No Sails on a Crew Shell

Yesterday I spoke at the What Works Summit at the Institute for Rowing Leadership at Community Rowing Inc.  I shared ideas on creating a culture and language that is build for success in competition.  As things concluded I was asked how I felt about coaches using the quote, “Do or do not… there is no try.”  Did a coach preaching and speaking this idea help rowers?

I had to take a moment before answering.  I have enormous respect for coaches and strive to see the benefit in even the most questionable tactics.  Yet, all do respect to Yoda, the quote above seems like a lot of hot air coming from a coach.

Not so bad I suppose if you boat has sails and could use an extra gust of wind, but not so helpful if you’re looking to motivate or focus athletes.  Perhaps the coach sounds cool and sounds coach-like, but it really requires a bit more thought.  As far as I can figure, at best it it allows athletes to know that there is a Star Wars fan in their midst.  At worst, it confuses an athlete and minimizes the value of a genuine effort.

Cool quotes are too often hot air.  If your team’s not sailing… question the wisdom of all the bluster.


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