrand Russell and thought it was worth passing along:

In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”

That is especially true in coaching. I think most of us involved in coaching do it because we have a passion for it, for the sport, and for helping our players learn and grow. But sometimes that passion can put blinders on us as well. When that happens we cease to learn, which means we may be missing out on a better way to do things than we currently know.

Early in my coaching career I sought out whatever knowledge I could find in order to help my players. I would look at different resources and decide which ones made the most sense. But I also got into the habit of looking at materials I knew contradicted what I believed. It was sort of an acid test, to see if I still believed in the same things.

I continue to do it today, maybe not with quite as much vigor, but I still do it. It really is healthy to question what you believe to make sure you still believe it and are not just following the same old tenets out of habit. The stronger your beliefs, the more important it is to question them. If they survive the test, you will be that much more firm in your convictions. And if not…well, that’s a good thing too.

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