Zen, carrots, and coaching

Chopping carrots is a lot like coaching soccer.

I’ve been a long-time fan of the writing of Edward Espe Brown, also the documentary that portrayed his work at Tassajara’s kitchen. He sometimes offers a class there that I was checking on just now (looks like they aren’t offering it). But I did come across this article and it made me think about Positive Coaching. I often think about how I have this PCA training, and I know the power of positive coaching, the emotional gas tank and the magic ratio. But despite all this knowing I often go out and criticize and correct all throughout the practice. I have a player with ADHD and I have yelled at him to pay attention, for example. Then I ask myself why this is.

Reading the last part of the article starting with “After a number of months  . . .” I got a new idea:

“If you want to see virtue, you’ll have to have a calm mind.”

If I want to be a positive coach, a positive person and possess a positive spirit, I have to calm my mind. Since so many of us are part-time coaches who come to training after many hours at “the day job” this creates a huge challenge. I know to get to training I work to the last minute, jump on an express bus, go home, rip my clothes off, change, jump in the car and drive like heck. Am I calm when I get there?

I don’t think I’m the only one in this situation.

As a coach, do I have a calm spirit stepping into practice? And does the awareness of this concept help me do so? I am going to try this at 5:00 pm tonight. Any advice on how to achieve it?

“When you wash the rice, wash the rice. When you cut the carrots, cut the carrots. When you stir the soup, stir the soup.”

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