Steven Spielberg On Coaching

I have written before about possible similarities between directing a movie and coaching a team.
An article I just read about Steven Spielberg got me thinking about it a little more. Two possibly applicable quotes…

“He reminded me that I was trying to remember what it was like to be (a player), but he said: your (players) are actually (players). You should ask them what they would do.”

“I once heard Steven say to another director, ‘Never tell anyone what you’re doing’. I realised that is a way to protect your … vision, and the same time give yourself the room and flexibility to change an idea.”

I think the first quote is self-evident. Players are also invested in the outcome and have knowledge and skills they can bring to the table.

The second quote is more interesting. By giving on a broad outline of your plan you can avoid getting bogged down on relatively unimportant details but also to make adjustments based on personnel and situations without having to break down what you’ve already done and without weakening your position within the group or outside.

He also apparently advised another director to wear comfortable shoes on set, but I think we can agree that is just common sense.

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*** The original article appeared in ‘The International Herald Tribune’ on Tuesday March 5th 2013, pp12-13. The direct quotes are:

“He reminded me that I was trying to remember what it was like to be 11, but he said: your actors are actually 11. You should ask them what they would do.”

“I once heard Steven say to another director, ‘Never tell anyone what you’re doing’. I realised that is a way to protect your creative vision, and the same time give yourself the room and flexibility to change an idea.”

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One thought on “Steven Spielberg On Coaching

  1. Alexis Lebedew

    The 2nd quote reminds me of a concept about chaos and creativity. That to have creativity you need some structure/framework. That the absence of structure/framework only produces chaos.

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    Reply

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