K is for Knowledge

        K is for Knowledge.  "Knowledge is power."  We have all heard the saying.  As we touched on the other day in the Instant Gratification piece, we live in an incredible world in which our ability to access information has increased exponentially over the last ten to fifteen years.  I can remember getting annoyed as a kid when I didn't know a word.  "Look it up," adults would say which meant finding a dictionary and searching for a definition.  Today, "Look it up" has been replaced with "Google it."  If you want to find information on a topic, it is out there for you to find.  Today's entry is going to touch on two very different topics as I hope to challenge you to consider Knowledge in a different light.

        "Knowledge is power," is the popular saying.  For, the saying should be a little bit different.  Knowledge itself is not power.  "Knowledge is power potential."  There is a significant difference between knowing and doing, but they are codependent on each other.  Doing without knowledge is like trying to play a game without any explanation of the rules or how to play.  You're going to be very inefficient and likely will get frustrated.  Knowledge of the rules and how to play, on the other hand, is equally useless unless we choose to play.  I'm reminded of that person who never wants to actually play the game but will come talk trash to everyone about the moves they make.  "Why didn't you move there?"  "I can't believe you didn't want that card."  Well, then come play if you know so much!  Therein lies the key to why knowledge is power potential.  It gives us the opportunity to be effective when we choose to act.  The courage to act can be just as difficult to acquire, however, and is a major separator in those who accomplish and those who could have accomplished.

        This time of great access to information does not come without a new set of challenges.  While it is easy to "Google it" or to find it on Twitter, we have to be careful with what it is we find.  In school, it is fairly easy to create protocol for students doing research in search of quality resources.  The task away from the classroom is a little bit tougher.  My caution to you is to be careful what you read, and make decisions for yourself as to what is quality information and what is not.  I think sometimes we may see a quote we agree with that is really just an opinion and mistake it for factual information.  Again, I know I have been guilty!  Just the other day, something got me a little fired up on Twitter.  There is an account that advertises itself as being quotes from one of the most respected people in the field of sport psychology.  The idea for the account is outstanding.  It has great power potential.  The execution, however, leaves a lot to be desired.  The account rarely posts any quotes that are actually from the person himself.  Even worse, the account has put several what I call "Whiny Coaching Diary Quotes" up.  These are emotional quotes about coaching gripes that would probably be better made in private than on social media.  When an account like the one I'm describing posts them, coaches everywhere read the and get the misconception that is what sport psychology is.  Again, dangerous.  Your impact as a coach is so great.  If you are taking the time to search for knowledge to help your athletes, the intentions are there.  Twitter is good for a lot and I certainly owe it a great deal for a number of reasons.  All I ask is that you be careful what you choose to read and pass on to your players.  Ultimately, there are no set rules for you like I would give students working on research.  Allow your judgment to be your guide.

K is for Knowledge Song of the Day: Rod Stewart- Ooh La La (When I Was Younger)
I picked this song because, no matter what your age is as the reader, you know things you didn't know when you were younger that would have made the experience easier.  I'd encourage all of us to
take advantage of the older, more experienced people in your life and all they know.


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