Episode 16: Preparing for Adversity and Building Resilience with Coach Gary White

Guest: Coach Gary White

In the second episode of our two-part miniseries on coaching, Molly Harris talks with Gary White, Associate Head Coach of the UW Volleyball team. Coach White discusses how he and his coaching team foster belonging and resilience in their student-athletes. He emphasizes the importance of goal-setting and the feedback loop to support individual and team growth.

See the transcript for this episode.

The L&S Exchange Podcast is brought to you by L&S Teaching & Learning Administration and produced by the Instructional Design Collaborative. This podcast is recorded on ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial.

Join the Conversation

How did this episode make you think? What’s on your mind about inclusive teaching? Leave us a message on Spotify for Podcasters, respond to a poll using the Spotify app on your mobile device, reply with a comment at the bottom of this post, or send us an email. We may ask to feature your contribution in this or a future episode.

Conversation Starters

  1. Competition and community are important elements of athletics. These can also be powerful motivators in the classroom. What are ways you encourage competition and collaboration within your classroom?
  2. Coach White talks about coaching as a team effort, which includes himself, fellow coaches, athletic staff, and team captains. Are you part of a teaching team? Are there practices from coaching that can be adapted for managing and working with a teaching team?
  3. Varsity athletic teams are able to intentionally recruit student-athletes, which can make agreeing on and building shared values easier. How important are shared values to your classroom space? How can you inclusively respond to students whose values are different from yours?
  4. Coach White uses the analogy of a train continuously moving forward while making stops along the way to represent a team’s progress and growth. Does this analogy make sense for students learning in your classroom? What checkpoints exist in your course for students to check their progress and continue moving forward?
  5. Coach White talks about preparing the team for upcoming challenges and opportunities through an “Adversity School” presentation and a “Championship Manual,” which includes stories from previous  student-athletes. How do you prepare students for the semester in your course? What challenges might your students face and what opportunities will they encounter? How might your current and former students provide insight to future students?
  6. Novices and experts grapple with information differently, and as experts it may be difficult to remember what it was like to learn concepts in our field. Coach White speaks about putting himself in the role of a learner. What’s something you have learned recently? What was the process of learning like for you? How might this help you empathize with your students’ learning process?

Further Reading & Resources

In this episode we mentioned, were inspired by, or wondered about the following resources and topics.

Shout Outs

Special thanks to Patrick Herb, Director of Communications & Brand Strategy, UW Athletics, for connecting us with Coach Gary White!

Production Credits

Producer: David Macasaet
Associate Producer: Molly Harris
Audio Engineer: David Macasaet
Audio Editor: David Macasaet
WiscWeb Administrator: Laura Schmidli
Post-Production & Studio Support: Erika Schock
Development Producer: Jonathan Klein
Planning Group: Jonathan Klein, David Macasaet, Molly Harris, Laura Schmidli, Erika Schock, Antonella Caloro
Executive Sponsorship: Shirin Malekpour

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