The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life

by Twyla Tharp

For me, one of the most important aspects of coaching is creativity. If I wasn’t coaching basketball, I’d likely be building furniture, writing, or acting. To spice up my reading list I started looking for a book on the topic of being creative. After scouring Amazon for a highly regarded book, I landed on Twyla Tharp‘s, The Creative Habit.

Let’s start Twyla Tharp. Who is she? Twyla is a former dancer, turned nationally recognized and award winning choreographer from New York City. In 1965, she founded Twyla Tharp Dance and has produced consistent work on Broadway, in Hollywood, and everywhere in between. In short, she’s the Mike Krzyzewski of the dance world.

My expectations for The Creative Habit were nonexistent, because I didn’t know what she might have to offer a basketball coach. I quickly realized that this book was less about dance and more about how to create quality work, whatever it is, effectively and efficiently over the long haul. Her experience in developing original pieces under impossible deadlines and chaotic circumstances has given her valuable insight in how to stay focused and produce regardless of the limitations.

Tharp’s stories are intriguing and allow someone completely disassociated with the dance world to witness her process from start to finish. She also includes a wide range of examples to help flesh out her ideas. I found them to be especially helpful because they were relatable…sports, politics, history etc.

Upon finishing The Creative Habit, I looked over my notes and recognized that Tharp had given me a number of extremely valuable concepts to consider. I understand that most athletic coaches are not going to find a book written by a professional choreographer interesting enough to read. However, I also understand that there are cheer and pom coaches who also need inspiration. So, for all you cheer and pom coaches…this is for you. Go read this book!

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