Monday Morning Edge (11/02/2020)

Greetings from Charlotte, NC!

I hope you and yours are doing well.

It’s great to be back. In case you’re new here, Monday Morning Edge took a break for the month of October. It was a great break and allowed me to get settled into my new job as well as get some much-needed rest after our move to Charlotte.

But I’m excited to be back in your inbox and can’t wait to share what I’ve been writing, reading, and listening to recently to help you become the best coach you can be.

Now, onto the newsletter…


From Tanners.Blog

The most recent articles and essays from my website.

Barbelled Coaching: How Living on the Extremes Can Make You a Better Coach​ ​(6 minute read)

Applying Nassim Taleb’s barbelled investing approach to coaching. There’s just one thing: I don’t know that I agree with the point entirely! But that’s what makes this an interesting topic to explore. Take a read and let me know what you think!

How Bill Belichick Stopped the Buffalo Bills ​(4 minute read)

In order to win Super Bowl XXV, the NY Giants’ Defensive Coordinator had to figure out how to stop Jim Kelly and the high-powered K-Gun Offense. In a gameplan that now lives in Canton, Ohio, Belichick led the Giants to victory by doing all he could to avoid losing.

Further reading: How to Become an “Anti-Coach”

Pause. (5 minute read)  

Forgive me if you’ve heard this before, but 2020 has been an exhausting year. Sometimes, in times like today, the single best thing you can do is to take a breath, to pause, and to come back to the hustle and bustle of regular life from a different point of view.

What I’m Reading

Tips for Lean Coaching by Randy Sherman​ ​(4 minute read)

“To be lean is desirable; to be skinny is not. How can we apply this word lean to our coaching style? How can we make our teams and programs more lean?”

The author suggests three ways:

  1. ​Eliminate Redundancy:​ “Coaches often accumulate clutter and the biggest contributor of clutter is redundancy…As the season nears, what are some areas you can reduce and eliminate areas of redundancy and clutter?”
  2. ​Shut Up: ​”Strive for precision in your coaching interjections. Instead of shouting a constant barrage of generic commands (Move! Hustle!) like the fans in the stands, provide your players with specific coaching points at a time where they can listen and absorb the information.​”
  3. ​Improve Focus:​ “Becoming lean requires extreme focus. Filtering or blocking out the bevy of information coaches are bombarded with is the new coaching superpower. The coach who cannot do this runs the risk of bloating.​”

In The Bubble by Ben Falk ​(7 minute read)

Falk runs one of my favorite blogs, Cleaning the Glass, and is one of the writers I aspire to be like.

He knocked it out of the park with this thoughtful piece on the importance of context. I particularly loved this quote:

“Doing anything worthwhile, by definition, means putting yourself at risk of screwing up—because if it was so easy that it involved no risk, it wouldn’t be worth doing. “There is no effort without error.” The real question is not whether mistakes were made, but whether too many were. To answer that, we need context. But critics can’t always see the context in which the doers operate. And they have the benefit of an entirely different context: hindsight.”

Robert Caro and the Fourth Volume by Chris Jones ​(30 minute read)

​The best article I’ve read in quite some time about Robert Caro–Pulitzer Prize winner and author of some of the greatest biographies ever written. 

I know an article is good when I feel entire paragraphs in my spirit. This one stood out to me:

“Caro has spent vast stretches of his life poring over documents, mostly at the Johnson Library in Austin — it alone contains forty-five million pages, held in red and gray boxes, many of which he is the only visitor ever to have opened, rows and rows of boxes stretched across four floors — and interviewing hundreds of subjects. Some have stopped talking to him; he lost Lady Bird Johnson’s ear after the first book. Some have refused to talk to him altogether; Bill Moyers, the journalist and Johnson’s former press secretary, has steadfastly said no for thirty-eight years. (Awkwardly, Moyers also has an office in the Fisk Building. Moyers did not respond to requests for an interview for this story, either.) But most people, even people who were reticent at first, ended up talking to Caro. They came to understand what his books would become. He has traveled thousands of miles to talk to them in person, even the most minor actor, always in person; he once spent three days sitting on top of a fence with former Texas governor John Connally, watching horses, discussing the trajectories of bullets. He bristles at the word obsessive, his eyes flashing through his thick, dark glasses. “That implies it’s something strange,” he says. “This is reporting. This is what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to turn every page.”​

Thanks for reading.

Have a great week,