“Snowflakes”. It’s a word that should be removed from coaching vernacular. It’s a word that, if the person who uttered it took a moment to comprehend it, would realize it is being used in the totally wrong context.
Many use it as a derogatory remark about the fragile nature of children. They use it to deride the scientifically-backed and real-world proven methods many of us are trying to implement. They fear change and they perceive their own irrelevance if we get our way and change the way people coach…so they tell us we are turning kids into snowflakes. They tell us our way is soft and making kids less competitive.
The fact is, by using harsh language, by remaining dictatorial coach-centric tryants who refuses to allow children to be self-directed learners, they are the ones actually softening them. Kids who learn under the “old school way” lack resilience, resolve, problem-solving, and grit. Someone has always programmed them like robots and they all look and act the same. They have had everything done for them by control freaks who can’t release the joystick long enough to let the children prosper. Their harsh words and demeaning style (which is far from the old school style of John Wooden) actually causes brain damage…so who is softening our kids? Get over yourselves and evolve already.
Besides, snowflake is not the right word. Snowflakes are fascinating because NO TWO ARE ALIKE. Similar to the kids we coach! We should treat them like snowflakes and coach each one individually. Snowflakes are also bad ass. They aren’t fragile at all. If enough of them are released they stop cities, ground planes, cave in roofs, and (where I am from) cause heart attacks when you try to shovel a bunch of them. No one has ever looked outside during a nasty Nor’Easter and said “what a soft and weak storm this is”.
Join me as Coach Craig Gunn and I poke some fun at the people who use snowflake and talk about coaching each athlete individually using constraints-led approach.
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About Craig Gunn
Craig Gunn holds rugby league master coaches Wayne Bennett and Jack Gibson, and legendary gridiron coach Vince Lombardi among his heroes – and St Francis Xavier is up there too. Each of them is an inspiration for Craig as a teacher and sports coach and for his life.” Craig Gunn has an extensive career in education and sports coaching, as a learner, coach developer, and lecturer. He has coached over 80 sporting teams (and counting) in his career so far and completed his Masters in Education (Sports Coaching) whilst teaching Physical Education at Australian Catholic University and Queensland University of Technology. He completed the Executive Coaching Certification with the National Coaching Institute and since graduating has transferred his expertise from the sports coaching arena into the corporate coaching landscape. Since graduating, he has collaborated on projects involving executive teams and a wide range of sporting organizations and is now on a journey to completing his Ph.D. Craig lives by the motto, “Kids learn teachers, not subjects!” He applies this in the field rather than the office, where he focuses on every learner as unique. Craig is quick to foreground always to adults and children, that, “It’s only a game, in the sport that is life…
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