While Falcons coach Dan Quinn tries to figure out how to teach rookies without being in the same room with them, he’s drawing from noted educators Socrates and Regis Philbin.
Via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Quinn said he’s been using the Socratic method with his incoming players, beginning each session with a series of questions to get the players thinking critically about the material — the way many law professors do.
“I don’t think I would be anywhere near a law school,” Quinn said. “I don’t think they would allow me in. But what I do know is that I love teaching. It’s so much fun finding different ways to do it.”
Of course, he’s dealing with rookies, so sometimes he has to coax it out of them.
“So, I’m usually pretty specific,” Quinn said. “[Player’s name], this one is for you. . . .Often times, I’ll fall back to a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire quote.
“If there is a pause, do you want to take a 50/50 question? We can poll the audience. We’ll get into those kind of ways when they are live. We really want to assess where the guys are.”
Tweaking his educational methods is essential for Quinn, who is testing the methods as much as the players themselves.
“The classroom is the testing ground,” Quinn said. “Learning to use some of the tests either on Team Works or Cahoots, especially this week, we have all of these 26 rookies, who’ve never been a part of this program. How do you test the learning? I was hesitant at first because I didn’t know a lot going into this virtual program. But we’ve found out that there are so many ways to connect and build this customized program that a player’s offseason, the player could feel like this offseason is for me. That’s exactly the way I’d like for them to feel. So, when we do get back, there is progress that has been made.”
“We are just trying to assess the learning. We know this is where the teaching is, but I’m more interested in where the learning is. . . . I start off most of the meetings usually with questions from the day before.”
These methods of teaching are new for most coaches, but they’re all in the same spot, so the ones who can maximize this time will have a head start whenever they do return to a normal setting.