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Making Transitions

Making Transitions

by Tapas Das -
Number of replies: 0

Making Transitions


One of several aspects in life is we have to make transition from one stage or phase of life to another.

Making these transitions are not always easy, in fact, it can be challenging.

Let us look at some examples of transitions. A player after his retirement as a player, becoming a coach in sports. An activist becoming an administrator, like an Arvind Kejriwal. A student making transition from campus to corporate. Even transition in the same profession or field, an individual contributor becoming a Manager or Team Leader or a Functional Head becominga Business Head. As in my case, a practicing manager becoming a teacher or trainer.

What it takes to make successful transitions?

Let us hear from Pulella Gopichand, a famed badminton player who has become a even more famous coach? On being asked whether the transition from being a player to a coach or teacher smooth, this is what he has to say.

" As a player you are internally driven. It is about you, your body and mind working in unison. As a coach, it is the same but in reverse - you take that drive and channel it to player. Of course, it comes with it's share of frustrations and issues. As a player you are out there in the court and the game is in your hand. But here as a coach everything you can do stops at the line on the court. That apart, I faced a lot of challenges initially while going from being a player to coach - more in terms of the support that came my way. I think I made the transition pretty quickly and with relative ease because at the end of the day my love for the sport kept me going. I wanted to do everything I could to help badminton grow and most importantly, to let the players have what I did not have - good infrastructure and unwavering support.

There is a significant change of role when you make transition. One got to be aware and sensitive to it. The most important lesson in coaching and teaching is that you need to understand that you are dealing with a human being, not a machine. Once you get into that zone, and learn to look at your students from that perspectives, then your patience increases manifold. I have seen some players respond to sweet talk, some to harsh feedback, some need punishment to mend their ways and some needs words of encouragement. What I never do though is box my students into categories. I go with my intuition and treat each one of them as a unique individual."

Interesting thoughts, coming from a very celebrated teacher and coach.

What are your thoughts?