What Teachers Can Learn From Sports Coaches : A Playbook of Instructional Strategies book cover
1st Edition

What Teachers Can Learn From Sports Coaches
A Playbook of Instructional Strategies

ISBN 9780415738279
Published August 20, 2014 by Routledge
198 Pages

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Book Description

The strategies used by winning coaches on the field can bring success to classrooms, too! In What Teachers Can Learn From Sports Coaches, you’ll uncover that the athletic arena and the classroom have more in common than you think. Author Nathan Barber demonstrates how many of the principles of coaching can be used by teachers to motivate students, build community, and enhance teaching.

You’ll learn valuable lessons on…

  • Communicating effectively
  • Harnessing the power of teamwork
  • Making work meaningful
  • Embracing technology
  • Building a winning tradition
  • Teaching life lessons
  • Seeking continual improvement
  • And more!

The book is filled with insightful quotes from well-known coaches, along with suggestions on how to apply the ideas to your own classroom. You’ll come away with strategies that you can use immediately to bring success to your own team—your students!

Table of Contents

Foreword by Annette Breaux. Foreword by Kim Mulkey. Meet the Author. Introduction. Section I – Communicate Effectively. 1. Communication is a Two-Way Street. 2. Plan for Success. 3. The Problem with Praise. 4. Being a Master Motivator. 5. Communicate “Mastery,” not “Performance”. 6. Teaching and Reteaching to Mastery. 7. The Tough Conversations. 8. Do Something Different. 9. A Sign of Things to Come. Section II – Harness the Power of Teamwork. 1. Giving Ownership to the Team. 2. Getting Results by Assigning Roles. 3. Capitalizing on Shared Values. 4. The Team Approach to Time Management. Section III – Make Work Meaningful. 1. Touches on the Ball. 2. Teaching the “Why?”. 3. Activity Does Not Equal Achievement. 4. Using Formative and Summative Assessments Effectively. 5. The Game is the Best Teacher. 6. The Power of Creative Play. 7. Adding a Level of Competition. 8. Keeping it Real. Section IV – Embrace Technology. 1. Meet Them Where They Are. 2. Flipping Classrooms and Football Fields. 3. “There’s an app for that”. 4. Immediate Data Yields Immediate Feedback. Section V – Build a Winning Tradition. 1. Defining Wins and Losses. 2. Getting Early Wins. 3. Creating a Culture of Success. 4. Include Everyone. 5. Magic Stickers. Section VI – Teach Life Lessons. 1. The Extra Work Makes the Difference. 2. The Honest Truth About Cheating. 3. Responding Appropriately to Adversity. 4. Staying Focused on the Process. 5. Reduce Stress with the Process. 6. Problem Solving Isn’t Enough. Section VII – Seek Continuous Improvement. 1. The Professional Learning Network. 2. Read Voraciously.3. See and Be Seen. 4. The Power of Video. 5. The Game Has Changed…. Afterword.

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Nathan Barber is a twenty-year educator and author of more than a dozen education books. He is currently a high school principal in Houston. Before becoming a school leader, he was a social studies teacher and high school basketball coach.


"Nathan Barber's book is full of insightful and practical ideas for how teachers can motivate students and build trust using the same tactics that coaches use to motivate players and foster teamwork. An excellent book for new teachers who want winning strategies and experienced teachers looking for fresh ideas."

--Todd Whitaker, Professor at Indiana State University, internationally-recognized education expert, and author of the bestseller What Great Teachers Do Differently

"Nathan Barber's book reminds us how complicated teaching is and offers practitioners rich portrayals of how coaches teach, and how teachers coach. In this current era of high stakes testing, the narrowing of curriculum, and scripted pedagogical guides, Nathan's must-read book offers a new kind of playbook for transforming how students learn."

--Barnett Berry, CEO & Partner, Center for Teaching Quality

"This thought-provoking book outlines a comprehensive yet practical approach for effective teaching in the 21st century. Nathan Barber combines the fundamental elements of sports coaching with the essential standards of classroom teaching and offers a clear, detailed blueprint of instructional strategies for emerging and veteran teachers, as well as school leaders. It is a must-read for all educators!"

--Renee Hauntz, Manager of the Leadership Development Department for the Dallas Independent School District

"As I began reading this book, I wondered what coaches might really have to say of value to classroom teachers. But this book is inspiring. It reminds experienced teachers about the principles of good teaching and the values that we all must continue to hold on to despite teaching in the age of test-driven instruction.It instills in new teachers the dispositions necessary to be truly successful with students. Do you want to be a life-changing influence in the lives of your students? Read this book and discover how."

--Margaret S. Thomson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Baylor University's School of Education