In the book, Range by David Epstein the concept of having “range” is provided as a predictor of success over the long-term. It explains why “generalists triumph in a specialized world”.
As a society it seems that we tend to value a specialist more than a generalist. However, Epstein points out that generalists are more creative and they can make associations between broad fields that specialists cannot make. Due to this, generalists are more innovative and they have more impact.
There are some real implications to be aware of when working with specialists. For example when evaluating a player, a strength coach might notice a deficiency of balance whereas the skating coach sees poor edge work, the skills coach keys in on the puck protection skills and the head coach is frustrated because she gives up the puck too easily in the corner. A generalist may be more able to consider all of these factors, synthesize and approach and help guide the player to a solution.
On my Coaching Project podcast, I connect with Wes Wolfe, Assistant Coach of the Erie Otters and we examine personal and career development in hockey. Much of our discussion is relevant to having range as a coach and how that can open doors and allow you to be successful on the job. Wes has an amazing story of climbing the ladder of coaching and we cover a lot of ground such as…
• Positive impact of varied roles within and also outside of the hockey and sports industry
• Preparing for failure
• Building your brand