September 2013 - Tip of the Month

"It's Not You, It's Me."

From Wikipedia:

"In the United States, rules and procedures for certification vary by state, and are usually regulated by the state Department of Education. Normally, a bachelor's degree with a major in a certifiable area (English/language arts, fine arts, science, math, etc.) is a minimum requirement, along with rigorous coursework in pedagogical methods and practical field experiences as "student teachers." Many states also require that teachers pass standardized exams at the national or state levels in the subjects they teach and the methods of teaching those subjects, and that they undergo supervised evaluation during their first years of teaching...

...Teachers in all states must have a Bachelor's degree. Many states require appropriate teacher preparation coursework before employment or the completion of a content-based or teaching-based Master's degree within a stated number of years. Additionally, to be permanently certified, many states require that teachers pass exams on pedagogy, general knowledge and knowledge of a content area."

Last month's tip was addressed to the catchers. An effort to open their eyes to unexpected sources of valuable information. This month we address the coaches.

Above lists the general expected requirements for any one person to hold a teaching position in this country, according to Wikipedia.

These requirements/certification procedures are put in place to ensure the competency of the individuals who are expected to shape the education of our country's youth.

Some might say that the states are fairly light on their certification requirements, but compare the hoops a prospective teacher has to jump through to that of a coach and tell me who has it easier.

To be fair, I don't want to suggest that coaches should go through the same gauntlet to be able to volunteer for a coaching job, but I do want to make sure that the coaches realize how similar their job actually is to that of a teacher.

Just about every field we will ever walk onto during our lives will be adorned with white lines. They are there for guidance and control, and have the power to affect the outcome of the games we play in. They do not, however, possess the ability to magically change the way our players learn.

Did you know there are 7 different ways the human brain can actively absorb and retain information?

  • Visual (spatial):Student prefers using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  • Aural (auditory-musical): Student prefers using sound and music.
  • Verbal (linguistic): Student prefers using words, both in speech and writing.
  • Physical (kinesthetic): Student prefers using your body, hands and sense of touch.
  • Logical (mathematical): Student prefers using logic, reasoning and systems.
  • Social (interpersonal): Student prefers to learn in groups or with other people.
  • Solitary (intrapersonal): Student prefers to work alone and use self-study.

Did you know that not everyone utilizes the same methods of learning?

One of the best lessons I ever received from my father, a certified special needs teacher with specialties in kinesiology and bio-mechanics, was to  ensure that before I blamed any student for being inattentive or lazy, to first ask myself this one very simple question...have I figured out which of the 7 different ways this catcher learns and is that why they are having trouble "getting it".

If the answer is no, then it wasn't the student's fault for not being able to figure out how to perform a particular skill. It was my fault for not teaching it in a way they could most effectively retain the information.So, to all the coaches out there. If you ever have trouble getting through to any of your players, catchers most definitely included, please ask yourself that very question. It very well may be a case of "It's not you, it's me".

Thanks for reading this month's Tip of the Month!