Coaching teams

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Coaching teams

Postby TeresaYork » November 12th, 2012, 1:35 pm

Hi AIC,

When you are coaching a team, and they have just performed a show, are you more of the "let's break down this show scene by scene and critique?" Or are you more of the, "overall, this happened?"

Sometimes I feel like I am getting caught on the details, and I want to be as encouraging as possible! To make a long story short, what is your coaching philosophy?

Thanks!
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Postby Jastroch » November 13th, 2012, 7:47 pm

Big picture, all the way. The less time you're on your feet working on stuff, the less productive you are. Also all that stuff has happened and won't happen again. No need to rehash everything.

One to three big picture action items (and fixes) and specific moments that illustrate that. Any personal feedback that needs to be addressed in the context of the show. Then exercises that work on that stuff.

Good teaching is as much about what you choose not to say as what you choose to say.
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Postby PyroDan » November 14th, 2012, 5:32 am

I like to ask how everyone feels, what was great, what was not so great etc. Then work from there. It helps me to construct what to work on, where the overall focus for the group should be, and then individual goals as well.

One thing I have found is that when a show seems subpar, most everyone knows why, but when it is great sometimes we can't identify all the pieces to make it happen consistently.
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Postby TeresaYork » November 14th, 2012, 11:51 am

Thanks! Good stuff!!
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Postby Asaf » November 14th, 2012, 3:56 pm

It's all about what helps them most for the next time that they are going to improvise. Most of the time for me that means big picture and using scenes from the previous show as illustrations as needed.

For the most part, you can get away with just saying "I saw X in the show, and so that's what we're going to work on today."
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Postby sara farr » November 14th, 2012, 6:36 pm

Jastroch wrote:Good teaching is as much about what you choose not to say as what you choose to say.


I LOVE this.
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Postby Spots » November 22nd, 2012, 3:51 am

PyroDan wrote:I like to ask how everyone feels, what was great, what was not so great etc. Then work from there. It helps me to construct what to work on, where the overall focus for the group should be, and then individual goals as well.




I love this about you. Once you become a coach you don't make the troupe an extension of your ego. You take in consideration what the ensemble wants and needs & make a judgment call on how to help them further evolve their hunches and feelings.

Because you are there to facilitate them. Your teaching style reflects this too.
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Postby Jon Bolden » November 22nd, 2012, 10:18 am

PyroDan wrote:I like to ask how everyone feels, what was great, what was not so great etc. Then work from there. It helps me to construct what to work on, where the overall focus for the group should be, and then individual goals as well.


I love this too. I try to do this when I'm teaching but sometimes I forget. It's such a subjective artform that I feel like I need to know how people are feeling about what they just did before I give my view.
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Postby Spots » November 22nd, 2012, 6:51 pm

Subjective for sure. One aspect about that: Even if you are "right" and you give the ensemble notes about something they keep doing consistently ... your advice will be more accessible if grounded in their own observations.

Otherwise you could be working against the person's sense of pride. That happens all the time. Trying to rush a note when the person is intellectually prepared but not emotionally prepared to hear it.

Backing up what Jastroch said -- perhaps you can keep it in your pocket & get more mileage out of that advice later. Timing is everything.
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Postby B. Tribe » November 23rd, 2012, 4:40 pm

Not a big fan of "you could have done this in the scene", but if there's a specific moment that I THINK could have went X direction when it went Y, then I bring it up without the imagined 'coulda shoulda' stuff.

This is an extention of what I learned from having plays critiqued in classes. When someone gives an 'why don't you ____', what it really means is 'I don't know what you did or where this moment came from or where it's going.'
“It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it.” -Sam Levenson
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Postby jillybee72 » November 24th, 2012, 3:36 am

Let's not go moment-by-moment, but let's use specific moments as examples of the trends. WHEN did I not yes and, WHEN was my give-and-take weak? You can't vaguenote it.
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