“Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don’t have time for such study.” — Donald Knuth
That’s roughly the job of every teacher & coach. For every small piece of advice or lesson, there are untold hours, or years, of time spent discovering the answers to the “how” and “why” questions in a way that is deep enough to have become second nature.
Most of my day is spend living life in the slow lane. I study for hours a day. I write by hand. I take endless notes on obscure-seeming topics in an effort to mine whatever wisdom can be found that might prove useful to my students.
I play the part of a kind of intellectual-distillery, putting this information into a digestible and interesting form for those who need the 3-point breakdown, who want “the point”, and want it accompanied by a good joke or a story, an analogy that makes the lesson stick. None of this happens by magic. It happens the way anything else does: time and consistent work.
I take all of this very seriously… especially the jokes.
Yesterday I was asked by a new coach if I had any advice about ways to speed up the process of becoming a better coach. Of course, there are answers to that in the affirmative. But, fundamentally, the answer is no. The whole point is to slow down, think more, and be the calm center around which your students can storm.
Now go lift something heavy,
PS. The pic is of me & our lifter Laura in the gym. Yes, I’m holding a bourbon. 😉