Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Caricature of a Better Coach


"There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are also others, who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into a sun."
-Pablo Picasso

One of my favorite parts of going to Disney World is Getting our kids caricatures done. Having gone to various theme parks through the years in fact, we've acquired quite a few. It's fun to see the different artist's perspectives and to see them change through the years. Some of them are Good incarnations of my kids personalities, but some are even Better.We've even subjected our pets to the artist's pen. Looking at the collection on the wall always makes me smile, and to say I cherish them would be an understatement.

A good caricature artist must of course have a keen eye. He must be observant of word and deed and and have the visual prowess to exaggerate it all, creating an entertaining, but not offensive keepsake. He's also got to be confident enough to convey his perceptions with ease as bystanders look over his shoulder to enjoy the fun. The Better Ones Don't sketch it in Pencil, then outline in Pen. They Draw it with Pen right from the Get-Go. It's because they're experienced, and they've learned from experience, and that's what makes their work so impressive. Once the ink's on the page, It's indelible, so they're very purposeful with every stroke.
There aren't any erasers on the pencil and pastel tray.

I think being a caricaturist is a lot like being a mentor or a coach.
It's all about perspective.
Of course there are good coaches and there are better coaches.

I think the better ones have a keen eye:
An eye for what a player can bring to the team. An eye for what that player can gain from it.

The better ones are observant:
They notice what gets results and what doesn't. They notice what defeat can do to a child, and they notice teachable moments.

The better ones have visual prowess:
They can see that focusing on a player's strengths rather than his weaknesses enhances his esteem. They can visualize his strengths trumping his weaknesses.

The better ones know that sport is ultimately for the entertainment of the players and the spectators, and that the memory, as such, should be the most valuable keepsake he takes away, whether he takes it to the college playing field or to his scrapbooks.

The better ones are confident:
They're confident because they've played the sport themselves, and they've been blessed to be coached by Better coaches themselves--coaches who can convey their direction with ease, whose aims are to improve, and to overcome, to learn, and to grow, not necessarily to Win.

Both Good Coaches and Better Coaches can Win Games. Both Can Lose.
But it's the Better ones Who make a Difference.
It's the Better Ones who Know it's an art form-An indelible Art Form
An Art form that takes Learning.
An Art Form That takes Practice.
An Art form that takes a village

And to say I cherish them would be an understatement.

"People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
-Maya Angelou

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