Monday, October 13, 2014

Who (Or Is It Whom) Do You Listen To?

I'm actually chuckling to myself about that title.  First, because I'm seriously asking someone to advise me on when to use "who" or "whom" (I never learned that in school).  Secondly, I know I ended that title with a preposition, which is supposed to be a no-no -- but, like who (or is it whom) cares?  Third, my old English teachers must be rolling over in their graves at the thought that this former teen jock can write or type or even author books on his favorite topic.  But, hey...  "I always wanted to be a famous writer, and today I ARE one!" 

Okay, so what got me on this topic?  It's that my previously mentioned CA techie friend, Mike Mahony -- between bouts of bashing me about my lack of website building know-how -- also gave me a bunch of reading assignments.  Geeeeeeeeze...

To be honest, his advice was well taken.  However, as I well know as a coach, each of us has our own learning preferences.  Yup, I have to always keep in mind that my players (and my customers) usually prefer to do one or the other -- like reading, listening to new information, or seeing it.

I personally find it interesting that my preferences change with the situation.  For example, if we're going to communicate about detailed stuff, I'd prefer you not inundate me with verbal directions; naw, write it down, and I'll follow it to the letter.  On the other hand, when it comes to media, I don't have the patience to sit and read a long book (unless I'm on vacation or something); I'd much prefer to get the audio version and listen to it at my leisure.  Moreover on that last point:  If something is really detailed, I like having the ability to stop a recording to think for a minute, to rewind it to re-listen, or to even replay that recording a number of times.

As an aside here...  If you're a parent, it wouldn't be a bad idea to consider all I've mentioned in that last paragraph -- not only so you might communicate better with a child, but to also maybe help him or her with schoolwork.  If you're a coach, on the other hand, YOU'D BETTER MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE DIFFERENT LEARNING PREFERENCES IN YOUR CHARGE.  And, the way I accomplish that is to constantly rotate my presentation materials, from handouts to greaseboard lectures to skill demonstrations to videos to something shown on the floor to the right and known as my Model Rink with little Men..

Anyway, as Mike readied to go out of town for a few days, he left me with some homework (grrrrrrrr)...  He said I should find some written materials by a famous blogger, this to help me with better administering my just rebuilt website.  Ha...  You have to know how I took that.  No, I wasn't going to read the guy's articles, but I promised I would chase down his favorite blogger's YouTube channel, record the guy's videos, and then convert those to MP3 files for listening at my leisure.

All that said, the latter isn't what I really felt the need to share with you today.  Naw, it has a lot more to do with "who" (or dawgone "whom") it is we listen to.

I'm thinking back now to Brenda and I both getting very much into "The Law of Attraction".  Supposed gurus abound with advice on that subject, so Brenda and I have shared the different articles or other media as we've found them on the net.  If there's one thing that comes up in our conversations from time to time, though, it's that we don't always agree on a given presenter.  I mean we'll both like a given guy or gal, while there are others we separately prefer or get turned off by.  Doesn't it make sense?  I think so.

Just so Mike (and you) know, however, I have chased down his favorite blogger, and I have found he's relatively enjoyable to listen to.  The guy is an Aussie, though, which sometimes makes it difficult to understand what he's saying.  (Of course, Mike's preference is as a reader, which means he probably doesn't even know the difference.)

As I'm typing right now, I'm also still downloading that blogger's videos.  He has plenty of good advice, while a lot of what he shares is more of a reminder to me of some stuff I've just forgotten over time.  So, more than for any other reason, I'm going to convert those talks to audio and I'll use them as important reminders.  As a matter of fact, I'm going to take a few of those with me when Brenda and I go to the pool a little later today.

Back to my main point of the day...  Besides keeping in mind that my hockey players have their own learning preferences, I also have to remember that they aren't all going to respond 100% to my presentations.  I mean that:  Even though I might give a perfect talk or demo, there can be something about my voice, the way I say things, or whatever, that doesn't totally translate for them.

As another aside here...

I've been working on a post in about a VERY scientific principle that affects all of us.  It's called "epigenetics", and trust me, that the principles involved with that can be pretty confusing.  Knowing that -- and the need to vary my presentations, I'm explaining things in writing as best I can, and then I'm adding a pair of videos.  One video is crammed with scientific lingo, while the other features a rather comical guy who oversimplifies things so that almost anyone can grasp the concept.

Then, for the above reason, other coaches might find it interesting that I truly use my assistants.  Oh, trust me, that those guys and I are on the same page, and we're always attempting to communicate the same exact information.  However, we're going to naturally present things differently in our separate times with the players.  It's just a fact, I'm saying, that different people respond differently to various presenters.

Lastly, I guess I needed to share this philosophy -- with you and with Mike.  There's nothing wrong with any of us suggesting a given expert to a friend.  What we have to know, though, is that there's a lot to be said for finding the presenters who resonate just right with you.

If you're into hockey, please give my totally revamped a browse.