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December 16, 2013 / Kate Barnosky

Back to the Basics

Last week we hosted another one of our seminar series events.  The topic was Understanding Human Resources Management and Employment Law.  Rick Arrowood, a professor in the Master of Science in Nonprofit Management at Northeastern, gave the lecture. I enjoyed attending this seminar and learned a lot. I remember someone made the comment after the event that Rick has a way of making complex things seem so simple and understandable. I completely agree with this comment. With little knowledge of the nonprofit sector, all of the concepts and ideas Rick has talked about are new to me. However, he explains everything in basic terms. He gives real examples and cites relevant cases that bring to life the ideas. I like that he has catered the material specifically to that of a Sports Based Youth Development organizations and this has made the lectures even more interesting.

For the past few weeks, Prince and I have been helping out the P.E. classes at the Hurley School, a Boston Public School that is within walking distance from our office. The school is entirely bilingual, but many of the students speak even more than just two languages.  Each week I find myself impressed with the first grade class that completes their warm-up stretches by counting in four different languages. The classes are now currently on their basketball unit, which is especially fun for me as basketball is my favorite sport. It has been fun to teach the basics of the game to the students. I currently am an assistant coach of my college team at Tufts and have not coached younger players in a few years. It’s quite a different experience coaching these young students who have little or no basketball knowledge than it is coaching a college team. It has been both challenging and enjoyable to force myself to think about the very basic basketball movements and rules.  Explaining a layup to a first grader requires me to use straightforward vocabulary and to break down the simple basketball play into smaller and more understandable pieces.  With a more limited attention span of the students, the skills must be taught in a fun and engaging way.  I recently read a book on John Wooden, a famous college basketball coach whose leadership style and coaching tips are widely publicized.  Wooden broke down his teaching into four core components: demonstration, imitation, correction and repetition.  This is a great way to coach athletes at all levels.  Each component will look a bit different between the college team and the first grade class, but is a useful framework for me for both populations.

After the holidays we have exciting events and projects to continue to work on.  I am looking forward to continuing to make progress on our intern project with Matt and I am excited for the next event, which is a panel discussion on Increasing Female Participation in Sports.

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