Communicating Concepts

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San Diego Figure Skating Communications

Expert Advice

Who Do You Consider as an Expert?
Parents, teachers, school councilors, coaches, ministers, grandparents, family, friends, etc. have acquired knowledge and experience and deserve respect and attention from young athletes. Sometimes their advice may actually contradict suggestions offered by others you respect. 

      Typically the advice gets included in a more lengthy process of figuring out the right way to go. That process will probably include information from other sources, perhaps other experts, family or peers impacted by the decision, associates who have faced similar decisions, etc.

      Contradicting advice from adults may cause an individual to turn to close friends in his/her peer group for advice on social situations, school, sports, parents, etc.

      Sources of advice from life Family Education:

Elementary School
Middle School
High School
Gifted Children

Teen Issues
Family Finance
Family Issues
Computers & Kids
Jobs and Chores
LD & ADD/ADHD Diet & Nutrition
Sports & After-School Activities
Smoking, Drugs, and Alcohol

Are You Constantly the Recipient of Advice?
Its not just your parents, but older siblings who will share their advice with you. Admittedly this is provided with the best of intentions. But too much of a good thing can cause more confusion than being helpful.  To add to the problem, young people are often the target of adults who feel they have "special insights" and wish to share with the benefits of their experience and wisdom.

Respect for advice givers

     Do you often receive too much advice and overload sets in?  It is worth the effort to figure out how to filter the advice and identify who you respect for their experience and objectivity. This should provide a short list of individuals you would go out of your way to seek advice. Anyone else not on your approved list may require that you politely listen to their advice and as quickly as possible disengage yourself from the conversation.

     Obviously it is a waste of time to listen to any individual whose advice does not have your best interests in mind.  Some people may attempt to discourage you and fill you with their negativity. The problem is how do you differentiate between this type of person and  those who know what they are taking about and only have your best interests at heart.

     The following are possible situations that illustrate why listening to some people can be a complete waste of time:

  • People sometimes are unable to communicate in an effective and proper manner:  As a result they might say something that doesn't add any clarity to the situation and only serves to muddy the waters.
  • Some people have their own agendas: A person might offer negative comments to make them feel better than you. Some individuals will put you down in order to elevate their own self worth.  Others may attempt to destroy your confidence to provide an advantage for another athlete.
  • They lack self confidence: Those individuals who lack self esteem tend to be very critical of their friends. They may justify their comments as a way of "helping" their friends learn to think and improve. The problem is with the person providing the negative comments, not with you!
  • People view the world according to their beliefs: This type of individual attempts to expand their personal experiences into a global truth. It would be wise to take such advice with a large dose of skepticism when a person lives in a the world shaped by their own belief system and especially if you do not share these beliefs.
  • Some people are mean spirited: Jealous, insecure, and mean spirited people will use every opportunity to discourage and put others down. It is best to avoid such an individual or if that is not possible, disengage from any conversation as soon as possible. Avoid, if possible, attempting to engage them in a conversation as even listening to this individual is a waste of time!
Carefully select those you chose to be your mentor
       If you respect or admire the individual, then you will be more open to hearing their "constructive" criticism. Only a "true" friend will be frank enough to say what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear.

       The constant stream of negative comments masquerading as positive feedback can be very destructive.  Objective feedback provides an opportunity to view situations from an alternative point of view. This view of your actions may not be pleasant to hear, but it is essential to mitigate or eliminate forces and actions in your life that are obstacles to attaining your goals.

       Most people feel more comfortable if they are surrounded by people who are very supportive. However. if the support occurs because they feel it is their job to be a "Yes" person and "rubber stamp" your decisions, this only postpones the time when you must face reality and come to grips with the fact you have made mistakes in your choices and decisions. Unfortunately, this time may not occur while there is still time to refocus and redirect your energy towards accomplishing your original set of goals.

Recommended Reading:

Factors to Consider when Selecting an Expert  by Rosemary N. Palmer, Esq.

Choosing an Expert That’s Right for Your Family  Information for parents about the best expert professionals in each area:
Parent "Coaches"
Certified Parent or Family Life Educators

PDF Selecting an Expert   The appearance of neutrality is critically important to an expert's believability. • An excessive fee is not a guarantee.

Subject Matter Experts (SME)  Criteria is presented as a guideline for selecting good subject matter experts for a job.

PDF Managing A Subject Matter Expert   Your client has limited and a short completion date.... Selecting the right individual or group of subject matter experts (SMEs), is your responsibility.

Office of Personnel Management Hiring Process Model   Human Relations professionals or a panel of subject matter experts (SMEs) evaluate qualified applicants in accordance with the assessment method(s) selected in Step 5.

Credentials: Choosing Subject Matter Experts   Sept. 25, 2007 ... Choosing Subject Matter Experts. An article advocating that associations that change their volunteer leadership structure and elections process to ensure that they have qualified leaders sitting on committees and boards. For certifying agencies, qualified volunteers are also needed as subject matter experts to participate in the development of assessment instruments. We went through our archive of resources and came up with these tips for selecting a balanced and qualified group of SMEs.


Physical and Mental Training Considerations

Skater. Parent, and Coaching Issues

Executive Coaching: How to choose the right coach Executive Coaching Articles - A guide to choosing the right coach to work with and an overview of transformational coaching.

Leadership Forum Inc. - How to choose a coach If you are thinking about hiring a coach and you are considering working with us, please answer the following questions for advice on choosing the best coach.

Bachelor of Sport Coaching | Victoria University | Melbourne ...
Choose from the Sport Science Specialisation or the Physical Education ... ethical, environmental and legal issues which underpin best practice in coaching;

How do I Become a Coach?   If you're interested in a career as a professional sports coach, a Bachelor's degree is essential. Courses ... How Do I Choose the Best Sports Coaching Courses?

A Guide to Selecting an Figure Skating Coach
How to Choose a Sport ...Best Sports to Keep Your Child Fit For Life ... How to select a coach for private lessons.

Positive Coaching Style: Positive Coaching vs. Negative: What Is Your Coaching Style?
Some youth sports coaches choose to use negative communications with their teams throughout the entire coaching career.


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
Levels of Skating Skills 
Modifying Patterns of Behaviors
Role of Sleep in Athletic Performance
Identifying & Reacting to Moods
PDF  Planning Special Olympic Season
          USFS Special Olympics
All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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