(Episode 7: Tom Anstett “Stop Whining…Start Winning”)
In this episode we meet a coach who has had his feet firmly planted in two worlds: athletics and education. Tom has recently had an excellent book (Stop Whining…Start Winning) come out detailing what he learned from both of these arenas. It is loaded with some solid insights that will help both coaches and teachers alike. Those who are really interested in his educational thoughts, the last 16 minutes are a MUST!
In the first part Tom talks about where the title came from and his writing the book. We go back to his love of 16-inch softball, a Chicago staple, and his late entry into the world of basketball. Tom points out some key influences during these early years (his father being one) and how he grew to “expect nothing”. A tough attitude that was born growing up in the city helped him get through the tough times and helped him blossom as a player (he averaged 31 points a game in HS!!), eventually helping him get a scholarship to Boston College. While at BC, he had the chance to be coached by the legendary Detroit Piston/U.S.Olympic coach Chuck Daly among others. One great thought springing from this section is when Tom decided to “figure it out himself” during college rather than have his dad intervene. A novel idea, indeed!!
In the middle segment we discuss topics such as sport’s specialization, sharing athletes in high school, and the AAU game. Tom has had plenty of experience with these areas and understands the difficulties. We don’t solve the problems here, but some suggestions as to how to make them work more smoothly are given (Hint: compromise and communication are a part of it).
The last section hits on education. We cover the plight of the teacher and Tom’s belief that teacher’s need to be elevated and empowered more. He accepts standards, but also believes in giving the teachers a chance to show their creativity (this coming from a 15-year department head in English). Mentoring is also discussed, as is the need for administrators to stand their ground more firmly in this day and age. Finally, Tom hits on education being a “people” business, where relationships are important, and some policy changes that he would suggest to improve our U.S. educational world. Some great “stuff”. I wish the last section had more time because it broke some thought-provoking ground. Ah…perhaps next time!
GUESTS: Tom Anstett
HOSTED BY: Scott Olson