The Coach’s Speech

Coaches say a lot of things. Practice to practice, coaches often say the same thing over and over in slightly different ways, hoping the subtle changes help someone new understand the message. 

In Finding the Game, Gwendolyn Oxenham writes about one of her coaches from when she was 12:

“‘Every player’s got to have a bag of tricks,’ my coach told us, his Trinidadian accent thick. A real orator, he knew when to pause, how to set a spell. Sometimes parents couldn’t understand him, but we always did. ‘Magic you may summon at any moment. I’m talking the su-pernatural. These tricks are your signature, your specialty, your armor.’

A coach can’t know which speech will be the one that lands, but this bag-of-tricks idea – I absorbed it instantly.”

By Brian McCormick, M.S.S., PES
Coach/Clinician, Brian McCormick Basketball
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League

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