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Yesterday I saw a resume’ where the person listed eight certifications beyond their maters degree. One of the certifications required four levels! This person could not have been over thirty years of age. I am not sure if this is someone I would hire. I would hav ebeen more impressed if that time was spent gaining hands on coachig expereinces with a variety of athletes and teams. This got me thinking about professional development where and how young professionals learn and grow professionally.

I encourage you to ask the following questions to help guide & direct you: Where do you learn? Who do you learn from? Do you have a plan and direction for your learning? How much of your learning is online? How much is reading of books, peer reviewed journals and professional journals? How much of your learning is experiential and hands on? Who are your mentors? What are you learning? Do you look for different points of view and opinions? Are you following fads and chasing rainbows or is there substance to what you are learning?

Learning and professional development is a constant ongoing process. I try to devote up to 20% of my time to learning and professional development. It is a process of separating the need the need to know from the nice to know with a definite plan and direction. Above all keep seeking new experiences, experiment, prototype, get out and train yourself to learn. If you want to be an expert then follow the advice of pioneer nuclear physicist Niles Bohr: “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” So get out there put you butt on the line make some mistakes and learn.

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Comment by Adrian Bazemore on October 31, 2011 at 7:55pm
Great Blog Coach! I ran into my old atc from high school (he's been doin it for like 25 years plus) and we had a conversation very similar to this. Whats bad is folks will see all of these an think "Oh he must be good" when all along the only experience he has is in the classroom
Comment by Ron Thomson on October 30, 2011 at 5:49pm
Vern again has hit it correctly. The younger coaches have for years caught the certification bug. The thinking that the greater number of letters behind the name is making the person a better coach. Where they miss the true meaning of professional advancement is by getting their hands dirty and working in the trenches on a daily basis. The finding of a mentor to follow, learn from, watch, discuss ideas , program and more is critical. Working with all levels of athletes , high school , collegiate, pro, world class and learning from your mistakes and correcting are the best long term ways to gain experience in the field. I have seen and heard of too many of these coaches who get in front of a team, group of athletes and can't implement the idea of the workout. As Vern has commented on, it is to their advantage to go out and just work hard , learn from experienced coaches and get better.
Comment by Sergio Moura Duarte on October 28, 2011 at 10:12pm





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