Ronald GallimoreEveryone's a teacher to someone (John Wooden)

Pyramid of Teaching Success in sport

Coach John Wooden developed his Pyramid of Success for individuals. Inspired by Wooden, The Pyramid of Teaching Success in Sport is a graphical conception of the qualities of effective coaches. It has been used as a tool in professional development programs for youth sport coaches.
The Pyramid of Teaching Success in Sport was presented and described in a 2010 journal article by Wade Gilbert, Swen Nater, Mark Siwik, and myself. For a PDF of this article, click here.
The Pyramid of Teaching Success in Sport (PofTSS) reflects a conviction that effective coaching is dependent upon teaching success. The PofTSS draws on multiple sources: (a) the authors’ experiences across diverse careers in sport psychology, educational psychology, collegiate and professional sport, coaching, business performance and occupational stress, (b) four decades of coaching research, and (c) first-hand experience studying, playing for, and working with legendary sport coach John Wooden.
The PofTSS includes 15 blocks and 10 pieces of mortar, and focuses coaches on improvement of their teaching skills. This emphasis on self-improvement rather than measuring oneself against the performances of others is consistent with current views on how best to develop human potential across domains.
Click
here for a PDF of the Pyramid of Teaching Success in Sport. The Pyramid is copyrighted by BeLikeCoach and is available for public use to anyone devoted to the improvement of coaching.

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Studying Coach Wooden's Teaching

During the 1974-1975 basketball season, Roland Tharp and I spent many afternoons observing Coach John Wooden as he conducted practice on the UCLA campus. Using an observational coding scheme tailored to Coach’s teaching practices, we analyzed and published the results of our observations in Psychology Today (Tharp & Gallimore, 1976).
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In 2004, The Sports Psychologist published a followup to the original study including new materials and interpretation of 1970s investigation (Gallimore & Tharp, 2004). PDF

Swen Nater and I summarized the results of 30 years of investigating Coach Wooden’s teaching principles and practices in You Haven’t Taught Until They Have Learned (Nater & Gallimore, 2005). Some of his key approaches are summarized on this page. Read More.
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John Wooden's Timeless Lessons

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In 2003, Hank Bias called me asking about films of Coach Wooden teaching on the practice court. Hank was and still is head basketball coach. He coaches the Fairmont High’s Fairmont Firebirds of Kettering, Ohio. When he called, the team had lost 17 games, winning only 3, and Hank was thinking of leaving coaching. He called because he’d read an article Roland Tharp and I wrote about John Wooden’s teaching practices. Hank wanted films so he could learn to be a better teacher of basketball. I had made digital copies of old films Coach Wooden gave me, but I told Hank he’d have to call Coach Wooden to get permission to get copies. After some hesitation, Hank phoned Wooden who invited him out to California to talk about teaching. That began a story that some describe as “too Hollywood” to be true. But it is true, and what happened in the following years is quite a story. For ten years, beginning in 2003, I tracked Hank’s progress, visiting him twice, interviewing him in person and on the phone, and keeping up an email correspondence. Our research team recently published the first of several articles on Hank’s story. This first article describes how Hank learned to apply Wooden’s approach to steadily, continually improving his teaching, and the effects it had on him and his team. Read more about Hank and Coach Wooden: click here.
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Coach John Wooden talks about teaching

John Robert Wooden (1910 – 2010) was Head Basketball Coach at UCLA from 1948 until his retirement in 1975. Wooden’s UCLA teams earned 10 NCAA titles in 12 years, reeled off an 88-game win streak, and won 38 consecutive tournament games.
NCAA coach of the year 6 times, in 2000 he was named Men’s College Coach of the 20th Century by the Naismith Hall of Fame and ESPN. In 2003 Coach was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

When he spoke to groups, Coach Wooden often began remarks this way: “When I was teaching at UCLA…..” He believed that coaching is teaching, and that the foundation of his success as a coach was the years he spent as a high school English teacher. The Academy of Achievement site includes a video of Coach Wooden in which he describes himself as a teacher.
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