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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Learning Machine

Warren Buffett partner Charlie Munger describes his colleague as a "learning machine." That allows the octogenarian to remain on top of his game. 

How do we become a "learning machine" - a learn it all, not a know it all?

Intent. Kevin Durant awakens and asks, "how can I get better today?" Kevin Eastman reads a minimum of two hours a day. Steve Forbes reads at least fifty pages a day. Thirst for knowledge and perspective. We can't change the world unless we change ourselves.  

Process. Seeking improvement isn't enough. Read thoughtfully and critically. Farnham Street Blog details better reading (I've read this article four times). The author suggests that we create mental pictures and mental models (biases about how we and the world work). Make our process vivid and clear. 

Preparation. Games structure situations that challenge coaches and players to choreograph solutions. Our 'why' dictates the who, what, and where. One end-of-game situation illustrates. Leading by one (against an undefeated team) with five seconds to go, we had a sideline out of bounds (SLOB). The solution didn't demand genius only dodging disaster.  

1) Inbound the ball safely.
2) Do not foul.
3) Get the ball to a preferred free throw shooter. 
4) Do not inbound closer to our own basket (make it tough for the opponent to score).
5) Avoid deflections on the inbound (easier to the corner or backcourt).
6) Manage risk. If we lose the ball, where do we leave hard conversion and scoring? 

The opposing coach is yelling "switch all screens." I'm okay with that as we designed big on small. We inbounded to the corner but lost the ball after a couple of seconds. We didn't foul and the opponents never advanced the ball to where they could shoot (despite the home timekeeper). The execution wasn't ideal but adequate. 

If we needed a three, then I prefer this type of action (to the ball) because we can't consistently make long passes. 

"Orange School" designs structural and situational teaching. Do you have clips that you'd share with your team? I plan to start with our high school's semifinal loss, showing plays that demonstrate core principles. 

Lagniappe: excerpts from an essay by John Celestand

"The day you make the decision to be successful is a day in history for any human being. It is the most important day of your life. This is a day that is more important than a birthday, an anniversary and any other holiday that you can imagine. In fact, the day that you decide to become successful should be marked in your own calendar and celebrated annually. 

Successful people think alike. They behave alike. They have the same habits. Similarly, unsuccessful people behave in a like manner. Success is not an accident, luck or a gift. Success is a mind frame. Money, material possessions and fame don't have anything to do with success. They are simply the results of the decision. 

Those who are successful, carve out "time to be successful." That is part of their week. Many times people tell me they don't have time to read during the week. Some of you won't have "time" to read this article. That is absurd! I have never heard anyone tell me they don't have time to eat during the week. Why starve the mind? The information and education that comes from reading can't be put on the back burner. This is one of the great crimes of humanity. If you are not dedicating yourself to learning and participating in some type of self-improvement every day of your life, then you are severely hampering your existence.

Success is a mind frame. It's never easy or in clear view. Success hides in dark crevices, under rocks and around corners. Only those who dare, who have courage and once in a while, gaze off into the horizon, ever seem to find it." 

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