In this episode of SPORTLiGHT’s Sport Report, Meg and Dr. G interview the University of Denver’s head Men’s Lacrosse coach, Bill Tierney. Coach Tierney’s lifetime accomplishments include thirty-six years of coaching, seven national championships, twenty-seven regular season and conference tournament championships, and being the second coach to achieve over 400 wins as a coach. Additionally, he got the Johns Hopkins Men’s Soccer team, who previously had one winning year of the past thirty, to the NCAA championship in 1986 with no prior experience coaching or playing soccer. Coach Tierney discusses the relationship between teaching and coaching and how his background as a K-12 Physical Education teacher impacted his coaching style. He discusses his experience coaching football, soccer, and lacrosse, and how he has collaborated with his students and athletes over the years. Dr. G asks Coach Tierney about the differences he noticed between coaching football and lacrosse, and Meg wonders about how he stays at the top after all these years.
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TIPS & TOPICS
Teaching as related to coaching
Changing norms between generations
Failure as a part of growth
Failure as a part of sports
Coach Tierney’s background and story
Coaching techniques: X’s and O’s, physical, social/emotional, psychological
Coaches’ impacts on athletes
Four step teaching method
Differences in football, soccer, and lacrosse from a coaching standpoint
Virtual coaching as part of the COVID-19 pandemic
LINKS & RESOURCES
Coach Tierney’s Professional Bio
Info about Coach Tierney’s wins/accomplishments/background
Info about the Four-Step Method
Here’s an interesting book that gets us thinking about how teaching and coaching are similar. The author, Jeffrey Huber, brings in concepts from educational psychology (research and ideas about how people learn and develop) and applies them to coaching athletes. Ever wanted new ideas on how to help athletes understand the team strategy or tactics? Enhance your coaching toolkit with a book such as this.
Huber, J. J. (2013). Applying educational psychology in coaching athletes. Human Kinetics.
Our previous guest, Dr. Jay Coakley, has studied parental expectations in youth sports. Checkout this study by Jay where he talks about the moral worth of sport parents. Here’s a key takeaway for sport parents--have you ever felt like you let your child down because you couldn’t provide them with an opportunity in youth sport? But if you do provide your child with such an opportunity, do you also feel like you should get some return on your investment?
Coakley, J. (2006). The good father: Parental expectations and youth sports. Leisure Studies, 25,
As Coach Tierney noted, the parents have changed, not the kids or athletes. What does the research say on this? Well, the parents have changed! So have the kids, but not to the same impact as parents. Checkout this interesting study, based in Norway, that studied how parents of today’s age are way more involved in organized youth sports. Maybe it’s time for parents to chill a bit.
Stegansen, K., Smette, I., & Standby, A. (2015). Understanding the increase in parents’ involvement in organized youth sports. Sport, Education and Society, 23, 162-172.