Strength Performance Network

We certainly do live in an age of specialization in all fields of endeavor. I would argue that in coaching, specialization is a negative not a positive trend. I look at the coaches who have mentored me and great coaches I been around during my career. They were all generalists. Even though they were very successful in their chosen sport and discipline within the sport; most coached multiple sports or multiple areas at a very high level. The trend toward specialization has stifled development and innovation, not enhanced it. Look outside your sport or specialization for ideas and inspiration. If you are a swimming coach talk to the track coaches, if you are a throws coach in track & field coach go talk to the gymnastics coach. All of us should look at martial arts for concepts regarding attention, focus and body control. Athletic development coaches should go to dance instructors to learn rhythm and tempo. I am a big believer in going outside the world of sports for ideas, look at art, architecture, design, music, and film. Some of my best ideas on long term planning and project development have come from reading and talking to people in business. Creativity transcends disciplines. There is so much to be learned if you get outside your narrow area of specialization. Challenge yourself by exposing yourself to different ideas and approaches; believe me it will open up a whole new world for you. Specialize in being a generalist; there will never be a dull moment. You will make connections and see things you never thought existed.

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