youth sports

AH-HA Moments

What does it mean when someone says, “You’ve changed my life?” How does it make one feel to hear this? I’d like to spend a few minutes talking about life-changing events, how they happen, and what it means to me. Spending time with youth sports organizations allows me to see and hear the ebbs and flows of emotions that coaches, players, and parents experience. Each one of these entities is looking to accomplish a goal, whether written down or not.…

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Reflections

As I sat on the airplane heading home from a recent Program 15 baseball camp, I had a chance to reflect back on the different discussions that were had over the course of the two days of training. With each discussion came more insight as to how important it is to connect the dots between the parents, players, and the coaches. Here are a few examples: Parents sit in the stands with baited breath as the kids go through each…

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New Year’s Goals and Plans

The New Year always brings out thoughts and ideas about making changes in life in the form of RESOLUTIONS. The dictionary defines a resolution as, “a firm decision to do or not to do something,” or the “action of solving a problem.” Many of these thoughts of change have been on the minds of people for quite some time but are pushed aside for various reasons. Some would say it’s due to a lack of focus, lack of confidence or natural…

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There’s No “I” In Team

I’ve quite often witnessed parents in the stands instructing their kids to do something that completely contradicts the instructions of the coaches, and the majority of the time it’s going against the concept of the TEAM. TEAM stands for, “Together Everyone Achieves More.” In the world of scholarships, professional contracts and entitlement, coaches are consistently fighting the battle of how to get individuals to perform as a team, think as a team, behave as a team and win as a…

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Foundations for Success

The best laid plans of young athletes involves positive parental involvement, an environment conducive to learning, a SMART goal (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely), actionable plans, a good circle of influence and coaches that foster learning, developing, mentoring and teamwork.  If we go back to the time when kids begin to learn and develop, they are surrounded by direction and discipline.  Most parents, even if its not predetermined, establish a plan of how they will raise their child.  What…

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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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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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