Putting the Tea in Teaching

November 12th, 2015 | Uncategorized

Coaching encompasses a lot of things: strategizing, teaching, motivating, and so on. A lot of the coaching that I’ve been involved with here is heavy on the teaching component. There have been times when this is a real challenge. I didn’t realize how much of my basketball knowledge I took for granted until I tried to share it with others in a comprehensible way. There have been several times when Harrison and I issue what we think are simple directions, then look at each other in amused surprise when the players start doing something totally different from what we planned. These misunderstandings are often based on assumption. I assume that there are certain things I can take for granted, when actually every step needs to be fully explained. This lesson was recently reinforced off the court.

I take my teaching hat off when I leave the gym, but Harrison made me wear it in the apartment the other day. He asked for help making a cup of tea. I gave what I thought were clear instructions, but actually was making assumptions. “What about that thing you said the other day? That word I didn’t know?” Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that you need to let the tea steep for a couple of minutes before taking the tea bag out and drinking it.  

I assumed that this was a given, but actually his question explained another behavior I had been confused by. Being the considerate roommate he always is, he had previously seen a cup of hot tea sitting on the kitchen counter and brought it into my room, thinking I had forgotten it. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness, but said it was still steeping and I had meant to leave it there. 

But I can’t call myself a tea expert yet! Even teachers have a lot to learn. This past weekend I was schooled by a teammate in some of the nuances of tea brewing. Since then, I have been diligently steeping it in a metal pot, but only after scalding it first with some of the boiling water! 

I also need to be honest and admit that making tea is the only kitchen-related activity I have had to teach Harrison. Dinner preparation, on the other hand, is for him a stream of questions – how should I chop onions or tomatoes? does he thinks the meat is done cooking? have I put enough oil on the pan? and if maybe he can just do it because I clearly don’t know what I’m doing? 


Victory Scholar: Lillian McCabe

Present University: IT Carlow

US League: Atlantic 10

Club/Community Partner: ITC Basketball

Alma Mater: Davidson College

Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland


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