Tag: coach

WYC 131 – 14 Great Coaches – Chris Trieste talks John Wooden, Vince Lombardi, and more

Chris Trieste has over 20 years experience in K-12 education as a teacher, school administrator, athletic director, and coordinator of physical education.  For more than 10 years he has coached numerous youth sports, primarily baseball and basketball, from the elementary through high school grade levels.

He has extensive experience in tennis, serving as the head men’s tennis coach at Mount Saint Mary College where he was twice named Coach of the Year and playing for four years at Marist College where he was a team captain.

Chris also recently authored 14 Great Coaches. Based on a study of the best practices of 14 of the most respected and successful coaches in the history of sports, and combined with the author’s experiences and observations as a coach and instructional leader, this book provides a road map for all coaches who want to have an enduring positive influence and provide a transformative experience for their athletes.

Book: /book link
Twitter: @CTrieste2

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Coaching your own kid

  • Coaching should end on the field. The ride home should be you as their parent, not their coach.

Cringe moment

  • Chris had some coaches he coached with that humiliated some of the kids, he quickly disassociated from those coaches

Teaching Skills

  • Teach in a games approach: Deliver some instruction – then create some type of game setting (competitive) activity to start the learning.
  • Innovative scoring – Reward activities that you are trying to encourage. If playing tennis and trying to get players to the net – if you win a point at the net you get double points.

Mental toughness

  • Encourage athletes to picture times they have been successful – Play a movie in their head
  • Other athletes don’t want to think about much – encourage them to think of something simple like ‘just see it and hit it’

Culture

  • Coaching staff should answer the question – in twenty years how do you want your players to remember their experience
  • Have kids help own the experience by incorporating them in the standards you set for your team
  • Captains – one good method might be to have rotating gameday captains based on merit (demonstrating leadership skills)

14 Great Coaches – the book

  • 60 timeless concepts that coaches
  • Vince Lombardi – Had zero tolerance for any type of racial discrimination. Also believed in simplicity over complexity.
  • Nick Bolleteri – You don’t have to be a great player to be a great coach.
  • Pat Summit – Her players changed a play she called. She self-reflected – and realized she had not analyzed who the best player for that moment was.
  • Tom Couglin – Tom changed his coaching style – he went from trying to force his compliance to a new style of trying to listen and incorporate their feedback. He established a player council who met regularly and communicated with Tom.
  • Joe Torre – Had a great skill for working with huge egos, and making sure they all felt their role was important no matter what it was on the team
  • Book: /book link

Parting Advice

  • Enjoy the experience. Don’t take wins/losses too seriously.

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3 Types of People in this world – #NationalAnthemProtest

“If you can’t fly, then run,
If you can’t run, then walk,
If you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
I have talked to many of you asking if/how you were talking to your teams about what is going on in the NFL with the National Anthem protests.
Here is what was discussed on the team I coach:
There are 3 types of people in this world.
These are hats we all wear at times. But getting the right balance is the key.
  1. The Watchers
  2. The Talkers
  3. The Doers
There is a time and place for each one. The healthiest balance I have found is:
Think about one of the best agents for social change our country has ever seen, Martin Luther King Jr. We remember his ‘I have a dream’ speech and the march on Washington. But I recently have been reading about his life, and the protests were a small percentage of what he was all about. He spent most of his time visiting struggling communities and finding ways to help them. And he struggled with dedicating 1/7 of his time to ‘watching,’ or resting, and this paid a toll on his relationship with his family.
So the challenge I gave to our team was to spend less time debating whether one side is disrespecting minorities or the other side is disrespecting our military and police.
Spend that time instead doing something about it.
We all agreed we want to respect our military, and we want to respect people of all races.
So we are going to do something about it:
  • We reached out to a school in our area that has mostly minority students in a struggling economic area. They have a lacrosse team, and we asked their coach if we could partner together to help their team and do a service project together in the community.
  • We are pursuing a way to support military veterans in our area. We would love to start a wheelchair lacrosse program in Nashville for veterans, although the start-up costs are very high so we are weighing all options.
I hope you have the same type of conversations with your team and your family.
Quit debating which side is right. Less talking. More doing.
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WYC 130 – Youth Coaching – Mike Kasales talks how the military builds teams & achieves peak performance

Colonel (Retired) Michael Kasales recently retired from the U.S. Army after 28 years of active-duty service, and now volunteers as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Coach Kasales is an adjunct professor for the University of Denver’s Master of Arts in Sport Coaching program (online), and is pursuing his Ph.D. with a focus on student-athlete leadership development. He recently completed his second graduate degree, a Master of Arts in Sport Coaching from the University of Denver. He received a Master’s degree from Webster University in 2001, and received his undergraduate degree from DePauw University in 1987.

LinkedIn: /michaelkasales

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Quote

‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit’ – Aristotle

What can coaches learn from the military?

  • The military isn’t about yelling and screaming. It’s about building teams and achieving peak performance.

Team warm-ups

  • A little bit of static stretching is OK, but focus is warming up the muscles through dynamic stretches.
  • Foam rollers are inexpensive and a great tool

Teaching Skills

  • Constant blocked practices vs. random variable drills
    • The memory and skill sticks better when allowing the athlete freedom to think during a drill vs. predetermining for them exactly what they should do

Fun Games to teach skills

  • HORSE – They play horse-like game, but use letters LAX. First player makes shot, then everyone follows.

Mental toughness

  • Mental toughness cannot be turned on/off. Weave it into your practice plan. Every task/drill need to incorporate it. How do you relax? How do use imagery? Have deliberate discussions throughout practice.
  • If 50 to 80% of the game is mental – are you practicing it?

Culture

  • Have a written coaching philosophy
  • Core values will keep you from bouncing from hot topic to hot topic and a flavor of the day
  • Establish team standards and team goals
  • From me you can expect… From you here is what I expect…
  • Be careful to not give false praise – if they don’t deserve it, don’t falsely praise them, it will make your words mean less
  • Copy of Mike’s philosophies

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Mike worked with an athlete who gained a great deal of self-confidence, mostly through Mike just taking an interest in him

The one that got away

  • Mike saw a young athlete not giving her all and he didn’t say anything about it – she ended up getting hurt, he regrets not mentioning it

Favorite book/quote

Parting Advice

  • Don’t say ‘my team’ or ‘my athletes’ – it’s ‘our team’

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A Novel Experiment to Empower Athletes

I’m a sports dad and coach who has spent the last 3 years researching the dynamics of youth sport families.  And I have been noticing a disturbing trend.  Does this routine sound familiar to you?:


Three days before gameday you leave work early to fulfill your volunteer commitment to your child’s sports club. You spend a couple of hours lining the fields, securing goalposts and emptying trash cans.

The night before the game, you run all over the house trying to piece together the uniform and equipment needed for the game. And you are the last to bed.

On gameday, you are the first to rise and you wake your child up to say “we leave in 30 minutes”.

Your child calls out: “Where are my game shorts?!” (everything else was set out for him, but you forgot to take his shorts out of the dryer.)

You prepare a healthy breakfast for your child.

You pack the oranges in the cooler for the team snack and load up the car.

You get in the car and confirm that your child has cleats, jersey, warm weather gear, cold weather gear, bottles of water, mouthguard and ball as you drive to the game.

You are running late so you offer to drop your child off, and he asks if you could carry some of his gear in after you park the car.

As game time approaches he realizes his water bottle is empty, so you offer to fill it while he warms up with the team.

At halftime, you shuttle the snacks out to the team.

After the game you and other team parents remind the kids not to leave behind water bottles, orange peels or any other trash.

Your son asks if he can go to another player’s house after the game so you offer to take his gear home (of course you put the uniform directly into the laundry machine to prepare it for tomorrow’s game).


Have any of you ever had days that felt like that? Isn’t it time we empower our kids to handle these responsibilities themselves?

Teachers make it a priority to empower students.  It’s a prevalent theme with child psychologists.  And we need to embrace it.  Empowerment:  The act of teaching our kids to fulfill personal, social and civic responsibility.  We need to teach our kids….but we also need to train ourselves.

Many have referred to our generation of parents as “Helicopter Parents” and “Controlling”.  And I’ll be the first Gen X parent to admit:  We handle way too many of our kids’ responsibilities in an effort to control and engineer situations.  But most of these responsibilities are things that any 10, 12 or 14 year old can handle so let’s have the kids own the experience.


I recently joined the board of a new local Lacrosse program and noticed this type of behavior starting to creep in.  As the responsibilities of the founding board members started piling up it occurred to me that starting a new club or sport program is a great opportunity to empower the kids.

So we took a step back as a parent board, and asked ourselves;

‘What activities needed to get this team off the ground could be done by the kids?’

The answer was – A bunch of it!

So we are setting off on an endeavor to truly let the boys own this team. We are having our player/parent kickoff meeting next week, and we have broken down all of the assignments into 6 categories. We have a parent liaison assigned for each, but they each have specific assignments that will be done by the boys. Things like:

  • Organize and create folders for player paperwork
  • Create website to share pictures
  • Research and plan community service project(s) for the team
  • Backstop net building/goal building
  • Organizing snacks and carpools
  • And more

I am preparing the same type of ownership of much of our practices. 3-man groups that each will have specific assignments during practice.

It always comes back to the saying:

‘Anything you see in your children: you either taught it or allowed it’ 

No one wants to be responsible for raising entitled kids, so let’s not allow it. Let’s raise hardworking, gritty kids, who take ownership in everything they do. They sweep the sheds, they carry the water.

So begins the Anti-Entitlement Experiment, or better said, the Empowerment Experiment.

This post was co-written with Ian Goldberg from iSport360, check them out: iSport360 link.

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WYC 129 – Winning the Relationship – Casey Jacox talks Leadership & The 3 P’s of teaching skills

Casey Jacox is a former collegiate QB at Central Washington University and has been coaching his kids for many years. Casey is passionate about ensuring they continue down a positive path, and sports is a big part of that journey.

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Quote

‘There are three types of people in life: Those who watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.’ – Tommy Lasorda

Coaching your own kids

  • Works best if you have an assistant coach, and you coach each other’s kids

Cringe moment

  • Early on, Casey was too focused on winning

Teaching Skills

  • Drills need a clear:
    • Purpose
    • Process
    • Payoff
  • Be ridiculously organized.
  • Make everything competitive. Time everything.
  • Small groups and lots of stations

Games

  • Girls get to take 2 free throws at end of practice – If they make 1, they get to run 1 lap. If they make 2 they get to pick someone to run with them (including parents on the sideline.) If they miss both, they have to dribble around with their off hand until drill is over. Then take the girls who make both free throws and put the pressure on them, say ‘there is 2 seconds left, you need to make 2 free throws to win the game.’
  • They only get to do this if the girls gave great effort during practice

Mental toughness

  • It comes down to believing in the kids you coach, and making sure they understand you believe in them

Culture

  • Everyone needs to do their role. Coaches coach. Players play. Parents cheer. Umpires make the calls. When everyone stays in their role, everything works well. Step out of your role, and trouble starts.

Captains and leadership

  • Captains lead stretching and conversation
  • Teach them to be organized and communicate well

Rewards and recognition

  • Words of the week – keep the focus on the importance of everyone’s role – Then give an award at the end of the week on who best embodied that characteristic

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Kevin worked with a young man who was struggling to throw, and 2 years later watching his progress is really exciting.

The one that got away

  • Casey played on a team, and they came out flat, and lost. You must be prepared for every game.

Favorite book/quote

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • EDD’s – Everyday drills
  • The power of goal setting. You write it down. Then you tell someone. Now it is goal not a wish.
  • Positive environments and never taking a play off.

Parting Advice

  • Know the purpose in everything you do. Be organized, make it fun.

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Finish This Sentence: ‘I Am Unstoppable At ___’ 🏆👑

‘Crave the result so intensely that the work becomes irrelevant’ – Tim Grover in Relentless
My latest read has been Tim Grover’s book Relentless, From Good to Great to Unstoppable.
My biggest takeaways have been very similar as Jim Collins’ Good to Great.
From a coaching standpoint, many of you have shared with me the question:
‘What do I do with athletes who don’t seem to care near as much as I do?’
That question kept going through my mind as I read this book.
What if we asked our athletes which one applies:
  • I want to be a good lacrosse player
  • I want to be a great lacrosse player
  • I want to be an unstoppable lacrosse player
If they answer either of the first two, that’s OK, as long as you ask a follow-up question:
  • So what are 1 or 2 things in your life where you want to be unstoppable?
Maybe their family is struggling to pay bills, so they have to work a part-time job. They are choosing to be an unstoppable family supporter.
Maybe they want to get into a tough school, so academics are their first priority. They are choosing to be an unstoppable student.
The key as a coach is push the young people we coach to be better than they think they can. Being ‘good enough’ at everything is not OK. Push your athletes to find 1 or 2 things where they are choosing to be unstoppable.
So to answer the question from the title of this email, in my coaching profession, I am unstoppable at:
Teaching kids, through the avenue of sports, to be unstoppable
What are you unstoppable at?
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WYC 128 – The Captain Class – Sam Walker talks the 16 sports dynasties and what they all had in common

In The Captain Class, Walker profiles the greatest teams in history and identifies the counterintuitive leadership qualities of the unconventional men and women who drove them to succeed.

He began by setting out to answer one of the most hotly debated questions in sports: What are the greatest teams of all time? He devised a formula, then applied it to thousands of teams from leagues all over the world, from the NBA to the English Premier League to Olympic field hockey. When he was done, he had a list of the sixteen most dominant teams in history.

With the list in hand, Walker became obsessed with another, more complicated question: What did these freak teams have in common? As Walker dug into their stories, a distinct pattern emerged: Each team had the same type of captain—a singular leader with an unconventional skill set who drove it to achieve sustained, historic greatness.

Website/book: bysamwalker.com

Twitter: @SamWalkers

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Quote

The secret to winning is not what you think it is.
It’s not the coach. It’s not the star.
It’s not money. It’s not a strategy.
It’s something else entirely. – Sam Walker – The Captain Class

Inspiration for the book

  • Sam’s little league team went undefeated, and he didn’t realize it but that was the last team he would be the last time he would experience a sports championship, and it led him to being curious about sports championships.
  • The 2004 Boston Red Sox was a group of crazy players, they were struggling mid-season, then they turned it on and went on to break the 100+ year curse and win a championship. This got Sam to wondering what the make-up of great teams really is.

Coaches – Develop your leaders

  • The commonality found in the world’s most dominant dynasties was the characteristics of their captains
  • The captain needs autonomy, to act as a middle-manager between the players and the coach
  • On gameday – stop over-functioning, back off and let the captains run the show

Youth coaches – Key characteristics to Develop

  • Carrying the water – They shouldn’t want to be the superstar, they should want to serve the team first.
  • Relentlessness – Players who have one gear, no matter what the score is
  • Communication amongst teammates – A rah-rah speech is not what works, you want a leader that has one-on-one interactions with their teammates, is intense, uses body-language, uses humor. Charismatic connectors. Introverts are often the best leaders!

Choosing captains

  • It often makes sense to not make the star player the captain. Being the star is burden enough. The person needs to be the coach’s right-hand and, therefore it usually makes the most sense for a coach to pick the captain vs. the team voting.
  • Remember when nominating them – you want someone who will stand up to you and not be afraid to express a dissenting opinion.

Do you need captains on a team?

  • Sam says absolutely yes. Just remember – it doesn’t need to be the star. It needs to be the water carrier.

Sportsmanship – The Cuban National Volleyball team

  • Two types of Aggression:
  • Hostile Aggression – Driven by hatred or a desire to hurt somebody – This is negative.
  • Instrumental Aggression – Looks similar, but the motive is to win. It turns off as soon as the game is over. This can be positive.

Parting Advice

  • Find a partner – a captain – on your team

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WYC 127 – Injury Prevention – Dr. David Geier talks Practice Design & TedX

Dr. David Geier is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist who provides education and commentary on sports and exercise injuries for athletes and active people to help you stay healthy and perform your best.
He started writing articles on his website – DrDavidGeier.com – in August 2010 as a hobby. His goal at the time was simple – to share sports medicine and wellness information in easy-to-understand language for athletes, parents, coaches and other healthcare providers.
What he never expected to find back in 2010 was a passion for communicating this information. Despite long hours in clinic and surgery, he is still excited to open his laptop and write. He now writes a regular column for the daily Charleston newspaper, The Post and Courier. He records videos every week answering questions from his audience, and he produces a weekly sports medicine podcast. He also created a networking and educational site for healthcare professionals who work with athletes and active people – Sports Medicine University. As of this writing, over 200,000 unique visitors come to his website every month.

Website/Podcast: drdavidgeier.com

Book: tghbook.com

Twitter: @drdavidgeier
Facebook: /DrDavidGeier/

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Quote

‘Everything is impossible until someone does it’ – from Relentless by Tim Grover

Practice Design

  • 3 to 5 minutes – Slow warm-up – jogging, get the heart going
  • 3 to 5 minutes – Gentle stretching
  • End of practice – 3 to 5 minutes – Stretch again, can be static stretching

‘That’s gotta hurt’ book

  • 13 of the most impactful injuries that have occurred in sports – How it impacted the sports and new methods to prevent these injuries

Youth injury prevention

  • Sport specialization – 1/2 of sports injuries are overuse injuries – they need time off
  • The US women’s national soccer team that won the world cup – not a single player only specialized in soccer, they all played multiple sports
  • ACL injury prevention – Teach proper landing mechanics while doing warm-ups. The PEP program – best if you bring in a physical therapist to teach the correct form. smsmf.org/smsf-programs/pep-program

Concussions

  • Repetitive blows to the head are a big concern, not just single concussive events.
  • Young kids with brains still developing – tackle football could be a concern if the coach has them doing repetitive hits that involve the head. – Good youth football link: winningyouthfootball.com

Favorite Book/Quote

  • Book – Relentless by Tim Grover – About Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade’s trainer, and how to become the best ever. Quote from book: ‘Everything is impossible until someone does it’

TedX Talk

  • HEALTHY Game plan – Youth sports – Tips you can do as a parent and coach on how to keep youth sports fun and keep kids involved – TEDx talk link

Parting Advice

  • Sports are important to kids – make it fun and keep them healthy

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WYC 126 – Choosing to Grow – Meagan Frank talks #CloseTheGap

Meagan Frank is the author of the Choosing to Grow series, a national speaker, writer, teacher, coach, and mother of three. She is a regular contributor to the online magazine Books Make a Difference and she is working on four separate books, including Choosing to Grow for the Sport of It: Because All Kids Matter –Five years of research to justify the choices her family has made with regard to youth sports.

Website: meaganfrank.com

Twitter: @choosingtogrow

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Quote

‘Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.’ – Vince Lombardi

Coaching your own kids

  • Each kid and age level has different needs, you have to adapt to the situation
  • Meagan wore a hat when coaching, so it was clear when she had her hat on, she was coach; when she took the hat off, she was mom

Cringe moments

  • Don’t necessarily emulate who coached you – ‘Yelling never works’

Coaching girls

  • Different drills are needed for each type of girl. Some will respond to game-like competition, others will respond to more cooperative drills.

Teaching skills

  • Start and end each practice with something fun/positive

Good energy-builders

  • Blob tag – If you touch them they become part of the blob. You can bring in the parents too

Player Choice practices

  • Occasionally let the players choose their favorite games, then pick them out of the hat, and that’s all you do for practice

Peak performance

  • Teach kids to flush mistakes
  • ‘Tell me one good thing you achieved today’
  • Have players share shout-outs for each other at the end of practice
  • The coaches’ body language, especially after a mistake, is critical – kids will watch you and emulate your body language

Building Culture

  • They create a hashtag to reinforce their core value. i.e. #CloseTheGap

Best team building activity

  • Scavenger hunts – can include conditioning (2 mile run with stops with clues)

Travel sports choices

  • You have to prioritize your time – don’t just blindly sign up for sport after sport.

The one that got away

  • Meagan’s team was struggling, and they were on the verge of winning a game, and she subbed all her players in, and they lost the game.

Best stolen/borrowed idea

  • Communication – everyone is in the loop. Players, Coaches, parents. They all know philosophy and goals of the program

Favorite Book/Quote

Parting Advice

  • Smile. Have fun. It is contagious.

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Why wait until their senior year to develop your captains? 🏆👑 Captains Part 4 of 4

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership‘ – Harvey S. Firestone
Image
Do you train your captains on how to lead?
Then when those captains move on, do you feel like you are starting all over again?

Here is a way to take your leadership development to the next level:
Don’t wait until they are a junior or senior, when they become captain, to start training them. Instead – develop an emerging leader group.
Identify some leaders at each age level, and establish a big bother/big sister mentoring relationship. Work closely with your captains and more elder players to challenge them to teach leadership skills to their younger mentees.
One tip in doing this – eliminate the words ‘freshmen,’ ‘sophomore,’ etc. from your team’s vocabulary. These are divisive words. These players are your teammates. Nothing more, nothing less.
The most important way your captains and elder leaders will teach them, just like you as a coach, is through their actions, not their words. Carry the water. Pick up the trash. Encourage someone struggling.
Not only will setting up these mentor relationships help the young leaders grow, the elder mentors will typically develop a sense of pride and take on more responsibility as they sense the importance of their role.
As we wrap up our series on captains, do this:
1 – Train your captains on how to lead
2 – Train your future captains on how to lead from Day 1 entering your program
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WYC 125 – The Leadership Playbook – Jamy Bechler talks Basketball & Leadership

Jamy Bechler is a professional speaker, leadership trainer and executive business coach who is based out of Atlanta, Georgia.  Before going into full-time leadership work, Jamy served for 20 years as a college basketball coach, professor and administrator. When he hung up the whistle, he didn’t stop coaching. Jamy just moved from the locker-room into the boardroom. He now travels the country motivating people and “coaching” organizations on how they can build championship teams and cultures.

Website: jamybechler.com

Book: theleadershipplaybook.com

Twitter: @CoachBechler

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Quote

‘Fish like worms. I don’t like worms, but if I want to catch fish, I need to use worms’ – Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People (paraphrased)

Cringe Moment

  • ‘You’ll be dead right’ – Wisdom is choosing your battles, don’t always need to be right

Teaching skills

  • Everything in practice needs to have a point. Scrimmages are often not effective.
  • Practice special situations for 5 to 10 minutes in every practice.
  • Fun activity: On your birthday – coach would put 2 $5 bills at midcourt – everyone would shoot half-court shots, if you made it – you got $5 and bday person got $5. If bday person made it, got all $10

Peak performance

  • ‘Every missed shot is a pass’ – Teammates encouraging each other to shoot takes away the pressure of worrying about whether to shoot or note
  • Practice being a terrible referee – Players need to practice tough situations. Bad calls are going to happen – practice them.

Building Culture

  • Core value – developing the mind – on and off the court; Integrity; Responsibility
  • 2 core values for his basketball teams: Toughness and rebounding
  • Kids pick up on the coach’s consistency – you can talk all you want about what kind of culture you want, but the kids are watching and if you aren’t consistent then your words will not hold up

Captains

  • Positional leadership – If you have 2 or 3 captains on your team, the rest of the players can use it as a crutch. Jamy did not have captains towards the end of his coaching career. They rotated game captains, but they taught that everyone was a leader. Then they engaged the upperclassmen to demonstrate leadership skills – carrying the water, etc.
  • More is expected out of your experienced and older players – but they don’t have to technically have the title of captain. They are the role models and set the tone for your culture.

Training your leaders

  • theleadershipplaybook.com – Stories about different ways leaders lead
  • Leaders – don’t need to get the whole team to do something, they need to get their closest friends to do it – The First follower theory.

The one that got away

  • Jamy’s last game he coached – they blew a 14 point lead and it cost them getting into the national tournament. They had easily beat that team earlier in the year, and they came in a little cocky and weren’t prepared.

Best stolen/borrowed idea

  • John Wooden’s unflinching standards while connecting with his players

Favorite Book/Quote

Parting Advice

  • Understand your why. And get to know your players.

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Anatomy of a Teammate 🏆👑 Captains Part 3 of 4

Team – A number of people organized to function cooperatively as a group
Teammate – A partner
Selflessness – Putting other people’s needs, interests, or wishes before your own​​​​​​​
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I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because I want you to spend 7 minutes watching this video instead of reading a post. 
I met Patrick Murphy, the coach of Alabama softball, at a recent conference. He told a story about calling timeout in a key situation, walking up to the girl he was coaching, putting his arm around her, and saying ‘I am going to love you no matter what the result of this at-bat is.’

The core value you will see plastered all over their facility is: 
PERSON
———-
ATHLETE
​​​​​​​Person over athlete. That is the type of people Coach Murphy is developing, and it is contagious.
​​​​​​​Watch the video and see how this attitude has permeated into Brittany.

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Quit Worrying About You As A Coach & Start Focusing On Your Captains 🏆👑 Captains Part 2 of 4

The secret to winning is not what you think it is.
It’s not the coach. It’s not the star.
It’s not money. It’s not a strategy.
It’s something else entirely. – Sam Walker – The Captain Class
I just finished reading Sam Walker’s The Captain Class. He studied the most successful professional sports dynasties over the past 150 years and looked for common traits those teams had.
​​​​​​​If you’re like me, you assumed it would be one of these:
  • A legendary coach
  • A superior organization structure
  • A G.O.A.T. player
Spoiler alert – the common trait he found on the 16 teams he deemed as the ‘tier 1’ dynasties was none of these. Instead, it was a captain that possessed the following 7 characteristics:
  • Doggedness and its ancillary benefits
  • Playing to the edge of the rules
  • The hidden art of leading from the back
  • Practical communication
  • The power of nonverbal displays
  • The courage to stand apart
  • Regulating emotion
What is fascinating about his list is the contrast in what we currently think of as the best leaders/captains. Michael Jordan’s and Derek Jeter’s teams did not make the cut.

The leaders of his 16 tier 1 teams were not interested in talking to the media or being great public communicators, in fact they were the opposite. They did not want the recognition of being the face of the franchise. 
As a Cavs fan I have constantly wondered about Lebron James’ self-declarations as being ‘the greatest player on the planet,’ and how that affects his relationships with his teammates. We’ve seen one answer to that recently with one of the other best players on the planet, his teammate Kyrie Irving, asking to be traded, citing not wanting to play with Lebron.
Lebron’s characteristics, similar to Michael Jordan’s, do not fall in line with this list the best dynasties possess. It doesn’t mean they won’t win, Jordan and James have multiple championships. Walker argues that it just means their non-team-first attitudes make it hard to have sustained success.
The biggest takeaway I had from this fascinating book was:
As a coach, I need to spend less time trying to become ‘the perfect coach,’ and much more time trying to develop my leaders and captains with the 7 characteristics on this list.
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WYC 124 – College track athletes – Dr. Charles Infurna talks the Mundanity of Excellence

Dr. Charles Infurna has 10 years of coaching experience at the Division III level, he has had the great pleasure and privilege to have coached and mentored two Division III National Champion Weight Throwers, 10 All-Americans, multiple ECAC champions, and numerous SUNYAC and Empire 8 Conference Champions in the Hammer, Weight Throw, Discus, and Shot-Put. He writes a blog at forzathletics.com  Before completing his dissertation he wrote a lot about programming, workouts, overviews of meets, and even included some vlogs.  Since finishing his doctorate, he has focused more on how environment and support systems play roles in athlete successes.

Website and blog: forzathletics.com

Podcast: soundcloud.com/charles-infurna

Facebook: /forzathletics/

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Quote

‘You never know who is going to walk through the door’

First role model

  • Charles’ first coaching opportunity was when he was 22 years old. He didn’t really know what to do – so he reached out to a head coach at a local university (who happened to be a 4x Olympian) and asked if he could come watch a practice and hang out with his coaching staff for a day, which the coach willingly did

Cringe Moment

  • The players Charles was coaching talked to him and addressed concerns that he didn’t seem like he was as engaged – a very healthy sign that the players were comfortable enough to be honest with him

Teaching skills

  • Start with the basics like body awareness.
  • Don’t try to fix everything at once. Focus on one thing at a time. It’s like a puzzle – put together one piece at a time.

Long Term Athlete Development

  • Some of Charles’ best college athletes did not play that sport in high school

Peak performance

  • Kids often respond best to a coach that is calm and confident.
  • It’s usually best to not give coaching advice right before a competition – just pick up on the kid’s body language whether they need you to just be quiet, or tell a joke to lighten the mood.

Building Culture

  • You are always representing the program
  • Team building and trust activities are always great
  • Magnet awards – they recognize each other’s accomplishments on the bus ride home

Connecting with kids

  • Luis Rivera – Was given some bad information and was ineligible for the upcoming season. He could have easily quit and given up, but instead he worked hard and came back and went on to be one of the best track and field athletes in their college’s history. He had grit.

The one that got away

  • It wasn’t a tough loss – it was a team where Kate had let the culture get away from her

Best stolen/borrowed idea

  • ‘You never know who is going to walk through the door’ – One of Charles’ mentors would take in any athlete that was willing, and if they would put in the work, you never know which one could turn out to be a national champion.

Favorite Resources

Parting Advice

  • Be in the moment. Put your cell phone away. Enjoy it.

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I found it. The best icebreaker & team builder 🏆👑 Captains Part 1 of 4

“Being positive won’t guarantee you’ll succeed. But being negative will guarantee you won’t” – Jon Gordon 
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I am huge on starting practices with energy builders that build team comradery.
​​​​​​​And recently I’ve been fascinated by diving into studying the concept of leadership and captains on teams.
So what could be better than developing your leaders while playing games?
When I first met Adam Bradley a few years ago, he was in the process of developing a curriculum that did just that. The cool thing is that he partnered with an expert company on games, Game On to ‘gamify’ the experience, because we know lecturing kids on leadership isn’t a sticky way for them to learn, getting them involved and participating in activities/games is.
I don’t endorse many products, but the biggest no-brainer of a product I believe in is the curriculum Adam and his team have developed at Lead ‘Em Up. In talking with Adam, I wanted to help spread the word, so he offered a discount for Winning Youth Coaching followers – just enter discount code ‘wyccoaches’ and save 10% off at checkout at leademup.com.
This post starts a 4 part series on captains & leadership, inspired by my friend James Leath’s post about the book The Captain Class. (read that post here).

Here’s the plan for this series:
1 – Captain training – Lead Em UP
2 – The Captain Class
3 – Anatomy of a Teammate – leadership video by Coach Patrick Murphy
4 – Emerging leader groups
​​​​​​​I hope you don’t find this post ‘salesy’, I just wanted to share one of the best coaching tools I have found. I look forward to diving into the a-ha moments I have been having reading through The Captain Class.
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WYC 123 – The Positivity Experiment – Kate Leavell talks culture, Jon Gordon, & Lacrosse

Kate Leavell: I have been an NCAA lacrosse coach, a high school varsity lacrosse and strength coach, a youth and travel coach of many different sports, swimming instructor, NASM certified personal trainer and senior fitness specialist, board member, a national coaches education trainer for US Lacrosse, an eternal college student, a parent of youth and high school athletes, speaker, teacher, and apparently now after four years of blogging and nationally featured articles and a book…a writer. I’m drawn to all things motivational and figuring out what makes people reach and discover what seems impossible. After a recent shoulder surgery led to staring a pulmonary embolism in the face (or staring at it in the lungs?!) i had time to reevaluate what is important. I came to the realization that it’s not an interest after all that I spread motivation around, it’s in fact, a necessity. So my mission begins, one kid, one coach at a time if need be.

Website (and book coming soon): kateleavell.com

Twitter: @kateleavell

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Quote

‘Invite your team to get on the bus. Get the energy vampires off the bus. You are better off without them.’ – Jon Gordon

Coaching your own kids

  • Have assistant coaches coach teach your kid and vice versa
  • Stop coaching on the car ride home, leave it at the field

Cringe Moment

  • Putting your own self-worth based on a team’s performance
  • ‘I know a lot about lacrosse, I don’t know anything about building a culture’
  • Big moment: meeting Jon Gordon in the airport, reading The Energy Bus – changed Kate’s perspective on building culture

Accelerate Deep Training

  • Make everything fun, make everything competitive, then quit talking and just let them do it. ‘Kids hear the first sentence and last sentence you say’, the middle usually just goes in one ear and out the other.

Good Icebreakers/games

  • The Hug game – Call out a number, then the kids have to form a group with that number of people and put arms around each other to form a circle. Whoever doesn’t end up in a circle is out.
  • Zombie Tag – First time tagged, you lose an arm. Then you have to go out of circle, run a lap, then you’re back in. Then you lose 2nd arm, then legs. So last time you have to roll out of circle b/c you have no legs.
  • Stop playing chess with your players, put away the ‘joystick’, and

Peak performance

  • ‘I’m a believer in belief’ – The more the kids believe that you believe in them, the better their performance will be

Building Culture

  • It starts with expectations up front
  • 3 different groups that feed into your culture:

1 – Coaches – Support one another. Do a mid-season survey to ask kids how they are doing

2 – Players – Positive self-talk

3 – Parents – Kate has an open door policy, the only restriction is that they will only talk about their kid, not other kids on the team

Communication – “Drama is heavier than bricks, it always breaks through”

Lessons from Jon Gordon

  • ‘Invite your team to get on the bus. Get the energy vampires off the bus. You are better off without them.’
  • Urban Meyer 10-80-10 Principle – Quit spending energy on the energy vampires, put your energy towards your high energy people

The one that got away

  • It wasn’t a tough loss – it was a team where Kate had let the culture get away from her

The Positivity Experiment

  • Kate did an experiment where she committed to only talking about what it going well, never pointing out negatives. The things they needed to work on, she would just add them to the practice plan instead of pointing them out.
  • ‘I let go of being focused on winning, which freed me up to enjoy coaching and took the pressure off the outcome of the game’

Parting Advice

  • Think about the end game. Picture the kid you are coaching at graduation, and ask him/her to describe their sports experience.

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WYC 122 – The Science of Sports Mastery – DeShawn Fontleroy talks Youth Football & Performance Training

DeShawn Fontleroy is a sports performance coach working with athletes in the Portland, OR metro area. Currently, he works with the football team at Jefferson HS. Deshawn also hosts a podcast Sports Mastery- ‘A place where we observe, examine, experiment, and explain the physical, mental, and social dynamics of the world’s best athletes and coaches. My goal is to provide athletes, coaches, and parents with high level systems & strategies to achieve success.’

Website/Podcast: sportsmastery.com

Free Gifts for WYC listeners: Sportsmastery.com/winningyouth
Twitter: @sports_mastery

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Quote

“Fears are a kind of prison that confines you within a limited range of action. The less you fear, the more power you will have and the more fully you will live.” – 50 Cent in The 50th Law

Cringe Moment

  • Kids are different than adults – have progressions
  • Keep it simple, don’t have too many plays

Progressions

  • Using your own body weight is a better starting place than jumping straight into weightlifting
  • Focus on the process vs. the outcome

Overcoming Fear

  • Start by having the athlete list their fear on paper. Often when they put them down on paper, they realize many of them are not real.
  • Then list your hopes and dreams. Create a desire map where they list their challenges and limitations. Have the parents do the same thing.

Growth Mindset

  • Bouncing back from hardship is a key to teach athletes. It’s the only way to grow.
  • After a setback, go back and watch your performance, then use positive visualization to picture what doing it right looks like

Accelerate Deep Training

  • It’s a process – the key is the quality of your reps
  • Know where your athlete is at – if they are working on a strength – put them against higher level competition. If they are working on a weakness – put them against some weaker competition.

Building Culture

  • Communication between coaches and athletes is key. Assistant coaches need to be listened to and empowered
  • Immediate feedback, both good and bad – often works best

Rewards and Recognition

  • When athletes do something off the field – in the classroom, in the community – you can use social media to highlight their accomplishments

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • DeShawn is coaching a kid with ADHD, it has challenged him and made him a better coach by working with a kid who has different needs and challenges

The one that got away

  • DeShawn’s team lost to their rival last year because of some poor coaching, they have evaluated what went wrong and analyzed how to make sure that it won’t happen again

Best books

Free gifts:

– PDF of The Desire Map

– PDF of How to Succeed

– Free 1/2 hour consulting

Parting Advice

  • Train and practice more – don’t overdo it with travel sports
  • Play multiple sports

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The 10-80-10 Principle: Growing your Superpower 🏆👑

“THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE IS TO MOVE AS MANY OF THE 80 PERCENTERS INTO THE NUCLEUS (10% core) AS YOU CAN”
I recently (finally!) read Urban Meyer’s Above the Line. Loaded with great coaching lessons, the one that jumped out to me was the concept of the 108010 Principle.
In a nutshell, any organization or team will be made up of:
  • 10% – The nucleus – Your leaders who will do whatever it takes to make the team better
  • 80% – The average – Good team members who do what it takes but don’t typically go above and beyond
  • 10% – The naysayers and negative. Jon Gordon would call these the energy vampires.
The interesting concept here is that Meyer says he used to spend a lot of his energy trying to get the bottom 10%ers up to the middle. His realization is that this was not the best use of his time, as it rarely worked.
The best use of your time as the leader is to recruit your top 10%ers to target high-end 80%ers to bring them up to the top 10%.
He and Tim Tebow used to start their conversations with ‘What 80%er can we focus on today to move to the top 10%?’
I was having a conversation with a high-school track athlete this week, and he was relating how he and one other sprinter on his team had committed themselves this summer to outworking all of their competition and preparing to compete for the state championship in the 4×400.
His frustration was that the other members of the team were not committing themselves the same way.
I relayed this 108010 concept to him. We discussed a change in approach – instead of trying to get the whole team on board, instead could he and his other teammate that was equally committed target 1 athlete that was in the 80% to try to bring up to the top 10% with them?
It is an interesting shift in paradigm. It reminds me of the Clifton Strengthfinders concept – instead of spending countless amounts of energy trying to bring your weaknesses up to a mediocre level, spend your energy taking your strengths to an even higher level. Your superpower.
Do you know who your high 80%ers are? Who is the low-hanging fruit that you and your top 10%ers can target to join the nucleus? Spend your energy growing your nucleus – grow your Superpower.
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WYC 121 – Developmental Stages – Jennifer Duval talks Youth Golf; Performance Routines

Jennifer Duval has been a Class A member with the LPGA T&CP Division for over 10 years. During that time, she has continued to evolve as an instructor. She was among the first to acquire her Master certification as a Level 3 Golf Fitness Professional; and most recently, became a Level 2 Junior Certified Coach with Titleist Performance Institute. She has a passion for learning and is a regular attendee at the World Golf Fitness Summit. She believes firmly in coaching not only the technical skills of the game; but, also the physical requirements demanded by the sport, the mental skillsets needed and the emotional resilience necessary to play ‘consistent’ golf.

Website: mytpi.com

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Quote

‘The first thing I learned was to hit it hard nevermind where it went’ – Jack Nicklaus

Coaching your own kid

  • Instead of advising them, do an ‘experiment’ to coach them without being too direct
  • Remember modeling is a key point at the younger age

 Cringe Moment

  • Spewing too much technical info early on
  • Different is OK – there isn’t a cookie-cutter swing
  • Be patient – learning is frustrating, don’t rush it

Long Term Athlete Development

  • Develop the athlete as a whole vs. just specific to your sport
  • MYTPI.com – Titleist program
  • Kids under 18 have significant changes and development going on – Teach them correct body movements
  • One-sided sports (golf, baseball) – bodies need a break and to develop different muscles

Mental toughness 

  • Develop a performance routine: (taken from Vision 54 at vision54.com/html/mygame-thinkbox.html)
    • A think box – when you are thinking through what you are going to do
    • A play box – Stop thinking and start acting. If visual – stare at a dimple on the ball. If you’re auditory – listen to a plane overhead. If you’re kinesthetic – focus on your grip pressure, make it a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5.
    • 2 outcomes to every shot: 1 – Where did the ball go (often can’t control); 2 – Did I stay focused on what I was focused on (I can control)
  • Body language and self-talk: Do a funny skit with some of the other coaches, exemplifying different mental approaches. Have the kids then practice: Hit 10 shots where think negative thoughts after each. Then hit 10 where you are neutral. Then hit 10 where you think of a positive thought after each.
  • Each kid keep a notebook/recipe book. Write something after each practice and round about what they learn.

Windows of Opportunity

  • Sensitive periods (learn more at canadaiansportsforlife.ca):
    • Boys 6-9 then 13-16; Girls 4-7 then 11-13: When you are growing fast, train fast
      • When in growth spurt, there body is awkward. Speed training and mobility is key.
    • Boys 9-12 then 14-18; Girls 7-10 then 12-16: Growth rest periods: better time to develop skills.
  • ‘The first thing I learned was to hit it hard never mind where it went’ – Jack Nicklaus

Great drills for re-developing movement patterns

  • Milo Bryan – No Bull Fit – Awesome drills

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Jennifer taught a class of kindergartners and started out asking: ‘Who here is an athlete?’ – a lot of the kids didn’t raise their hand. She told them ‘Today you are going to be an athlete’ and when she asked the same question in the next class, a bunch of the kids who hadn’t raised their hands initially were now raising their hands.

The one that got away

  • Her freshmen year of college, Jennifer had the opportunity to qualify to travel with the team and play with her sister, and she was so serious and uptight in her qualifying match that she played bad. She forgot to be herself, have fun, and enjoy the moment.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Jennifer’s college coach went above and beyond when Jennifer’s dad had a heart attack. Jennifer learned for a coach it should always be about person first, player second.

Best books

Parting Advice

  • Know your why
  • Just do it, even if you don’t think you’re qualified

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Summer Showcases? Here Is The Best Way To Stand Out 🏆👑

I was having a conversation with another dad today and we were brainstorming on the best way to get an athletic scholarship.
​​​​​​​Naturally we discussed getting athletic exposure.

But then my mind triggered an image I had seen that showing the % of schools that can recruit a kid based on their GPA.
It is easy for us as coaches and parents to make sure we are doing right by our kids by getting them as much exposure as possible to demonstrate their athletic skills.
But how about the academic portion? If we tell a kid they are doing good to just keep a 3.0 GPA – they will miss out on 50% of the schools that can recruit them!
It is an easy aspect to forget as we schedule travel teams, showcases, and videos highlight reels – but let’s develop all-around athletes that have every chance beyond high-school to excel in life!
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WYC 120 – Youth Sports – Kevin Jans talks TEDx-level mental toughness & Knowing your why

Kevin Jans is a youth sports coach who has seen both sides of rec and travel ball and shares his stories and great experiences with youth sports on this episode of the WYC podcast. He also hosts his own podcast and is a TEDx speaker, in which he featured the WYC podcast as an example of finding your micro-niche.

Website/podcast: contractingofficerpodcast.com

Contact info: kevinmjans.com

TEDx: Youtube link

Twitter: @ContractPodcast

Facebook: /contractpodcast/

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Quote

‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened’ – Dr. Seuss

Coaching your own kid

  • Try to find a different coach to talk to your kid

Celebrate learning

  • Double high-five – High Five up high for the team, down low for yourself

Travel vs rec

  • A balance of winning and fun is the key. Keep perspective on the end goal, competition is part of life, but you’re not trying to have your child peak in middle or high school.

Mental toughness – learning from giving a TEDx talk

  • Understand your why – As a coach, I will never give you static for trying and swinging.
  • Preparation is everything – practice game-like situations as much as possible. Prepare for uncertainty  – use Commanders Intent – so kids can play free and embrace uncertainty.

3 main elements of coaching

  1. Know your why – Why are you coaching? Tell the kids why.
  2. Be clear not clever. Example: Be on the front half (of your feet) instead of be on your toes
  3. Embrace conditioning – Don’t use it as a punishment. Also  – the harder you practice, the more fun the game is.

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Kevin worked with a young man who was struggling to throw, and 2 years later watching his progress is really exciting.

The one that got away

  • Kevin is a firm believer in ‘It’s not one thing, it’s a bunch of things.’ – Don’t get hung up on one play deciding an outcome.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Celebrate progress and completion. Keep stats that can be measured and improved.

Parting Advice

  • Pace yourself. Teach 1 thing at a time. It will take time.

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A Cavs fan tribute to the Warriors 🏀

As a Cleveland Cavs fan, I really, really want Lebron to bring another championship to The Land.
– 
But do I?
As I watched Cleveland collapse at the end of game 3, I could not help but notice the stark difference in the way each team played.
Cleveland: Iso’s and stagnant ball movement
 –
Golden State: Insane ball movement – 29 assists on 40 made baskets!
 –
It’s easy as a Cavs fan to sit back and complain about Kevin Durant ‘wimping out’ and instead of beating his competition, joining them.
 –
But that was not my primary feeling after game 3. The big thing was this: Golden State does all of the little things well, and Cleveland does not. GS will have a shorter players beat a taller player at jump balls in key situations. They utilize the game clock and get 2-for-1’s at the end of quarters and take the last shot. They just play smart and with discipline.
It is the epitome of a team buying into playing selflessly vs. a team that seems to be mostly playing individually.
 –
Just look at guys like Iguodola and Green – they thrive off being tough defensive players.
 
Even Curry and Thompson have to embrace giving the reigns over to Durant.
 –
There was a great article in SI a few weeks ago about Steve Kerr’s leadership and empowerment, and how amazing it is that he has built this team and culture to where they can still perform at this amazing level without him. I encourage you to check it out, it’s a fascinating read: si.com/nba/2017/05/16/steve-kerr-nba-playoffs-golden-state-warriors-injury-leadership
 –
So while I will always be faithful to my beloved Cleveland and would love to top last year’s epic 3-1 comeback with an even more epic 3-0 comeback – part of me loves to see discipline, selflessness, and culture prevail. 
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WYC 119 – Youth Sports – Wil Fleming talks Mental Toughness & Strength and Conditioning

Wil Fleming is a sports performance coach and expert on being a more explosive athlete. His expertise comes from years of training and coaching athletes in multiple sports. His athletes are routinely the most explosive, fastest, and strongest on the field. He is also one of the strongest medium sized guys you will ever run into boasting some pretty decent numbers on the platform and in the weight room.

Wil is the co-owner of Force Fitness and Performance and Athletic Revolution Bloomington, in Bloomington, IN.  Force Fitness just turned 4 years old and is already one of the most successful training facilities in the Midwest with nearly 300  clients, 60 athletes earning Division I scholarships and nearly 125 athletes moving on to compete at the NCAA level in Division I, II, III.

Websites: wilfleming.comforcebloomington.com

Twitter: @wilfleming; @forcefitness

Facebook: /coachwilfleming//BloomingtonFitness/

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Quote

‘Pressure is what you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing’ – Peyton Manning

Being coached by your dad

  • Wil’s dad coached his brother and it led to some tension in their relationship, so he decided to not coach Wil and did a great job of just listening and not trying to coach Wil.

Cringe moments

  • Early in his career – Wil made a workout for a tough kid that made him throw up, but he realized that was not his role, true coaching is to make a tough workout that allows them to come back the next day and get stronger long-term.

Strength and conditioning in practice

  • Level 1 – Movement
  • Level 2 – Strength & Conditioning
  • Level 3 – High-level skills
  • Biggest mistake for untrained coaches: Weighted conditioning(weighted baseballs, resistant bands, weighted sleds.) Do high reps of body weight exercises.
  • Sensitive periods: 8-12 years old for girls, 9-13 for boys- Speed sensitivity period. Games with lots of running (tag, etc.). Strength periods happen after that – 13 to 15 years old.

Teaching Skills – Fun games

  • Let the kids help make up the rules – they will get much buy in
  • Trash ball – Trash can at each end, ultimate frisbee type rules
  • Zombie dodge ball – If you get hit, you join the zombies

Mental toughness

  • Take visualization very seriously
  • Have your practice sessions be as similar to game situations as possible
  • Have a mantra – ‘I am strong.’ ‘I am a weightlifting superhero’
  • Before competition – tap into parasympathetic nervous system – which is rest and digest. Sympathetic nervous system is fight or flight – nerves, etc. Great way to do this is teach them how to diaphragmatically breathe. Breathe through your belly, not your shoulders and neck.
  • ‘Pressure is what you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing’ – Peyton Manning

Accelerate deep practice

  • Eating, sleeping, resting are how to take things to the next level
  • Become a student of the game – watch film, watch the best, create a mental image of themselves doing what the best are doing
  • Visualization – great example of olympic weightlifter breaking into a sweat just through visualizing his routine

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • FORD – Get to know about kid’s:
  • Family
  • Occupation(school)
  • Recreation(outside of sports)
  • Dreams

The one that got away

  • Big Ten championships his senior year of college, was seeded #1 in the hammer, and was ahead for the first 5 rounds, in the 6th round the guy in 2nd place threw past him, and Wil couldn’t get himself back focused and came in 2nd. He had let his guard down and wasn’t ready mentally for his competitor to step up his game.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Nick Winkelman and Brett Bartholomew:
  • People remember things much better when there is a story or external queue that reminds them what to do. (i.e. ‘no ducks’ for a stance, or ‘squash the bug’ for a baseball swing

Favorite coaching book/quote

Wil Fleming

  • Instagram: @WilFleming
  • CertifiedWeightLifthingCoach.com – Course to learn

Parting Advice

  • Begin with the end in mind – Long Term Athletic Development – learn more at canadian sport for life: sportforlife.ca

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WYC 118 – Goalie Mental Toughness – Damon Wilson talks being a Lax Goalie Rat

Damon Wilson is a lacrosse goalie coach. He learned to play goalie from scratch and now he shares everything he’s learned along the way at Lax Goalie Rat. His coaching benefits from the fact that he didn’t grow up being a lacrosse goalie. In Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath, they talk about something called The Curse of Knowledge. This is the “curse” people have that makes it hard for them to teach something they know to a person who knows nothing about it. It can be tough to gauge and hard to assume how much your student already knows. Since there were some areas of goalie that were new to him, as he did the research, it was easier to translate into something young goalies can understand.

Website/Books: laxgoalierat.com

Twitter: @laxgoalierat

Facebook: /LaxGoalieRat

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

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Quote

‘Extreme ownership – never blame anyone else.’

Cringe moments

  • Trying to do at all myself. Should have sought out more assistant coaches to help
  • Focusing too much on game skills, and not teaching leadership and mental toughness skills

Being coached by your dad

  • The key was he had passion for the sport. He wasn’t an expert in soccer, but his passion made the experience great.

Teaching Skills

  • Make everything competitive – Keep track of stats and quantify the results in practice, then use those numbers to motivate improvement

Mental toughness

  • Train on controlling your emotions. You have to practice choosing a positive reaction to negative things happening.
  • Post-goal routine for a goalie: Lift up his mask to show a stoic expression. Review the play in your head for a couple of seconds. Then have an anchor word: quickness; strong; etc. to repeat in your head and move on to a positive mindset.

Leadership

  • A lacrosse goalie is going to be a leader on the team.
  • Part of that leadership is being confident.
  • Extreme ownership – book by navy seal – Never blame anyone else.

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Damon’s goalie on the youth team he coached – was thrown in there b/c no one else volunteered. He developed from a nervous scared kid into a confident leader

The one that got away

  • On a trip from California to Michigan (in college) – the field house they played in had white walls and a white roof. Damon could not pick up the white ball against that background and they lost 18-4, and Damon got pulled.  Damon learned how important it is to be able to recover when something doesn’t go your way.

Favorite coaching book/quote

Lax Goalie Rat

  • Website/Books: laxgoalierat.com
  • Weekly blogposts, ebooks, physical and mental training
  • Free tools, defensive terms

Parting Advice

  • Have fun, keep perspective, enjoy the beautiful game to be played with friends

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Abundance Vs. Scarcity Mentality

‘Instead, I have an abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger’ – Stephen Covey
As coaches we all would say growing our sport in our local area so more kids can enjoy it is the ultimate goal, right?
Yet how much time and energy do we spend scheming X’s and O’s so we can beat our cross-town rival?
Compare that to how much time we spend strategizing how to grow our sport.
I was very excited and encouraged recently when one of the local high school lacrosse coaches reached out to all of the other coaches in our county, to pull together a meeting with all of us, with the sole purpose of discussing how we can grow the sport in our county.
We met for the first time last night, brainstormed on a bunch of ideas, and agreed upon the goal of making our county the hotbed of lacrosse in the state of Tennessee.
‘A rising tide lifts all boats’ one of my mentors Dan Miller says.
Such a simple step by this coach, just sent an email to see who was interested.
A roomful of different personalities. A roomful of different styles. A roomful of different backgrounds. Yet no one could deny that growing the sport as a whole will benefit all of our individual programs.
I’m sure when we play each other in the spring we will want to beat each other to a pulp and that intensity will not go away. But maybe a little voice in our ear will remind us of this higher objective when something gets us heated during the game. And the kids and parents who witness us living out our pursuit of this higher objective will be more drawn to the sport than ever.

Another mentor of mine used to say: ‘Hit them hard then help them up.’ 
 
Let’s create men and women who fight ferociously yet have a sound understanding of perspective and respect. The origin of the word compete means ‘to strive together.’
Could you pull together a meeting of your local coaches and get this same kind of conversation going? Do it.
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WYC 117 – Sport Psychology – Meighan Julbert talks The Mindside

Meighan Julbert is a Mental Skills Consultant who has a passion for working with coaches and athletes on gaining a competitive advantage through mental skills training. Meighan is passionate about coaching development and implementing programs to help competitors and coaches expand their potential. From her own experiences in softball and competitive cheer to serving as a coach, Meighan can help athletes who are looking to gain a mental edge.

Website/Books: themindside.com

Twitter: @MeighanJulbert; @TheMindSide

Facebook: /TheMindSide/

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

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Quote

‘Don’t overwhelm your athletes with info, keep it simple, less is more’

Coaching your own kids

  • Have an intentional moment where you take off the coaching hat and return to just being their parent
  • Remember – the kids often aren’t near as into the outcome of the game as the coaches and parents are

Take risks & embrace failure

  • Teach kids how to take risks and not be afraid of failure

Parents

  • Communicate with the parents and let them know you want the kids to be a little uncomfortable and struggle a little bit, that is part of the process and how they will learn
  • Role-play situations – have a scrimmage with your own team and invite parents – make a few horrible calls, then afterwards discuss with the team and the parents that there will be bad calls in games, and that we are not a team whose coaches, players, or parents yell at the referees

Relationships

  • The first step is for the coaches to have great relationships with the parents, and to get to know them and understand where they are
  • You have to pick up on subtle nuances to see where different players are at. Eye contact, leadership, excitement, hustle. Look for changes in behavior.
  • Noticing behavior differences and asking questions let’s the players know you care

Slump-busting

  • Riptide concept – When caught in a riptide, initial reaction is to panic and try to swim against it. The panic is normal – so first step is to calm down. Take a few breaths. Then instead of trying harder and fighting the current – have a recovery ritual (flick your wrist, wipe your shoe,etc.) – that reminds you to get back into the present moment and re-focus

Championship Culture 

  • Starts with respect. Relationships and respect are the cornerstones.

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Every kid is different – it’s important to individualize how you are connecting with  each kid and to ask questions and listen to their needs

The one that got away

  • Meighan worked with one athlete who afterwards told her that it was too much info and too much to think about. Less is better – don’t overwhelm your athletes and keep it simple.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • A coach brought in Meighan to help the communication on his team. The activity went horrible. Meighan called to apologize the next day and the coach told her ‘we are terrible at communicating – your activity made that clear to our team. Sometimes exercises we do don’t work – but they still serve a purpose.’ Meighan took that advise to realize that not everything will go as we plan, but that’s ok, keep trying and keep learning and keep tweaking.

Favorite coaching book/quote

The Mindside

  • Team workshops
  • Individual athletes one-on-one sessions
  • Coaching development
  • Videos, podcasts
  • Website/Books: themindside.com

Parting Advice

  • Be patient, with your players – let them think and struggle and learn, and with expectations of yourself

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But Arguing With The Refs Gets Me More Calls

I have long struggled with how much/how little to lobby for calls with referees.
In my mind I think ‘Stay focused on coaching my team, all the calls will even themselves out in the long run.’
Of course as it is written ‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.’ I often walk away from games feeling frustrated with my interactions with the officials (on both sides- frustrated with their responses, and frustrated with how I interacted with them.)
To help me work through this – I have engaged with some really smart coaches and worked through the best approach. So here is what I am committing to for next season. Might not be perfect, and might have to tweak it for the next year, but I feel really good about starting here:
  • In the offseason – study the rules inside and out. It is impossible to have an intelligent conversation with an official if I don’t understand the rules.
  • Before the game when talking to the officials – let them know I respect the difficulty of their job, so I will not be yelling out rules infractions from the sideline. I will then ask for their permission, in return, during play stoppages (timeouts, between periods) to approach them with any clarifications or concerns I have.
  • Some leagues/officials insist that only the head coach talk to the officials. Ask for permission that during these stoppages, if I will be busy coaching the players, if occasionally it would be OK with them for me to send an assistant coach for a rule clarification.
  • A really wise coach suggested that during these conversations, when possible, to try to stand next to the official instead of face-to-faceIt is not a confrontation, it is a conversation. Likewise, my body language during these conversations is critical. From a distance it should look like a conversation not a confrontation.
  • There will occasionally be circumstances where player safety dictates an immediate discussion with the official, and player safety trumps these rules and need to be handled immediately.
  • It is important that this approach be communicated clearly to your players and parents. The players must know that you will defend them and lobby for them. They need to understand this approach is the most effective and appropriate way to do that.
This approach will be a challenge for me, as I am a perfectionist so bad calls drive me crazy. But it will free me to stay focused on what our team is doing, and in turn will send the message to our team to stay focused on what they can control.
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WYC 116 – Youth Baseball & T-ball – Marty Schupak talks Skills & Drills

Marty Schupak has been coaching sports for 25 years. He has coached over 1,400 kids in youth athletics in a variety of sports in addition to baseball. He is the author of eight sports books including T-Ball Skills & Drills and is the creator of eleven baseball instructional videos.

Website/Books: tballamerica.com

Twitter: @tballMarty

Youtube: link

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Quote

‘2 of the best things I’ve done in my 25 years of coaching have nothing to do with sports’

Coaching your own kids

  • A common mistake is to be overly concerned with ‘fairness’

Cringe Moment

  • After a few seasons of success, Marty thought he would run his practices like the MLB, and focus one day on offense, one day on defense. What he realized was that kids live for batting practice – so don’t take away the thing they love!

Teaching Skills

  • Have 5 to 7 drills in practice
  • Integrate skills with fun drills
  • For ages under 10 – Marty limited his practices to 60 to 75 minutes
  • A great test – how many kids are missing your practices? Are they on time? – For an incentive – Marty would choose batting order by who arrived to practice at first.
  • Positive reinforcement – Use running as a celebration, not a punishment.

The 59 Minute Practice plan

  • Have a 4 to 6 minute warm-up – it’s important
  • Do several high energy drills
  • Spend 5 to 7 minutes talking about what went right in the last game, and any areas you are working on
  • Practice the little things – base running
  • In batting practice – he puts down 2 cones – and 1st 2 pitches they have to bunt, if they bunt between the cones, they get an extra swing in batting practice

T-ball skills and drills 

  • Website/Books: tballamerica.com
  • Separate skills – even throwing and catching
  • Great drill to teach throwing – to get their arms far enough back – have kids lay on a bench and use a tennis ball – gravity will help get their arm back far enough to show them what it feels like
  • The progression theory – Start with a kickball on the batting tee. Then work your way down smaller or smaller to a baseball. Same for fielding – start out telling them you just want them to get their glove on the ball, they don’t need to field it

Championship Culture 

  • Enjoy success and greatness – even if it’s the other team that did something great!
  • Show more than tell – don’t just verbally describe game situations – practice it!
  • Keep the focus on developing the kids, not on wins/losses
  • One goal – to get the kids to come back next year
  • Rewards & Energy – Tennis racket home run derby – they bat from 2nd base and get a chance to hit home runs
  • Good practices = Victory lap at end of practice

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Writing a reference letter for a kid with a single mom to get into prep school, he was accepted and went on to go to Harvard
  • Another boy lost his dad in 9-11 and Marty was able to step in a father-figure role to him

The one that got away – in a good way

  • In a good way a memorable game – Marty’s basketball team was missing most of it’s players and they ended only having 4 players. They were getting beat 44-6, so Marty called timeout with a few minutes remaining, and challenged them – if they out-rebound the other team for the rest of the game, he would buy them ice cream – energized his team and took a bad situation and turned it into a positive

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Go observe other practices!
  • Keep kids moving
  • Many drills can be used in a variety of sports with a few tweaks

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Quote: ‘Don’t be afraid to fail’

Parting Advice

  • Bring enthusiasm and passion
  • Try to learn everyday

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The Culture Bus – Key Takeaways From A Rollercoaster Ride Season

The rollercoaster ride season
Our lacrosse season wrapped up this past week. I appreciate you following my ride, a wild one with many ups and downs it has been.
Here are my key takeaways as I look back over the journey:
1 – Crucial Conversations – I had a good heart to heart conversation with the head coach about two-thirds of the way through the season. I was really honest with my frustrations and he received the feedback very well. Things weren’t perfect after this, but they were significantly better. My biggest regret is that I did not have the courage to have this conversation much, much earlier in the season. As I embark on the new adventure to start a new team – the importance of communication strategies within the coaching staff and dealing with different opinions in a healthy wayhas become one of, if not the most important strategy as we assemble a coaching staff.
2 – Positive energy/ Icebreakers  – Starting every practice with some type of teambuilder/icebreaker/positive energy activity was very successful. I kept a list of what we did and some other ideas as well, reply back to this email if you want me to shoot you a copy of that (it’s in an Excel spreadsheet, and hopefully you can decipher my notes.)
3 – Leadership Development – Reading The Hard Hat by Jon Gordon with the seniors, and having them present the ideas back to the team was a huge success. I had several of the seniors come up to me at the banquet and tell me how much that book meant to them.
4 – The importance of a coach – As I observed many of the boys’ reactions and body language to how they were being coached, I was reminded of what a huge opportunity we have as coaches. We can tear them down and belittle them, or we can pour into them and love them and let them know how much we believe in them. In their successes, and more importantly in their failures, we can help them develop a growth mindset where they truly believe they have the ability to accomplish great things on and off the field.
I am excited to stay in touch with these players and hopefully be able to continue to push them and support them in any way I can.
Thank you again for following along this journey, I will probably do the same thing and share my experiences starting later this summer as we lay the foundations for our new team.  It’s definitely going to be an #Epic2017!!
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WYC 115 – Athlete Development – Trevor Ragan talks Training Ugly

Trevor Ragan is the founder of Train Ugly

From Trevor:

I AM ON AN ADVENTURE…

To challenge and question EVERYTHING that we think we know about sports, education, and development.

Through this journey I’ve worked with best-selling authors, olympic coaches, professional athletes, renowned professors, and thousands of coaches, teachers, students, and players from all over the world.

These experiences helped me to discover some incredibly important research in the fields of motor learning, performance science, and psychology that should have totally changed the way we train and develop students, athletes, and people in general – but they have not.

It’s my mission to change that.

Each morning I get out of bed inspired to read, research, learn, and share as much as possible with students, athletes, coaches, and teachers.

 

Website: trainugly.com

Facebook: /trainingugly/

Twitter: @train_ugly

Youtube: /SabiSushi1

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

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Quote

‘You have to be bad first’

Cringe Moment

  • Being too focused on the win or loss – Enjoy the journey!

Teaching Skills

2 pillars:

  1. Motor learning –
    • The number of reps
    • Make reps: Random & Gamelike – Games are random, so reps should be too. Great video on this: youtu.be/m_5nWKyRzKM
  2. Growth mindset – The people who believe in their capacity to learn and grow, do much better at learning and growing. ‘Skills are built not born.’ Learning is not easy – you have to be bad first. You have to understand that being bad first is part of the process.

Dealing with failure

  • Trevor had a goal since 7th grade to make the Duke basketball team
  • He tried out as a walk-on, and was the last one cut.
  • How do you deal with this type of failure? Learning to appreciate the value of the struggle, while you are in the middle of the process
  • Have huge goals that you can picture yourself doing. But then focus on the systems and process that will get you to that goal. The result of achieving the goal does not define you.

Championship Culture 

  • Create a safe place to learn
  • You’re going to be bad first
  • Don’t create a culture that only values success and perfection
  • Teammates and coaches need to take the focus off the outcome when building up their teammates and players
  • Coach K from Duke – He invests a huge amount of time in creating 1 on 1 relationships with all his players

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Karch Kiraly – Now coach of the women’s U.S. Olympic team – Always learning. He asked Trevor after Trevor observed his practice: ‘What do you think we can do better?’

Train Ugly

  • Video essays – Great explanations of the science and research – check them out at trainugly.com

Favorite coaching book/quote

Parting Advice

  • Sports provide the opportunity to teach children life skills that are life-changing

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Coaching A-Ha Moment – Crucial Conversations 🏆👑

 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. Mastering quoted by Kerry Patterson in Crucial Conversations
Does this pattern sound true of many (of you?):
  • Pre-teen – Pretty much blurt out whatever is on your mind
  • Teen – Your mouth starts getting you in trouble, so you learn to say less of anything controversial
  • Adult – It is easier to hide your feelings so unless something is going to immediately impact you in a severely negative way, just keep your thoughts to yourself
Unfortunately I would say this accurately describes me. It has negatively affected my relationships with my wife, my kids, my friends, coaches I have coached with, and everyone else I interacted with.
The good news is I have been becoming aware of a better way to live life over the past few years. Recently reading the book Crucial Conversations has really inspired me on how much better life is when we engage in important conversations, instead of suppressing our feelings.
This is so true with our coaching staffs too. Think about it – can you think of a group of people who are more passionate, competitive, confident, or strong-willed?
While this is a recipe for passion, it is also a 100% guarantee that there will be differing opinions on the best way to do things – That’s OK, there should be!
Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress — Mahatma Gandhi
I strongly encourage you to read Crucial Conversations in the offseason with your coaching staff, and then to set up a plan on how you are going to communicate as a staff to make sure everyone’s opinions are being heard and frustrations are in the open instead of being suppressed.
recent podcast guest Coach TJ Rosene shared that his teams establish that all communication must have 3 elements:
  1. Truth
  2. Love
  3. Transparency
Make this a goal with your teams this season!

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in baskets of silver – Proverbs 25:11
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Always learning – 2 Coaching A-Ha Moments 🏆👑 – Part 1

‘Let go of the outcome. When you let go of the outcome you dramatically increase your chance of achieving it.’ – Brian Cain
It’s fascinating how the more you know, the more you realize you need to know.
I’ve had 2 big coaching A-ha moments recently. I’ll share 1 this week and 1 next week.
Last week I listened to Brian Cain’s interview on the ABCA Call’s from the Clubhouse Podcast. One of the best podcasts I’ve listened to, I highly recommend it. http://www.abca.org/resources/calls_from_clubhouse – It’s episode 26.
In this episode he shared a story about core values. Here’s an activity you can do with your players today:
Hand every player a 3×5 notecard. Ask them to write down 2 or 3 things that your team is known for. When outsiders describe your program, what do they say about you? Or, said another way, what are your team’s core values.
This is a fascinating activity, because although your team’s core values may be crystal clear to you, and maybe even your coaching staff, are they crystal clear to your players? Remember what George Bernard Shaw said:
‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’
Don’t beat yourself up about the results of this activity. You will probably get a list of 30 to 50 or more ideas. Use this as a launching point for a discussion about who you are.
Then start the process of incorporating these core values into everything you do:
  • Tie them into your coaching points
  • Incorporate them into your goals for each game
  • Make your most important season-ending awards based on these criteria
  • Communicate them, communicate them, then communicate them some more
If you want to hear more about Brian Cain’s methods of helping define the core values of a team, one of the recent WYC guests Randy Jackson shared some great stories: winningyouthcoaching.com/wyc-097/
Next week we’ll dive into one of my new favorite books, Crucial Conversations.
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WYC 114 – Sports Nutrition – Dr. Phil Carson talks youth sports and nutrition

Phillip Carson, President of Carson Natural Health, LLC is a Pharmacist who thinks outside the box of  traditional medicine. He believes in helping people find natural alternatives and integrative nutritional solutions to their health problems. He also has coached mostly soccer, coaching all five of his children and hundreds of others, over a 20 year span. He coached youth recreational teams, competitive teams as well as his local High School team.

Website: carsonnatural.com

Facebook: /carsonnatural

Twitter: @DrPhilCarsonRx

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where the puck has been’ – Wayne Gretzky

Coaching your own kids

  • All kids are different – you have to coach each kid individually

Cringe Moment

  • Yelling and screaming shuts kids down, especially as they get older

Teaching Skills

  • Tell them, then demonstrate visually
  • Bring in high school and college kids to add energy and expertise to your practices
  • Kids love when you get involved with them in the games during practice

Self-Confidence

  • Put kids in positions for success, where they can gain confidence by seeing confidence

Championship Culture 

  • 3 words they wouldn’t use or allow anyone to use: Can’t, Won’t, or Don’t

Healthy eating for athletes – How to Live Until you Die

  • Dr. Phil helped one kid who was feeling lethargic on game days – he was drinking sports drinks. He replaced them with water, you can add a little Himalayan salt to get electrolytes and some fruit to get flavor. The dyes in the sports drink were reacting adversely with the boy and when he eliminated them he regained his energy.
  • Processed sugar is horrible (i.e. in Coke) – The best way to get sugar is from fruits – have fruits after practice.
  • Water is HUGE
  • Oatmeal, protein bars, juices, fruit are great
  • Older kids need more protein to build muscle. Clean protein. Be careful of protein supplements – artificial sweeteners, dyes, are not good.
  • A good balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats is key
  • Check out his book, youtube channel, podcast : carsonnatural.com

The One that got away

  • Dr. Phil had a goalie having a rough day, he should have taken him out, but he left him in, Dr. Phil regrets not taking him out.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Play lots of fun games in practices

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Quote: ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where the puck has been’ – Wayne Gretzky

Parting Advice

  • Make it fun

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WYC 113 – Youth Sports – Morgan Sullivan talks 3 P’s: Prepare, progress, push

Morgan Sullivan is a youth sports coach. He has coached his daughter and sons in multiple sports, and is an avid student of coaching. He also shares coaching wisdom on his blog and in his Facebook group Coaches Corner.

Blog: coachmorganssportschannel.wordpress.com

Facebook: /coachmorganscorner/

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘Push your players to the point of uncomfortable but attainable.’

Coaching your own kids

  • Make sure all the players know you are there to coach and treat all the players equally
  • Treat all the kids equally – your child shouldn’t have to be 50% better than the next kid to earn a spot – If they earn it, they earn it!

Cringe Moment

  • Morgan’s 5 year-old son was running the game-winning touchdown, and his shoe came off and he stopped. They lost the game and Morgan ran out and yelled at his son. Morgan realized he had lost perspective, apologized to his son and the team, and learned to keep perspective during games.

Teaching Skills

  • The less talking the coaches do and the more playing the players do, the better it will be for everyone. A quick demonstration goes a long way.
  • Use stations. Run from station to station.

Self-Confidence

  • Mistakes are learning points. We want mistakes. You only get better by making mistakes.

Championship Culture 

  • It starts with great assistant coaches
  • Approach communication from the positive side of things: use words like ‘I would like to see…’ instead of ‘I don’t want you to do …’
  • Focus on process and making the right decision
  • Reward hustle, sportsmanship
  • Great team builders – Start practices by playing fun games, have a potluck cookout

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Morgan has coached a boy who is his neighbor and followed his growth, and got to see him catch his first TD recently, Morgan doesn’t know who was more excited, the boy, his parents, or Morgan

The One that got away

  • Morgan had some scouts come to watch him in a high school game and he gave up 7 runs and only recorded 1 out. Morgan’s mom did a great job afterwards of keeping things in perspective and reminding him that this doesn’t define him.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Hardwork and dedication will reap benefits
  • Morgan’s best coach had great passion and loved hardwork and fun.

Favorite coaching book/quote

Parting Advice

  • 3 P’s – Prepare, progress, push. During practice – Push your players to the point of uncomfortable but attainable.

– 

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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WYC 112 – Championship Culture Part 8 – What are the 4 cornerstones of building Championship Culture?

 

Craig Haworth is the founder of Winning Youth Coaching, whose mission is to empower and train youth sports coaches at all levels to build championship programs by creating a culture that values the contribution of each individual and accelerates deep training to achieve peak performance.

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘Be a coach that builds up children and teaches them to overcome adversity, instead of being the adversity the child has to overcome.’

The 4 Cornerstones

1 – Establishing Core values

2 – Accelerate deep training

3 – Defining an important role for everyone & Developing your leaders

4 – Achieving Peak Performance

Taking action – How to implement the 4 cornerstones

  • Your equivalent to attending a live conference, but at the convenience of listening on your own schedule.
  • 6 sessions that are about 40 minutes each
  • Do-it-yourself worksheets and attachments to put pen to paper and make a plan of action for your program.
  • Networking – 2 month membership to our culture bus masterminding network group to help encourage you and to learn from each other along the way.
  • Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign – this will allow me to understand the size and scope of the audience, and take feedback through comments on the kickstarter campaign page itself – to tweak this course to make it exactly what you, as a coach, need and want.
  • IF NOTHING CHANGES, NOTHING CHANGES.

Get started here

Caz McCaslin’s 2 minute Coaching tips

  • Spirituality – It’s one of our most important influences to help kids see they why behind what we do, and help them find their own why

– 

Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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Ready to be an Awesome Youth Coach? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter:

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The 4 Cornerstones Of Championship Culture – Part 7 Of 8- Leadership Development

‘We all need an unreasonable person in our life that holds us to a standard higher than we believe we can attain.’


The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – WYC is excited to partner with Upward Sports to kick off 2017 with an exciting new way for your to raise your coaching game for you and your coaches!
4th Cornerstone – Developing Leaders
This week we have the privilege of learning from Jim Harshaw Jr.
Jim is a TedX speaker, a consultant, and a former Division I All American wrestler. He also hosts a podcast called Success through Failure.
Success through Failure
Jim is passionate about developing leaders who embrace failure as a necessary part of success. The failure along the way is only because we set our goals high. The more successful the person, the more failures they have in their past. You don’t see the grind and struggles and times they wanted to quit after they succeed, but it’s there. ‘Failure is an option. In fact, it’s quite likely.’ We should set audaciously high goals. Then reverse engineer the process it will take to get there. And then forget about the goal. All you can control is your actions. Set action goals.
Be an action taker and don’t let your fear of not reaching a lofty goal prevent you from shooting for it: ‘There are 2 pains in life: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret’
Our special thanks to our corporate partner for this series – Upward Sports- check them out at upward.org!
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WYC 111 – Championship Culture Part 7 – Jim Harshaw Jr talks Wrestling & Developing Leaders Who Aren’t Afraid to Fail

Jim Harshaw Jr is a speaker, consultant and former Division I All American wrestler. Here is a quick story by him:

I grew up in a blue-collar home so learned the value of hard work early on.

I have spent my life surrounded by Olympians, CEO’s and millionaires. They’ve all struggled and failed on their way to success. Just like you.

 

On March 20, 1998, my sixteenth year of wrestling ended in a locker room with blood on my face and tears in my eyes. I’d just lost the match to become an NCAA Division I All American.

But I had one more season at the University of Virginia. One more chance. And exactly one year later, in front of over 14,000 fans at the NCAA Championships, I did it. I earned a place on the podium as one of just eight wrestlers in the country with the status of Division I All American.

I followed a blueprint for success to get there. The same blueprint got me invited to the Olympic Training Center and took me overseas to compete on a US National Team.

Website, TEDx talk, & Podcast: jimharshawjr.com

Twitter: @jimharshaw

Facebook: /jimharshawjr

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘There are 2 pains in life: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret’

‘We all need an unreasonable person in our life that holds us to a standard higher than we believe we can attain.’

Outwork everyone

  • Jim’s goal from day one was to outwork all of his competition

Coaching your own kids

  • Each kid is unique and has different needs and ways to communicate

Success through Failure podcast

  • Most of what we do starts with a failure.
  • The failure along the way is only because we set our goals high. The more successful the person, the more failures they have in their past. You don’t see the grind and struggles and times they wanted to quit after they succeed, but it’s there. ‘Failure is an option. In fact, it’s quite likely.’

Goal setting

  • Set audaciously high goals. Then reverse engineer the process it will take to get there. And then forget about the goal. All you can control is your actions. Set action goals.
  • ‘We all need an unreasonable person in our life that holds us to a standard higher than we believe we can attain.’

Caz McCaslin’s 2 minute Coaching tips

  • Kids today are digitally connected, but struggle to connect socially face-to-face – Sports is a great place to make this happen.
  • Best-practice – At end of practice once per week – have one player on team share a story about themself for 3 minutes while all the other players squat against the wall – then ask the players questions about the story afterwards – if they can’t answer they have to keep squatting – great combination of teaching listening skills while under physical exertion

Championship Culture

  • ‘The coach cares more about me as a person than he cares about me as an athlete’

Connecting with kids

  • A young man Jim coached who was hearing impaired wanted to quit, but Jim had a great conversation with the young man and he has stuck with it and his confidence has gone up and he’s doing great with it. Someone believed in him.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Variety

Quote

  • ‘There are 2 pains in life: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret’

Leadership and life coaching

  • Website, TEDx talk, & Podcast: jimharshawjr.com
  • Coaches people and former athletes on goal setting, success, and leadership

Parting Advice

  • Focus on the life lessons. Translate the actions they are doing into life lessons.

– 

Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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Ready to be an Awesome Youth Coach? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter:

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The Culture Journey Week #24 – Rough week

Week 24
Regular Season week #3
Positive Energy
Crazy weather this week so we only had 1 practice, and it was shortened because of a field conflict, so no goofy games or book reading this week.
Culture Update – Rough week
Felt like we took a few steps backwards this week. We only had 1 game, and to be honest I was embarrassed to be on our sideline. Our head coach berated several players very publicly, as well as berating me during a play he didn’t like how I coached the play. Felt like last year and some of the ground we had made took some serious steps backwards. He seemed a little more agitated than he had been recently, maybe something outside of lacrosse was bugging him. Either way it needs to be addressed, we are off the next week and a half for spring break, so I plan to talk with him about it when we get back in town. Hopefully we can nip it in the bud. It’s a little scary because when we get back we have back-to-back games against teams we lost to a combined 40-1 last year.

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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The 4 Cornerstones Of Championship Culture – Part 6 Of 8- Leadership Development

‘If your dreams don’t scare you- you’re not dreaming big enough’ – Chasing the Lion
The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – WYC is excited to partner with Upward Sports to kick off 2017 with an exciting new way for your to raise your coaching game for you and your coaches!
4th Cornerstone – Developing Leaders
This week we have the privilege of being joined by TJ Rosene, head basketball coach and 3x national coach of the year at Emmanuel College, director of coach development at PGC Basketball, and co-host of the Hardwood Hustle podcast.
Captains
TJ had a very unique answer when I asked him how his teams choose captains. He said they don’t. I was very interested in this idea, in fact I wrote a previous blog post about this: click here.
When leaders arise who he wouldn’t have chosen – he is honest with them and works to develop them and train them how to be a better leader. He is also honest about what the 2 or 3 behaviors are that will affect their teammates adversely if they don’t work on improving them or eliminating them.
Leadership development
The first step is asking the players who wants to lead. They create levels of leadership around 4 traits: Character, Courage, Consistency, Communication. They define levels 0 to 3 with tangible steps on to how to reach level 3 for each characteristic, which is hard to attain.
Our special thanks to our corporate partner for this series – Upward Sports- check them out at upward.org!
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The Culture Journey Week #23 – The Bus Trip

Week 23
Regular Season week #2
Positive Energy
I continued what I have affectionately self-named ‘Coach Craig’s Goofy Games‘ to start each practice.
This week’s best game:Great Teammate Tips Challenge
After one of our seniors shared the 2 new tips for the week from The Hard Hat, we broke into 4 teams: freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. I gave them each a page from the sketch pad which we use to write the tips on (by the way – love this sketch pad I bought for $14 on Amazon: link) and gave them each a Sharpie and asked them to write down as many of the 8 teammate tips they could remember. The correct number ranged from 3 to 7 (the seniors obviously had an advantage since they are reading the book.) It was good to get the groups brainstorming together, plus put the emphasis on how much are they really listening to these tips being presented by the seniors.
Culture Update – The Bus Trip
This weekend we had 1 of our 2 bus trips, a 3 hour ride over to Knoxville to play 2 varsity games and 1 JV game. I had been thinking about this for some time, because last year our bus trips were a bit shocking to me how immature and disrespectful much of the conversation was. We discussed this as a coaching staff, and decided rather than trying to ‘police’ the conversation, to instead fill the time with productive activity. We brought a DVD with the 2015 Div II lacrosse national championship game which was 1 hour 45 minutes long and played that as soon as we left. Then we spent the last hour bringing up the different position groups to the front of the bus with the coaches to discuss the gameplan for the day. This seemed to work really well and our mindset getting off the bus seemed to be much more focused and excited to play great lacrosse vs. last year where they were just goofing off and not focused. The results on the field paid off as well as we played a great first half and won the first game.
The return bus trip was less organized but we stopped for pizza then most of the boys fell asleep as it was a long day and we were all pretty exhausted. Overall it was a night and day better experience vs. last year.
We also continue to have the seniors presenting 2 of the teammate tips from Jon Gordon’s The Hard Hat, this weeks we covered points 7 and 8:
7 – Do it for your team, not for applause
8 – Show you are committed

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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WYC 110 – Championship Culture Part 6 – TJ Rosene talks Chasing the Lion & Leadership Development

TJ Rosene is a 3x National  Coach of the year. He has already compiled over 300 wins as a college coach and has most recently put together 8 straight 20-win seasons. TJ also serves as the Director of Coach Development for PGC Basketball, and co-hosts the Hardwood Hustle podcast.

Twitter: @CoachTJRosene

Websites: pgcbasketball.comhardwoodhustle.com

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘If your dreams don’t scare you- you’re not dreaming big enough’ – Chasing the Lion

1st steps in building culture

  • The first step is believing
  • Then define key cornerstones

Buy-in & Building great teammates

  • Have your players brainstorm about what the characteristics are of the best teammates. Then ask the players whether you have their permission to hold them accountable to those standards.

Empowering players

  • The best time to have players figuring things out on their own is when there is less on the line. That’s true of lower levels of youth sports. That’s true of early in the season even at higher levels of athletics.

Communication needs 3 things:

  1. Truth
  2. Love
  3. Transparency

Start each practice talking for 5 to 8 minutes

  • This helps everyone to get to know each other and
  • My commitment Monday
  • Tough Tuesday
  • Thankful Thursday

Communication – Life skills

  • They have their athletes do the following when ordering at a fast-food restaurant:
    • Eye contact
    • Call the person by name
    • Ask them how their day is going
    • Express gratitude

Caz McCaslin’s 2 minute Coaching tips

  • Tough love – Set standards that build not just great athletes but great leaders
  • Remember the off the court impact you have is more important than what happens on the court

Captains

  • TJ’s teams have never elected captains. He just lets the natural leaders emerge.
  • When leaders arise who he wouldn’t have chosen – he is honest with them and works to develop them and train them how to be a better leader. He is also honest about what the 2 or 3 behaviors are that will affect their teammates adversely if they don’t work on improving them or eliminating them.

Leadership development

  • The first step is asking the players who wants to lead
  • They create levels of leadership around 4 traits: Character, Courage, Consistency, Communication
  • They define levels 0 to 3 with tangible steps

Connecting with kids

  • Sometimes you have to draw lines. It’s scary because we don’t want to alienate a player, but it is important.

The One that got away

  • Losing a national championship game – TJ had not prepared himself for what could go wrong.
  • You have to learn from the adversity and not live in the adversity

Best Stolen Idea

  • Don Meyer – Sent TJ a note and book within 48 hours of his passing. TJ learned that you’re never too big for any situation or person.
  • Be a lifelong learner!

PGC Basketball Clinics

  • 10,000 kids go through their camps every summer – check them out at: pgcbasketball.com

Parting Advice

  • Keep perspective. Define your legacy.

– 

Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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The 4 Cornerstones Of Championship Culture – Part 5 Of 8- Mental Toughness And Relational Resilience

‘In society we think of competition as going head to head with someone else and trying to beat them. But if you look at the Latin root of the word – it means To Strive Together. You put your best foot forward and I’ll put my best foot forward. Even if I lose, I will thank you as my competitor for bringing your best that day.’ – Joe Ehrmann, paraphrased
The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – WYC is excited to partner with Upward Sports to kick off 2017 with an exciting new way for your to raise your coaching game for you and your coaches!
3rd Cornerstone – Creating Mentally Tough Athletes
This week we learn from Sara Erdner, PhD student in Sport Psychology & Motor Behavior at the University of Tennessee.
Sara has done research in the area of resilience, and here are 5 keysher research has uncovered as the keys to being resilient:
1 – Positive outlook
2 – Intrinsically motivated
3 – Focused
4 – Confident
5 – Perceived social support is high
Sara also has done a deeper dive into the fifth point which is about relationships. Emotional support is the key and the concept of empathy is critical. Empathy is striving to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.Empathy is important to overcoming and working through the shame that has been put on you by your parents or coaches or others in your life.
Some of these are harder to control than others – but certainly choosing to be positive, to be focused, and to show empathy to others are things we can control with our choices every day.
Our special thanks to our corporate partner for this series – Upward Sports- check them out at upward.org!
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The Culture Journey Week #22 – Defining Who We Are

Week 22
Regular Season week #1
Positive Energy
I continued what I have affectionately self-named ‘Coach Craig’s Goofy Games‘ to start each practice.
This week’s best game:Towel Tug-of-War King-of-the-Mountain Style
We repeated the towel tug of war game I have previously described (to see the details click here), but this time we did it king of the mountain style. I sorted our roster by approximate size and weight and put them in ascending order so we started with the smallest 3 athletes first. Then whoever won got to stay and we brought in the next 2 kids. So if you kept winning you remained king of the mountain. It’s always fun to see surprising kids step up, we had one of our first year players win 5 matches in a row at one point.
Culture Update – Defining Who We Are
This week was quite a roller-coaster ride on our culture journey. It started with a game last Saturday that was quite embarrassing to be part of. We played selfishly, we played recklessly, and we got in a fight which included one player from each team getting ejected. But instead of letting this define us, we used it to fuel a heart-to-heart with our team at practice on Monday. We discussed whether we wanted to be known for being a chippy scrappy team that easily lost their focus, or whether we wanted to be known for being a smart, aggressive, great lacrosse team that respects the game and their opponents. We tied in our ROOTS core values and discussed respect for the officials and opponents particularly. It was a great discussion, but of course you always wonder who much of it will actually play out when push comes to shove in a game.
We had our next game on Wednesday. We won a hard-fought game against a solid opponent 6-5. We only had 1 or 2 penalties, we played unselfishly, and we respected the officials and opponents. What a turnaround in one game. Maybe we needed everything to go wrong in that first game to see the picture of what we don’t want to represent.It did, and we will continue to use that as a reminder that we have to be continually focusing on our respect for our ROOTS values.
We also continue to have the seniors presenting 2 of the teammate tips from Jon Gordon’s The Hard Hat, this weeks we covered points 5 and 6:
5 – Share Positive Contagious Energy
6 – Don’t complain
Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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WYC 109 – Championship Culture Part 5 – Sara Erdner talks Mental Toughness and Relational Resilience

Sara Erdner is a PhD student in Sport Psychology & Motor Behavior at the Univ. of TN. She is a lifelong athlete including multiple triathlons and most recently Strongman competitions. Today she will share with us some of the research she has done on relational resilience.

Twitter: @serdner

Facebook: /sara.erdner

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘In society we think of competition as going head to head with someone else and trying to beat them. But if you look at the Latin root of the word – it means To Strive Together. You put your best foot forward and I’ll put my best foot forward. Even if I lose, I will thank you as my competitor for bringing your best that day.’ – Joe Ehrmann, paraphrased

Competition

  • Joe Erhmann talks about the word competition – ‘In society we think of competition as going head to head with someone else and trying to beat them. But if you look at the Latin root of the word – it means To Strive Together. You bring your best foot forward and I’ll put my best foot forward. Even if I lose, I will thank you as my competitor for bringing your best that day.’

Relational Resilience

  • Adversity – Perception is reality, so if you perceive a situation as adverse, then it is.
  • 5 characteristics of being resilient:

1 – Positive outlook

2 – Intrinsically motivated

3 – Focused

4 – Confident

5 – Perceived social support is high

Coaches’ & Parents’ role in resilience in athletes

  • It all starts with you. If you are not resilient yourself, it’s nearly impossible to develop resilient athletes. Are you positive & focused?
  • Self reflection is one of the most powerful thing you can do as an individual.
  • Acknowledging when you’ve done something wrong is important.
  • Emotional support is the key. The concept of empathy is critical. Being able to strive to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Empathy is important to overcoming and working through the shame that has been put on you by your parents or coaches or others in your life.

Mental toughness

  • Traditional coaching behaviors such as yelling, throwing things – these old standards create negative emotions that drive fear and anxiety
  • Care, love, positive emotions – are the true ways to bring out the best performances

Caz McCaslin’s Coaching Tips

  • Developing a player athletically:
    • Teach them to have a great work ethic
    • Teach them to be constantly learning

Empowering kids

  • Ask open-ended questions
    • What do you think you would have done in that situation?
    • Are there other things you might add to that?
    • It takes more time, but it has infinitely more valuable

Positive Energy

  • Sara gets her positivity from her mom – Shout out to Sheryl Erdner!

The One that got away

  • Sara was in a triathlon and was so in the flow state that she forgot to do the 2nd lap of the biking portion.
  • She had a friend tell her – ‘These are the moments that will have the biggest impact on making you a better athlete, because it forces you to think about what happened and what you could do have done better’

Best Stolen Idea

  • Dr. Rebecca Zakrajsek, PHD from Univ of Tennessee – Had a book called The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha – she shared a story from to start each class. Started the class with positive energy. Eventually she started to ask the class what awesome thing happened to them lately.

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Quote: ‘Stop trying to prove yourself because you’ve already done it.’ There’s a difference in trying to prove yourself and trying to improve yourself.
  • Book: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Parting Advice

  • Start practices with something fun and something motivational/positive.

– 

Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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Ready to be an Awesome Youth Coach? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter:

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The 4 Cornerstones Of Championship Culture – Part 4 Of 8- Creating Mentally Tough Athletes

The best aren’t born that way. They work harder and practice more to master their craft.’ – Jon Gordon
The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – WYC is excited to partner with Upward Sports to kick off 2017 with an exciting new way for your to raise your coaching game for you and your coaches!
3rd Cornerstone – Creating Mentally Tough Athletes
This week we learn from Pete Jacobson, founder of Win Smarter and long time wrestling coach in New York
Pete has his teams focus on 3 things to create a culture of mentally tough athletes:
1 – Focus on the process not the outcome
2 – Embrace failure as a necessary step towards success
3 – For the kids to embrace #’s 1 and 2 – you need to embrace and live these as their coach
Do these 3 steps and you will create fearless athletes who are not afraid of failure. Their mental approach will be to embrace and get excited for challenges instead of fearing them.
Our special thanks to our corporate partner for this series – Upward Sports- check them out at upward.org!
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WYC 108 – Championship Culture Part 4 – Pete Jacobson talks Wrestling, Process over Outcome, and Embracing Failure

Pete Jacobson has been a varsity wrestling coach for 15 years. Coaching is a passion and a labor of love for him. It’s essentially been his “other” full time job for the last decade and half. Now with the many years of experience under his belt; dozens and dozens of books on coaching theory, sports psychology, performance nutrition, team building and motivation read and on his bookshelf; thousands of dollars worth of clinics, seminars and classes attended and PLENTY of trial and error, he is able to answer a lot more of these questions, so he has started a blog and resources called Win Smarter.

Website: winsmarter.com

Website with free WYC offer: winsmarter.com/wyc/

Twitter: @PJacobsonEmont

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

 ‘The best aren’t born that way. They work harder and practice more to master their craft.’ – Jon Gordon

Cringe Moment

  • Pete and his head coach butted heads a lot during Pete’s early years- Pete was like a typical young man who thinks they know it all

Teaching Skills

  • Incorporate fun competitions as much as possible
  • Group based competitions helps create great culture, and keep mixing up the groups

Self-confidence and peak mental performance

  • Pete recently observed 2 NFL coaches’ reactions to their kickers missing game-winning field goals in overtime of a game. One coach said ‘he is a professional and has to make that kick.’ The other coach said ‘he made a bunch of kicks that even put us in the position to win the game. He’ll make a bunch more for us and we love him.’ Which coach would instill more confidence in his kicker going forward?
  • 3 pillars Pete’s teams focus on:

1 – Focus on process over outcome

2 – Embrace failure as a necessary step towards success

3 – For the kids to embrace #s 1 and 2 – you need to embrace these as their coach

Free E-book on mental toughness

Caz McCaslin’s Coaching Tips

  • Developing a player’s mental capacity
  • Winning requires: Resiliency, concentration, and a willingness to embrace the grind

Championship Culture

  • Defining core values: TAAO

Teamwork

Attitude

Accountability

One More

  • Before the season begins they do 2 things:

1 – Off-site team building ropes course

2 – Team community service project

  • In season:
    • Buddy week – Pair up kids that don’t know each other that well (ideally they have the same lunch) – then at end of week they have a contest to see who knows their buddy best
    • Coach Appreciation dinner – They assign groups and each group comes up with a skit to ‘make fun’ of the coaches. Make sure you define what is appropriate. 🙂

Favorite coaching book/quote

Win Smarter

Parting Advice

  • You know a lot but you could learn much more. Go talk to as many other experienced coaches as you can.

– 

Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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The Culture Journey Week #21 – Ninja Entourage & Coaching Staff Trust

Week 21
Spring practice week #4
Positive Energy
I continued what I have affectionately self-named ‘Coach Craig’s Goofy Games‘ to start each practice.
This week’s best game: Ninja Entourage
Shout out to Scott Hearon for teaching me this one:
Partner off. Do the motion of shaking the other person’s hand, but, point your pointer finger straight out towards the other person. When game starts, both players try to touch their pointer finger to any part of the other persons body except the arm he is fighting with. Whoever touches wins. Winners advance and find other winners to compete against, whoever lost joins the entourage of whoever beat them. Keep going until you’re down to 2 people for the championship match.
Culture Update
Our coaching staff continues to improve our internal trust and respect of one another. This takes time. The 8 week sessions we did in the off-season seem to be creeping into a higher trust and respect level amongst one another. With the understanding that the most important way we can influence our team’s culture is to demonstrate teamwork as a coaching staff.
We also continue to have the seniors presenting 2 of the teammate tips from Jon Gordon’s The Hard Hat, this weeks we covered points 3 and 4:
3 – Choose to be humble and hungry
4 – Pursue excellence

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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The 4 Cornerstones Of Championship Culture – Part 3 Of 8- A Cause Bigger Than Yourself-Leaving A Legacy

‘It’s better to have flown than to have landed’- John Wooden

The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – WYC is excited to partner with Upward Sports to kick off 2017 with an exciting new way for your to raise your coaching game for you and your coaches!
2nd Cornerstone – A Cause Bigger than Yourself – Leaving a Legacy
This week we learn from Ted Quinn, director of coaches programs at Nations of Coaches. NOC is a group whose mission is to equip, serve, and connect with men’s basketball coaches.
Ted broke down creating championship culture into 2 priorities:
1 – Know your why
2 – Prioritize building relationships with your players. Get to know them before getting to know their game.
The first priority as a coach is to know why you are doing it. Being a coach is a calling and usually is a huge time commitment that takes you away from your family a great deal. You need to understand what legacy you want to leave behind. Is it your win/loss record? Or is it more important to be a role model to the young men and women you coach, develop them as athletes and as people, children, teammates, future parents, workers, and leaders?
Know your why. Write it down and remind yourself of it daily. Say it out loud to yourself and to others. Leave the right kind of legacy.
Our special thanks to our corporate partner for this series – Upward Sports- check them out at upward.org!
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WYC 107 – Championship Culture Part 3 – Ted Quinn talks Knowing your Why and Nations of Coaches

Ted Quinn is the director of coaches programs at the Nations of Coaches. Prior to that Ted had spent  seventeen seasons on the sidelines. A coaching career that saw him serve at Wakonda High School(SD), Mount Marty College(SD), Graceland Univerisity(IA) and Nyack College(NY). In addition to his coaching career, Quinn has also served as an Executive Board Member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches(NABC) Ministry Team and an Advisory Board Member of Nations of Coaches. He and his wife Jackie have been married for eighteen years and are the proud parents of ten-year-old daughter Jenna and seven-year-old son Kellen.

Website: nationsofcoaches.com

Twitter: @NationofCoaches

Facebook: /nationsofcoaches

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

 ‘It’s better to have flown than to have landed’ – John Wooden

Nations of Coaches

  • Serve men’s college basketball
  • Mission is to serve, equip, and connect to support coaches

Character Coaches

  • The biggest jump from losing to winning is improving the culture within your locker room and around your program.

Caz’s Coaching Halftime

  • Coach towards victory instead of just trying to win

Building a team with great culture

  • The first step – is as a coach to ask yourself why you are doing this
  • Then – prioritize building relationships with your players. Get to know them before getting to know their game.

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Ted values the relationships with his players. He even had the opportunity to be the minister who led the ceremony for one of his player’s marriages.
  • A player you invest in becomes a son or daughter to you.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Tony Bennett at Virginia – The simplicity of their defense is their key. They just have a few rules and they don’t bend on those rules.

Favorite coaching book/quote

SEC Legacy Breakfast

  • Host speaker – Brice Drew – Head Coach at Vanderbilt
  • Wed, March 8th at 7 a.m. in downtown Nashville – A few tickets still available
  • Website: nationsofcoaches.com

Parting Advice

  • Get to know your players at a heart level before you worry about getting to know their game
  • Know your why

– 

Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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Ready to be an Awesome Youth Coach? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter:

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The Culture Journey Week #20 – Smart-Aggressive – A Poker Analogy

Week 20
Spring practice week #3
Positive Energy
I continued what I have affectionately self-named ‘Coach Craig’s Goofy Games‘ to start each practice.
This week we did the best game we’ve done yet:
I had forgotten one that I had learned from Dave Cisar at Winning Youth Football (I am a HUGE fan of his coaching guide!) It’s called towel tug of war. Use an old full-sized towel, wrap duct tape around both ends and in the middle. Have 3 somewhat equal-sized athletes each grab the towel with one hand at 1 of the 3 taped spots. Put a cone about 4 to 5 yards behind each player (should form a triangle.) Then it’s tug of war to try to touch your own cone. You can only have one hand on the towel and you must be touching the towel when you touch your own cone.
The added fun that Cisar adds – have all the players that don’t participate line up behind the person’s cone who they think is going to win. Then all the people who line up behind the wrong cone have to do a quick 5 push-ups or something similar for picking wrong. This adds a lot of loud fun cheering from all the players.
Smart-Aggressive – A Poker Analogy
It’s always a fine-line to challenge kids to play aggressively but not force things and take dumb shots. I was thinking about it this week and it’s really similar to effective poker players. I used to run a poker club of 20 really good poker players and we would send the winner of the club to Vegas to play in a World Series of Poker event. I was able to win our club twice and got to play in Vegas. Poker theory is pretty consistent in that the best players play a tight-aggressive style. I was thinking this week that this is how we want our players to play, although I renamed ‘tight’ with ‘smart.’
Attached is a visual of this, let me know your thoughts. I am going to roll this out to our team today.

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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The 4 Cornerstones Of Championship Culture – Part 2 Of 8- A Cause Bigger Than Yourself-Leaving A Legacy

Ultimately, life is about relationships and having a cause bigger than yourself – Joe Ehrmann in Inside Out Coaching
The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – WYC is excited to partner with Upward Sports to kick off 2017 with an exciting new way for your to raise your coaching game for you and your coaches!
2nd Cornerstone – A Cause Bigger than Yourself – Leaving a Legacy
This week we learn from Scott Hearon, founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. This group’s entire focus is to equip and support coaches in their work to build excellent programs that transform the lives of their players and empower them to perform to their greatest potential.
Scott’s group uses Joe Ehrmann’s book Inside Out Coaching as a key part in their training of coaching staffs. The high school lacrosse coaching staff I am a part of recently had the privilege of going through this training.
Unlike most coach training, the focus of most of our time together was not on how to teach better or run more efficient practices, but rather was to understand each of our pasts and uncover any tendencies we have to lose focus on the real reasons we coach.
Scott taught us that the single most important thing the kids watch in us as coaches is how we relate to and treat each other. A great analogy he used was the best thing we can do as a parent is to love our spouse.
One of the biggest legacies we can leave with the players we coach is to demonstrate that we not coaching to impress anyone else, but instead we are coaching because we love the game, we love the coaches we coach with, and we love our players.
Our special thanks to our corporate partner for this series – Upward Sports- check them out at upward.org!
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WYC 106 – Championship Culture Part 2 – Scott Hearon talks Leaving a Legacy and 4 at the Door

Scott Hearon believes athletics can be the most effective forum for growing people, and has coached and mentored in many different arenas hoping to make a difference. Scott feels a call on his life to help men make sense of who they are and why they are made so that they can lead lives of deep influence, purpose, connection, and freedom. Scott is the executive director at The Nashville Coaching Coalition, whose mission is to connect, support, and equip athletic coaches in their work to build excellent programs that transform the lives of their players and empower them to perform to their greatest potential.

Websites: NashvilleCoachingCoalition.com; TheCoachForum.com

Twitter: @TheCoachForum

Facebook: /TheCoachForum

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

 ‘If you want to make slow change, coach behavior. If you want to make sustainable change, help change their paradigm.’ – Stephen Covey, paraphrased

Early Influence

  • Scott during high school read the story about Joe Erhmann’s team in Season of Life and looked around and didn’t really see the type of mentors from the coaches he had in his life

‘To be a man, you have to see a man’

  • Boys and girls need to see role models. The best thing we can to demonstrate this to the players we coach is to work on our relationships with each other as a coaching staff.
  • The most dangerous coach is one who is not confident with who they are and are trying to prove themselves
  • From Joe Hermann’s book Inside-Out Coaching, the goal is to be a transformational coach instead of being a transactional coach. You can’t try to fulfill your insecurities by using kids to accomplish your goals.

Building a team with great culture

  • The first step is defining your core values and what you are all about
  • This begins with the relationships and communication within the coaching staff
  • Then have each coach write a mission statement about what this coaching staff’s priorities are going to be
  • Then relay this philosophy to your parents so they are on board with your approach

Caz’s Coaching Halftime

  • Develop the whole athlete, on and off the field
  • Coaches are the #1 position of influence on today’s youth

Building Self-confidence

  • 2 biggest things kids need: To belong and to matter
  • When kids understand their role and know they are valued regardless of their performance on the field, they become free to play all-out without fear. ‘Play Free’
  • The Thrive Center for Human Development

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • A really gifted athlete on a team Scott was working with was struggling with controlling his emotions. Their team’s coaching staff spent time with all the seniors before the season, and hearing this young man’s struggles personally with how hard his life had been opened things up with their relationship to connect with him personally.

The One that got away

  • Scott was on a coaching staff and during a game sensed that they needed to call a timeout and encourage their team. But he was new to the staff and didn’t say anything, which he regrets.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Apologize as often as you need to
  • 4 at the door – 4 things to do every time you talk to your athletes:

1 – Look them eye to eye

2 – Shake their hand

3 – Call them by their name

4 – Share one thing of personal value to them

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Quote: ‘If you want to make slow change, coach behavior. If you want to make sustainable change, help change their paradigm.’ – Stephen Covey, paraphrased

The Coach Forum

  • NashvilleCoachingCoalition.com
  • The Coach Forum – TedX-type talks one day coaching forum in July: Twitter: @TheCoachForum
  • Coaching with Heart – Weekend retreat April 7-9 – Teaching coaches how to coach with heart

Parting Advice

  • What kind of legacy do you want to leave?

– 

Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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Ready to be an Awesome Youth Coach? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter:

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The Culture Journey Week #19 – Coach Craig’s Goofy Games, No Captains?, & Struggle

Week 19
Spring practice week #2
Positive Energy
I continued what I have affectionately self-named ‘Coach Craig’s Goofy Games‘ to start each practice. It’s hard work continuing to come up with creative games, but once we’ve done 10 or 12 different ones I’ll probably start circling back and repeating or letting the kids choose one they liked. Here is how I have structured what we’ll do each week:
Monday – Seniors share 2 of the Teammate Tips from The Hard Hat. I purchased an 18″x24″ drawing pad and we’re going to fill in the 21 tips as the season goes on. I’m thinking about asking the seniors if they want to encourage the team to each tap the list on the way out to do their group warm-up run each practice. (Think ‘Play for your teammates today’ type sign.)
Tuesday – 3 man competitions and everyone votes on who they think will win, losers do punishment (towel tug-of-war, 3 man ground balls)
Wednesday – Entourage-type game where players compete then losers cheer (rock, paper scissors; high-10 off-balance push; 1,2,3, yee,haw,clap)
Thursday – Position group games (Tell a story 4 words at a time; topics without repeats; put cards in order without talking)
Friday – Fun Friday – play a different sport (ultimate frisbee with tennis balls; sharks and minnow tag with tennis balls; kickball)
​​​​​​​I’ll be taking notes on how to play each of these games and will send something out when the season is over.
Captains
Interesting follow-up on captains. I definitely lost sleep over the weekend as I thought about the one kid who didn’t get voted as a captain (another one didn’t get voted either but I don’t think he had any expectations around being a captain.) I was interviewing TJ Rosene (from PGC Basketball, the Hardwood Hustle, and head coach at Emmanuel College) this week and I asked him about captains – he gave me a really unique answer: ‘We don’t vote for or assign captains. There are always a few players that step up as leaders. When the ref asks for our captains to come to center court, without looking at me, a few of them just naturally take their role as leaders.’
Anyone else ever try this approach? It really got me thinking and I can see the benefits of not having a popularity vote or having coaches have to choose and alienating kids.
Struggle
The biggest struggle we are having right now is how to quantify and track skill progress. We don’t really have any tangible measurable so the boys can get the satisfaction of knowing they are improving. John, Will or any other lax coaches – any lacrosse ideas for this?

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – Part 1 of 8 – Core Covenants

‘Leave the jersey in a better place’ – The All Blacks in James Kerr’s Legacy 
Core values
This week we kick off the series discussing the importance of establishing your core values. This is defining ‘who we are’ and ‘how we do things around here.’ Our guest in this week’s podcast, Coach Lisle from The Hitting Vault, shares that he and his coaches establish their core covenants first, and then they only have 2 rules:
1 – Don’t be late
2 – Don’t let down your teammates
This really covers all the bases, because if you do something selfish, you will always let down your teammates. So don’t.
Your program needs to start with a cornerstone that clearly states how you do things. Then point everything back to this in how you act and how you make all decisions.
Our special thanks to our corporate partner for this series – Upward Sports- check them out at upward.org!
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The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – Intro

‘Leave the jersey in a better place’ – The All Blacks in James Kerr’s Legacy 
The 4 Cornerstones of Championship Culture – WYC is excited to partner with Upward to kick off 2017 with an exciting new way for your to raise your coaching game for you and your coaches!
Each Monday we will launch a new episode with interviews of great youth sports coaches around the country, and will also feature a 2 minute coaching spot with the founder of Upward Sports, Caz McCaslin.
The series will be broken into 4 topics:
1 – Core values
2 – A cause bigger than yourself
3 – Empowering & Defining roles- Create mentally tough athletes through their understanding of their role
4 – The role of captains and leadership development
A special thanks to our corporate partner for this series – Upward Sports – check them out at upward.org!
 
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Making It Fun Part 4 – 4 Additional Ideas To Build Positive Energy Into Your Practices

Lead with optimism, enthusiasm and positive energy, guard against pessimism and weed out negativity.’ – Jon Gordon 

This has been a great series for me to remember the importance of having kids love the sport they play. Sure there will be times where the kids need to learn the value of grinding out tough workouts, but there is no reason we can’t bring the energy levels up in our practices by incorporating fun competitive elements into most of what we do.
This week we will wrap up the series with 4 additional ideas for building positive energy into your practices:
Freeplay
This past summer my friend John, who coaches lacrosse, had parents drop off their kids from 4 to 6 every Saturday and had pick-up games. Their was 2 or 3 coaches there to make sure everyone stayed safe, but other than that the coaches stayed out of the way and let the kids figure out teams, resolve arguments, pretty much do everything themselves. This is great not only for developing their skills, but it also teaches them conflict resolution and many other great life skills.
Positive Conditioning – The winners get to run!
During competitions within your practice, instead of punishing the losers by making them do some type of conditioning, you tell the winners they have earned the right to get stronger while the losers watch. You have to put all your attention/effort into recognizing the kids who are earning the right to run.
Small area games like Futsal
Kids that play futsal touch the ball 12x vs. traditional soccer. Simulate these type  of small area games with lots of touches for each kid by breaking into small teams and play within a small confined space.
Involving the parents
Tell your parents: ‘Come ready and dressed to participate at practice’ – They can help you coach, but also kids love competing against the adults, so have competitions and scrimmages against their parents or with the parents mixed into the teams.
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The Culture Journey Week #18 – Icebreakers, Tough Decisions, & The Hard Hat

Week 18
Hell Week – Spring practice week #1
Positive Energy
As I mentioned last week, we started off the season with our head coach asking the boys what being a good teammate means to them, he wrote their ideas down, then had all the players and coaches sign the sheet agreeing to be held to that standard. This is a big change from the previous year, where I can’t remember specifically how the season kicked off but it certainly wasn’t in this type of positive mindset. Then we lined up all the boys in a single file line, I taught them the proper way to shake hands, and we had each player go down the line and introduce themselves to every other player on the team. Good start!
The next challenge for our coaching staff was to turn around the negative culture that had come down on last year’s team like a dark fog. One focus we are implementing is to intentionally start the practice with positive energy. We have done entourage, aka rock,paper,scissors,cheerleader, and a game called moosh-ball to start our practices the last 2 days. They are somewhat goofy games, especially moosh-ball, but that is OK because they have been very successful in getting a group of ‘trying-to-be-cool’ teenage boys laughing, cheering, and having a good time.

The other nice benefit of doing these games at the beginning of practice is that it provides an extra incentive to show up on time to practice.
Captains
We did face a very tough decision on who would be our captains for this team. We have 6 seniors on the team, so we wrote their names on a sheet of paper and let each player on the team vote for 1,2, or 3 players. The vote totals came out with one clear choice, then 3 more that were lumped pretty tight together. We had the debate over whether to add the #2 finisher and stick with 2 captains, or whether to have all 4 be captains. The other issue was the head coach had a different view on who the 2nd captain should be vs. myself and the other assistant coach. Much to his credit, after much deliberation, he had the other assistant coach and me fill out votes and see what that did to the totals. It did move a different boy into the #2 spot. I also really like the leadership of the boy who finished in the #4 spot, so we finally agreed we would go forward with 4 captains.
The Hard Hat
Keeping with our theme of being a great teammate, we have purchased 10 copies of Jon Gordon’s The Hard Hat – 21 Ways to be a great teammate. 1 for each senior and one for each coach. We are going to read the book with our seniors and discuss 2 different points from the book each week.
We have a long way to go, but the atmosphere around our team this spring is light years ahead of where we were this time last year.

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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WYC 105 – Championship Culture Part 1 – Matt Lisle talks Core Covenants and The Hitting Vault

Coach Lisle currently works with numerous MLB, professional and college players and is a former collegiate hitting coach.

Lisle’s knowledge is deeply rooted in all aspects of the game, but his passion and knowledge for hitting has proven to be a game changer for all the hitters he works with. Many know of Coach Lisle through his large social media following where his followers get encouragement, instruction, tips and insights on the game. His positive coaching approach has been a great motivator for players, parents and his peers. Coach Lisle has instilled his philosophy of teaching and sharing in the creation of The Hitting Vault, where their goal is to help every baseball and softball hitter unlock their power.

Websites: TheHittingVault.com & coachlisle.com

Twitter: @CoachLisle

Facebook: /coachlisle

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘Good is the enemy of great’

Coaching your own kids

  • Matt coached his son along with his Dad as the assistant. His dad is very laid back while Matt is very technical, so Matt enjoyed watching how hard the kids played for his dad because of how much he enjoyed them and kept things fun.

Cringe Moment

  • Matt began coaching at a very early age (23 years old as head coach), so initially he was trying too hard to be ‘cool’ and be friends with the coach. Then he swung to the opposite extreme and became too shut-off. Eventually he found the balance of caring for the kids while not trying to impress them.

Teaching Skills

  • The challenge is to take complicated actions and teach them in words they understand with as few words as possible. Feel it instead of think it.
  • Every kid should have a bat/ball so they are following along with you. Matt also uses a 120″ screen and shows what the pros look like so they can see more examples of what great looks like.
  • Good analogy – Cars –  Your body is the engine of the car, it’s where the power comes from, your bat is the steering wheel.

Self-confidence and peak mental performance

  • The parents and coaches influence confidence more than the kids themselves.
  • Allow the players to fail and let know it does not affect how you feel about them. When they make mistakes, instill trust in them. Give them permission to fail and encourage aggressive play and mistakes are OK.

Championship Culture – Core values

  • Core covenants – This is what we’re all about
  • 2 rules on this team:

1 – Don’t be late

2 – Don’t let your teammates down

  • Captain’s meetings every Friday morning to train their captains

Rewards

  • Don’t reward average
  • Get excited and celebrate exceptional effort and performance

Best Teambuilder

  • Team Olympics – Team handball can be a great game

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Treat each athlete like one of your own kids and try to instill love and guidance in their lives

The One that got away

  • Matt’s team in 2012 coached a great team. They were undefeated going into the last game of the season, and the coach of the other team in the last game was Matt’s dad. They lost 2-1. Matt had not started his best pitcher because they had pretty easily beat this team earlier in the year.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Quote: ‘Good is the enemy of great’

The Hitting Vault

Parting Advice

  • Love your athletes the way you love your children

– 

Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

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Making It Fun Part 3 – Developmental Stages & Levels

‘The sweet spot: that productive, uncomfortable terrain located just beyond our current abilities, where our reach exceeds our grasp.’– Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code

Do you know what athletes think is fun?

Getting better.
Fun games help keep the energy level high in practice and are important, but there is no substitute for the #1 way to have practices that athletes love: They need to feel tangible progress towards getting better.
3 ways you can implement this immediately:
  • Live by numbers – Create core drills that can be measured numerically. The focus is on improvement.
  • Developmental stages. Kids graduate from levels by testing out of levels. Instead of belt colors (like in Karate), you can have shirt colors. When they are ready to master a skill, they test on it, and move on to the next level after passing the test. Moving up a level is a big recognition – have some type quick ceremony and do something like ringing a victory bell.
  • Stuart Armstrong from The Talent Equation is a master on this subject – He says to design your practices like a video game designer:
    • Create ‘levels’ that are within their reach, but it’s a big stretch that might feel just out of their reach. So when they figure something out – ask them ‘are you ready for level 2 now?’
    • Use terms like ‘power-up’ and ‘freeze’ to mix up games during practice. One team can ‘freeze’ the other team for 5 seconds
Be intentional with your practice design to focus on each kid knowing what their next step of progress is, and celebrate like crazy as kids reach their next level!
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The Culture Journey Week #17 – What Makes Up A Good Teammate & Handshaking

Week 17

Final pre-season Coach Meeting
We had our final pre-season coach meeting last night. I am encouraged by the progress we have made as a staff over the past few months. We are not perfect yet, but there is power in just sitting down and getting to know each other, listen to each others’ stories, and talking about our visions for the team. Even though we all have very different styles and certainly don’t see eye-to-eye on each others’ philosophies, there is a tangible growth and respect amongst each other that makes being together more and more enjoyable.

​​​​​​​As we come into the upcoming Hell Week to kickstart our practices, there are 2 things we are doing at our first practice that I am very excited about:

1 – What does it being a good teammate mean to you?
I am pumped about our head coach recommending that we start out our first team meeting next week by asking the team what their definition is of being a good teammate. We are going to have a large sheet of paper where we write all of their responses down. Then we are going to ask them if they all agree to being held to these standards, and if they do to sign their name on the page with these descriptions.

2 – Handshaking
The head coach also said he wants to start off the first practice with the kids lining up by class, then having each elder class shake hands with the younger classes and welcome them to the team, shake their hand, and tell them they are glad they are here and they will support them and help them any way they can.
I thought of James Leath’s post about teaching kids how to look each other in the eye and what a proper handshake looks like, so I asked the coach if we could teach the kids the proper way to shake hands and he liked the idea. Check out James’ article on this and what his first practice each season looks like (I have learned a great deal from James but this is my favorite must-read article): First-Day-of-Practice

We also discussed having all the coaches take turns talking through our ROOTS values (taken from PCA) over the course of the season so that we don’t lose sight of them the way we have historically. Quick, 5-minute or less, stories we can share to keep sight on who we are and how we do things.

It’s been quite a journey over the past 17 weeks getting ready for practice #1. We’ve taken baby-steps towards turning this team’s culture around, I’m pumped to get it started! These boys are worth it!

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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Making It Fun Part 2 – Fun Games That Teach Skills

‘Nobody ever said “Work ball!” They say, “Play ball!” To me, that means having fun’ – Willie Stargell
Thank you to the many coaches who responded to my recent email asking what your biggest challenge currently is in coaching. One of the common responses I received involved coming up with creative new games to keep practices fun and engaging while teaching fundamentals and deleting the players’ skills. This week I’ll share some of the great games that many of my podcast guests have shared with me over the years. They are organized by sport, but be open-minded and look at other sports outside of the one you coach because many of these games can be tweaked to do in just about any sport.
Baseball & Softball
  • 1 kid is at home base, 1 at 2nd  – and they race to reach the other’s base (home to 2nd; 2nd to home)
  • Throwing/catching games – They start up close with a partner, then keep taking 3 giant steps back, once they drop a ball they’re out – but even after they’re out they can keep throwing (so they’re not standing around)
  • Keep everything competitive – Coach will break up into 2 teams of six and then have them all bunt and keep track of which team lays down more successful bunts, do the same with hit and runs, etc.
  • Baseball hitting game – Each player gets 7 swings and earns points based on result(kind of like Home Run derby)
  • Last player standing – player bats with 2 strikes – if they hit it fair they keep going.  If you strike-out you go play defense.  Then you add complexity – they have to hit it to the grass, etc.  Great game to teach the athletes to play in pressure situations.
  • Throwing accuracy – Kids weren’t hitting their targets when throwing – so she put a ball on a cone at 1st base and they took turns throwing from shortstop trying to hit the ball on the cone.  Then she said first one to hit she would give $1.
Basketball
  • Defensive slide duck-duck-goose: You play the normal game but have to do defensive slide when running around the circle.
  • Jump stop Mr. Fox
  • Split the kids in half and have them do drills towards mid-court so they meet their teammates and can watch/learn as they go
  • Break into 3 person teams and have shooting competitions
  • Spider – Ball handling game – 4 or 5 defenders, 3 or 4 offensive players – Players have to dribble to the other end of the court while the spiders are trying to knock their ball out of the court, if you get your ball knocked out you join the spiders.
  • Dribble tag – put it to music and do it for 5 to 7 minutes to keep it fun
  • Passing tag – have to pass the ball and ‘tag’ someone. Stop, catch, pivot, then tag. Timed drill –team with the lowest time wins. Can do it with more than 5 per team.
  • Cool dribbling drill – Put change (quarters, nickels, dimes) at spots on the court – kids have to go pick it up, then go put the change back using the opposite hand
Football
  • The give-up drill – 3 blockers defending a pad vs. 1 player
  • Defend the box
Soccer
  • Knockout
  • Bring out different style balls – tennis ball, big huge ball
Don’t stress yourself out doing continuous research on the perfect game. Find 4 or 5 that your kids enjoy and mix them throughout your practices to keep the energy level up and the kids having fun!
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The Culture Journey Week #16 – Competition For All Positions

Week 16
Player-Parent Meeting – Competition for all positions
This week kicked off our spring season with our parent-player meeting. I won’t bore you with too many of the details, but one of the statements that our head coach shared jumped out at me:
No guaranteed spots, open competition for all positions
I can’t remember whether this was in the slide deck in previous years, but our coach emphasized it and if we truly enforce this our team’s culture would vastly improve. As I have shared previously our team’s culture has been defined by individualism and entitlement. Our meetings as a coaching staff over the past 8 weeks have been centered around how do we drive accountability into our culture. A major step in doing this will be to use the bench as a motivator. We need to have open competition and let the players know that their behavior will dictate their role on this team. If players come with a willingness to work hard, learn, and be a great teammate – they will earn the right to play significant roles on this team. But if players come to goof off and their primary goal is to show up their teammate, they can enjoy their time watching the game from the bench.
Next week we have our final coaches meeting before our practices kick-off. My primary goal in this meeting is to ask the head coach to clearly define the assistant coaches rolesWe need to feel empowered to own our position group. Not to take away his power, but to help him meet his vision for this team by taking pride in our position group and passing that pride down to be owned by the players in each group. 
Head coaches – are you empowering your assistant coaches and valuing their input? Is their role during practices and games crystal clear? This is a great reminder to all of us of the importance of clear roles for everyone on the team – the players, the coaches, the parents.

Have a great week and keep fighting for your culture everyday!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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WYC 104 – Youth Coaching – Allistair McCaw talks 7 Keys to Being a Great Coach

Allistair McCaw is a Sports Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Coach to Olympians & World Champions, Passionate about improving athletes, coaches & teams. Allistair is from South Africa. His family was very athletic, his mom tried out for the Olympics in the 400 meters. He grew up playing a multiple of sports, he wanted to play professional tennis, but due to financial pressures he switched at age 14 from tennis to running. He was a junior national champion, and went on to become a duathlon competitor. He has since switched to running marathons and just completed his 28th marathon.

Website & Book: themccawmethod.com

Twitter: @AllistairMcCaw

Facebook: /mccawmethod

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘World-class athletes are better able to handle repetition better than the next person.’

The marathon/racing culture

  • It’s a unique environment where everyone is cheering for each other

Book: 7 Keys to Being a Great Coach

  • Allistair’s dream was to write this book to help share what he has learned
  • Link to book: themccawmethod.com

Key 1 – Standards

  • It all starts with your standards – Rules for your life. Standards is a much more palatable word than rules
  • 3 important standards for coaching:
  • 1 – Standards for yourself
  • 2 – Standards for your workplace/coaches
  • 3 – Standards for your athletes

Key 2 – Your Methodology/Philosophy

  • What do you believe in? How do you believe in achieving this?

Key 3 – Great coaches adapt

  • To the unexpected. They are calm, controlled.
  • Adapt to the generation you are working with: Listen better. Discipline. Communicate in their style: they want short bursts of information (they are the Twitter-generation.)

Key 4 – Have great energy

  • It all starts with you. You have to exude passion. People should look forward to seeing you.

Key 5 – Interpersonal skills

  • Respected. Likability. We are in the people business who play sports.

Key 6 – The fundamentals

  • Great coaches have teams that are great at fundamentals.
  • Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code:  ‘Mastering the mundane.’
  • World-class athletes are better able to handle repetition better than the next person.

Key 7 – Invest in yourself

The One that got away

  • 2002 World Duathlon competitions in Atlanta – Came in 2nd. Lost by 40 seconds. Gave it his everything so it wasn’t a failure. But still had a disappointed feeling.
  • Allistair’s advice to young people – don’t have any regrets

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Michael Boyle – Training exercises and how he relates with people

Favorite coaching book/quote

– 

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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The Culture Journey Week #15 – Servant Leadership, Life-Lessons, Codes-Of-Conduct

 
Meeting #7 with Coaching coach – Servant leadership, Life-lessons, Codes-of-conduct
Had our seventh meeting with Scott Hearon, the co-founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. We went through the chapters 6 through 8 of Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann.
​​​​​​​Chapter 6 is about building community. In it is one of the best descriptions I’ve seen of what leadership and being a captain is all about:
Biff tells the seniors they have now earned the right to serve the freshmenServant leadership is the antithesis of self-promotion, of competing for positions of preeminence. It’s the opposite of hazing. It’s downward mobility based on the belief that if you want to be a leader you must first know how to serve.
​​​​​​​Next we invite the freshmen over and the varsity players give them an ovation. A couple of the captains will welcome them and let the frosh know how courageous it is for them to be here. They are admired and welcomed into our community.’
What could our team look like if we taught our captains and seniors to lead this way? That is one of the goals for our upcoming lacrosse season.
Chapter 7 is a discussion on teaching life lessons through sports. We did an exercise as a coaching staff where we each listed the top 3 educational points about life we want to teach the kids we coach. This was an excellent activity to better understand what really makes each coach tick.
This is also the chapter where Joe shares what his teams do on Homecoming week, specifically with regards to what they teach the boys about respecting the girls they are going to take to the Homecoming dance. This includes the boys writing a short letter describing how they will treat their dates and then several of the players are selected to share these with the team.  Powerful, powerful stuff – if you want to see more details on this it starts on the bottom of page 179 of the book.
Chapter 8 is about clear communication, and Joe reinforces the best way to do this is by having 3 different codes of conduct:
  1. Coaches’ code of conduct
  2. Parents’ code of conduct
  3. Players’ code of conduct
We did an activity where we rated from 1 to 5 how our communication with these 3 groups is on our team. The biggest eye-opener from this activity was we realized we put a players’ code of conduct in place at the beginning of the year, then rarely ever discuss it again the rest of the season. 
Next week we wrap up our sessions with Scott, have our kick-off meeting with the players and parents, and then in 2 short weeks we are off and running with practices!
I hope your seasons are going well – you have to fight every day for your culture – so start off 2017 fighting the good fight! It is worth it!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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Making it Fun Part 1 – Hidden Conditioning & Icebreakers

‘You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in other people than you can in 2 years by trying to get other people interested in you’ – Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People
Today we’ll share 2 different types of ideas you can use in your practices:
1 – Icebreakers
2 – Hidden Conditioning
Icebreakers
Don’t underestimate the value of starting your practice with some type of activity to switch your athletes’ mindset from school, friends, homelife, etc. to being on this team. Here are some great ideas (thanks to Will Drumright and James Leath for sharing some of these):
  • Rock, paper, scissors, cheerleader – Everyone pairs off and plays best 2 out of 3. The winner moves on and finds another winner, the person who lost becomes cheerleader (or entourage if you want a more masculine word) for whoever beat them. Continue until down to 2 people. Make a big deal about who has the best entourage before the championship match. You can have coaches watching the entourages throughout the whole process and give award to the final 2 players and also the 2 best cheerleaders.
  • ​​​​​​​Clumps – Start by everyone running around then leader yells out a number and the players have to form clumps with that number of people.
  • 1,2, 3 – Partner up. One person starts with 1 the other says 2, then the first says 3, and so on. (try to mess up your partner, different voice inflections, etc.) After a couple rounds change 3 to a clap. Finally, change 1 and 2 to Yee and Haw.
  • The Pigeon Game: You start telling a story, when the kids hear ‘Pigeon’- they race to the other side. You make it fun by trying to fake them out, i.e.: ‘there was a boy name PETER who really liked PICKLES…’
Hidden Conditioning Games
​​​​​​​Starting or ending your practice with hidden conditioning games instead of wind sprints can improve the ‘funness’ of your practices immensely. Remember – it’s a game and the #1 reason kids play sports is to have fun! Here a few great ideas:
  • Play your sport with a different ball. Way bigger or way smaller than the normal one.
  • Ultimate frisbee is a great game for conditioning for any outdoor sport
  • Dodgeball and tag are classics that kids always like. Instead of kids standing around after they are knocked out make them jog around the outside perimeter of your game.
  • Fox and hound – Hounds have the ball, foxes chase them, if fox tags you, you have to give them ball
  • Relay races
  • Four-corner tag – 4 players at a time – each kid starts in a corner and runs to the middle, then you yell out a corner number, and the kid from that corner has to tag the other 3 kids in 10 seconds.  You see some great open-field juke moves with this.
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WYC 103 – Youth Baseball & Softball – Marshall Lehr talks playing to win vs. playing not to lose

Marshall Lehr is a baseball and softball coach in Texas. He is the father of 4 and has coached many of their teams growing up. He is a passionate believer in the power of sports, and specifically baseball and softball. He is also a great student of the game, having recently gone through John O’Sullivan’s Coaching Mastery course.

Website & Blog: marshalllehr.com

Twitter: @MarshallLehr

Facebook: /marshall.lehr

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place’ – George Bernard Shaw

Coaching your own kids

  • Make decisions based on results more than potential (it is easy to see the potential in your own kids, but the results need to be the criteria used)

Cringe Moment

  • Marshall had two moms complaining to the ref and instead of diffusing the situation he got in an argument with them.
  • Diffuse situations with the phrase ‘I can see why you think that’

Teaching Skills

  • ‘The ability to learn faster than your opponent may be your only true competitive advantage’
  • Make everything competitive to raise the energy level – You can buy one of those little scoreboard flip charts
  • Game – Pull out a stop watch and see how quick the girls can get fly ball into cutoff

Championship Culture 

  • A healthy learning environment is one where kids are playing free and aren’t afraid to make mistakes
  • Keep one error one error.
  • Book: Top Dog – Penalty kicks:
    • Kicking not to lose: 63%
    • Kicking to win: 93%

Rewards

  • They had toy WWE belt they gave to best defensive player – and would use Discount Double-check motion during games to lighten the mood and excite each other
  • First out after an error is huge – so after games they would recognize who made the play to get the first out after an error

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Marshall sends notes in the mail to his kids – there is a service where you can print pictures off Facebook in a card format.
  • Reinforce with kids their importance is not dependent on their sports performance

The One that got away

  • Marshall got a 2nd & 3rd chance – He had a kid struggling with pitching and took himself out of the game. The first time he let the kid leave the game. 6 months later the kid wanted to take himself out, Marshall asked the kid to get him 1 out. The kid still struggled. Then 6 months later he asked the kid to get him 1 out and he worked out of a bases-loaded no outs situation without giving up any runs.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • The decision is part of the skill – learned from Mark Upton
  • Compete and measure it!

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Quote/Book: ‘We went out looking for exceptional kids and what we found is exceptional conditions’ – Benjamin Bloom in Developing Talent in Young People. Be the coach to develop exceptional athletes and people.
  • Book: Mindset by Carol Dweck

Parting Advice

  • You can’t teach everyone the same way
  • Have a preseason meeting with your parents to set expectations. ‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place’ – George Bernard Shaw

– 

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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2017 Is Going To Be Epic. Let’s Start By Having Some Fun!

‘Nobody ever said “Work ball!” They say, “Play ball!” To me, that means having fun’ – Willie Stargell
What better way to kick off the year than to talk about one of the fundamentals of why kids play sports – having FUN! Next week we’ll kick off a 4 part series as we look at great ways to make our practices more fun. If you’re like me you’re always looking for more fun games to bring up the energy level during your practice, so I’ll share some of the best ideas I’ve learned along the way. Here’s what the series will look like:
Part 1 – Hidden conditioning games
Part 2 – Skill development games
Part 3 – Developmental stages & levels
Part 4 – 4 additional ways to bring the fun: Small area games, Freeplay, Positive conditioning, & Involving the parents
Happy new years and here’s to an epic 2017!
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WYC 102 – Youth Coaching – Steven Cournoyer talks inspiring teams, players, and parents from the inside out

Steve Cournoyer has coached 38 different teams, from AAU basketball to 3rd grade kids, primarily in baseball and basketball. He has authored an excellent resource called The Inspired Coach – A guide to inspiring teams, players, and parents from the inside out. He has served our country in the military for over 10 years and worked as a medic in the operating room.

Website & Book: theinspiredcoach1.com

Twitter: @InspiredCoach1

Facebook: /theinspiredcoach

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘If you change the way you look at things, what you look at changes’ – Mahatma Gandhi

Coaching your own kids

Assistant coaches

  • It all starts with communication
  • The goal is to develop the kids and help them fall in love with the sport.
  • Steve has a rule that the coaches don’t coach their own kids, they share those duties so that no one has the stress of trying to coach their own child

Parents

  • You must set the expectations with the parents
  • A parent meeting is a no-brainer
  • Make sure you’ve let the parents know your background, especially if you’re a volunteer coach
  • Set expectations for playing time – is it all equal?
  • Coach the parents on how to cheer – if they give conflicting messages it is very confusing to the kid. ‘Cheer to inspire instead of cheering to instruct’

Players

  • Ask the players ‘Why are you here?’
  • Discuss their philosophy and the philosophy the team is going to have
  • Create some glue to pull them together:
    • A team name (that is different than your given team name)
    • A team song
    • A team cheer (Boston Celtics’ championship team used ‘Umbootu’)

Self-confidence – Unleashing fearless players

  • Coach doesn’t talk about winning with his players. He does talk about it with his coaches, but not with the players. A kid should never feel like it was their fault the team lost a game.
  • Teach the kids: ‘Always be surprised when you miss a shot (or strike out, or miss a tackle.)’ “Fail miserably, but learn from it, then be surprised when it happens again”
  • Don’t use conditioning as a punishment. ‘The harder you work in practice, the funner the games are.’ You want the players to believe that their conditioning has a distinct purpose and challenge them to bring their best to it.

Best team builders

  • For basketball – takes 5 players on one side of the gym and 5 on the other, then puts 17 basketballs in the middle, and asks them to pass the balls and get all the balls going. It’s great because they fail miserably at first and laugh about the struggle, but usually by the end of the year they start to get it

The One that got away

  • Listen to your assistant coaches and give them specific assignments during games so you can all catch different things going on

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • ‘If you’re teaching 12 year-olds, and you treat them like 16 year-olds, they will play like 14 year-olds.’

Favorite coaching book/quote

The Inspired Coach book

Parting Advice

  • If you find ways to go out of your way to help your players fall in love with the game, you are going to be able to teach that game with greater precision.

– 

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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The Culture Journey Week #14 – The Why

Week 14
Meeting #6 with Coaching coach – The Why
Had our sixth meeting with Scott Hearon, the co-founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. We went through the fifth chapter of Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann. In this chapter Joe asks 4 questions:
  1. Why do I coach?
  2. Why do I coach the way I do? (who has influenced my coaching style?)
  3. What does it feel like to be coached by me?
  4. How do I define success?
We all answered these ahead of time for ourselves, and thinking through these was a very good exercise to take us back to why we coach. Most of our answers involved encouraging the young men and women we coach to be better than they can even imagine themselves being. And none of our answers for how we define success had anything to do with winning or losing. It had to do with players developing both on and off the field
This led to an interesting discussion on our upcoming season. We start practices February 1st and have about 4 weeks of practice before our first game. I had created a proposed tracking system for incentivizing players to compete in these practices and as coaches we would post the results at every practice. This was met with little buy-in (I need to work on my sales skills.) The concern mostly was that this would work for higher-achieving teams but our kids aren’t to a level to implement something like this yet. I disagree. We did have a good discussion around this and around choosing captains, and our head coach did say he would take the sheet I proposed with him and think about whether there was any portion of it we could implement. Progress comes in baby steps sometimes! 
I would love to hear your feedback on my tracking system – you can see it at winningyouthcoaching.com/preseason-practice-point-system/
I hope your seasons are going well – you have to fight every day for your culture – so start off 2017 fighting the good fight! It is worth it!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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The 12 Days of Christmas – 12 Truths about Athletes – Part 4 of 4 – The 1 Thing Every Athlete Needs

The emotional glue of any culture is its sense of identity and purpose – James Kerr quoting Owen Eastwood in Legacy
Merry Christmas! I hope you have enjoyed this 12 Days of Christmas series – as a reminder here is what we’ve covered in our 12 Truths about Athletes series:
3 Truths about players (from Ingle Martin):
  1. They want to contribute
  2. They want to belong
  3. They want to know they have what it takes
5 Things Athletes want from their Coaches (from John O’Sullivan):
  1. Respect & Encouragement
  2. A positive role model
  3. Clear, consistent communication
  4. Knowledge of the sport
  5. Someone who listens
3 Components of Effective Communication: (from TJ Rosene)
  1. Truth
  2. Love
  3. Transparency
This week we’ll wrap up the series with:
The 1 Thing Every Athlete Needs:
  1.  Purpose (from James Kerr in Legacy)
​​​​​​​More than encouragement.
More than positive reinforcement.
More than brilliant X’s and O’s.
While all of these are part of being a great coach, the ultimate goal is to create purpose for every member of the team. That is what makes a master coach. The ability to value every player and make them understand their importance to the team’s success.
In Kerr’s book written about the All Blacks rugby team, he uncovers that the team’s success comes down to the fact they are obsessed with ‘This connection of personal meaning to public purpose.’
Kerr goes on to quote:
  • Daniel Pink in his book Drive‘Humans, by their nature, seek purpose – a cause greater and more enduring than themselves.’
  • Victor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning‘What man actually needs, is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.’
  • Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
  • And for the All Blacks, their purpose is to “add to the legacy…to leave the jersey in a better place.”​​​​​​​
The most important goal for your team in 2017 should be for every player to know their role and clearly understand how they are contributing to the success of the team. It will be more fun for each player and it will make your team much more successful!
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The Culture Journey Week #13 – The Elephant in the Room

Week 13
Meeting #5 with Coaching coach – The Elephant in the Room
Had our fifth meeting with Scott Hearon, the co-founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. We went through the fourth chapter of Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann. In this chapter Joe discusses the 3 big lies being told to our boys about what it means to be a masculine man and the 3 big lies being told to our girls about what it means to be a feminine woman. I heard Joe speak 8 years ago and this was the message that stuck with me. We had an interesting discussion on these, it seems easy for coaches to confuse being competitive with having your identity tied to your success on the ballfield or in the boardroom. Teaching our kids to be competitive and strive for greatness is a great thing and we should be doing this as a coach. But teaching them that we will change our value of them based on their performance and success can be very destructive. Don’t know if all the coaches in our meeting totally bought into this lesson but it definitely sparked some interesting conversation and hopefully we will all be processing this and thinking through it going forward.
Scott also led us through an interesting activity around discussing the proverbial elephant in the room. Scott had us all draw a picture of an elephant on a blank piece of paper. My artwork ability was definitely the worst in the room. Then Scott led a discussion around every coaching staff having some elephants in the room around what’s going on with the dynamics on that staff and the leadership of that team. He asked us to each think about what our staff’s elephants in the room were, then to write done the primary one inside of our elephant. Mine is attached. I really struggled with being honest in mine, but I said a quick prayer then just went for it. Mine was ‘We are all afraid of Tom(the head coach.)’ Some of the other coaches’ statements were about the team not playing hard or caring very much, skepticism, and our inability to win. But mine was much more internal to us as a staff. Tom immediately acknowledged that my statement didn’t surprise him and he knows he comes across that way, yet he somewhat feels that is part of being the leader. It opened up a very interesting discussion and hopefully we can keep being honest with each other and learning how to improve how we work as a staff.
We’ll be off for the next few weeks with the holidays so look for the next post the first week in January where we’ll be looking into chapters 5 and 6 from the book, and I’m sure so more activities from Scott to stretch our comfort zones. 🙂

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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The 12 Days of Christmas – 12 Truths about Athletes – Part 3 of 4 – The 3 Components Of Effective Communication

Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication” – Coach K
I recently had the opportunity to attend a coaching clinic with TJ Rosense from PGC Basketball and the Hardwood Hustle (a couple of my favorite sports resources.) I took multiple pages of notes (if you get a chance to see TJ he is one of the best I’ve seen!) – but one of the biggest takeaways I had was his discussion on how communication is a cornerstone of his program’s culture. He shared that communication needs to have all 3 of these components:
  1. Truth
  2. Love
  3. Transparency
Effective communication requires all 3 components. TJ’s teams make a regular practice of this by spending 5-8 minutes at the beginning of practice discussing different topics, such as:
– ‘My commitment Monday’ – Players commit to one thing that week in practice
– ‘Tough Tuesday’ – Share something you’re struggling with
– ‘Wisdom Wednesday’ – Share a quote or something you’ve learned recently
– ‘Thankful Thursday’
– ‘Fun Friday’
– ‘Servant Saturday’
Of course all of these topics work best – if YOU start. The players need to see your honesty, love, and transparency role-modeled.
TJ finished our time sharing:
​​​​​​​”Everything about culture is a teachable skill that you can improve.”
Practice the skill of communication with your teams starting this week!
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The Culture Journey Week #12 – Dictators, Bullies, Narcissists, Saints, & Misfits

 Week 12
Meeting #4 with Coaching coach – Dictators, Bullies, Narcissists, Saints, & Misfits
Had our fourth meeting with Scott Hearon, the co-founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. We went through the third chapter of Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Hermann. In this chapter Joe lays out the 5 main categories of transactional coaches – dictators, bullies, narcissists, saints, and misfits. While we can all sometimes slip one of these types of coaches, Joe made the great point:
‘When I feel (one of these) coming on, I try to comprehend the emotion and regain my rational self. I refuse to let unhealed wounds dictate my behavior or coaching style.’
We all have triggers that can push us into one of these transactional coaching styles, next week we are going to discuss what those triggers are and how we can be conscious of them and stop ourselves from slipping into being a type of coach we don’t want to be.
We also shared the 3 coaching archetypes that we each use as role-models.I couldn’t narrow it to 3 so I came up with 5. I based mine on the coaching characteristics I prioritize – the 6 F’s: Fun, Fundamentals, Friendship, Fight, Failure is part of the process, and Forge your own path.
1. Fun – Aaron Kail – One of my lifelong best friends, I worked in several management jobs with him and his teams were always having fun while I was just leading to get the job done. I learned from him that people will work much harder when they are having fun.
2. Fundamentals – Dave Cisar – Author of Winning Youth Football – Dave taught me about how keeping things simple and being awesome at the fundamentals is much more effective than complex playbook and always trying to come up with the next clever play. It reminds me of Joe Daniel’s quote:
​​​​​​​’Keep things simple so that your kids build confidence: confident kids play fast, fast kids win games.’
3. Friendship & Fight – Herb Brooks – The USA coach from the Miracle game – The scene in the movie Miracle where coach asks each player ‘Who do you play for’ has been very inspiring to me on the power of coming together as a team and playing for a cause bigger than yourself.
4. Failure is part of the process – Carol Dweck – Author of the book Mindset – Failure is part of the process and to have a growth mindset is to embrace failure as the best teacher. I love the quote from Willie Cromack 
‘Who will be brave enough to try that new move we have been practicing in the game today?
5. Forge your own path – Doug Keim – A childhood mentor of mine, Doug always had great insight on what was on the hearts of the kids he led. He was a youth group leader and they would give us printouts of what we were supposed to talk about each week, but Doug would often crumble those up and throw them in the fireplace and ask what was really on our hearts. Living life passionately pursuing your dreams and re-writing what society is expecting of you is a powerful lesson that Doug embodied. This is a complicated topic because I firmly believe in living according to high standards and morals, but where this fits in is not trying to just go with the flow but instead thinking out of-the-box to solve problems by doing what is right not what is popular. I have seen this play out in my coaching by questioning everything we do as a coaching staff and not accepting the answer ‘We just do that because that is what everyone has always done.’
More great conversation came out of hearing each other’s coaching archetypes, some of whom ranged from William Wallace in Braveheart, to Coach K, to childhood coaches. This is a really cool activity to do with your coaching staff and I would strongly encourage you to ask the other coaches you coach with who their role models are.

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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The 12 Days of Christmas – 12 Truths about Athletes – Part 2 of 4 – The 5 Things Players Want from their Coach

The 80/20 rule for coaching
What we often do:
  • Spend 80% of our time strategizing on the gameplan and creating the next great Sportscenterworthy play on the back of a napkin.
  • Spend 20% of our time planning our practices to build culture, teamwork, and improving the fundamentals of each player on our team.
What the good coaches do:
  • Spend 80%(or more) of their time planning their practices to build culture, teamwork, and improving the fundamentals of each player on our team.
  • Spend 20%(or less) of their time strategizing on the gameplan and are never worried about creating the next great Sportscenterworthy play on the back of a napkin.
This week we look into the 5 things players want from their coach, as shared by John O’Sullivan at the Way of Champions transformational coaching conference. The 5 things are:
  1. Respect & Encouragement
  2. A positive role model
  3. Clear, consistent communication
  4. Knowledge of the sport
  5. Someone who listens
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of spending 80% of our time on things the players don’t really care that much about. Let’s be transformational coaches that are focused on being these 5 things instead of being worried about being seen as an offensive genius or game strategist. It’s what the players want and it’s what they need!
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WYC 101 – Championship Basketball – Kevin Furtado talks Benchmarks, Action Steps, & The Legends Clinic

Kevin was recently hired on at a charter school in Georgia called Lake Oconee Academy. He has been coaching basketball for over 26 years. Kevin grew up in San Jose California and played football, basketball, and baseball growing up. Kevin shares with us how he is creating the culture at Lake Oconee specifically with Benchmarks and Action Steps, as well as how he founded the Legends Clinic coaching conference.

Twitter: @kevinfurtado

Video of Legends Clinic Conference: loatv.org

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Building a New Culture

  1. Built to last
  2. Teach life skills & develop great people
  3. Core values: FIST: Family, Integrity, Serve others, Toughness
  4. Demanding culture
  5. Good never is

5 year Action Plan

See Kevin’s 5 year detailed plan here: Lake Oconee Academy Girls Basketball Action Plan

Year 1 Benchmarks

  1. Every level of our program will know our core values (from elementary school feeder programs through high school)
  2. Win 10-12 games
  3. Establish relentless work ethic

Action Steps

  1. Our players will be taught our core values at every practice and team meeting
  2. We will emphasize total team play in our system with tough team defense and unselfish passing offense.
  3. Every player will be held accountable for their effort at every practice. They use objective chart to track. Tracks: Attendance, Hustle, attitude, who took a charge, etc.
  4. We will perform 4-5 community events every season
  5. We will build our team room in high standards
  6. We will establish our little-dribblers program (kids perform ball-handling program at halftime of games). Great way to bring in more parents to your game too.

Great book reference: Jon Gordon’s The Hardhat

Legends Clinic

Free download of entire clinic: loatv.org

  • Coach Durden – Teaching accountability – He has one rule in his practices: No walking

Parting Advice

  • It’s all about making the kid’s have the best experience possible and growing the kids

– 

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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The 12 Days of Christmas – 12 Truths about Athletes – Part 1 of 4 – 3 Truths about what players want

“I just want to get a jersey with my name on it and be part of the team”
“I am playing on this team to add it to my extracurricular activities for my college application”
“I want to win the state championship and be the MVP of this team to lead us to great accomplishments”
These are 3 responses from 3 different athletes I have talked to in the past year. I asked them the simple question “Why do you want to play on the team?.” Think about how different these answers are. Think about how differently you would interact with each individual knowing their goal. But if you are like me how often do we fall prey to not asking this question and listening to the answer?
As we approach the Christmas season, I want to share with you 12 profound answers to why athletes really play sports, and what they want from their coaches. I’ll break it into 4 weeks leading up to Christmas.

This week I’ll share with you 3 truths about what players want, shared by Coach Ingle Martin, multiple-state champion coach at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee:

  1. They want to contribute
  2. They want to belong
  3. They want to know they have what it takes
That’s it. It’s that simple. I have used these 3 facts as a basis of many of my coaching decisions since hearing Coach Martin share these. I hope they help you as much as they have me.
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The Culture Journey Week #11 – Dorothy, Moses, and Coach Simmons

Meeting #3 with Coaching coach – Dorothy, Moses, and Coach Simmons
Had our third meeting with Scott Hearon, the co-founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. We went through the second chapter of Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Hermann. This is a fascinating chapter where Joe shares his 3 coaching archetypes he uses as role-models – Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, Moses, and his college lacrosse coach Roy Simmons Jr. We shared as a staff who we each related the most to, and our votes were split between Dorothy and Coach Simmons. Dorothy embodies the ultimate team-player who believes in her teammates and how that belief turns into them each overcoming their own self-doubts. Coach Simmons’ strength is his empathy and self-awareness that allows him to not focus on his own winning or ego but instead focus on the needs of each individual. We ended this discussion by Scott challenging us to come up with our own 3 coaching archetypes and share them with each other at the next meeting. Who would yours be?
We also shared our coaching shields with each other. As a reminder from last week – Scott shared his shield with us and challenged us to create our own, with the 6 sections being:
1. Top left box: Draw an Early Formative Memory in your life (something from your childhood/HS years that had a significant affect on your life)
2. Top Right: Draw a more Recent Formative Memory (could have been 10 years ago or yesterday…an event or set of circumstances that affected your life)
3. Middle Left: Depict your Outside Self (the way you want to be perceived by others)
4. Middle Right: Depict your Inside Self ( those things inside of you that you work to keep away from others)
5. Bottom Left: Draw how athletics has enriched your life
6. Bottom Right: Draw how athletic experience might have harmed you in your life
Powerful and sometimes tearful revelations came from sharing these, really deepening our relationships and opening up follow-up discussions where we can really empathize and get to know each other at deeper levels. Next week we are reading chapter 3 from the book and sharing our 3 coaching archetypes with each other.

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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WYC 100 – Personality Science – James Leath & Will Drumright discuss Hot Topics in Sport Psychology from the AASP

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology National meeting was a few weeks ago – so for Episode 100 we invited 2 of our favorite sport psychology guys who attended to share with us some lessons learned.

James Leath has been a WYC guest previously in episodes 61, 50 and 31.  James’ first interview on the show, WYC Episode 31, was a huge hit and is the #1 downloaded episode all-time on the show.

Will Drumright is a sport psychology coach who has worked with Dr. Rob Bell, providing mental skills and performance psychology training to coaches, athletes, and teams.  Will focuses on the high school and middle school athletes.  Will is also a professional Ultimate Frisbee player and coaches the local high school Ultimate Frisbee team.

Both guys now work for IMG Academy, one of the world’s premier training schools for athletes in many different sports.

Sign up for James’ weekly Coach Notes: James Leath weekly Coach Note

Twitter: @jamesleath@wcdrummy15

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Energy Building

  • Rock-Paper-Scissors-Cheerleader – Great activity to start meetings/practices

How has sport psych work evolved over the past year?

  • Looking at the individual not just the athlete
  • A move from strategy and X’s and O’s to focus on developing people
  • Be-Know-Do
  • Personality science vs brain science

More emerging trends

  • Are you teaching your kids about failure? Don’t rob them of what it feels like to not be good enough. A carefree childhood sets up your kids to not know how to deal with failure, a bad coach, or a bad boss.

How about youth coaches?

– 

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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WYC 099 – International Tennis Coach – Adam Blicher talks Goal-setting & Mental Toughness

Adam Blicher is an International Award Winning Tennis Coach specialized in Applied Sport Psychology with a Ma. in Sport Psychology from the University of Southern Denmark. During the last 5 years he has travelled to 20+ countries for tennis tournaments ranging from Tennis Europe & ITF Tournaments to Nordic- & European individual & team championships.

Adam uses the demands & stress of Competitive Tennis to help players become strong, resilient people that are able to problem solve in high pressure situations while showing great character. He cares about the results of the players that he works with, but he by any means cares more about who the players are becoming as a persons, as a result of their Tennis journey. Everyday, every competition represents another opportunity for players to grow as a person. Growth in self-control, respect for others, persistence & trustworthiness. No matter how far a player ends up going in the rankings, tennis can be used to strengthen ones character & it is his quest to show the players he works with how & support them in the process.

Website: adamblicher.com

Podcast: The Adam Blicher Show – The Traveling Tennis Coach Podcast

Twitter: @Adamblicher

Facebook: /Adamblichercoaching

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘Begin with the end in mind’ – Stephen Covey

My Cringe & A-Ha Moments

  • I talked too much and made players who were dependent instead of teaching them problem-solving and letting them start figuring things out themselves.

Why what I’m doing is different, maybe even controversial

The old well meaning advice from Coaches & Parents saying to players: think positive, play freely, don’t be nervous & just go out there & have fun are all the direct opposite of how I approach the mental aspect of tennis. The natural state of man is not to be worry-less. The key is not to suppress the stress or worry, but rather to acknowledge it and work on enjoying the process of problem-solving and overcoming obstacles.

The 4 Pillars

  1. Technical
  2. Tactical
  3. Physical
  4. Mental

Adam: ‘You should spend equal time developing each area. You usually are more naturally gifted in 1 or 2 of the areas, but you have to practice all four. Coaches, Parents & Players often say that the mental part of tennis is the most important Performance Parameter of the four main pillars. Some even stretch it & say that the Mental Aspect of tennis accounts for 80 percent of performance within Tennis. I think that is absolutely baloney. You can be the mentally toughest player but if you keep shanking your forehand it really doesn’t matter. The reason why I do believe that we tend to think that the Mental Aspect is the most important is because we usually use a lot less time practicing it than the other three performance parameters. It is my quest to demystify the most common myths that are limiting Tennis Players & to provide Coaches, Parents & Players with an easy to follow & understand way of starting to practice their mental strength.’

Goal setting

  • Adam starts with having players answer where they want to be in 5 to 10 years in the sport. He then has them picture the party celebrating reaching this goal. He walks through having them picture what will be said by their parents at a toast at the party. Then picture what others will say – their friends, their officials, their teammates. Did they treat others well? Did they grind through tough times? If they had to travel a lot, did they call back home? Then he has them write the speech down, and they have the ability to change anything they don’t like about what is said about them. Adam then uses this written speech as their coach to hold them accountable to reach their goals. This way it’s not Adam instilling his values, but rather holding them to their own standards.

The mental aspect of tennis:

– Tennis is NOT 80 % mental

How Wawrinka had a panic attack & won the US Open

  • Wawrinka threw up before his match and did not want to play. But what is important is not how you feel but rather what you do.

Rafael Nadal struggles with self-confidence – so will you!

  • The act of self-confidence comes before the feeling. You have to act the part. Adam often creates alter-egos – i.e. Christopher Confident. Then Adam will ask his players – OK, what will Christopher Confident do when in this situation?

The One that got away

  • Adam stated that his pre-match talks used to be too long and give too many instructions. Now he will give 1 or maybe 2 cues at most before a match. And now he asks them after the match to evaluate themselves from 1 to 10 on how they thought they did, and then what would it take to be 1 higher in the next match.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Adam worked with a coach who had an incredible eye for detail on what players need to do to improve.

Favorite coaching book/quote

The Traveling Tennis Coach Podcast

Podcast: The Adam Blicher Show – The Traveling Tennis Coach Podcast

  • Talks to experts within the world of tennis with a track record of producing high-performing players

Christmas Calendar

  • Adam is releasing a calendar in December that has a plan to help work on mental toughness – check it out at adamblicher.com coming December 1st

Parting Advice

  • Start writing down your thoughts and experiences on paper

– 

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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The Culture Journey Week #10 – Telling your story

Week 10 
Team Update
Good conversation with the coaching staff this week. The head coach had met with a few parents who had some questions about the team’s direction. He shared with them our commitment as a staff to drive more ownership and accountability amongst the team members. We discussed as a staff the changes we need to start making to make this happen. We began with discussions around our ‘Hell Week’ which is late January and kicks off our spring season. One really positive part of the discussion was around providing immediate feedback to the effort each athlete is putting forward each day that week. We discussed some evaluation criteria and how we could post results on a daily basis on how each individual is doing. This would include effort, attendance, attitude, teamwork, and other items TBD. A lot more work to do here but definitely starting to head in the right direction.
Meeting #2 with Coaching coach – Telling your story
Had our second meeting with Scott Hearon, the co-founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. We went through the first chapter of Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Hermann. If you haven’t read this book or heard Joe’s story in this first chapter Joe talks about some unimaginably painful things he endured growing up. The reason he shares this is that he has learned that as a coach that if you are still dealing with your own baggage then inevitably you will dump that on the kids you coach. Scott led us through a great discussion on a time we felt we really impacted a kid we coached in a positive transformational way, and a time we felt we selfishly dealt with a kid in a transactional way. It’s very cool to hear each other’s stories and better understand where we are each coming from.
Scott ended the time by sharing with us his story – displayed visually in 6 section hand-drawn pictures on a shield. I had heard Drew Maddux at Christ Presbyterian Academy discussing having his players share in this format, so it was very cool to see it firsthand. We closed with Scott giving us each a blank cardboard shield and gave us the assignment to draw our own stories which we will share with each other over the next few sessions. We are so blessed to be having this experience as a coaching staff. 

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. It is exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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4 Gamechangers I’m thankful for in 2016

As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S., I decided to make a list of some coaches who have had a significant impact on me in 2016 whom I am thankful for. This list could include almost everyone I’ve talked to and interviewed this year, so to be scientific I decided to take the top 4 downloaded podcasts I recorded in the first 9 months of 2016.
4 Gamechanging Coaches I am thankful for:
Scott Rosberg – WYC Episode 075
Huge Takeaways:
  • Scott’s discussion around positive conditioning, where the winners get to run instead of using running to punish, has been the hottest topic I’ve covered this year.
  • Creating core covenants and then basing season-end awards around those convenants is another fascinating topic with practical applications from this episode.
  • Learn more at: coachwithcharacter.comproactivecoaching.info
Adam Bradley – WYC Episode 067
Huge Takeaways:
  • Adam is co-founder of one of the biggest gamechanging tools for coaches – Lead ’em Up. The reason this is such a cool product is that it factors in that kids don’t want boring lectures about character development, so this product gamifies the lessons. Adam has taught me a great deal about the importance of team captains and their importance in creating a winning culture on your teams
  • Learn more at: leademup.com
Stuart Armstrong – WYC Episode 068
Huge Takeaways:
  • Stuart’s work around task design and player development in Great Britain is changing the landscape of youth coaching. A huge takeaway from our conversation was his discussion around task design: ‘Task Design is critical – because many people get uncomfortable when they see someone struggling and not being able to get there quite yet- so they either jump in and solve it for them, or they move on. But this never allows the learning to happen. The moment when they are close to figuring it out is actually the sweet spot.’
  • Learn more at: thetalentequation.co.uk
John Doss – WYC Episode 081
Huge Takeaways:
  • John has become a close friend over the last few years, I believe in surrounding yourself with awesome people who are action-takers and risk-takers. John doesn’t just listen to, read, and study anything he can get his hands on to become a better coach – he takes action. John was inspired by one on the WYC guests in 2015, Willie Cromack from Episode 063, to do a service program with his team. They set up their Mission 2 Assist program to benefit a wheelchair lacrosse program and have raised nearly $10,000 to date. It is a genius idea because it kills 2 huge birds with one stone: focusing on assists instead of goals, and building gratitude with the team by focusing on a cause bigger than themselves.
  • Learn more: bblaxassist.com
2016 has been an amazing year, and I am so thankful for all the awesome people I’ve had the opportunity to meet and be inspired by. A special thank you to these four for all they are doing for youth sports
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3 Not-so-secret Secrets about Parents – Best Stolen Ideas – Part 7

One of the favorite questions I ask every coach I interview is:
‘What is the best thing you have ever learned or stolen from another coach?’
As we wrap up this series, here are 3 really good nuggets about relating with parents and being a parent-coach:
  1. Always remember that everything a parent does – is because they love their child.  In return – as a coach you ask the parents to remember that as a coach – you have to worry about all the children in the program (not just their one kid they love.) – Rich Czeslawski
  2. David Klein learned from his Dad: ‘You can please all of  the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.’ Almost without exception every team has 1 or 2 negative parents that you cannot please, don’t try to appease them and do the right things and stick to your guns.
  3. 3 things to say to your child after every game: – Dr. Lindsey Blom
    1. I love you
    2. I love to watch you play
    3. What do you want to eat?
A great resource to use as a coach to enhance your relationships with parents is from my good friend Janis Meredith – a very affordable book called 11 Habits for Happy & Positive Sports Parents. An effective use of these is to buy them for all the parents on your team and go through some key points in your pre-season parent meeting. If you buy 10 or more they are only $4 each.
Teams are not just made of coaches and players, they are a community of people supporting the same cause, so include the parents in your planning! It will enhance the experience for everyone.
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WYC 098 – Multi-Sport Athletes – Daniel ‘The Honeybadger’ Hayes talks Goal-Setting & Positive Visualization

Daniel Hayes is a top ranked middleweight boxing prospect and Trinidad & Tobago’s boxing ambassador.
Growing up Daniel played a wide variety of sports ranging from Soccer, Basketball, Football, Track and Field, Baseball and Swimming. At just 8 years old he started playing basketball and continued playing throughout college. At 16 he was already a certified lifeguard and a highly recruited athlete in multiple sports. In his senior year of high school he was recruited to play basketball for several NCAA Division 1 and 2 schools.
Hayes however decided to attend Thompson Rivers University where he and his childhood best friend were offered athletic scholarships.
Currently on his World Championship journey, Hayes fights out of the world famous Wild Card Boxing Club, home to superstar world champions Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.
Instagram: @ThisIsDHayes
Twitter: @ThisIsDHayes
Facebook: @ThisIsDHayes

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘It’s usually what we’re hesitant or fearful of doing that leads to our biggest strides and growth’

‘The Honey Badger’ – the important difference between hard work and talent

  • Honey badgers are fierce, scrappy animals- that is the type of athlete you should aspire to be

Motivation, self discipline and nutrition

  • Water is huge!

Impactful coach

  • Daniel had a high school basketball coach who benched him because of his attitude – it really changed Daniel’s approach to team sports

Training and skill development – Keeping it fun

  • Setting goals is fun. There is a positive dopamine effect when you cross something off a list. Track progression and check off milestones along the way.
  • Coach K on the 2008 Redeem Team – Reminded his team that in 20 years they are going to look back and deeply miss those competitive situations, so thrive on it in the present.

Developing Self-confidence

  • Visualization is huge
  • Self-mantra and inner monologue – ‘I am going to make this shot’

Developing culture

  • Constant accountability to one another
  • Setting team goals – and rewarding positive team-first behavior
  • High-fives, huddling as a team before a free-throw, anything that pulls the team together during the game should be a priority

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • The Selway Family Foundation – Underprivileged youth scholarships
  • Mentoring – Daniel loves helping younger athletes avoid some of the mistakes he made when growing up

The One that got away

  • Daniel got fouled at the end of a basketball game, and his head was full of negative images and thoughts: ‘If I miss this…’ – and he went on to miss both free throws. He learned the power of positive visualization and staying present and in the moment.

Best borrowed or stolen idea

  • ‘I don’t know if you’re going to win this fight, but I know you’re going to come out of it a better fighter just because of the experience you have gained’ – This was huge for Daniel because it took the pressure off winning and allowed him to just enjoy the competition and do his best.

Favorite coaching or leadership quote/book

  • Ray Lewis Ted talk – Persevering through pain
  • Book: Rafa by Rafael Nadal – talks about how he had faulty mental processing before he beat Roger Federer and how he overcame it

Daniel Hayes

Parting Advice

  • ‘It’s usually what we’re hesitant or fearful of doing that leads to our biggest strides and growth’

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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Culture Journey Week #9

Week 9 – Tourney wrap-up & Meeting #1 with Coaching coach
Tourney wrap-up
Well, not exactly a glowing report from our tourney last weekend, but a lot to be learned as coaches. Our team went 0-3 and ended the last game with a fight. We had moments of playing together as a team and doing things the right way, but many more moments of doing the opposite. As I reflected afterwards the words that kept running through my head were:
‘Anything you see on the field you either taught it or allowed it.’
This team does not have natural leaders and we have to coach accordingly. We cannot just sit back and assume things are going to happen the right way. We need to set standards of how we will play and behave and then hold everyone accountable to those standards. Setting those standards is step 1, then effectively getting buy-in from the team will be step 2. I think we skipped step 1 a bit as a coaching staff this fall and tried to get the kids to come up with the standards, but with the lack of maturity and leaders on this team we need to do a better job of creating the vision for what being on this team means. Excited for the opportunity to do this better in the spring.
Meeting #1 with Coaching coach
On a much more positive note, had a fantastic meeting last night with Scott Hearon, the co-founder of the Nashville Coaching Coalition. It was the first of an 8 week study on the book Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann. I cannot say enough good things about what Scott and this coalition are doing. He guided us through the introduction of the book where Joe compares what it means to be a transactional coach vs. a transformational coach, and what each of those types of coaches did to impact Joe through his athletic career. The coaching staff was very open and honest and I am so excited to walk through this journey with this group. 
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I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. We recently had our first meetings this past Wednesday, and it was energizing and exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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WYC 097 – High School Football – Randy Jackson talks Culture Defeats Strategy

Coach Randy Jackson calls on his 26 years of coaching experience and research to share his ideas on how important culture and leadership are to a successful program, and what he has done to develop that successful culture in his own program.

Twitter: @CoachJacksonTPW

Facebook: Randy Jackson

Book/website: coachrandyjackson.com

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘All kids need 5 adults in their lives that care about their success- As a coach – be one of those!’

My Cringe & A-Ha Moments

  • Being too intense and impatient with some of the kids
  • ‘Early on I was coaching because I love the game. I still love the game but now focus more on loving the kids.’
  • ‘If you want to be more you have to become more’ – Coach has lost 30 pounds in the last year, as he focused more on taking better care of himself, and improving his mind. Turn off the radio and TV and read books and listen to podcasts.

Teaching Skills

  • ‘All kids need 5 adults in their lives that care about their success- As a coach – be one of those!’
  • Needs need affirmation and positive feedback
  • Teach fundamentals every day, but you have to find ways to fascinate your kids while doing it – make everything competitive
  • Pete Caroll video – Hawk tackling – How rugby tackling is safer and more effective. Company called Atavus – they certify coaches to be rugby tackling specialists.

Culture

  • Core Values – Coach worked with Brian Cain who challenged them to make their core values more prominent – Check out Brian Cain’s podcast: Link
    • 7 core values the kids came up with: Energy & Tempo, Compete, Tough, Family, Appreciation, Discipline, Finish & Payday
    • Each day of the week has a theme that is one of the core values
    • Players had to earn the stickers on their helmets by memorizing the core values
  • Yearly 4-Quarter process
    • Each quarter each player has one  word that is their focus
    • Quarter 1 – Offseason
    • Quarter 2 – Bootcamp
    • Quarter 3 – Spring football – ‘You versus yesterday’
    • Quarter 4 – Summer – Kaizen – ‘Continual improvement’
  • His book on culture: Culture Defeats Strategy – Full of stories and ideas on their core covenants and how they build culture

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Tom Hermann – ‘Finish’ – When they watch practice film – They have a coach hold up a flag so they know when the whistle blew – then they evaluate offensive linemen whether they had 2 hands on a defender or were chasing a defender. If not – it is graded as a loaf.

Favorite coaching book/quote

Parting Advice

  • Stay in a growth mindset – You have to keep learning
  • It’s about the relationships not the plays
  • If you don’t get the culture right nothing else matters
  • Fascinate the kids and build them up
  • Make everything competitive

– 

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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5 Brilliant Ideas to Create Championship Cultures – Best Stolen Ideas – Part 6

“If you want to gauge the culture of a team ask the last guy on the bench how he likes being on this team” – Jim Tressel

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One of the favorite questions I ask every coach I interview is:
‘What is the best thing you have ever learned or stolen from another coach?’
If you know me at all, you know my passion is around developing great winning cultures on teams. Here are 5 Brilliant ideas to improve the culture of your team:
  1. Ingle Martin, state championship coach at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville – 3 truths about players:
        1 – They want to contribute
        2 – They want to belong
        3 – They want to know they have what it takes
  1. Tim Corbin – National championship coach at Vanderbilt –  Empty your bench in inning changes – Anyone on the bench, between innings, go out and throw/stretch to stay involved.
  2. Asking for commitment: When running team sprints, Jason asks each player to raise his hand when he’s ready to give his absolute best on the next sprint.  Raise your hand when they are committing to their teammates that this will be their best effort.  They don’t run the next sprint until they are all raising their hands. – Jason Hahnstadt
  3. Nate Sanderson – Nate’s team created a culture where they immediately gave high-fives to any player who made a mistake. The power of touch and positive encouragement was emphasized. They created an environment where they weren’t allowed to say ‘my bad.’ They make it a race to see who can be first to give a high five to someone who has made a mistake. Link to 3 minute video showing his team doing this in the state championship game: Youtube Link
  4. Strength Coach Will – Try to not overcoach during games – have your leaders figure it out. It’s not a video game – don’t try to control every action.

Culture eats strategy for lunch. Next week we wrap this series up as we discuss being a parent-coach.

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Culture Journey Week #8

Week 8 – Leading by example – Gameday

It’s been a fun, challenging 8 weeks in our fall practices leading up to our tournament this weekend. But absolutely no regrets and we’re slowly turning the culture around for this team.

Last week I shared what the leadership team came up with for our in-game goals. So this year we practiced applying these goals within everything we do in practice. The biggest highlights were in communication and building a positive environment. A few of the leadership team members really took to heart the importance of calling their teammates by name throughout every drill in practice and this week it really became contagious. I saw juniors and seniors asking freshmen to remind them of their name and then calling them by name throughout practice. We coaches could probably have done some type of game of some reward to have made this happen earlier in the fall, we’ll think through that before the spring. I also saw more fist-bumps and smiling during practice this week than I had at any point previously.

The leadership meeting this week was pretty brief, and the emphasis was us as coaches letting the players know we were handing over the reigns to them. We let them know we were going to rely on them to be our leaders and primary communicators.

There are several things it seems we are repeatedly reminding the kids of during the game, and we asked the leadership team to take over that role and help keep themselves and teammates accountable for:

  • Run the slow break
  • Call out what offense we are running and the players on the bench and field ‘echo’ those calls
  • Communicate on who is onside when running clears
  • Keep the communication on defense high throughout the game

The last and most important thing we discussed was positive energy. We discussed catching each other, and especially the new kids, doing things right. We discussed how yelling ‘You gotta catch that pass’ in any circumstance doesn’t help the other kid. Rather give them a fist bump after setting a great pick or winning a groundball. If you see a new kid doing something wrong, quietly show him the right way to do it on the sideline.

Should be a fun weekend. We are done practicing until the end of January, but next week our coaching staff starts our 8-week training on the book Inside Out Coaching, so I’ll keep these posts coming with updates from that.

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. We recently had our first meetings this past Wednesday, and it was energizing and exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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WYC 096 – Free Online Coaching Courses – Kirk Anderson talks Coaching Education at the USTA

Kirk Anderson has been the director of coaching eduction for the USTA for 20 years. He has worked with the USTA and some of the top thought-leaders in the country to create free online courses that can apply to any sports, check them out at CoachYouthTennis.com. In 2003, Anderson received the International Tennis Hall of Fame Educational Merit Award, and he was named Person of the Year by Racquet Sports Industry magazine in 2006 and the Professional Tennis Registry Professional of the Year in 2012.

Website: CoachYouthTennis.com

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ – Gandhi

1st Set – Intro/Coaching

Coaching your own kids

  • Kirk really wanted his kids to love sports and didn’t push for them to just play the sports he liked
  • Kirk’s son loved racing and when he was 10 years old tanked a match so he could get home to watch the Indy 500. Interesting how different the perspective/priorities of a 10 year-old are.

Cringe moment

  • 4 things kids don’t like about tennis lessons (or any sport):

1 – Standing in line

2 – Shadowing

3 – Being yelled at from across the net

4 – Picking up balls

  • Error detection and correction should not be our focus. Catch them doing things right vs. always pointing out mistakes.

2nd Set – Teaching skills & Mental Peak Performance

CoachYouthTennis.com – 5 years ago the USTA was struggling with getting young kids to want to come out and play. One observation was that tennis was being taught on a full-size court, racket, and balls that are the same ones adults use.

Created 6 free interactive online courses:

1 – Organizing and Supervising youth play

2 – The characteristics of children age 10 and under

3 – Communicating with children age 10 and under

4 – The rules and guidelines

5 – Tennis skill development

6 – Team and group management

Self-confidence

  • The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
    • Performance=Potential minus Interference – Think about how many voices are yelling at the kids during games – coaches, teammates, parents- Even if it is well-intentioned, it is interference.
  • 4 types of athletes:

1 – Highly motivated, high skill

2 – Highly motivated, low skill

3 – Low motivated, high skill

4 – Low motivated, low skill

3rd Set – Developing a winning culture & connecting with kids

Culture

  • Cross-Country coach: No excuses, everyone is accountable, everyone looking for ways to make everyone else better. And the coach jumped in and worked harder than everyone on the team. A lot of tough love but a lot of laughter as well.

Connecting with kids

  • Kirk has had many kids come back and thank him after success in life, kids that he didn’t even realize he had impacted

4th Set – 2-minute drill

Should winning be one of the goals for a youth sports coach, and if so at what age?

  • More important than making winning a goal, create goals around things you can control

The one that got away

  • Kirk coached a girl who came to him and said that the other player was cheating, Kirk said ‘I don’t care, focus on…’. Kirk realizes now that saying he didn’t care was the wrong message to the girl – he did care.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Dave Gleason – He has 4 rules:

1 – Listen to the coach

2 – Give your best effort

3 – Support your teammates

4 – Have fun

Favorite coaching or leadership quote/book

  • Quote: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ – Gandhi
  • Book: It’s your ship – by D. Michael Abrashoff

Parting advice

Get away from error detection and move towards improvement and acknowledgement

Next

Books, coaching toolbox, presentations

 

Today’s Sponsors

I Youth Football helps coaches, organizations, or parents teach football skills to kids ages 3-11.  Not only does I Youth Football guarantee your players increase their skills, they will give you individualized pricing based on your situation. So if you are a coach or want your local organization to run I Youth Football in your area, visit them at www.iyouthfootball.com and reach out. It’s simple to set up, and a nice way to earn a little side money while helping kids learn the game of football. To get $100 off the program be sure to use this coupon code: winning

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Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

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6 GameDay Strategies – Best Stolen Ideas – Part 5

“Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” – Larry Bird

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One of the favorite questions I ask every coach I interview is:
‘What is the best thing you have ever learned or stolen from another coach?’
Here are 6 GameDay Strategies:
  1. Pre-game warm-up – ‘How you warm-up is how you play the game.’ They start with high-intensity pass-catch drill. Then 4-corner pivot drill. Fast-paced, 6 or 7 drills. Everything together (take warm-ups off together.) Part of development is players learning how to prepare to win. – Gene Durdin via Kevin Furtado
  2. James Leath: ‘I have one formation and 8 plays (really 4 plays that can go either right or left.) I often yell what play we are running out from the sideline. If I say “Sweep left” half the defensive players think it’s going to their left.’
  3. ‘You need to have a couple of end-of-game lead-protection strategies: we have a four-corner offense with a back-door cut built in; and a sidelines inbound play that is very effective’ – Andres Montana
  4. ‘There is no magic 8-ball with the secrets to winning. Have a simple philosophy and outwork your competition on the fundamentals’– Mark Linden
  5. Terry Francona, World Series champion manager, when asked if he gives a big pump-up speech before games: ‘I rarely say anything. We are prepared to do what we need to and are confident we’ll do it.’
  6. Dave Cisar: ‘I can usually tell within 5 minutes what our competition will be like on gameday. If they are unorganized, doing a bunch of warm-ups that don’t translate to gametime situations like sit-ups on a wet field, or overly hyped and yelling, I tell our assistant coaches to get the back-ups ready because they will be coming in early.’
Be a great gameday coach and take your team to the next level! Next week look into one of my favorite topics – culture and commitment.
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6 Mental Toughness Tips – Best Stolen Ideas – Part 4

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never failing but in rising again after falling” – Vince Lombardi

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One of the favorite questions I ask every coach I interview is:
‘What is the best thing you have ever learned or stolen from another coach?’
Here are 6 Mental Toughness Best Practices:
  1. “When coaching a kid in a game – if you want to pull them out to teach them something – don’t pull the kid out and put them at the end of the bench.  Pull them out, teach them, then put them immediately back into the game.  That way kids don’t see coming to the bench as a punishment, they see it as an opportunity to learn.” – John Doss
  2. “When you take the time to teach your boys, there’s an implied confidence, that you believe they can achieve, and that’s praise in itself” – John Wooden
  3. Ed Sheft – Mental toughness – You have to know you are better than your competitor
  4. Charlie ‘The Spaniard’ Brenneman – “The way I overcome fear and nerves is to know that I have outworked and out-prepared my competition”
  5. Chip Kelly – after tough loss, talked about moving forward not looking back: “We run a forward-looking operation”
  6. “Practice is everything” – Pete Carroll
Teach our kids to be tough by believing in them! Next week we’ll look at some great in-game strategies.
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Culture Journey Week #7

Week 7 – Communication & Goal-Setting for Games
Our plan this week was to focus on communication, but as we are only one week out from our Fall tournament, I decided to tie this into starting to set goals for what to accomplish in games to have a successful tournament. This was probably our best conversation yet, and all of the coaches except the head coach attended and interacted throughout the meeting.

A quick follow-up from last week’s frustration – I did set up a coaches meeting and it felt like the head-coach is seeing some value in what we are trying to accomplish. I really think the deep conversations around this are going to come through the coach training we are doing with the Nashville Coaching Coalition in November and December.
Here are the goals we came up with in this week’s leadership meeting. The nice thing about doing them this week is that we discussed making sure we are focusing on practicing these habits in our practices next week leading up to the tournament.
  1. 50% Face-off wins. Ideally this would be much higher, but last year we hovered around 30% so 50% would be huge. One thing we’ve done much better this year is we brought in a coach who is a face-off specialist and we’ve spent 30+ minutes practicing face-offs in every practice. The cool thing we discussed in the meeting was that this is a 3-man goal, because in lacrosse face-offs are often won by the one of the two wings winning a groundball. Last year we would just track who took the actual face-off and not pay attention to the responsibility of the wings. One thing this conversation did point out was that next week we need to spend more time practicing and teaching the wings the best way to position themselves.
  2. 50% or our goals be with an Assist. Again long-term this number should be higher, but 50% would be a huge step forward for this team. This was another good conversation, as the boys asked would it count if you made a pass then that player makes a good one-on-one move to score. Since the main reason for this goal was to encourage team-play and for the players to realize good offense involves passing and making good choices instead of selfish ‘hero-ball,’ and considering one-on-one dodging in lacrosse is still an important element of the game, we agreed that we would consider a possession where the ball has moved in our offense and then a player gets an opportunity for a good shot, we would consider this assisted. We’ll see how this goes in the tournament and can modify it for the spring.
  3. Zero turnovers on shots on goal where we have no one behind the goal to retain possession. (For those not familiar with lacrosse, it’s different from most sports in that if you take a shot on goal and the ball goes past the goal and out-of-bounds, the team with the player closest to where the ball goes out of bounds retains possession.) Last year we gave up too many possessions where we either had players out of position or a player rushed a shot early in the possession before we could set up a player behind the goal.
  4. We have an offensive slow-break play which we are supposed to run every time down the field that is not a fast-break. It requires all the players focus and remembering to run it, and we were horrible at having everyone execute it last year. So we set a stretch goal of running the play at least 6 times per game.
  5. 90% successful clears with Zero offsides penalties. This is mostly a matter of focus and awareness, but considering you are have a 4 vs. 3 number advantage on clears, you should successfully execute most of them.
  6. Zero dumb penalties. This was another interesting conversation. We discussed that penalties arising from aggressive plays by playing physically on defense and going hard after groundballs, while no penalty is ideal, we could live with a few of them per game. What we can not live with are retaliation penalties where a player is just frustrated and takes a cheap shot at the opposition. We left it with the coaches having discretion as to what a dumb penalty was.
  7. Communication after first couple possessions. Just like in basketball, communication on defense in lacrosse is imperative. It also is a sign of discipline and is very intimidating to the offense if you have 7 defensive players all loudly communicating their responsibilities. What we observed last year was our team would do this the first few possessions of each half and then it would wain. This is a little tough to quantify and track, but we agreed this would be a top goal. The coaching staff then challenged the non defense players that they could affect this as well even though they don’t play defense. All of the leadership team needs to set the example of the importance of communication in everything we do. Call each player by name when calling for the ball, address the coaches by their full name (not ‘Hey Coach’), and make sure they know the name of all of the new players and call them by name during practice.
I am going to create a tracking sheet that will simplify me tracking these goals during the games, which will also serve the dual-purpose of keeping me occupied because one of my personal goals for this season is say much less during the games and let them figure things out on their own. Should be interesting!

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. We recently had our first meetings this past Wednesday, and it was energizing and exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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Culture Journey Week #6

Week 6 – Head coach buy-in

No leadership meeting this week as we got rained out. But there was still a lot going on. A few updates:

Head coach buy-in
Last week we finished the week with our leadership meeting coming up with consequences for missing practices. I wasn’t overly satisfied with the solutions we came up with, but did feel like it was a start and a move in the right direction. I passed them on to the head coach at the beginning of our first practice this week and asked for his thoughts. They were not positive to say the least. Without mincing his words, he felt that it didn’t fix the problem at all so we weren’t going to do it. This opened my eyes to the fact that the head coach and I weren’t on the same page with what we were trying to get done. I had a feeling this was the case, but this verified it. I consulted with several of the members of the culture mastermind I am part of, and it is apparent I need to set up a time to grab a coffee with the coach and get back on the same page. It has been a little awkward with me doing the leadership activities without much involvement from him, so this is a good time to make sure he understands I am not trying to undermine his authority and I have no desire to take over coaching this team. I’ll share next week how this meeting goes.

On a more positive note – I am continuing to challenge the players to communicate better by calling other players by names and the leadership team is picking up on this and doing the same. There is definitely a more positive vibe starting to happen in our practices. I also complimented one of the players who often can be a little tougher to coach at the end of practice on Wednesday because he had a great practice and was really focused and showed great effort – and the head coach thought I was being sarcastic and said ‘Really?’ – and when he realized I was being serious he went and gave that player a high five. Positive end to our week.

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. We recently had our first meetings this past Wednesday, and it was energizing and exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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9 Tips to have Great Practices – Best Stolen Ideas – Part 3

“Practice is everything” – Pete Carroll

One of the favorite questions I ask every coach I interview is:
‘What is the best thing you have ever learned or stolen from another coach?’
Here are 9 Tips coaches have shared with me on Having Great Practices
  1. Use Mini-games – it’s all about the # of touches
  2. Everything in short bursts – John Wooden would talk in 20 second bursts
  3. Rick Pitino – ‘As I go through practice, I try to make corrections in 7 seconds or less.’ There needs to be a rhythm and pace to your practice. For youth- maybe this needs to be 20 seconds.
  4. Learned from Dave Cisar: Conducting everything at a much faster pace. Teach against air and instead of running a play every 2 or 3 minutes, run 4 plays per minute
  5. Design your practice in 4 quarters – and the energy level builds up throughout the practice
  6. Kids will lose focus as the practice goes on – so when you need their full attention teaching them something – do it early in the practice
  7. Passion and energy as a coach – including sensing when the team just needs a break or some fun – sometimes just play some loud music and have some fun
  8. ‘Short lines, lots of repetitions, learning fundamentals’ – In baseball – Instead of having one coach hitting to the infield – have two coaches hit to each side of the infield and players run to the next line
  9. Bill Bellichick – Put 6 hours of preparation into a 1 hour practice
Be organized and have a great system! Next week we’ll look at some great ways to build mental toughness.
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Culture Journey Week #5

Week 5 – Leadership Meeting Part 2 of 4 – Commitment & Accountability

This week we had our 3rd leadership meeting with the players. As a reminder, in our first meeting we brainstormed about what our goals were for this team, and then decided to break down the next 4 meetings into diving into some actionable improvements as follows:
1 – Excellence in Practice
2 – Commitment & Accountability
3 – Communication
4 – Keep eye on the prize: Team>Individual

Commitment & Accountability
This week we had a shorter meeting, which we spent diving a little deeper into last week’s discussion around players’ commitment. Specifically around practice attendance and being involved in our two fall fundraisers.

  • Practice attendance: We decided it was too cumbersome to track each player’s attendance for allowing them to participate in our Thursday scrimmages. After brainstorming, the boys really thought having to run additional laps at the end of the practice was the best incentive to not miss practice. We did also discuss that many of the players have jobs, tutoring, or other commitments that were also important and would be excused absences. So the consensus was that if a player was going to miss practice they had to send an email or text to one of the 4 coaches ahead of time for it to be excused. If they do not, they will run 2 sprints at the end of practice. I’m not a huge fan of using exercise as a punishment so I don’t totally love this solution, but we are going to try it for the remaining 3 weeks of our fall session. I welcome any feedback or suggestions for a better way to do this in the spring. Ideally, practice attendance should not be optional and peer pressure and playing time should eliminate this being an issue. But we’re not there yet, so we’ll see how this band-aid goes.
  • Fall fundraisers: This was a good discussion. The expectation is that every athlete attends both of our fundraisers, the only exception being several of our seniors are taking the ACT on one of the dates. We agreed that we are going to hold everyone else accountable for 100% participation and attendance and not really give anyone the option of not being there.

There still has not been a natural leader step up in this group. It’s an interesting challenge because the most talented players are not natural leaders, but instead several of the slightly-less talented players are starting to step up and become more vocal. I really look forward to the coach training we are going to do as a staff in November and December and discussing how we can use a program like Lead’EmUp to train our captains for the spring. Choosing the captains will be an interesting process because of the lack of selflessness and team-first attitude our best players struggle with.
I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at craig@winningyouthcoaching.com if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: winningyouthcoaching.com/the-culture-bus-mastermind/. We recently had our first meetings this past Wednesday, and it was energizing and exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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WYC 095 – From Spanish Teacher to MMA Fighter – Charlie ‘The Spaniard’ Brenneman

In 2007, Charlie Brenneman left the comfort of his hometown and full-time job as a Spanish teacher to pursue a career in mixed martial arts.

What started out as a dream soon turned into reality. Charlie fought at every level of the industry, including an 11-fight UFC career. After upsetting #6 ranked Rick Story in 2011, his life changed as he skyrocketed into the world rankings and went head-to-head with the best fighters in the world, such as UFC Champion Johny Hendricks and current top-ranked light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.

The key ingredient in his climb to the top – HARD WORK.

Website: charlie-brenneman.com

Twitter: @SpaniardMMA

Facebook: /SpaniardMMA

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit’

What types of goals did you set when you set out on this course to fight in the MMA?

  • The goal is not the be-all-end-all. It’s the experience, knowledge, the process that you gained in the pursuit of the goal. Process vs. outcome

Your book is titled ‘Driven’ – what does it mean to be driven?

  • Charlie spent a whole bunch of time on the road driving around to be around the best trainers. So the title ‘Driven’ is a double-meaning of being driven and motivated while at the same time spending a bunch of time on the road driving to his training.

Self-confidence

  • Preparation = Self-confidence
  • Preparation trumps self-doubt

Mistake-recovery-routines

  • Don’t pretend something bad didn’t happen. But set a timeframe to allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself, then move on. This timeframe could be 3 seconds, it could be 7 days (in the case of Charlie after a tough MMA loss.)

‘Get serious about having fun’

  • It’s all about perspective – don’t lose perspective that playing sports should be fun

‘A fighter’s mindset’ Podcast:

  • ‘How you do one thing is how you do everything’ – Mike Tyson quoting Cus D’Amato
  • In everything Charlie does, he prepares for it as he would a fight: with discipline, with self-confidence, extreme preparation, resilience, perseverance

What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

His Dad: Humility: ‘Don’t go around telling others how good you are, let them tell you’

Favorite success or leadership quote? Favorite success or leadership book?

  • Quote: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit’
  • Book: Extreme Ownership – Navy Seal author Jocko Willink

Parting Advice

  • ‘Be the change you want to see’

Charlie-Brenneman.com

  • Podcasts, book, blog, daily reading videos, and much more!

Website: charlie-brenneman.com

Twitter: @SpaniardMMA

Facebook: /SpaniardMMA

 

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