Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

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IthurtswhenIP
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Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby IthurtswhenIP » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:00 am

For all you that were there tonite, Legendary Coach Ted Newland was in full form.

Calling out USWP, Vavic, Schroeder and the state of the game.

Check Youtube.

The USBOD had to get him off the podium.

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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby Unknown » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:05 am

A link to the video would be much appreciated.

worm
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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby worm » Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:51 pm


mbaywaterpolo
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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby mbaywaterpolo » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:11 pm

Watch that video. You will not be disappointed. Awesome.

whosincharge?
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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby whosincharge? » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:22 pm

Ted Newland- old coot or wise man? If you are old enough to have a bit of perspective inside of our sport, the answer is very clear.

I'm reasonably certain many who just met or heard Newland last night for the first time will discount his remarks as out-of-touch, or at best, just entertaining. But our sport used to be made up of a whole host of Newland-types... independent, strong, opinionated, talented personalities, whether they were coaches, administrators, referees or athletes. And you learned from all of them- how to react, how to deal, how to (as Newland points out)...communicate. Seems to me, we lost a large part of our soul, and our very competitive edge, when we sold out to the new regime who systematically eliminated or silenced the old guard and went insular and elitist. Have we REALLY gotten better as a sport over the past 6-7 years? Is our balance sheet THAT much stronger now than what it was when the sport was essentially run by these personalities who cared and communicated regularly? Are our teams THAT much better these days? Are our athletes, coaches and relationships really that much stronger in our sport nowadays? Questions probably best left for another thread.

BTW, Newland was not any different last night as he was in his prime and forcing EVERYONE inside our sport to up their game, or be left behind. So the question stands: Is Newland and old coot or a wise man? Probably depends on your perspective but who would you rather get your information from, a guy like Newland or whoever is now speaking on behalf of USA Water Polo? IMO, spirited discourse, competitive pressure, personality-laidened leadership will never time-out or cease being effective elements of small communities.

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fanofpolo
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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby fanofpolo » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:14 pm

Any chance you could summarize Newland's comments. It was a bit difficult to hear exactly what he was saying on the youtube segment. No question he is one of the best coaches water polo has seen. I think he loved being perceived as a bit odd.


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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby Apghrenegade » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:58 am

The most important takeaway...is an 86 year old guy in a wheelchair with the spirit and energy of a permanent warrior. That's what makes him the great man that he is. And that's what makes the BoD leadership far and away the best USA WP has ever had. I think Powers and Bailey would have preferred he talk about 2008 not 2012.

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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby polopoloandmorepolo » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:26 am

I hope someone posts a more complete video or a transcript of the speech from what I saw online and was told it was an unvarnished look at the current state of water polo.

Leadership is a very elusive trait, lots of coaches and "leaders" have technical knowledge and bluster, but leadership is sadly lacking, Coach Newland said a lot of great things but the one that struck me was "I have a gift, and not many people have it I can give love. You can laugh, I don't care, but I can. If you can give love, people will love you and they'll follow you to hell, because every human being, like it or not, wants to be loved."

That's the key to leadership.

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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby Torchbearer » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:53 am

As Theodore Roosevelt once said, "No one cares how much you know unless they know how much you care." Coach Newland has co-published a 233-page book with one of his athletes, Bill Leach, entitled "Circle of Success." I find that it contains many snippets of good advice about Sports and Life. It's available from Amazon and other sources.

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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby oldtimer » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:41 pm

I didn't catch everything that was said in the video, but the passion is obviously there!

One point I tend to disagree with was the comment about violence being popular, and the implication that the way to improve the popularity of the sport is to show the violence. I think this is a bit of a narrow view.

It is my observation that what people want is entertainment, and violence is just one aspect of their overall entertainment. Basketball is not violent, but is very popular. There was a time when it wasn't - back when you had big men in the center, and perimeter players just passing the ball around until they could get it inside for a basket (i.e. - Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 pts). This was a very boring game, and the popularity reflected this. When the game changed to 'run and gun', its popularity increased dramatically *without* resorting to violence.

Similarly, there are many popular movies and TV shows that are not violent - but they are entertaining. Some music advocates violence, but much does not - and is still popular. Some popular sports may be violent, but those with a built-in entertainment factor (they are fast paced, or require exceptional athleticism) rely on it much less. In fact, I contend that violence is the 'lazy mans way' to getting attention.

Manuel Estiarte is considered the best in the game partly because he was fun to watch. He did some things that would cause most coaches to bench a player that did them (like, behind the back passes). Coaches want to increase their probability of winning - they don't care if a lot of people are watching or not (or at least that is secondary). This creates a boring game.

So, I contend that if we want the sport to become more popular it must become more entertaining. This does not necessarily mean rule changes, or promoting violence (in fact, Ricardo Azevedo claimed in a speech I heard him make a couple of years ago that violence is one of the things that made water polo *unpopular* before it was cleaned up, because parents wouldn't allow their kids to play it). But, coaches may need to reconsider what they are teaching kids. Great basketball players have amazing moves on the court, because they are allowed to do it in pick up games - and they perfect those moves by doing them over and over. Water polo players get very few chances to do this - and those who have done so in the past have claimed that they learned these things on their own without a coach encouraging them (usually due to easy access to a pool).

Apghrenegade
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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby Apghrenegade » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:44 pm

I think the natural flow of games always provides opportunities for those with excellent athletic skills and hand eye coordination to make exciting plays. This is fundamental to the sport when played at a high level...and why I love to watch almost as much as to play.

Maybe the first word to use when talking about water polo is 'tough'. Where tough includes intense, unique physical demands of high intensity swimming, ball handling, and wrestling/grappling. There is no denying that wrestling and grappling are violent...and smart marketing of water polo needs to walk that fine line of promoting tough with it's violent elements...without sanctioning cheap shots and brutality. I think the spots USA WP did before the 2008 Olympics were excellent steps in the proper direction (toughest sport in the water)...although there are some in the community who denounced them.

Pacificblue
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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby Pacificblue » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:17 pm

oldtimer wrote:I didn't catch everything that was said in the video, but the passion is obviously there!

One point I tend to disagree with was the comment about violence being popular, and the implication that the way to improve the popularity of the sport is to show the violence. I think this is a bit of a narrow view.

It is my observation that what people want is entertainment, and violence is just one aspect of their overall entertainment. Basketball is not violent, but is very popular.

Manuel Estiarte is considered the best in the game partly because he was fun to watch. He did some things that would cause most coaches to bench a player that did them (like, behind the back passes). Coaches want to increase their probability of winning - they don't care if a lot of people are watching or not (or at least that is secondary). This creates a boring game.

So, I contend that if we want the sport to become more popular it must become more entertaining. This does not necessarily mean rule changes, or promoting violence (in fact, Ricardo Azevedo claimed in a speech I heard him make a couple of years ago that violence is one of the things that made water polo *unpopular* before it was cleaned up, because parents wouldn't allow their kids to play it). But, coaches may need to reconsider what they are teaching kids. Great basketball players have amazing moves on the court, because they are allowed to do it in pick up games - and they perfect those moves by doing them over and over. Water polo players get very few chances to do this - and those who have done so in the past have claimed that they learned these things on their own without a coach encouraging them (usually due to easy access to a pool).


Oldtimer - I couldn't agree with you more. Popularizing the sport by marketing the violence is tremendously shortsighted. The NFL and NBA have grown their sports by marketing the skill and athleticism of their players, even to the point of making rule changes that would allow these attributes to be more fully showcased. Both leagues have continued to promote scoring and promote an environment where their top athletes can display the utmost levels of their skills. Nobody wants to go to a basketball game where LeBron James or Kobe is being held and hand-checked. People want to see a game where these guys are free to perform at their very peak. Same with the NFL and the continued rules to protect quarterbacks and allow receivers to proceed from the line of scrimmage without contact.

The game of water polo could learn a lot from the way these two sports continue to refine their product. I have a ton of respect for Coach Newland, but emphasizing the violence in water polo is ridiculous. We should be emphasizing the speed, explosiveness, stamina and tremendous athleticism of our players. Our fantastic players deserve to have the spotlight on these remarkable attributes, not the thuggish more base qualities of the sport.

And you are correct, coaches have winning as their top priority. And it's the same in every sport. And that is fine. Did Chuck Daly care about the entertainment value of his Bad Boy teams? Did he care about how ugly their style was as they held, grabbed, pushed Michael Jordan every time he drove the lane? Of course not. They just cared about winning. Which they did. Good on them. But, that is why a sport needs wise minds at the top of the sport, in a governance role, that can see beyond momentary wins and losses and think about what is truly good for the growth of the game. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case at USAWP and I doubt it's true of the people governing at the international level.

But, the fact remains, people want to see athletes doing amazing things. And it's hard to do amazing things when you are being grabbed, held and spend half the game wrestling. Movement, speed, changes in direction, creativity, scoring...that is what gets people excited. Sports as entertainment. Half-submerged men grappling with one another is not entertaining. Maybe for the participants themselves it is fun, but for a larger viewing audience...nope.

Btw, Oldtimer - I think this subject dovetails right into the other topic you've been posting about lately...height. The players that everyone is mentioning as great examples of small players that have succeeded - Kevin Robertson, Estiarte, etc. - did it at a time when the rules allowed for much more driving and athleticism. When a huge element of the game emphasized quickness and rapid changes in direction, and allowed for much less holding and grabbing, smaller players were able to excel. I have talked to several ex US Olympians, all of them on the "smaller" side and they all said that they would not have had the same career under the recent state of the game, because the rules would not allow them to showcase their tremendous skill sets. In a stagnant game, their skills are not needed and/or emphasized. Even Estiarte himself has said he would not be great in the current incarnation of the game. Sad. And I think it speaks volumes about how lost this sport has become.

Wolf Wigo has written extensively on this subject and I have found his arguments to be extremely well-researched and well-articulated. Anyone who loves this sport should go back and read them. Hopefully, the leaders in this sport will see the light.

oldtimer
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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby oldtimer » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:34 pm

Pacificblue - Thank you for the reference to Wolf's articles! I was trying to find those, and kept looking at articles written by... er, oldtimers... such as Andy Burke.

I think that the rule changes implemented by FINA this year could help bring back that quick (and fun) driving game - if implemented properly... and if adopted by NFHS and NCAA.

Pacificblue
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Re: Newland speaks his mind at USWP Banquet

Postby Pacificblue » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:56 pm

oldtimer wrote:I think that the rule changes implemented by FINA this year could help bring back that quick (and fun) driving game - if implemented properly... and if adopted by NFHS and NCAA.


Fingers crossed!

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