6 Great Health & Wellness Program Tips from 6 All-Time Great NCAA® Coaches

There were six teacher-coaches who left an enduring impression on me during my undergraduate years at Indiana University (IU), Bloomington (graduated 1979). I took classes each of them taught, and observed and learned from them as coaches. The only way to describe these people is the best-of-the-best.

Here are their brief bios and six health & wellness program tips from me inspired by them, along with a short story on each person:

1.  James “Doc” Counsilman: Swimming, won six consecutive NCAA Division I Championships. Olympic Coach 1964 (Tokyo) and 1976 (Montreal), coach of Mark Spitz both at IU and in the Olympics (seven gold medals). Doc was the first to use underwater video to improve a swimmer’s technique. Doc swam the English Channel at age 58. Coached at IU from 1957 to 1990.

Tip − Visualize. I often feel that a general tip, like “get more streamlined in the water,” pulls all the correct techniques together without the swimmer needing to think about each adjustment. Give people a vision, and they’ll find it easier to incorporate all the skills necessary to achieve that vision.

Story: About dealing with athletes’ parents, Doc once said, “the best coaching job in America would be at an orphanage.” There was also a time Coach Knight (basketball) asked Doc to help an IU basketball player improve his vertical jump. Knight told Doc the guy’s vertical jump was about one inch high. Doc said when he got through helping the basketball player, Knight complained the guy’s vertical jump was only 3 inches high. But Doc pointed out that was a 300% improvement!

Today’s wellness program participants are mobile. What about your wellness communications?

Let’s face it: It can be challenging, if not seemingly impossible, to reach wellness program participants with important health communications. And, it’s not getting any easier, thanks largely to the endless competition for people’s time and attention.

Instead of competing against one of the biggest distractions, embrace it. We’re talking about the mobile device – a smartphone and/or tablet. Most people don’t leave home without their device(s) and keep them handy all day long, checking them whenever a free moment permits.

The proof is in the numbers:

A customized newsletter ensures multiple audiences are on the same page with wellness programs

The Local Government Center (LGC) in New Hampshire had a challenging charge. The non-profit organization had to keep a diverse, statewide audience apprised of timely health and wellness information. The LGC needed to get the word out to local, municipal, school, and county employees including labor, management, and elected officials. The LGC discovered that the…