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Founder and Owner of the Flexbone Association. Since 2007 we have provided the tools necessary for teams to succeed running the Flexbone Association System. Over the last ten years over 200 teams have been instructed by the Flexbone Association. I've consulted with teams and or run camps everywhere from Belfair, WA to Key West, FL. The Flexbone Association strives daily to help coaches succeed with this time tested offense, I have been a football coach for 16 seasons, currently at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, GA I played at St. Mary's Springs High School in Fond du Lac, WI under legendary head coach Bob Hyland. I've been fortunate to be part of five state championship teams (1997,1998,2002,2011,2012). In 2011-2012 St. Mary's Springs led the state of Wisconsin in scoring and set consecutive school records for points scored, Psalm 27

The Death of Expertise?

A few weeks back I read an article called “The Death of Expertise”. The inferences the author made were very eye opening, have stuck with me, and compelled me to write this piece. In the age we live in anyone with about a hundred dollars, an internet connection and some time on their hands can pass themselves off as being a knowledgeable source on any subject. Every few months it seems as if a story pops up on the internet about CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, or a reputable newspaper using “experts” who later prove to be nothing of the sort. 

I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. 

This rise has also been fueled by message boards, especially in coaching, where people can hide behind an anonymous screen name and post anything they want without actually telling you who they are. As long as the answer is of adequate length and it seems plausible, there are people/coaches who take their word as gospel. I’ve seen it a number of times since starting this site back in 2007. Terms we’ve used here (tags, plays, adjustments) etc. get passed along by others; Articles, and blogs get written with half-truths combined with theoretical nonsense. While it’s flattering to know that my material is deemed worthy for others to use, you have to ask yourself who is supplying the information to you. Is it a youth coach in Florida, or a guy who coached JV for three years in Wisconsin. Maybe the worst is the pseudo-expert who has no practical on the field success. Do you want practical application along with the theoretical; or just the theoretical in a shiny new package?

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. – Proverbs 12:22

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out – Proverbs 10:9

Some of it is intentional, some of it not, but we all live busy lives. Do you have the time to decipher all your sources? Many of us don’t, but coaching football is am important job. Don’t let your efforts be demeaned; you serve a vital role in our schools and culture. You must also approach that role with the seriousness it demands. 

Let’s define what it is to be an expert:

as a noun……a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority:

as an adjective……possessing special skill or knowledge; trained by practice; skillful or skilled 

I’ve never asked any of my potential clients to “take my word for it”. All I ask for you to do is to review the experience and the resultsI had a conversation yesterday with a friend about values and what place they hold in our society today. In some parts of our country today imbecility, irresponsibility and dull idleness are not only tolerated by our youth, but in fact encouraged and rewarded. This is why some continue to fall short of achievement. Don’t fall into a similar mindset. 

To reject the notion of expertise, and to replace it with a sanctimonious insistence that every person has a right to his or her own opinion, is silly.

But I am afraid that is where we are, unless those who oppose these ideas make their voices heard. There is a multitude of disinformation out there. I’ve read some articles or posts on the Flexbone that are just wrong; not that they have a different interpretation of what to do than I do, but they are simply nonsensical and have not been proven to work on the field.

Experts come in many flavors. Education enables it, but practitioners in a field acquire expertise through experience; usually the combination of the two is the mark of a true expert in a field. But if you have neither education nor experience, you might want to consider exactly what it is you’re bringing to the argument.

Some words to think about as you look to improve your craft for next season.

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