The Coach as a Leader

When people are asked, “Who is a leader?” many respond by naming politicians, presidents, senators, and governors, military leaders, business leaders, and… successful coaches.

Why are coaches included in this list? Because all coaches are leaders, coaching effectiveness is maximized by understanding how to lead.

In a way, the relationship between coaches and players is a contract. Players will follow the coach’s wishes or demands and in return they expect their reward, whether that is winning, playing time, positive reinforcement, or some other benefit. With that in mind, a coach has the obligation to find out what each individual’s wants and desires are and to get them to believe in the ultimate team goal(s). Here are some guidelines for specific implications of what the coach as a leader should do:

Master and Apply Current Knowledge. Be willing to learn and willing to take the time to understand correct movement mechanics, strategies, and the fundamental principles of sport.

Develop Interpersonal Skills. Develop interpersonal skills, especially communication skills. Have a sense of humor but scrap the sarcasm. Players need to feel that they can approach you, if they don’t feel that way problems can multiply.

Eliminate all Dehumanizing Language. Treat each person with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Give positive reinforcement rather than negative feedback. Offer solutions when criticism is necessary.

Control Your Emotions. Athletes treat the coach as the role model and will emulate their behavior. If coaches are on the sidelines yelling at officials and throwing chairs, what message is that sending to the players?

Help Athletes Set their own Goals. Goals need to be established as a team and as an individual. Goals should be something that the athletes can actually achieve. Coaches are there to guide athletes in the goal setting process as well as the evaluation of the goals but they are not there to tell the athlete what their goal is or what their goal should be.

Live in the Present. Athletes don’t need to be consistently reminded how good your team was last year or in prior years. You may use the past as an example but don’t compare your athletes or team to prior years.

Provide Opportunities for Success. Provide good practices, time for game conditions, sensible scheduling and a pleasant atmosphere. The administrative aspects of the job are just as important as any other aspect. Planning, preparation, and budgeting are very important functions. A coach must be a leader, teacher, and an administrator all at once.

Every coach has the ability to lead but it takes work to become a good leader. By following and living by these guidelines, you will be a long way on your path to becoming a good leader.

If you think that you need a sparkle of motivation to boost your work abilities, a good option is attending motivational speeches and reunions to get very inspired. If you want to check one out, click here.


Does creating a product video make sense?

So you have a product that needs to be communicated effectively to your consumers?

At present you might have text and maybe some pictures to illustrate the benefits of your product, but this method being successful relies on a number of factors:

Firstly, a purely text based approach to selling assumes that your customers are already interested in your product enough to spend time reading about it to find out more.

Secondly, it assumes that the customer has enough time and inclination to make an emotional investment to read and find out more about why your product is great.

Finally, it makes the assumption that your customer feels they have the time to spare to read about your product and that they have the attention span to read about it.

If the answer is no to any of these your customer will not spend the time to find out about the product and therefore the advertising format is pointless and the potential customer may not purchase it.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s the worth of a video? And, how would that quantify in terms of sales and profit to your business?

Immediately, a video can grab the attention of any visitor to your website, as videos are associated with entertainment wither it is fact or fiction based (drama or documentary). In today’s online world, users are generally more inclined to watch a video (which can help to explain why we spend so much time watching adverts on television). As a viewer we are used to being told what to watch without choice, from our experiences with television and the cinema.

However, as a reader we are much more judgemental about what we should dedicate our time to reading. We will sit through every advert in an advert break without thought but we will only read the reports that really grab our attention in the newspaper. We give all video adverts a chance and our attention span is much longer as a viewer as opposed to a reader.

The luxury of motion that a video format offers is a great advantage one should keep in mind when deciding whether to get a product video or not. Motion over stills means the viewer can be given a guided tour on the features of a product and more importantly shown about why they should purchase this rather than being told. Despite how interesting you may feel the facts are about what you are selling, the reality is that facts can be boring regardless of the fact itself. Therefore, showing the facts rather than telling them, is a way for the potential customer to feel involved in the journey of discovery of how great a product is.

Showing rather than telling is something a product video format is far superior at achieving than anything else. Choices made in the concept, narrative, camera shots, lighting, editing, music, visual effects, acting can all be effective tolls in the art of showing. This applies to not only your product itself but to your brand also, the right use of these tools can communicate effectively messages about your brand identity that would not have been possible before. The new Iphone adverts on television and online are so effective and therefore so successful as they have mastered showing over telling to their audience. They feature celebrities such as Samuel .L. Jackson interacting with the iPhone and its ‘SIRI‘ (Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface) technology. The dialogue between the two shows Samuel .L. Jackson cancelling his schedule and setting reminders on his phone as well as interacting with the technology on a human to human level. It does not feature any captions, voice overs or graphics telling facts to the audience. Allowing the audience to be given a tour of the features of the product and make the discovery themselves, with the aid of the product video.

Product videos can be a great aid to your selling strategy when done correctly.

Seniors Can Walk To Better Health

Seniors Can Walk To Better HealthWalking Holds The Key To Greater Independence and Health For Seniors

Good news! A recent study conducted at the University of Georgia determined that seniors who included walking as a part of their daily regime stood to gain immense health benefits, particularly because it increases oxygen consumption. This translates into greater independence and a reduction in disability.

The research, which was conducted by M. Elaine Cress, professor of kinesiology and researcher in the UGA Institute of Gerontology and Trudy M. Harrison, a former UGA doctoral student, was comprised of 26 low-income seniors. They were divided into two groups. One group walked 3 times per week for 4 months while the control group received nutrition education only.

health benefits of walking for seniorsAccording to the researchers, the study enables people to determine how walking programs promote optimal physical functioning rather than just focusing on strength training exercises improve feelings of independence in seniors.

The  walking group began with 10 contiguous minutes of walking and gradually progressed to 40 minutes by the end of the 4-month period. Each session included a total of 20 minutes for warming up and cooling down that included stretching, to enhance flexibility and balancing exercises to reduce the risk of falling. Trudy Moore-Harrison decided to use low-income participants because they were more likely to: have fewer finances, be less physically active, are suffering from long-term medical conditions and have insufficient or no health insurance.

The results of the study, which appear in the current issue of the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, indicate a 19 percent increase in their peak aerobic capacity, a 25 percent increase in physical function as measured by a questionnaire and the ability to perform physical activities such as climbing stairs and wearing outwear. The walking group also decreased their risk of disability by 41 percent when compared to the control group.

walking shoesSticking to an exercise program can be challenging but the walkers not only stuck with it for 4 months but also enjoyed the experience, as it gave them the opportunity to affiliate and form new relationships. Cress stated aerobic capacity  is what motivates us to do the things we want to do. Increased aerobic capacity allows us to have more energy to perform tasks and have energy leftover for leisure activities.

Since walking doesn’t require any special equipment (a comfortable pair of shoes is all you need) anyone can do it. There are still not enough people engaging in this low-cost activity. Walking provides many health related benefits. Begin your walking routine today!

The Daily Walking Advantage

Improve Your Overall Health with a Walk Each Day

The Daily Walking Advantage

When considering an exercise program that offers convenience, low-impact and that is easy to manage, walking foots the bill. Find out how a walking exercise regimen can fit into every lifestyle.

Simplicity of Walking Step by Step

Many doctors and medical professionals recommend walking as daily exercise because it is so simple, and almost anyone can do it. Walking for health can be done in all climates, and just 30 minutes every day can result in a measurable health benefit.

The National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Weight Information Network recommends starting a structured walking program that allows for set goals and rewards. The WIN suggests gradually increasing goals such as lengthening walk time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and keeping track of walking workouts in a journal.

As with all exercise programs, check with a doctor before implementing a walking program; especially those with heart or lung conditions, who are smokers, pregnant or over 50 years old and not used to moderate exercise.

The Daily Walk and Burning Calories

heart rate during activityTo lose one pound per week, a person would have to reduce their calorie intake by 3,500; or 500 calories per day. The average walker can burn 100 calories per mile, according to The Walking Site.

The average walking pace should be around 15 minutes per mile, which means a daily walk of 30 minutes would cover 2 miles of walking. Each walker must determine his or her own walking pace, but generally speaking, the pace should increase the heart rate. Walking until out of breath may be too fast, and walking slowly enough to sing along to the mp3 player is too slow.

The Mayo Clinic recommends taking a test walk to determine your actual heart rate, by counting the number of heartbeats within a 10 seconds period. Determining the heart rate can help the walker adjust his or her walking speed.

Health and the Thirty-Minute Walk

health benefits of daily walksThe advantages of walking several times a week have been well-documented. For people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, a thirty-minute daily walk can improve their conditions.

In May of 2009 the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that walking 3,000 steps in 30 minutes five days a week can help the walker meet U.S. government fitness goals. Walking daily can also improve mood, muscle strength, help reduce weight and relieve stress.

Another benefit to walking workouts will be published this month. Environmental Nutrition reports that a July 26 issue of the medical journal Circulation will contain a study that shows how a daily walk improves overall lung function. A team of experts determined that the exercise can improve lung capacity by 15 to 25 percent.

No matter what style of walking workout, heart healthy walking is a fun and easy to implement workout program. It improves health conditions, and can make walkers happier and more relaxed with every step.

10 Ways of Looking After Your Eyes

How to Protect Your Vision Naturally

Read this article to discover simple, natural solutions for keeping your eyes healthy at any age.

Precious Memories

Think back to some of the most wonderful, sights of your life. Is it the first time you laid eyes on your child? The shimmer of the sun on the ocean during a summer evening? Perhaps the outline of your home town coming into view after a long time away.

It’s memories such as these that should motivate you to look after your eyes and to help you find simple, inexpensive ways in which you can protect this precious sense of yours.

The Latest News

The latest news on natural health care for the eyes is that the right nutrients or wearing moist disposable contacts that prevent the dryness of the eyes, can have real benefits for those of us moving into our later years but the truth, of course, is that there are steps you can take at any time to keep yourself ‘looking good’ – and the sooner you begin the better.

Keep Yourself in the Picture

Here are the top ten ways of protecting your vision naturally:

  1. Lutein – A naturally occurring nutrient found most abundantly in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, as well as egg yolks, lutein is one of the best-studied compounds in relation to good eye health. Lutein works by protecting a certain eye part known as the macula from the damaging of aging, smoking, and sunlight. Experts recommend taking doses in the region of 10-15mg daily.
  2. Zeaxanthin – Considered lutein’s sister compound, zeaxanthin is found in high quantities in collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and swiss chards. Both nutrients work in a similar way and, along with including these foods in your diet, researchers suggest supplementing 3 or 4mg of zeaxanthin daily.
  3. Meso-zeaxanthin – The final piece of the macula, meso-zeaxanthin so can only be taken in supplements in doses of around 3mg each day.
  4. Co-enzyme Q10 – This is one of the most important nutrients for energy production in the body, and is useful in helping protect the eyes from damaging free radicals.
  5. Bilberry – The eye-protecting properties of this versatile fruit were first discovered during the Second World War when air force pilots took it to improve their night vision. Research since has shown it to be particularly useful for preventing and improving diabetic retinopathy in doses of 30-60mg each day.
  6. Blueberry – In June 2009 was conducted a study, which results presented that people who were drinking a glass of juice of blueberries each day were recovering far more quickly from damages form the light.
  7. Bates Method – This is an alternative eye therapy based on the understanding that most vision problems are caused by the tension of the muscles surrounding the eyeball. Treatment involves a series of visualization and movement techniques intended to remove eye strain and restore sight. You can learn more at

  1. Smoking – Smoking habits are causing catastrophic effects on the eyes, including retinopathy, inflammation, dry eye, optic nerve damage, and cataracts.
  2. Sugar – The white powder is the reason that diabetics are twenty-five times more likely to go blind than non-diabetics.
  3. Sunglasses or Contact Lenses– The biggest threat of damaging your eyes is to expose them too much on the UV sun’s rays. Make sure to buy quality sunglasses or contacts with a high level of UV protection.


iCANwalk Pledge – Walk & Bike More, Drive Less

I can do my part to create a cleaner environment by pledging to make the shift from travelling by car to active transportation like walking, biking, and in-line skating for short trips for 1 month.

Using active transportation:

  • Reduces green house gas emissions and improves air quality,
  • Doesn’t take a lot of extra time – 2km = 20-30 minutes walking or 8-10 minutes biking,
  • Reduces our dependency on oil,
  • Is good for my health and saves me money!

I pledge to use active transportation for 1 month!

The information that you provide in the pledge is being collected by us and may be shared our partners.

Pledge #1

to the following place that is close to my home.

(approximate – use an on-line mapping tool to help you)

Please note: If you are under 18, please have a parent or guardian complete the pledge for you. Only adults should provide their email address. Click here to view our Privacy Policy.

(Choose Province first)

Online Checklist

Step 1: Write about your walk
Select a Province:*
Specify region if outside of Ontario:
Street address:*
Postal code:*
Where did you walk?:*
When was your walk?:*
What time of day was your walk?:
What were the conditions during your walk?:
Step 2: Think about your walk
How easy was your walk?:
If the sidewalks need to be fixed, please explain what is wrong, and where to find the problem
If you did not check any of these boxes please explain why.
What people and places did you see?:
If you did not check any of these boxes please explain why.
Was your walk enjoyable?:
If you did not check any of these boxes please explain why.
How safe did you feel?:
If you did not check any of these boxes please explain why.
Do you have any other ideas about what could make your community more walkable? Please share them here:
Step 3: Optional information
Please tell us how you heard about this checklist. (Please check all that apply):
If other, please explain:

The information that you have provided may be used by iCANwalk partners such as Health Units, Heart Health projects, Municipal Recreation Departments, Non-Governmental Organizations and community groups to let local officials know how they can support walking in your community.

Step 4: Submit through our Contact Page to find out how your walk scored on the checklist.

Community Stories

To send us a community story, fill in the fields on our Contact Us page. We would also like to hear from individuals about there experiences making the shift to walking and cycling instead of driving. You can either reach us through our Contact page or send a testimonial to  

Congratulations to our prize winners from the Pelham Active Transportation Committee (PATC), and Planners from Grey and Bruce Counties along with their colleagues from Grey Bruce Public Health. They were sent StepsCount pedometer kits along with Canada Walks backpacks and umbrellas for sharing their stories about creating walk friendly communities. 

Here are a few of our community stories.

Norfolk County: A Rural Walkability Story
walkON workshops spark the creation of a new community group, Norfolk Pathways for People, dedicated to  improving the conditions of walking and cycling for health, recreation and transportation in Norfolk County.

Engaging Citizens of Pelham in Active Transportation Planning
The Pelham Active Transportation Committee (PATC) was looking for ways to engage citizens in identifying AT issues and input into our plans for 2010-11.

Addressing Infrastructure Changes
Feedback from Fonthill residents was used by PATC to change the Town’s decision regarding the location of a crosswalk in the redesigned downtown area.

Engaging Youth in World Town Planning Day Event
Grey and Bruce County planners partnered with the Grey Bruce Health Unit to raise awareness in youth about the impact of the built environment on health.

Why Take the Pledge?

icanwalk pledge

You can make a difference by making a personal pledge to walk or bike more and drive less.

According to the Canadian Vehicle Survey:
· The average car emits 4 tonnes of CO2 in a year,
· Transportation contributes to about 30 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions, and
· Driving just 10 per cent less will save about 400 kilograms in CO2 emissions over a year.

If every Canadian left their car at home just one day a week, we would save about 3.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year – the equivalent of taking about 800,000 cars off the road.

The iCANwalk pledge asks you to identify locations in your community that you could easily and safely walk or bike to, then pledge to use active transportation to get to them instead of driving.

Take the pledge today.