Thoughts on a Tuesday: Storytelling, Fun in Practice, Clarity in Vision & More

Episode 2

This week’s newsletter covers:

  • Current Book: The Story Factor

Current Book: The Story Factor

I am currently reading “The Story Factor” by Annette Simmons. This book is part of my “curriculum” on my current learning project. One of the things that I want to do is enhance my communication skills. Storytelling is a key part of that process. Storytelling is one of the earliest forms of communication.

Tribes gathered around fires, as the elders share stories of the brave and the fallen. Politicians from the earliest of days using stories to influence their followings. Religious scripts using stories to share values and desirable attributes.

Stories invite people to listen. A good story can captivate and hold someone’s attention, keeping them on the edge of their seat. Stories lower people’s internal defenses as opposed to building them up. Stories invite people to come to their own conclusion about the moral and learning lesson in the story. Good stories tend to last longer in people’s minds as they are visual and exhilarating.

As a leader, I want to improve my communication skills for a number of reasons. I want to inspire, persuade and guide those that look to me. Storytelling can help me do that. This book has so far been a very interesting read.

Practice Idea: Fun First

How do you solve the issue of kids arriving late to practice?

One of the things that really annoys me is the issue of tardiness and punctuality. When I was a younger coach starting out, it drove me up the walls and there were a lot of sprinting and push-ups for being late (that’s changed now). In my opinion, being late is just plain disrespectful, to the coach and the rest of the players. I’m not talking about once in a while or special circumstances late. I’m talking about the kids who are always late.

It’s very rarely the kids’ fault though. In youth sports, it is the parents driving the kids to the sports hall, so the lectures, and sprints are wasted on the kids. The question then becomes, “how can we solve the issue of lateness in youth sports?”

An idea that I got from Coach Michael MacKay, is to always start the practice with one of the most enjoyable activities that the kids want to do. This might be different in various teams and age groups, but there are usually a couple of things that the kids will enjoy. Why not start practice with that activity?

By simply reshuffling your practice plan a bit, the kids will want to come to practice earlier and be more engaged as they get to do something that is extremely enjoyable to them. This means that you can save the lectures for something else.

It’s just some food for thought. . .

Practice Drill: Post Action Build Up

This week in practice, we introduced post actions to our players. The main things we introduced were post positioning, T-Post Series, Face Up Series & footwork (reverse pivot).

The above set-up allowed us to get three players at each basket and go through a series of repetitions with them. The guided defender only showed the reads as the coaches wanted to allow the teaching to happen with game-like cues. If you’d like to see how we did this through the practice, click here.

Leadership Thought: Clear Vision

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” -Theodore M. Hesburgh

When it comes to leading, vision is critical.

How else should a group of people from different backgrounds unite together for a common cause? When you are able to clearly articulate this large picture, this destination, only then do you allow people to choose whether they want to come on this journey or not.

When done correctly, the correct people will join you. They will be able to see how they fit into this big picture that you have created and will want to align with your cause to help make this a reality. Having a clear vision and being able to express this vision is an essential skill for leadership.

Recommended Article: Legos & Creativity

One of my favourite people to follow right now is Ana Lorena Fabrega. She is leading the way in terms of re-packaging how child education should be delivered. If you work with kids in any capacity, I highly recommend that you check out some of her work.

You can start right here as she expands on creativity.

Reflective Question: Learning

What is the most important thing you learned today?

That’s all for this week. If you found this interesting, I would appreciate you sharing it on your social media accounts.

Until next week.

Nabil Murad



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Nabil Murad

Full time professional youth basketball with an avid interest in meta-learning. Passionate about youth development, behavioural psychology and storytelling