Six Keys To Coaching Talent


(By Randy Lane) Back in August, I wrote an article about the popularity of Ted Lasso and how Jason Sudeikis applied the coaching principles of John Wooden and Phi Jackson to the Ted Lasso character.

Now that the NBA action is rolling and college hoops begin next week, let’s take a deeper dive into the coaching principles from these famed coaches and how they apply to coaching radio and podcast talent.

Because of his unparalleled coaching success, John Wooden was nicknamed “The Wizard of Westwood” (Westwood is the area of Los Angeles where UCLA is located). Wooden’s definition of coaching was, “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”

This definition aligns with The Randy Lane Company’s coaching philosophy. We deliver coaching recommendations in a clear, direct, and non-personal matter-of-fact way.

John Wooden’s coaching methodology focused on six principles. They are followed by how they apply to coaching personalities:

  1. ConditioningNever be outworked in a game. Not to be outworked by competitors is to out-plan them. Planning is the key to killer content, and it gives the show confidence to be spontaneous and go off the plan.
  1. TeamworkPlayers need to be unselfish. Ensemble shows succeed best with an unselfish host who shares mic time with the cohosts and gets maximum contributions from the whole team.
  1. SuccessIt’s the peace of mind that comes from knowing you did your best. Coach Wooden never uttered the word win. Rather than emphasizing ratings and downloads, focus on getting maximum performance out of talent, and measurable results will follow.
  1. Emotion: Avoid charging up your players. Coach Wooden believed that charging up players created artificial peaks that are followed by valleys. Stay focused on high performance and don’t get too excited over wins or losses.
  1. TrainingPlayers who practice well, play well. Meticulous planning as a team and individually is the key to excellent execution.
  1. Teaching: Learning is best done through repetition. Continually reinforce important coaching points verbally and in writing.

Covid cutbacks and layoffs have further crunched time for brand managers and program directors. However, talent development must be high on the priority list since talent has become the key component for creating brand depth and differentiation for radio stations.

Next week, we’ll delve into legendary coach Phil Jackson’s coaching tenets and how they relate to coaching talent.

Thanks to Vallie Richard Donovan consultant Mike Donovan for the idea and his contributions to this article.

Randy Lane launched his media talent coaching and personal brand development company in 1996. He can be contacted by phone at 805.231.5746 or email at [email protected].


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