Youth Sports

Coaching Plans

The best coaches will coach their athletes during practice and help make minor adjustments during the game.  I had a coach once tell me, “If you go into a game unprepared, we together didn’t do a good job during practice getting you ready.” Games are for adjustments, not for a coach to explain or dictate each action of the game. This doesn’t mean coaches sit down and do nothing during games. However, play-by-play coaching isn’t productive for the young athletes…

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What could I have done differently?

There will be many instances in a sports coach’s career where they’ve asked themselves, “What could I have done differently?” I would like to say; I am no different. As a coach of people, I’m always looking for ways to improve and it starts with, “Am I doing things the right way and for the right reason?” This leads me to speak about Pat Summitt. Coach Summitt is one of the GREATEST coaches – either man or woman – to…

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Are You “That Parent”?

Have you ever sat in the stands of a youth sporting event and wondered why so many parents are spending their time screaming instructions at their kids? If you have, you are not alone. Many spectators have witnessed “that parent” or better yet, they have been “that parent.” Parenting and sideline coaching almost go hand-in-hand in today’s sports forum. What was once a place for parents and spectators alike to enjoy on weekends has become more like watching an NFL…

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The Car Ride Home

This will not be the first or last discussion on parent and athlete interaction, before, during, or after their sporting event. However, I would like to take a bit of a different approach in this particular discussion since it’s coming directly from the athletes themselves. This will be the first part in a series of blogs that will touch on what is an age-old question. How can we change the uncomfortable feeling for the athletes and the eventual feeling of…

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What is most important to you?

To better assist youth athletes in their growth and development, it is beneficial to have insight into their viewpoint. As a part of the assessment preceding a training seminar, I survey the youths who will be attending with questions that help me understand their perspective. During my recent training in Katy, Texas with the Program 15 Baseball Development Program, I posed a question to a group of young men between the ages of 9-18. The athletes were asked, “What is…

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Constructive Coaching

Sports coaches must remember that they are the models of behavior. Kids are taught to respect their elders, teachers and coaches from the youngest age. When they begin playing sports, the coach is already up on a pedestal as a person of influence. As this young athlete embarks on a future in sports, it is the coach’s communication with them along with influences by their peers and parents that will impact their decision to play short term or long term.…

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Parenting Character

Your athlete’s success or lack of achievement in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are… But having an athlete of strong character that is coachable, respectful, resilient, and tries his or her best IS a direct reflection of your parenting.  We must remember that sports are an introduction into so many things and it can be used as a springboard for life’s lessons.  Being a supportive parent on the sideline, not yelling at the officials, saying kind…

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Athletes – Would you follow you?

I posed this question to leaders and it can also be posed to young athletes: “Would you follow you?” To be a successful leader amongst your peers, you must first be a good teammate and dedicated player. You must also know how to follow to be able to successfully lead.  Leadership is a learned skill – it is the character traits guiding the leader’s behavior that defines that person’s ability to gain the respect of his or her followers.  Think of…

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Game Day Interference

How many times have we seen an athlete stop while in the middle of a game because one or both of their parents have summoned them? First off, once the game begins, the parent’s role is to become a cheerleader. Supporting the athletes and recognizing good efforts is more important than trying to give feedback or instructions in the middle of play.  Second, anything that takes the athlete’s mind away from the game is deemed a distraction. I imagine that most…

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Visualize Success

When you are not putting in a maximum effort, what are you thinking about that’s taking away from your ability to perform at the highest level? When do you begin thinking about the next practice or the next game? What kind of mental preparation should we do and when does it begin? The answer is in you and it is individualized. There are many that believe in superstition and follow the same process for every athletic event. There are some…

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