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Coach Wooden’s Four Secret Components to Developing Effective Leaders

Everyone is a teacher to someone. Athletes,celebrities, and others  in the public spot light may not want to be viewed as role models, but they are.

You are a role model to your family, your colleagues at work,  and in your community. We teach others by the way we live our everyday lives and these lessons speak louder than any billboard campaign.

Coach Wooden the “winning-est coach” of all time, viewed himself as more of a teacher than a coach.

Knowledge without teaching skills does not get the job done.

Coach Wooden in his early years as a basketball coach at Dayton High School said, “I was a leader who couldn’t teach but didn’t know it.” His team was having a losing season. He was “knowledgeable” and experienced about the game and knew the essentials but he did not know “how to teach it”. In his Pyramid of Success, Coach calls knowledge “Skill” and put it “in the heart” of his Pyramid.

Students need to be taught how to do it!

Coach said, his former coach at Martinsville High School, Glenn Curtis had the skill and knew “how to teach”. Coach said, “Knowledge is not enough. You must be able to effectively transfer what you know to those you manage-not just the nuts and bolts material, but your standards, values, ideals, beliefs, as well as your way of doing things. Most of all, you must teach those under your leadership how to become a real team rather than a group of individuals who simply work at the same place for the same boss. All this is only possible if you know how to teach.”

Coach Wooden’s Four Components of Effective Teaching

As an English teacher, Coach learned how to teach by breaking down “teaching into a set of four components: demonstration, imitation, correction, and repetition. These four principles are the key to effective teaching.”

Teach with Patience.

Coach Wooden said, “Mistakes that are corrected by a leader-a teacher who is fair, knowledgeable, and patient quickly disappear. There is something inherently simple, noble, and modest about a leader who sees his role as a teacher, not as a boss. The teacher’s function is to help the student to be their best; a boss views his employees as helping the organization achieve goals. Coach wanted his players to know that they were working with him, not for him.”

One of my first teachers was my Grandmother Mary Chernick Leader. When I was seven, Grandma Mary came to visit us. When she discovered I could not read, she quietly sat down beside me and patiently pointed to the page in my book and read a line on the page, sounding out each word for me. She then had me repeat that line slowly and carefully pronouncing each word and then asked me to try the next line the same way.  Grandma enjoyed reading and explained to me how you could visit anywhere in the world and go on an adventure through reading a book.

On a table nearby, Grandma had a large Hershey’s Chocolate bar and a small bottle of Coca-Cola. Every page I read pronouncing the words correctly, Grandma would hand me as a prize, for good work, a piece of chocolate and a sip of Coca-Cola. This was our “little secret” as my Momma never allowed soda or chocolate in the house.

Grandma taught me to read with kindness and patience. If I made a mistake she would say quietly, “Mimi, sound it out slowly. Try it again, you can do it!”

She was a ferocious reader who devoured newspapers, biographies, and she loved doing crossword puzzles. These efforts kept her mentally sharp and helped her in her efforts of teaching me to read.

Coach Wooden led by Example: “Action Speaks Louder Than Words.”

Coach Wooden said, “I used to smoke cigarettes as a young high school coach at South Bend. I would quit during the basketball season to set a good example, but then I was also setting an example by smoking-a bad one. So I quit.”  My example, I felt, meant more than my words.”

Coach Wooden modeled doing the right thing.

One of Coach Wooden’s favorite poem’s that helped him quit smoking was written in the mid-‘30s:

“No written word, no spoken plea can teach our youth what they should be. Nor all the books on all the shelves, it’s what the teachers are themselves.”

When I was 17, I attended Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU, as a full scholarship student on the violin. As part of the scholarship obligation, I played my violin as a member of the Richmond Symphony, studied and excelled in my freshman classes, and assisted Professor Peter Zaret, my violin professor, in teaching his adult beginning violin class.

Music education majors were required to take a class on learning to play the violin for credit.

Before attending VCU, I had performed in Carnegie Hall, 4 months before, graduated from high school at the North Carolina School of Performing Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina graduating with my high school diploma, and my Violin Performance Diploma. That summer I performed and studied at Wolf Trap Music Festival in Vienna, Virginia on full scholarship.

In teaching Professor Zaret’s class of adult beginning students they needed to learn the following:

-How to stand straight and tall and balance on their feet, how to hold the violin and bow, how to make a sound on the violin by pulling the bow across the string, and finally where to place their fingers on the violin to play simple tunes.

We began the class from the ground up: Balance of feet

Step 1: I first demonstrated to the beginning adult violin students how to stand straight and tall with their shoulders down and balance his or her feet like a tree with the roots going down.

Also I demonstrated how to bend my left and right arms from the elbows keeping them close to the body.

Step 2:Then each student took a turn by imitation, how he or she would stand straight and tall, balancing their feet, and bending their arms from their elbows keeping them close to the body.

Step 3:Next, going around the room once more, I made corrections showing each person, the little details they were missing.

Step 4: Each student again showed by repetition how they were to stand straight and tall, balance their feet, and bend their elbows keeping their shoulders down.

Each step was done with patience and paying attention to the smallest detail.

Our next step was to hold the violin. I demonstrated to them how to hold their violin with their shoulders down, bending their arms at the elbow. We followed our four steps –demonstration, imitation, correction, and repetition.

We began the process again this time with learning to hold the violin bow.

Step 1: I showed them by demonstrating how to hold my bow by making a loose fist keeping the thumb and fingers curved putting the fingers on the bottom of the bow called the frog. The fingers are close together with the thumb and second finger touching forming an oval shape.

Step 2: Each violin student, as I walked around the room, imitated how I had shown them to do it. As each student took their turn they watched how the other students were doing it. One student had huge hands and had trouble holding the bow. I had him make a loose fist, curving and bending his fingers, and then wrapping his fingers around the bow.

Step 3:Next, going around the room once more, I made corrections showing each person the little details they needed for a good position of holding their bows.

Step 4: Each student again showed by repetition how they held their bows.

Each step was done with patience and paying attention to the smallest detail.

Our next step was to make a clear sound on the violin with the bow: I demonstrated to them how to put their bows on the string of the violin, drop their elbows a little to put the weight in to the string and pull a sound from the violin by leaning into the string with their index finger on the bow and pulling the bow across the string to make the string vibrate.

Each violin student, as I walked around the room, imitated how I had shown them to do it. When they had difficulty, I would have them lean into the string with their index finger on the bow, dropping their elbow slightly with a little weight added.

Next, going around the room once more, I made corrections showing each person the little details they needed to make a clear focused sound.

Our last step was repetition, repeating the process over and over to practice making a clear smooth sound. I reminded them to practice what we were working on so they would improve by the next lesson.

Each step was done with patience and paying attention to the smallest detail.

Coach Wooden said, “You haven’t taught until they’ve learned.”

Dr. Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough.”

By being a role model and adding in to your daily life Coach Wooden’s four secret components of teaching -demonstration, imitation, correction, and repetition you will develop into a more effective leader, coach, mentor, parent, friend, and teacher.

Andrew Hill and Coach Wooden said, “Remember, corrections shouldn’t be given in anger, and if you wait to correct behavior until you are angry, it will be difficult to strip your feelings from your comments. But mistakes that are corrected by a leader-a teacher- who is fair, knowledgeable, and patient quickly disappear. There is also something inherently simple, noble, and modest about a leader who sees his role as teacher, not as boss. The teacher’s function is to help the student to be their best; a boss views his employees as helping the boss achieve his own goals.”

Andrew Hill said, “Coach Wooden wanted his players to know that they were working with him, not for him.” Remember, whether you are a leader, boss, coach, or parent you want the people you are working with to feel that they are “working with” you, not for you!

Starting today, who will you develop into an effective leader using Coach Wooden’s four secret components of teaching?

Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award winning teacher, Amazon.com Best Selling Author, 2017 Coach Wooden Certificate of Excellence, sought after speaker, business owner, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Businesses”. Her innovative observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. She writes a monthly newsletter “Madeline’s Monthly article & Musical Tips Blog” and a monthly radio show “Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show”. Her book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available on Amazon or Kindle. Contact Madeline Frank for your next speaking engagement at mfrankviola@gmail.com

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 at 2:01 am and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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