Tag: The Inner Game of Tennis

WYC 082 – Youth Football – Greg Robinson talks offseason skill development & iYouthFootball

Greg Robinson has spent 6 years developing a non-contact system to train athletes ages 3 to 11 to catch, throw, and kick footballs. In 2015 he helped launch iYouthFootball to do just that. iYouthFootball is a system that can be brought to any town and can be taught by anyone regardless of their level of football experience. In this episode we discuss this system as well as other secrets to teaching kids skills.

Twitter: @iYouthFootball

Facebook: /iyouthfootball

Website: iyouthfootball.com

Listen Now:

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Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

iYouthFootball

  • Complete training curriculums for coaches, orgs, and parents to teach fb skills on the field to kids ages 3-11.
  • Great chance to improve skills for a position you don’t get to play on with your team (i.e. a big/tall kid who wants to play quarterback but because of his size always gets put on the line)
  • They offer complete training packages and territory ownership to coaches, parents, and/or organizations
  • Website: iyouthfootball.com

Teaching Skills

  • Set the expectations up front. With the parents and the kids – This is what we are going to be learning, and these are the expectations of how you need to act so that we can achieve these goals.
  • Age-appropriate – Make sure you are making your drills age appropriate – this includes the size of the ball you are using.

Impacting Kids

  • The ultimate satisfaction as a coach is seeing the lightbulb go off when teaching a kid how to improve a skill

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Greg’s high school football coach is in the Pennsylvania hall of fame – and he was a disciplinarian, who kept things simple and would only run a few plays but they would practice them over and over again until they perfected them. The details are important. RUN LESS PLAYS!

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WYC 081 – Building Culture – John Doss talks building a program with awesome culture

John just finished his first year as the the Brownsburg Lacrosse High School Head Coach after 2 years as the 7th/8th grade coach.  John played collegiate lacrosse as a goalie at San Jose State University. He was named a West Coast Lacrosse League (WCLL) All-Star 3 times.  Coach Doss also played 3 years of post-collegiate lacrosse with San Francisco Lacrosse Club and still remains active as a player with DOGS Lacrosse in Indianapolis.

John previously joined us in WYC Episode 52, but I asked him to join us again to share the awesome ways he has built an incredible culture into his program.

Twitter: @laxcoachdoss

Websites: brownsburglacrosse.comindyelitelacrosse.com

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Starting a High School program

  • Communication
    • High school kids don’t check email much – so you might have to text or use a social media group
    • Own it – if the kids aren’t understanding something, that’s on me, not them
  • Everything starts with trust – ‘Build a relationship so strong that it bears the weight of honesty’

Mission 2 Assist

  • How do you have kids value assists as much as goals?
  • John used system described by Willie Cromack in WYC Episode 63:
    • John worked with 3 of the team captains to let them take ownership of it
    • They partnered with an adaptive sports wheelchair lacrosse program
    • They used the walk-a-thon type forms to fundraise – but used assists as the pledge criteria
    • By the end of the season they have raised almost $10k for that organization
    • Link to Go Play Better: GoPlayBetter.com

Culture and pre-game routine

  • They have helmet stickers with 3 chain links. In their pre game they link arms and talk about how strong a chain is and how they are there to play for the person on their right and left
  • The second part of their pre-game routine they share with each other what they are grateful for
  • The final thing they do is visualize, as specifically as possible, the success they are going to have in the game

Post-game talks & the 24 Hour Rule

  • John has converted the 24 hour rule that he uses with parents (parents don’t talk to me about issues for at least 24 hours after a game)- he now uses that same rule to not point out issues to his players immediately after the game. They usually aren’t in the mindset to listen or learn, so he saves it for the next practice.

Communicating with players – the ‘0 for 2’ Rule

  • When communicating instructions from the sideline – be careful not to go 0 for 2 – meaning your communication had a negative tone, and had no instructional value. Yelling ‘play harder’ or ‘catch the ball’ are examples of 0 for 2 communication.

Free Play Saturdays

  • This summer John is telling parents they can drop off their kids from 4 to 6 every Saturday and there will be pick-up games. Their will be 2 or 3 coaches there to make sure everyone is staying safe, but other than they the coaches are staying out of the way and letting 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.

Parting Advice

  • John asked one of his kids: ‘If I told you that if you practiced wall-ball for 25 minutes 3 times per week that I would guarantee you start and play 100% of the time next season, would you do it?’ – The kid answered ‘Yes’, then John asked him ‘Then why aren’t you doing that now?’ John uses this challenge to let kids know that things in life aren’t guaranteed, but if you prepare with the mindset that you are going to outwork your competition, most of the time you are going to have great success

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Achieving Peak Mental Performance – Factor #7: Let ’em struggle

The Growth Mindset – 7 Key Factors to Achieve Peak Mental Performance​​​​​​​
Factor #7 – Creating the mindset of an expert – by letting ’em struggle
One of my favorite movies is My Cousin Vinny (OK I know I’m dating myself a bit.) Vinny struggles in the courtroom because he has no experience. That is until the topic switches to something that he and his foot-stomping ‘my biological clock is ticking’ fiancé are experts in – cars. Then the entire mood shifts. Vinny’s demeanor changes from someone who is overmatched and overwhelmed to a confident and brash attorney.
Athletes can have the same type of overmatched and overwhelmed feeling in a game since they probably aren’t experts at their sport yet. So how can you help switch their mindset so they feel like they are an expert? This is where I rely on experts such as Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code and Carol Dweck in Mindset. Coyle debunks the 10,000 hour rule myth, citing:
‘The real goal: finding ways to constantly reach past the edge of your current ability.
The real lesson of 10K is not about quantity; it’s about quality. It’s about getting the maximum possible gain in the shortest amount of time — and to get that, you don’t focus on the time, but on the gain. You put your focus on improving the practice, which happens two ways: through better methods or increased intensity.
To be clear:
1. Certain kinds of learning — deep, or deliberate practice — are transformative.
2. That transformation is a construction process.
3. That construction process depends on your intensive reaching and repeating in the sweet spot on the edge of your ability.’
– 
Did you catch that: intensive reaching and repeating in the sweet spot on the edge of your ability.’
Building a mentally strong athlete means you have to let them struggle. Not a struggle of despair and stress of trying to accomplish the impossible, but rather a struggle of trying to accomplish a task that is just out of reach of their current ability. And here is where Dweck’s research ties in – the only way they are going to be able to reach that next level is by problem solving. Trial and error. Failures turned into successes.
So to be a master coach – you have to be constantly evaluating where your team and each athlete is at, and figure out how to stretch them into that ‘sweet spot on the edge of their ability.’ Here a few practical ways some of the coaches I have interviewed do this:
  • Construct developmental stages that kids graduate from.
    • Melody Shuman, founder of a martial arts school called Skillz Connect, identifies 7 or 8 skills appropriate for the age. She uses the Goldilocks concept to define these skills – Not too hot, not too cold, but just the right level that is a slight challenge, but attainable. Then she will focus on one of these in each practice. They have a test at the end of the practice, and if they pass they get their ‘stripe’ for that skill.
    • After they have passed the test for each of the skills, they graduate to the next level. Moving up a level is a big recognition and there is a group celebration.
    • Spend the time listening to 2 great podcasts on this subject:
  • Lee Miller from Elite Hoops Basketball calls it ‘Living by numbers’ – They have created 15 core drills that can be measured numerically. They keep track of the results, then they focus on improvement.
  • Fear of failure- Great analogy – Olaniyi Sobomehin, former Saints’ running back and founder of I’mNotYou.com, said his son hates to lose and might quit in the middle of a race. So he used the analogy of how obsessed his son is with Mario Kart to beat a level – when he fails to complete a level – he doesn’t quit, he keeps pushing reset until he eventually will beat the level.  So use this analogy to show your athlete the type of passion you need to accomplish something – quitting is the only way you will fail.
  • Scott Rosberg from Proactive Coaching reinforced that as a coach, be sure to use the words: ‘Look what you’ve become!’ or ‘Look what you were able to figure out’ – instead of taking any credit yourself.
There may be no bigger confidence builder than overcoming an obstacle and solving a problem. So let ’em struggle, then celebrate like crazy when they figure it out.
I hope you have learned as much from this series as I have in doing the research on it. If you missed any of the previous factors check them out here:
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Achieving Peak Mental Performance – Factor #6: Stop Telling Players ‘It’s just a game’

The Growth Mindset – 7 Key Factors to Achieve Peak Mental Performance​​​​​​​
Factor #6 – Why tell your mind ‘This is not important’ – When it really is?!
We’ve established the importance that playing present is a key factor, if not THE key factor in achieving peak mental performance. So of course the million dollar question is- HOW DO YOU PLAY PRESENT? In Factor 4 we talked about effective ways to mentally recover from mistakes, so forgetting about the past is part of it. But what I’ve found is the tougher part to master is not the past, but the future. In any situation where you’re doing something that is important to you – it’s natural for the mind to wonder:
‘What happens if I mess this up and I lose future opportunities to do this thing I love?’ 
One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen coaches and parents do (and I’m sure I’ve done it) is to tell a kid ‘It’s just a game – don’t get stressed or worry about it, it’s just not that important in the big picture.’ That is a lie. If it’s something they’ve been working hard to achieve, then it is important. And realistically – have you ever seen this advice work? Have you ever heard a kid say ‘Oh, OK, thanks coach, you’re right, I don’t care if I win this match, thanks, now I’m relaxed!’ So if it really is important, how do we train our minds to remove the future consequences from our thought process? I’ve asked this question to a lot of really smart people in this field, and here are some actionable steps to help:
  • For pre-game nerves: Don’t deny it or try to squelch it!  Embrace it – be excited that you are having pre-game excitement.  It means that this is important to you.  Your body is responding to make you as sharp as possible by waking up all of these feelings and nerves, and you can tap into that strength. – Coach Kevin Kennedy
  • Lighten the mood:
    • One method is a trigger mechanism – something you have practiced and evaluated what works with each individual – something to get the player to smile.  Maybe it’s slapping your leg.  Maybe it’s a teammate saying ‘Spongebob is ugly’, etc.  – Coach Robert Taylor
    • The Knute Rockne-type speeches by a coach often take the fun out of the game and cause the kids to tighten up – just let them go play and have fun – Coach John Doss
    • Be relaxed as a coach – Avoid phrases like ‘Try harder’ or ‘Run faster’ – these commands often tighten up a player’s muscles and stiffens them instead of loosening them up – Coach Jason Larocque
    • Make sure they know your approval of them is not tied to results but rather effort.  ‘In youth sports you cannot play with a piano on your back’ – Kids can’t play with coaches hounding them about mistakes and taking away their confidence. – Coach/Author Michael Langlois
    • The game/performance is just your showcase to have fun and shows off the hard work you have been putting in – Band Director Cameron Gish
  • Try to get the athlete to see the small picture – don’t get overwhelmed by thinking of the big picture – ask the athlete to think of a small victory they can picture – Coach Stacie Mahoe
  • Change the focus off themselves – It’s not about you – Show up to play for your teammates – Coach Ken Stuursma and Coach Creed Larrucea
The goal is to keep ‘Zooming In.‘ The starting point is a huge picture of all past failures and future consequences. Then, using tools such as the ones listed above, we are helping the athlete narrow that window to a smaller and smaller timeframe, eventually getting into a present mindset. I really like Stacie’s advice above to get the athlete to picture a small victory. Picture this conversation with a softball player worried about a big game:
Player:  I don’t know if I can do this, what if I go 0 for 4?
Coach:  Let’s forget about those next 3 at-bats, just focus on this one. Can you picture yourself driving the ball up the middle?
PlayerI don’t know. I’m so nervous I don’t think I can even swing the bat. What if I strike out looking without even swinging?
CoachHow about this: can you picture yourself taking an ugly hack at just one pitch this at bat? I mean a way uglier swing than those funny videos you girls were watching yesterday on your phone. Even if you totally miss the ball, do you think you can just get the bat off your shoulders and take a hack?
Player (snickering a little because she’s picturing a really ugly swing): I guess I could do that. Why would I want to take an ugly swing?
CoachWell, good point. I’ve seen your swing and it’s so natural and fun to watch. So let’s get one really good swing in this at bat and go from there.
Even if they miss, they have overcome their initial nerves. Then that second swing is going to be easier. Then you can turn the process around and start adding small goals. After they have a good swing at a pitch, ask them if they could picture connecting with a pitch and hitting it hard. And it grows from there…
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WYC 080 – Youth Baseball – David Klein talks Living a Legends Life

David Klein is the founder and Camp Director of the Menlo Park Legends Youth Summer camps – a premier collegiate summer baseball team and youth baseball camps in California. The Legends youth summer camp has nearly doubled in size every summer and the camp boasts over a 90% camper return rate. David and his staff have thousands of kids through the Legends camp program in 6 years and have been featured in a number of local blogs and newspapers. They also feature a youth academy and an exciting new podcast!

Twitter: @MenloDave

Facebook: /MenloParkLegends

Website/Podcast:menloparklegends.com

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘If you work hard and focus on the little things – good things will happen’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Early on he always taught kids to swing down on the baseball
  • Early on David did not spend very much time on the mental side of the game

Teaching Skills

  • Make a game and competition out of everything in practice
  • Be vocal, high-energy – and connect with the kids!

Mental Toughness/Achieving Peak Performance

  • Visualize your successes before they happen
  • Breathing- Breathing in oxygen into your lungs reduces cortisol levels/stress hormones
  • Have the kids develop a personal power statement – and have them create few words that represent that and write them somewhere (inside of their hats) to anchor on
  • Track Quality-at-bats instead of batting average

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Positive reinforcement works better than negative disciplines
  • For your rules – establish them at the beginning of the season, not in the middle
  • David emphasizes ‘looking the part’ – looking well dressed and being organized as a team
  • Praise progress instead of purely praising results
  • Post-game talk: Spend a few minutes debriefing – what worked well today, what can we work on in practice, acknowledge kids helping the team and progressing. Don’t get too high or too low!

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • ‘If you work hard and focus on the little things – good things will happen’ – David took over a team that was 0-4 and he told them he believed in them and if they work hard good things will happen – they went on to win the league championship

The One that Got Away

  • David coached a team that was in a championship game and the umpires made the worst call he had ever seen – and his team went nuts – to the point the umpires called the game in the 8th inning. David learned that as the coach – you have to be in control no matter what- and you cannot let your players or coaches get out of control

Best stolen idea

  • 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.’
  • Qualityatbats.com – from Steve Springer

Podcast

  • Link: A Legends Life Podcast
  • Applying lessons from the diamond into a legendary life off the field – includes interviews with many former big-leaguers

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Achieving Peak Mental Performance – Factor #5: Keep It Simple Stupid

The Growth Mindset – 7 Key Factors to Achieve Peak Mental Performance​​​​​​​
Factor #5 – Simplify
Joe Daniel from The Football Coaching Podcast has one of my favorite quotes about simplifying:
‘Keep everything simple so that your kids build confidence, confident kids play fast, fast kids win games.’
That says it perfectly. The best way to quiet your mind is to not be thinking about a million things while playing. Here are a few other of my favorites that I’ve learned from great coaching minds:
  • Coach Shane Sams identifies 5 skills for each position – then those are the only skills they teach in practice for the entire year. For younger kids maybe only 3 or 4 skills. Repetitions are key – don’t keep changing things up.
  • ‘If your goal is to freeze an athlete – give them a whole bunch of stuff to think about’ – James Leath, head of leadership at IMG Academy
  • Renowned high school championship basketball coach at Christ Pres Academy in Nashville and former Vanderbilt star Drew Maddux uses the term ‘Boundaried Freedom’ – Create the culture and boundaries – and then give them the freedom to go make plays
I was watching the Golf Channel this week and they discussed how Jack Nicklaus credited much of his success to his ability to play present. The ability to stay in the moment allowed him to pay attention to details that many of his competitors missed – the wind speed and direction, the amount of power he was hitting with that day, and many other things that if he had complicated his mind with too many worries or concerns he would have missed. So Keep It Simple Stupid. You will have more fun and your athletes will go out there and play instead of going out there and thinking.
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WYC 079 – Mental Performance – Lindsey Wilson talks breaking out of slumps and coaching girls

As the Co-Founder and Product/Program guru for Positive Performance, Lindsey works with athletes and coaches to unlock player and team potential through mental performance training. As an athlete, Lindsey had the privilege to play on many successful teams and collect an impressive playing resume along the way. As a mental training coach, Lindsey has developed mental performance training tools and techniques for universities, teams, and organizations across the globe.

Twitter: @lindseywilson13

Facebook: /positiveperformance

Website/blog: positiveperformancetraining.com

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘Change happens slowly and then all at once’

Visualization

  • Make it realistic (i.e.- I will never be able to dunk) – but make it a little out of reach
  • Your mind will naturally think of both positive and negative thoughts – be prepared for this & acknowledge the negative though non-judgementally
  •  BRAVR exercise – 5 minute pre-practice visualization routine – download it for free: positiveperform.clickfunnels.com/5min-a

Confidence in Girls vs. Boys

  • Girls develop the ability to read faces much earlier than boys – so because of that they are often looking for positive affirmation much more than boys. The danger of this is the girls might stop taking risks.
  • Typically girls have a much stronger need to create harmony within the team. Hunter-gatherer theory: As men were out hunting by themselves, the women were back raising children with the other women – so the need to get along was very important.
  • Socially – as men move up the corporate ladder, they are more liked. The opposite is true for women, as they move up and are more successful, they typically are less liked.

How to get out of a slump

  • Sometimes we actually like the extra attention
  • Momentum – It’s easier to keep going the direction we are going – so even if it’s a negative direction, we keep going. You have to break that negative path. Self-Talk is a great way to do it. We think 50,000 words per day- and the majority of it is negative (that’s a survival technique.)
  • ‘To be successful you have to lie to yourself a little bit. If you are not failing a lot – you are not pushing yourself hard enough, so realistically most of your time should be spent pushing yourself through those failures. But that’s mentally hard to get excited about, so you have to lie to yourself a little bit.’
  • Great post: positiveperformancetraining.com/slump/

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Lindsey shares a story of a 10 year-old girl who had lost confidence and hope, and was crying during games. Lindsey worked with the girl and her parents to re-establish a guiding light and hope to break out of that mindset. The girl is 14 now and is doing great.

The One that Got Away

  • Not playing at the end of the championship game her freshman year and they lost by 1

Favorite coaching book/quote

Positive Performance Training

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Achieving Peak Mental Performance – Factor #4: Our mind is a powerful beast to tame

The Growth Mindset – 7 Key Factors to Achieve Peak Mental Performance​​​​​​​
Factor #4 – Playing present & Mistake recovery
Our mind is a powerful beast to tame. Another powerful lesson I learned from Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Tennis is the concept of the battle going on in your mind between your 2 selfs. In summary – Self 1 is the mind and the loud voice, Self 2 is the body, the quiet doer. Where things get out of whack is when Self 1 starts to overthink the importance of what you are doing. Thoughts about past failures or future consequences of your performance will tighten up an athlete and make it impossible to perform at a high level. We’ll dive into a bunch of great ways to de-emphasize the importance of competitions in Factor #6, but here are a few fundamental ways to keep your mind focused on the present:
  • Tim Corbin, national championship baseball coach at Vanderbilt uses the term ‘Play in the middle.’ He teaches his athletes to not think about the past, not think about the future, but rather to stay in the middle. The only thing you need to focus on is the next play.
  • Ray Lokar, PCA coach and speaker, uses the acronym WIN – Whats Important Now. In high pressure situations – have the kids focus on ONE thing that is important (i.e. hold your follow through) – don’t tell them more than one thing or their head will be swimming with too many concerns.
  • Mistake recovery routine – You will make mistakes. You need to have a predetermined response to what you are going to do about them. Coach John Doss has a goalie that beats himself up after any goal allowed – he tells the kid he can take 3 seconds to be upset, then move on.  He will even count 1,2,3 out loud so the kid remembers. Many athletes have developed physical actions to ‘flush’ mistakes:
    • ​​​​​​​Make a small motion with your hand of you ‘flushing’ that mistake away
    • A double-tap on your chest – 1st tap is me saying ‘my bad,’ 2nd tap is me saying ‘I’m over it and am focused on the next play.’
    • A brush of your shoulder to ‘brush’ away the mistake
Quiet your mind. Gallwey uses the analogy of a cat waiting to pounce on a bird. The cat isn’t thinking about it’s posture, what each leg needs to do when attacking, or what the other cats will think about it if it misses. It simply is thinking about what that bird is going to taste like in it’s mouth.
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WYC 078 – College Scholarships – Nicolae Popescu talks college recruiting

Nicolae Popescu has built WeGotPlayers for those athletes who dream, hustle and work hard to play at the next level. For those players, who always had the desire to train, learn, take risks and fail graciously. The kind of players who have character, values, work ethic and a sharp mindset that will push them to do whatever it takes to succeed.

WeGotPlayers is designed to inspire and empower players to reach their highest potential in sports and life. With so much information out there, it’s so hard to know where to start, what to do and who to trust. They are here to help you unleash your talent so it won’t get lost in the shadows of empty hopes. Navigating through the college recruiting process himself and thanks to all the wonderful and helpful coaches and teachers he worked with, Nicolae has been fortunate to earn a full athletic scholarship at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.

Today, he’s a proud husband, father, entrepreneur and coach who always tries to positively influence and help guide players on and off the field achieve their sports dreams. This is what fulfills him and gives him the power, energy and strength to keep on inspiring others achieve their dreams. Nicolae’s story is just one example of how playing sports changed his life.

Twitter: @1NicolaePopescu

Facebook: /wegotplayers

Website/blog: wegotplayers.com

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘Learn from your mistakes. Have the power and the strength within yourself. Lift yourself back up. Try again. And again.’

3-step plan for athlete to prepare for recruiting process

  1. Evaluate –
    • Has your athlete completed all academic requirements? Start looking at this in 9th grade.
    • Be realistic athletically
  2. Identify
    • Identify some criteria you will be evaluating when looking at schools: geographic location, academic requirements, do they offer the major you want to study, coaching staff and playing philosophy
  3. Connect
    • The kids need to email the college coaches themselves

We Got Players

  • Website/blog: wegotplayers.com
  • A very low-cost tool to help educate parents and coaches on the recruiting process and help create a Linkedin-type resume to share with colleges

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Nicolae shared a story of a sophomore in high school who just verbally committed to a Division 2 school. You can’t wait until your senior year to start this process! And most importantly – choose a school based on its academics, not athletics!

Teaching Skills

  • Communication is key – you have to be crystal clear explaining to the kids what you want them to do. Using language they understand.

The One that got away

  • From his junior college days – Nicolae had a free kick that he wishes he had played differently in a game that could have moved them on to the finals. Lessons learned: ‘Learn from your mistakes. Have the power and the strength within yourself. Lift yourself back up. Try again. And try again.’

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • It doesn’t matter what level you are coaching at – always remember who you coach. It’s not about you being a great coach, it’s about you knowing and developing young men and women.

Other recruiting services

Parting Advice

  • Enjoy the journey. Educate yourself and learn. Use lots of positive feedback, especially at younger ages. Keep it fun.

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Achieving Peak Mental Performance – Factor #3: We become what we think about

The Growth Mindset – 7 Key Factors to Achieve Peak Mental Performance​​​​​​​
Factor #3 – Visualization
Did you see Jay Wright’s reaction after his player hit one of the most memorable shots in NCAA history to win the national championship? He simply nodded his head and proceeded to go shake hands with Roy Williams. How is that possible? One of the players on the high school lacrosse team I help coach made a game-winning goal a few weeks ago in a regular season game and we all jumped around like fools. How did Jay remain so calm? The only possible explanation is that Jay completely buys in to the concept presented in Earl Nightingale’s landmark speech The Strangest Secret: ‘We become what we think aboutPicture yourself in your mind’s eye as having already achieved this goal. See yourself doing the things you’ll be doing when you’ve reached your goal.’ Jay, deep down in his heart, truly believed his team was a national championship team, so why would he act surprised when his team achieved this goal?
The same is true for athletes at all levels. They will become what they think about. If they think they are the 5th best player on the team, that is exactly what they will become. Muhammad Ali said ‘I am the greatest. I said that before I even knew I was.’ So how do we get kids to imagine themselves being successful? The first step is we as coaches and parents have to truly believe they are going to be. Then here are some powerful next steps:
  • From The Inner Game of Tennis – Have them react as if they hit a perfect shot regardless of the result: Tell them you are going to use your phone to take video of their reaction after the next 5 shots. You are not going to video the shot result itself, you will be at an angle that will only record their reaction. And here is the key – regardless of how they hit the shot – you want them to react as if they are Lebron James (or whatever athlete they will identify with for your sport) and they had just hit the perfect shot to beat their opponent. The interesting observation is how successful their shots will be when they are not putting any importance on the actual result of the shot itself.
  • Think about how you frame things: it should be framed as a positive. Don’t say ‘Don’t drop this pass’, instead say: ‘Make a great catch on this pass’
  • Sports psychologist Dr. Lindsey Blom teaches on the power of using analogies: Have kids picture themselves as spaghetti noodles – if the child is nervous they may be stiff like uncooked noodles, but if they are relaxed they are loose like cooked noodles. For younger ages – have the kids physically wiggle around and say they are cooked noodles.
  • Master self-talk and quiet your mind: My good friend Jenn Starkey from MVP Leadership Academy shared a great video with me with 7 confidence hacks – and #’s 6 and 7 are about visualization and mastering self-talk – check it out.
  • Confidence is a choice. My friend Olaniyi Sobomehin, former NFL running back and founder of I’m Not You blog and podcasts – has his kids start each day by looking in the mirror and doing ‘Affirmations’, they call it ‘Prime-time.’ They flex their muscles and tell themselves they are strong, confident, and proud. They also record audio of their affirmations in GarageBand laid on top of their favorite track.
We become what we think about. It’s so powerful. If we can master the images in our head, we truly can accomplish whatever we set our minds to.
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Achieving Peak Mental Performance – Factor #2: We are what we repeatedly do

The Growth Mindset – 7 Key Factors to Achieve Peak Mental Performance​​​​​​​
Factor #2 – We are what we repeatedly do
 
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ – Pete Carroll in Win Forever
The best way to minimize performance anxiety is practice: For every minute of a presentation, you need 1 hour of preparation – the same is true in sports. One of the best things you can do to prepare your athletes for high-pressure situations is to create practices that build up the confidence of players so when these types of situations occur in games they are experienced and know exactly what they are going to do. So how do you create practices like this? Here are some great guidelines:
  • Lots of small-sided games. Kids need lots of touches, and you get more touches with the ball if you are 3 on 3 vs. 5 on 5 or 11 on 11.
  • Freeplay is huge. No parents or coaches. Try having a silent Saturday – coaches and parents aren’t allowed to say ANYTHING.
  • Task design – from Stuart Armstrong of The Talent Equation and Reed Maltbie from CoachReed.com.
    • Don’t jump in too early – 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. So the players shouldn’t think everything is easy and fun – it should be a little frustrating and uncomfortable.
    • Implicit Learning – False praise and spoon-feeding kids actually creates a fixed mindset in them. Create the task, then say very little – and observe their attempt to solve the problem, and observe what choices they make, then allow them through a questioning approach subsequent to the activity to feed back to you what they are experiencing, then allow them to solve problems.
    • Give them a challenge, and see if one of the players can figure it out on their own. If one does – let him/her show the team. If not, give them a hint and let them keep trying.
    • 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?’
Knowing that you are outworking your competition is a huge confidence-builder – I love the quote in a recent article about Kobe Bryant’s work ethic:
 –
“It’s not so much to do with the competition of the players and all this other stuff,” he said, “because I figured out at an early age, even if I showed them what it is that I do, they wouldn’t do it, just because it’s so boring and so much repetition that it takes a long time to do.”
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WYC 077 – Way of Champions Transformational Coaching – John O’Sullivan talks leadership

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John is the founder of the Changing the Game Project – whose mission is to is to ensure that we return youth sports to our children, and put the ‘play’ back in ‘play ball.’  They want to provide the most influential adults in our children’s lives – their parents and coaches – with the information and resources they need to make sports a healthy, positive, and rewarding experience for their children, and their whole family.

John started the Changing the Game Project in 2012 after two decades as a soccer player and coach on the youth, high school, college and professional level.  He is the author of the #1 bestselling books Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids and Is it Wise to Specialize? John is also a regular contributor for SoccerWire.com, and his writing has been featured in many publications including The Huffington Post and Soccer America. John is an internationally known speaker for coaches, parents and youth sports organizations, and has spoken for TEDx, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, IMG Academy, and at numerous other events throughout the US, Canada and Europe.  He resides in beautiful Bend, OR, with his wife, Dr Lauren O’Sullivan, and two wonderful children and aspiring young athletes: Maggie Shea, age 10, and Tiernan, age 8.

Twitter: @CTGProjectHQ

Facebook: /SportsParentingResourceCenter

Website/blog: changingthegameproject.com

Way of Champions Conference link: changingthegameproject.com/wocconference

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Way of Champions – Transformational Coaching Conference

Dr. Jerry Lynch is the founder of Way of Champions, and has been part of 35 national and world championship teams, from the Golden State Warriors to UNC Women’s Soccer. He is the author of 12 books on leadership, championship culture, and coaching/parenting to win in sport and life.

At the Way of Champions Coaching Conference, you will spend a weekend being inspired by Jerry, John, and dozens of other transformational leaders.

Early-bird pricing if you sign up before May 1st – Click here to see more details about the conference

Leadership  – Great blog posts on Changing the Game Project

  • Bullying – Know the difference between being rude, being mean, and bullying – link to article
  • Captains – You have to train them! Also – just because a kid is a quiet introvert doesn’t mean they can’t be a captain – learn how to utilize their quieter leadership style to help lead the team.
  • How Adults take the joy out of sports – and how we can fix it – link to article

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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Achieving Peak Mental Performance – Factor #1: Focus On The Process, Not The Outcome

The Growth Mindset – 7 Key Factors to Achieve Peak Mental Performance​​​​​​​
Factor #1 – Focus on the Process, not the Outcome
There are so many beautiful aspects of playing, coaching, and watching sports. The training, the teamwork, the thrill of a hard-fought victory. There are also many heartbreaks of tough losses, frustrations over bad calls or poor sportsmanship, and disappointments when situations out of your control go awry. The one ingredient I have seen in wise coaches, parents, and players who successfully handle the highs and lows of team sports is they have learned to:
COMPETE as “if to win” not “for the win”
Having this mindset takes the pressure off winning. You don’t have to live and die by the results of each shot, or lose your mind and scream at the ref when he makes a bad call. Those things do not impact your goals for the game – which should not be tied to the final scoreboard. This is easier said than done. Here are some wise practices to get in this mindset:
  • Set a few mini-goals within the game and emphasize those instead of the winning. Celebrate the little steps, don’t go overboard on celebrating wins/losses.
  • Set goals for your kids to try a new move during a game that you have been working on in practice. Willie Cromack during his interview shared with me one of my new favorite quotes for a coach to use: ‘Who is going to be brave enough to try this new move during the game this week?’
  • Have an intentional plan to not pull players immediately after they make a mistake in a game – you want to teach your players to play aggressive and loose, not in fear.
  • Set very clear expectations to your players on how you want them to play the game. Coach John Doss tells his team: ‘Make the right lacrosse play, we’re not worried about the results.’
  • Author Al Ainsworth shared with me a good analogy – in singing: you can’t hold back – ‘Make big fat ugly mistakes’
​​​​​​​When Lebron James was struggling with free throws a few years ago- he went to a shooting coach, and the coach asked him what he was thinking about when he went to the line. Lebron said he was thinking about making it. The coach said- ‘Don’t think about making it, think about your process.’
Next week we’ll dive into how great coaches like Pete Carroll know that practicing pressure situations is the best way to prepare for them in games.

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3 Things I Learn From Sports-Talk Radio & What I’m Doing About It (You Should Too!)

Tired of Sports Radio? Frustrated with the lack of positive messages for youth sports?  CHOOSE to do something about it. 
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Image – Is there an alternative to sports talk radio? pictured: iTunes Sports Podcasts
I listen to a fair amount of sports radio, and most of the time afterwards I have learned:
  • The __________ (fill in name of your local professional sports teams) are run by morons
  • Professional athletes get in a lot of trouble, particularly after midnight
  • There are plenty of male clinics to help you with any bedroom performance issues you are having
I wrote a few months ago about 4 books that have changed my life, click here to see that post. Today I want to share a few podcasts that constantly change and improve me. I have found podcasts to be a much more productive use of my time vs. sports talk radio. Some of these podcasts I share have huge audiences, and others are new and up-and-upcoming. I have gotten to know all of these hosts – And I’m asking you to not just read this email, but to TAKE ACTION on it. It says in James in the Bible:
      ‘Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth’
So I am asking you to check out these podcasts – and if you believe in them and their message – help get the word out and keep them going by writing a review. Stop complaining about what’s happening in youth sports…and do something about it.  iTunes reviews can be a bit tricky to enter, so I made some easy-to-follow instructions with screenshots- get them here.
  1. The Hardwood Hustle podcast – Alan Stein and Adam Bradley
  2. The Football Coaching podcast – Joe Daniel
  3. The Sports Parenting podcast – Janis Meredith
  4. Teamsnap Youth Sports podcast – Emily Cohen
  5. 100% Athlete podcast – Reed Maltbie and colleagues
  6. Mind over Sport podcast – Warren Nye
  7. Athlete on Fire podcast – Scott Jones
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WYC 075 – Proactive Coaching – Scott Rosberg talks Coaching with Character

Scott Rosberg has been a coach (basketball, soccer, & football) at the high school level for 30 years, an English teacher for 18 years, and an athletic director for 12 years.  He has published seven booklets on coaching and youth/school athletics, two books of inspirational messages and quotes for seniors and graduates, and a newsletter for athletic directors and coaches.  He also speaks to schools, teams, and businesses on a variety of team-building, leadership, and coaching topics.  Scott has a blog and a variety of other materials about coaching and athletic topics on his website.

Scott is also a member of the Proactive Coaching speaking team.  Proactive Coaching is dedicated to helping organizations create character and education-based team cultures, while providing a blueprint for team leadership. They help develop confident, tough-minded, fearless competitors and train coaches and leaders for excellence and significance.

Websites:  coachwithcharacter.com; proactivecoaching.info

Twitter: @scottrosberg@ProactiveCoach

Facebook: /coachwithcharacter ;  /proactivecoach

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘Look what you’ve become!’

‘You get what you reward, and it perpetuates itself’

My Cringe Moments

  • Using bad language when coaching
  • Once, when mad in practice, Scott yelled ‘There is nothing fun about this!’ – in retrospect he realizes the irony of that statement, considering the #1 reason kids play sports is to have fun.
  • Another practice Scott once had them do conditioning during a lightning storm

My ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Learning from Proactive Coaching about creating a culture. 75+% of teams let their culture happen ‘by accident.’  Instead – create Core Covenants – that are the standards for what your team is going to be. Involve the captains when creating these. Check out Proactive Coaching’s guide to creating Core Covanants: First Steps to Building Successful Teams
  • From a parenting point of view – Kids least favorite part of sports is the post-game analysis from their parents on the ride home from games
  • From a coaching point of view – Are your post-game talks too long? Are you over-analzing the game in your post-game talk?

Mental Toughness/Achieving Peak Performance

  • ‘This is a relationship business.’ How do I react when one of my players makes a mistake? The 3 C’s of Trust:
    • Competence
    • Caring
    • Character
  • ‘Focus on the process not the outcome.’ When Lebron James was struggling with free throws a few years ago- he went to a shooting coach, and the coach asked him what he was thinking about when he went to the line. Lebron said he thought about making it. The coach said- ‘Don’t think about making it, think about your process.’
  • The key to confidence is preparation
  • Create a mistake-recovery ritual

HUGE IDEA:

  • Use these words: ‘Look what you’ve become!’ or ‘Look what you were able to figure out’ – instead of taking any credit yourself

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Have standards not rules. Kids can rise to standards.
  • Discipline is focused attention and focused effort
  • ‘You get what you reward, and it perpetuates itself’

HUGE IDEA

  • Positive Conditioning – The winners get to run!
    • You have to put all your attention/effort into recognizing the kids who are earning the right to run.
    • For poor effort: ‘You guys just lost your chance to become better. You lost your chance to condition.’
  • Year-end Award Banquet – Instead of MVP – reward the MVT – Most Valuable Teammate. Or even better – have 6 awards: Most Improved, one for each of your 4 core covenants, and one for who best exemplified all 4 core covenants. And the same kid can earn multiple awards.

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • ‘Success is a peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.’ – John Wooden

Coach With Character

  • Senior Salute booklet – great $5 gift for you players in the post-season award banquet – includes a place inside the front cover to write a personal note
  • Website has blog, booklets: coachwithcharacter.com

Parting Advice

  • ‘We’re here to try to provide kids the opportunity to have a positive athletic experience’

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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More Than Words- Fill Your Mind With Positivity Part 4 of 4

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Coaches often use inspirational words and quotes to motivate their teams. Coaching, like life, is a rollercoaster ride full of peaks and valleys, and it is important to fill your mind with positivity to help you persevere through the valleys. So over the next 4 weeks I’ll share the words of coaches who have motivated me over the past 2 years while sharing their wisdom on the WYC podcast. I hope they motivate you as much as they have me!
– 
Let’s overload Twitter with positivity this week! Pick out your favorite 1 or 2 quotes and share it by clicking on the ‘Click to tweet’ link.
– 
Chris Stricker: ‘As a coach – you can’t be pulling the wagon by yourself.  If your best players are pulling the wagon – everyone is going to on board.’   Click to Tweet  Podcast episode
– 
Jill Kochanek: ‘The perfect time to build confidence is in practice’  Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Steve Boyle: ‘It’s perfectly OK to let kids know that winning is an expected outcome of competition.  The problem becomes when we focus too much on the value of the win as opposed to the value of the experience.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Warren Nye: ‘Success is a peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction, in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.’ – John Wooden   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Valeri Garcia: ‘Stop trying to coach at a pre-college level – coach them at the level that they are right now.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Drew Maddux: ‘We were running the program with a fear-based approach instead of a freedom-based approach. – Boundaried Freedom – Create the culture and boundaries – and then give them the freedom to go make plays’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Creed Larrucea: ‘Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out’ – John Wooden   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Reed Maltbie: ‘Words echo – the words you use when coaching kids matter – be careful choosing what words you use. What’s your echo – coach beyond the game’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Willie Cromrack: ‘Who is going to be brave enough to try this new move during the game this week?’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Melody Shuman: ‘Have every student become a better version of themselves’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Jason Hahnstadt on running sprints: ‘Raise your hand when you are committing to your teammates that this will be your best effort.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Adam Bradley: ‘The drug of choice amongst the youth of today is popularity’ – Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Stuart Armstrong: ‘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.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Robert Murphy: ‘Wrestling at young ages without training is like human cock-fighting. It’s child abuse.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
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WYC 074 – Championship basketball – Andres Montana talks about the power of trust and believing in kids

Coach Montana has been at St. Cecilia Academy since 2012 as the varsity girls head coach at St. Cecilia Academy. Coach Montana played high school basketball at Marist (GA), where he helped lead the team to a 32-0 season his senior year, winning the state championship, and being ranked 6th nationally by USA Today. He has been coaching vasity basketball since 1997, since 2003 as head coach. In 2007 and 2008, Montana’s teams were state runner-up. Those same years he was named GISA Coach of the Year. Coach Montana has been serving St. Cecilia as the Vice Principal of Students since 2012. Coach Montana also coaches for Upward Stars Nashville. He and his wife, Shannon, have 8 beautiful children.

Websites: stcecilia.edu; upwardstarsnashville.org

Twitter: @StCeciliaAca@UpwardStarsTN

Facebook: /St-Cecilia-Academy/103813402991323; /upwardstarsnashville

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

Nothing has worked better to build kids’ confidence than to truthfully tell a child ‘I believe in you’

Coaching your own kids

  • Coach Montana has 8 kids- he was recently coaching one of them, the team was down 2 and the team got a steal and his son had a chance to tie the game. Instead he pulled up for a 3 to win the game, it didn’t go in. His son was very upset, but coach was so proud of him for ‘Trusting his instincts’ and having the courage to take the shot – these are the types of life lessons he wants to teach his kids/players. He put his arm around his son and told him how proud he was for taking that courageous shot.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Being a passionate coach, early on it was easy to yell at players. Coach has learned there are more effective ways and times to communicate.
  • Coach one time was frustrated with another team ‘acting like thugs’ and was upset and threw his dry-erase marker – and it went all the way down the court and hit the opposing coach in the foot. He went on to get to know the other coach and they have since become good friends. One thing he learned from the other coach was that he always believed so much in his own kids that it helped them play better than they actually were. For example he called one of his player who had weird form ‘the shooter’ and it led to that player playing extremely confidently and making a lot of shots.

Teaching Skills

  • Coach Montana learned (from previous WYC guest Kevin Furtado)- to use the term ‘Tough Ball’ instead of ‘triple threat’ – Young kids instinctually catch the ball and turn their back to the basket and dribble with their strong hand away from the basket with their head down. So one of the first things to teach is for the kids to face the basket, with two hands on the ball, and their head up – willing to face their opponent.
  • They also echo the coach’s commands – ‘Tough ball’, ‘Rip’, ‘Sweep’ – This echoing becomes fun for the kids and gets them all involved, and increases the energy level in the practice.
  • Lay-up drills – they will do without the ball first – for right-handed they say ‘right-hand, right-knee’ as they are jumping and simulating doing a right-handed layup without the ball.

Mental Toughness/Achieving Peak Performance

  • One key is to have one-on-one conversations to understand where the kid’s confidence is at. Not by asking them directly – but by asking questions and seeing how confidently they answer them.
  • Nothing has worked better to build kids’ confidence than to truthfully tell a child ‘I believe in you’

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Culture will create itself if you don’t create it
  • Learned from Bruce Brown at Proactive Coaching – Gather the coaches and 3 captains in preseason and define your Core Covenants – who are you going to be that season. Brainstorm by throwing words up on a board, then narrow it down to 2 or 3 that are going to define your team. Then you can order the livestrong-type bracelets that have those words on it.
  • Work with the captains for discipline – it starts with them!
  • Post-game shout-outs by the players – complimenting other players is huge.

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Coach Montana had a kid Franko who struggled to grow into his body. He stuck with it and the coaches kept believing in him – his senior year he ended up making a left-handed layup as time expired to win a game – it wasn’t the designed play but the play broke down and he had the confidence to create on his own.

The One that Got Away

  • In a state championship game – they got the ball with 2 seconds left and down 3 – they called timeout and set up a play – but unfortunately they thought the ball was on the sideline, and when they got out on the court the ref told them it was on the baseline. Lessons learned: Confirm with the official where the ball is; Have a generic play you can run from anywhere by just using the name of the play

Best stolen idea

  • Two end-of-game lead-protection strategies: a four-corner offense with a back-door cut built in; and a sidelines inbound play that is very effective

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Anything by John Wooden
  • ‘Failure to prepare is preparing to fail’- John Wooden
  • ‘All things work for good for those that love God’ – from the Bible

Parting Advice

  • Give them the book ‘Coaching Basketball Successfully‘ by Morgan Wootten
  • You have the freedom to be whatever kind of coach you want to – take that seriously, establish your own core covenants, and think outside the box on how you can positively impact the kids you coach.

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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More Than Words- Fill Your Mind With Positivity Part 3 of 4

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Coaches often use inspirational words and quotes to motivate their teams. Coaching, like life, is a rollercoaster ride full of peaks and valleys, and it is important to fill your mind with positivity to help you persevere through the valleys. So over the next 4 weeks I’ll share the words of coaches who have motivated me over the past 2 years while sharing their wisdom on the WYC podcast. I hope they motivate you as much as they have me!
– 
Let’s overload Twitter with positivity this week! Pick out your favorite 1 or 2 quotes and share it by clicking on the ‘Click to tweet’ link.
– 
Dr. Michael Phillips: ‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you figure out why’ – attributed to Mark Twain   Click to Tweet  Podcast episode
– 
Dr. Michael Cathey: ‘Talk TO your players, not AT them’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
John O’Sullivan: ‘When you are coaching sports – you don’t coach a sport, you coach a child’ – Dr. Martin Toms   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Cameron Gish: ‘When you encounter adversity, your character is revealed in how you respond’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Joe Daniel: ‘Keep everything simple so that your kids build confidence, confident kids play fast, fast kids win games’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Mark Linden: ‘Kids don’t sign up to practice baseball, they sign up to play baseball.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
JJ Lawson: ‘Attitude reflects leadership’ Click to Tweet  & ‘We don’t teach our offensive linemen to block – we teach them to hit.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Kevin Kennedy: ‘For pre-game nerves: Don’t deny it or try to squelch it!  Embrace it – be excited that you are having pre-game excitement.  It means that this is important to you.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Rich Clayton: ‘In coaching, people will only listen to you, because they truly believe that you can make them better’ – Bill Bellichick when someone asked him ‘Why would a coach making $12 million a year listen to someone making $100k a year?’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Stacie Mahoe: ‘Leadership is action not position’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
– 
Jenn Starkey: ‘If you can’t explain it to a 6 year-old, you don’t understand it yourself’ – Albert Einstein   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 –
John Doss: ‘Make the right lacrosse play, we’re not worried about the results’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 
Al Ainsworth: ‘Don’t’ hold back – We want big fat ugly mistakes’  Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
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WYC 073 – Fastest growing sport in USA: Futsal – Jon Caldwell talks getting kids 12x the number of touches

Jon Caldwell is a co-founder of Ginga Futsal and serves as Director of the Greater Cincinnati North and East locations.

Ginga mission statement: ‘We strive to teach confidence and total control over the ball. GINGA focuses on the individual skills of the player. GINGA will create attacking players, by teaching moves and feints to unbalance your defender. Our goal is to develop total soccer players not positional players, who have an artistic relationship with the ball and the game.’

Website: thegingatouch.com

Twitter: @jcaldwell13; @thegingatouch

Facebook: /The-Ginga-Touch-192724914078318

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Quote

‘No lines, no lectures’

‘At the younger ages – that is the time to take the risks. That is the time to fail. I would be doing something wrong if all the teams I coach at the younger ages win every single game.’

Futsal

  • #1 developmental tool for soccer players in South America and Europe
  • 5 vs. 5 game with heavier low-bounce ball. There are out-of-bounds (unlike indoor soccer.)
  • HUGE IDEA: Kids that play futsal touch the ball 12x vs. traditional soccer
  • Constant problem-solving and quick decisions because of the small spaces

Building confidence

  • Freeplay is huge. No parents or coaches.
  • Friday night bridge futsal nights – They have open play – kids wear their favorite jerseys – and play pick-up games.

Teaching Skills

  • ‘No lines, no lectures’
  • Start the practice playing tag, first without the ball, then add the ball in

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • ‘At the younger ages – that is the time to take the risks. That is the time to fail. I would be doing something wrong if all the teams I coach at the younger ages win every single game.’  Teach the kids to take on their opponent, to keep trying one-on-one moves, without fear of failure. The kids that succeed long-term are the ones that can beat their man one-on-one.

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Jon coached a kid who started with his Ginga club at age 9. He started out with mediocre skills, but by age 12 he completely got the bug to be great and turned out to be a great athlete.

The One that Got Away

  • Jon  recently coached a futsal team that lost on penalty kicks in the championship game. While he would have loved to win the game, he know the coaches and players will learn from the defeat and be even better in the future because of it.

Best stolen idea

  • Talk softly around kids – Instead of yelling so the kids can hear you – train them to listen by talking softly

Favorite coaching book

Ginga Futsal

Parting Advice

  • Be positive, encourage the kids. You goal is to get the kids to be passionate about the sport.
  • Be organized and have a plan.

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More Than Words- Fill Your Mind With Positivity Part 2 of 4

Coaches often use inspirational words and quotes to motivate their teams. Coaching, like life, is a rollercoaster ride full of peaks and valleys, and it is important to fill your mind with positivity to help you persevere through the valleys. So over the next 4 weeks I’ll share the words of coaches who have motivated me over the past 2 years while sharing their wisdom on the WYC podcast. I hope they motivate you as much as they have me!
– 
Let’s overload Twitter with positivity this week! Pick out your favorite 1 or 2 quotes and share it by clicking on the ‘Click to tweet’ link.
 
Dave Westwood and Rich Czeslawksi: ‘A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say ‘we did it ourselves’– Lao Tzu  Click to Tweet  Podcast episode
Clint Schumacher: ‘Put aside your positional authority to demand, and think about your relational credibility to expect’ – from 2 Timothy in the Bible  Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
Randy Montgomery: ‘When asked about how he handled a player: ‘You don’t handle people, you work with people’’ Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 –
Rich Czeslawski: ‘It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts’ – John Wooden   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 
Mike Frederick: ‘The reason I coach is to make each player feel valued – from the top player on the roster to the bottom’  Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 
Robert Taylor: ‘At the youth level of sports – you don’t want more reps- you want better reps.’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 
Scott Jones: ‘I don’t even count reps until I’m burnt out, then I’ll do 20 more’ – Muhammad Ali   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 –
Amanda Kephart: ‘Coaching is a great opportunity to allow the child to practice being what they want to be, not what their classmates think they are’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 –
James Leath: ‘If your goal is to freeze an athlete – give them a whole bunch of stuff to think about’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 –
Niyi Sobo: ‘Leaders are stubborn on vision but flexible on details and approach’ – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 –
Caz McCaslin: ‘Billy Graham on sports: ‘It’s the last thing left where there is immediate discipline for wrongdoing’   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 
Brian Brunkow: ‘We run a forward-looking operation’ – Chip Kelly after tough loss   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 
Ray Lokar – ‘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’ – Coach John Wooden   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
 
Emily Cohen: ‘Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming’ – John Wooden   Click to Tweet   Podcast episode
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More than Words, Who can you inspire this week? Part 1 of 4

Coaches often use inspirational words and quotes to motivate their teams. Coaching, like life, is a rollercoaster ride full of peaks and valleys, and it is important to fill your mind with positivity to help you persevere through the valleys. So over the next 4 weeks I’ll share the words of coaches who have motivated me over the past 2 years while sharing their wisdom on the WYC podcast. I hope they motivate you as much as they have me!
Let’s overload Twitter with positivity! Pick out your favorite 1 or 2 quotes and share it by clicking on the ‘Click to tweet’ link.
Diane Renzi: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are’ – Theodore Roosevelt  Click to Tweet
Luke Dunnuck : ‘Focus on the process not the outcome’ – Butler coach Brad Stevens  Click to Tweet
Todd Grosse: ‘Iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another’ – Proverbs 27:17 Click to Tweet
Ken Stuursma: ‘Other than Dad, the best thing you can be called is Coach’  Click to Tweet
Damien Wong-Ken: ‘Life as a Vapor – Life Is Short. Eternity Is Long. Live Like It’ – John Piper  Click to Tweet
Dr. Lindsey Blom: ‘Catch them Being Good’ – Tony DiCicco  Click to Tweet
Rob Jones: ‘Good, better, best. Never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better is best.’  Click to Tweet
Lance Akridge, Dr. Michael Phillips, and Drew Maddux: ‘The Enemy to Great is Good’ – Jim Collins in Good to great  Click to Tweet
Kent Julian: ‘What you believe in is evidenced by how you live not by what you say’  Click to Tweet
Brent Kreid: ‘You’re the leader, but it’s not about you’  Click to Tweet
Brian Beaman: ‘I’m not trying to raise great kids, I’m trying to raise great adults’  Click to Tweet
Alan Stein: ‘Always, always, always – do what is in the best interest of the player’  Click to Tweet
Shane Sams: ‘Don’t just tell me about problems. Tell me about some solutions’  Click to Tweet
Michael Langlois: ‘In youth sports you cannot play with a piano on your back’  Click to Tweet
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WYC 072 – Coaching up sports parents – Janis Meredith talks 11 Habits of Happy Sports Parents

 

Janis Meredith is the founder of JBMThinks Positive Sports Parenting, her goal is to help busy and often overwhelmed sports parents by providing guidance and resources to guide parents as they strive to give their children a growing and positive youth sports experience.

Janis blogs, podcasts, speaks, and hosts online communities to get her positive message out. She has written for MLB.com Digital Academy, USAFootball.com, Coachup.com, LessThanPerfectParents.com, Southwest Florida Parent & Child, and Redding Record Searchlight.

Most recently she has written the book 11 Habits of Happy and Positive Sports Parents, a great resource for coaches to give out during their pre-season parent meetings.

Website: jbmthinks.com; Link to 11 Habits book: Book

Twitter: @jbmthinks

Facebook: /sportsparenting

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Habit 1

  • Be the parent, and let the coach do his/her job

Habit 2

  • Think realistically

Habit 3

  • Avoid comparisons

Habit 4

  • Show gratitude

Habit 5

  • Learn from your mistakes

Check out all 11 Habits in her book – great resource for coaches to hand out in their pre-season parent meeting:

http://jbmthinks.com/11-habits-happy-positive-sports-parents/

 

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Did I really just do that? – Being a great gameday coach Part 8 of 8

Being a coach is such an amazing opportunity to be engaged with and influence young people. Billy Graham once said:
‘A coach will influence more people in 1 year than most people will in a lifetime’
Yet it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and lose perspective when in the heat of the moment of the game. In the podcast interviews I do with coaches, I always ask about their biggest ‘cringe’ moment from their coaching experiences – and the vast majority of answers I get involve their behavior towards officials, other coaches, or parents.  The reason we regret these type of actions so much is that we know there are a bunch of little eyes watching us, and those kids will emulate what they see. You can give all the speeches you want to the kids about character and integrity, but what really will influence their behavior is how you behave. Here are a few simple things to focus on to make sure you are acting like the type of person you want the kids to emulate:
  • Be present. In practices and games. This starts as soon as warmups begin. Turn off your cell phone. This isn’t time to chat with the parents or referees or former players, that can happen afterwards, you need to be focused if you want the the kids to be focused.
  • Do you yell at the referees or your players?  Then don’t be surprised when the kids you coach yell at their teammates and/or referees.
  • Recognize greatness – on both teams.  Tell a kid from the other team ‘nice shot’ when he goes by your bench. This is contagious.
  • Be excited to be there, have passion for the game, relax and enjoy the experience.
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WYC 071 – Elite Hoops Basketball – Lee Miller talks Living by Numbers

 

Lee Miller is the National Director and Skill Development Trainer for Elite Hoops Basketball. 2015 marks Lee Miller’s 12th year as Director of Elite Hoops. Previously, Miller has Co-directed the University of Georgia’s basketball camps, worked at Duke University basketball camps and assisted with Jack Haley’s NBA Complete Player Camp in California. In 2004, he was amongst the best upcoming NBA talent while working at the 27th annual Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp in Las Vegas. Since 2009, Miller has trained over 1100 players, 83 of which have gone on to play at the Division I level. One of which was the 2011 AJC High School Player of the Year and current UVA Cavalier Malcolm Brogdon. Miller also worked extensively for 4 years with 2014 Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year, Isaiah Wilkins.

Website: elitehoopsbasketball.com

Facebook: /EliteHoops

Twitter: @LeeMillerElite; @EliteHoops

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

  • ‘Success is the direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your very best’ – John Wooden

Coaching your own kids

  • Lee believes in letting the kids express interest before ‘forcing’ them into sports
  • With regards to travel sports: ‘What is too much?’ – Lee’s answer – if he or she has an off day, and they don’t want to go out and shoot in the driveway, then they are probably playing too many organized sports.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Early on -‘I started teaching players what I was taught’ and did not take the time to study whether it was really the best way to teach

Teaching Skills

  • Set up the expectation that the players need to bring the excitement and passion for the game, and as a coach you will be teaching them the skills they need to achieve success
  • Spend 75-80% of your practice time on fundamentals – not X’s and O’s. Great question to ask yourself at the younger ages: ‘How many times per game do we score from one of our offensive sets?’ – If it’s rare -then quit spending so much time on it and focus instead on teaching the kids fundamentals.

Building confidence

  • Living by numbers – They have created 15 core drills that can be measured numerically. The focus is on improvement.

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Lee is a big believer in energy in the gym. This starts on Day 1.
  • The three T’s:
    • Talk
    • Touch
    • Tap
  • Every player is either a proton or an electron – they are either bringing positive energy or negative energy

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Lee coached a kid who was on the bubble as to making his middle school – but he committed and stuck with it and worked hard – and went on his make his freshmen team

Memorable Game

  • When Lee was coaching in high school – he had a loaded team that lost in the Elite 8 of the state championships – one lesson learned was that they should have gotten some of their younger players more experience earlier in the season

Best Stolen Idea

  • Go to other teams/coaches’ practices! At every level.
  • Watch the way different coaches motivate different players in different ways.

Best Book

Elite Hoops Basketball

  • Website: elitehoopsbasketball.com
  • Focus on fundamentals:
    • Skill development 90 minute sessions
    • Shooting club – Players get off 300-500 shots in 90 minutes
    • 3-on-3 leagues

Parting Advice

  • ‘Success is the direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your very best’ – John Wooden

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It’s Not About You – Being a great gameday coach Part 7 of 8

90+% of all problems in youth sports could be eliminated if coaches(and parents) could remember, and act on, this one point:
‘It’s not about you. Or your win/loss record.’
Development>Winning
Fundamentals>Schemes
Individuals>’The program’
Yes, that’s right, I said it: Individuals>’The program.’ Coaches often misuse this concept. Team sports are awesome and powerful opportunities to learn about sacrifice, playing for someone other than yourself, and the whole ‘play for the name on the front of the jersey not the name on the back’ concept. But remember that is all from the player’s perspective. This is where coaches can lose perspective and confuse this. The best way to picture this is to ask this question:
‘If I could sacrifice the self-confidence and wellbeing of one of the players on my team so that the team could win a championship, would I do it?’
I think most would answer with an emphatic ‘No!’ Yet so many of the decisions around playing time, rewards/recognition, and who coaches focus their attention on is doing just this – tearing down the self-confidence of the children they coach. I’m not an advocate for equal playing time or ‘everybody gets a trophy’ – kids who work harder in the offseason absolutely deserve to play more than kids who don’t. But from a coach’s perspective – all decisions and actions need to factor in ALL the players on the team. It can be small things – Coach Drew Maddux, multi-time state champion at CPA in Nashville, TN – makes sure he talks to each player on his team and calls each one by name at every practice. And he doesn’t do cuts, so this can be 30+ kids at practice.
John Wooden often referred to his college coach at Purdue, Piggy Lambert, who when asked whether he had a successful season said:
‘Ask me in 20 years and we’ll see how successful these boys are. Then I’ll be able to tell you if I succeeded as a coach.’ 
Listen, I’m as competitive as the next guy, probably more so, but when I coach it’s not about me. My friend Alan Stein shared with his #1 rule to remember when coaching:
‘Always, always, always – do what is in the best interest of the player’
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WYC 070 – Youth Baseball – Rod Huff talks building championship teams

 

Rod Huff is a successful business executive with 30 years experience in the operations and administration area. He began his baseball coaching experience as an assistant coach when his son, Austin, was five years old. His first head coaching experience began in 1995 when his company, Sparrow Records, sponsored his 7- and 8-year-old coach-pitch team. That year, as a first-year coach, his team, nicknamed the Birds, went 15-2. That season ushered in somewhat of a dynasty in his Brentwood, Tennessee, community, where he is known as one of the winningest coaches ever in the local league. His nine-year record as a head coach includes five league championships and four runner-up titles. Huff took his operational and administrative executive abilities to the ball field and came up with a winning formula of organization, feedback, and motivation, which had parents and players alike asking to be drafted by him every year. He shared this system in his book, titled Coaching Made Easier: How to Successfully Manage Your Youth Baseball Team—A Step-by-Step Guide to a Rewarding Season.

Book Website: Coaches Choice

 

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital’ – Joe Paterno

Coaching your own kids

  • Rod gave a game-ball at the end of each game to a player, and he always would wait until every other kid had earned one before he would give one to his son. One year when the time came to give his son his game ball, his son had a terrible game, so Rod and the assistant coach had to ‘manufacture’ a creative way to reward him for something he did in the game. Lesson learned: should you save your son for last – or try harder to just treat him as every kid and give it to him when he deserves it?

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Communication about playing time – If a player is not playing/starting because of their attitude in practice – be sure to communicate the reason to them.

Teaching Skills

  • If you are struggling with something in games – make a fun game out of it to practice. And repeat it, maybe for the entire practice, until the kids are comfortable and know what they are supposed to do.
  • Use stats to set your lineups. This is a good way to motivate improvement, and also it takes subjectivity out of it.

Building confidence

  • Humor can often be used to ‘lighten the mood’ if kids are taking a game too seriously
  • Be observant – some kids get real uptight if their Dad is there

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • You have to lead by example
  • Draft kids:
    • With older brothers (seriously)
    • Age is huge, this is important if you can draft an older player vs. a younger one
    • The talented troublemaker is never worth it

Memorable Game

  • Coach Huff had a game against their rival where his players were struggling hitting, and when they came into the dugouts, he told his players to keep quiet – because their bats were asleep and he didn’t want to wake them up. This relaxed his team and they turned it around after that.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Tim Corbin – Vanderbilt coach: Empty your bench in inning changes – Anyone on the bench, between innings, go out and throw/stretch to stay involved. Also does a huddle with his team at they come off the field from defense, including everyone on the bench.

Parting Advice

  • Take it seriously, but have fun

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Drop the mic- Pre-game,Halftime,Post-game Talks – Being a great gameday coach Part 6 of 8

We’ve all seen movies with powerful emotional pre-game, halftime, or post-game speeches given by the coach that inspired their team to play over their head and beat a Goliath-type opponent. So it’s easy to think this is what we should emulate to get our team fired up. Is this what the best coaches do? In my experience and observations, it is not. In fact, having done some of this early in my coaching days, it accomplishes just the opposite- it tightens the players up. Dave Cisar from Winning Youth Football discusses this in his book, stating:
‘I don’t go for much of the rah-rah stuff, and most of the very successful coaches I studied didn’t either’ 
Alan Stein from the Hardwood Hustle podcast had a recent episode where he discussed the 3 things to focus on in any pre-game, halftime, or post-game talk:
  1. Be concise, no fluff
  2. Be intentional and purposeful with your words
  3. Be honest
Check out this podcast episode, really good info:
A practical application that works well:
Pre-game/Halftime:
  • State your 2 or 3 goals for the game
  • Remind specific players/groups of a particular focus for having success in that game. ‘Offensive line remember to communicate as this coach loves to move around his defensive linemen to try to confuse you’
  • Have the players fist-bump their teammates and tell each other they believe in them and are playing for them, not themselves
Post-game:
  • Be extremely brief. Remember post-game is typically not a good time to teach. Kids minds are tired and they usually know what they did wrong or right. And usually when you go back and watch film you’re not as bad as you think in a loss, and you’re not as good as you think in a win.  Use gamefilm to truly analyze your performance and then make improvements in the next practice.
  • Let 1 or 2 teammates recognize each other and acknowledge someone who they saw give extraordinary effort or teamwork
  • Then… drop the mic. Let the kids go be kids.
I’ve heard differing opinions on whether to review how you did accomplishing your goals during your post-game talk. I do not. I do this at the start of my next practice. It is a great way to set the tone for your practice after you have had a chance to review the game on film. Then you can begin the practice by celebrating successes and talking about how you are going to fix shortcomings.
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Are you ready for this? – Being a great gameday coach Part 5 of 8

When I think back on my first few years coaching I realize that gamedays were not enjoyable, they were stressful. Why was this? The main reason was that I did not do a good job of doing as the boy scouts do:

‘Be Prepared’

This lack of preparation led to unease of what I would do if unexpected scenarios arose. And more importantly – it took away from my enjoyment of the game and my ability to help the players enjoy the game. Gameday is the time for players to enjoy the fruits of their labor, to showcase everything they have been working hard on in practice. By not adequately preparing, I was robbing the kids of my full engagement and enjoyment of the day.

Here are a few tips on things to prepare in advance of gameday to allow you to feel relaxed because you are ready for pretty much any scenario:

  • What is we’re up by a bunch – who do I want to get some extra playing time to? What if we’re down by a bunch – same question.
  • What is our plan if our base 1 or 2 plays are not working?
  • What if the referees make several costly big calls against you (they will!)?
  • You need a back-up plan for every player on the team- what if we lose our starting point guard or quarterback? You need to act calmly and prepared for every scenario – your team will respond in accordance with how you respond.
  • What if one of my coaches or I get sick or have an emergency? Who will take on that coach’s responsibilities?
  • Have backup equipment (i.e. mouthpieces, jerseys, etc.)
  • Bring a copy of league rules. And know them.

Don’t be the coach who is scrambling to figure out his starting line-up 5 minutes before the game. Be prepared. Then when scenarios occur that are beyond what you prepared for – THEY WILL- just relax, smile, and calmly make adjustments to your plan. Prepare to enjoy gameday.

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WYC 069 – Wrestling with Character – Robert Murphy talks developmental stages in the Passion First Academy

 

 Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 9.54.15 AM

Robert Murphy works in sales by day, and has started a booming wrestling program by night.  Robert was a collegiate champion in wrestling, and has combined his knowledge with his passion to help kids to form Wrestling With Character – a program that provides young athletes the opportunity to grow as individuals by experiencing life lessons through the martial art of wrestling in conjunction with their Six Pillars of Character Curriculum.

Website: wrestlingwithcharacter.com

Facebook: /wrestlingwithcharacter

Twitter: @wwc365

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

”Wrestling at young ages without training is like human cock-fighting. It’s child abuse.’ – Robert Murphy

Coaching your own kids

  • It’s really hard as a parent to watch your child struggle, cry, and have difficulties – but we have to allow them to go through this so they can grow.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • It’s not about me – ‘I’ve got to focus on developing the kids, not on satisfying my ego’

Developmental stages

  • Reference to previous guest episode Melody Shuman: link
  • ‘Wrestling at young ages without training is like human cock-fighting. It’s child abuse.’ This leads to huge turnover and burnout.
  • Need to change the environment of having kids go to a few practices then throwing them into tournaments

HUGE IDEA:

  • Passion First wrestling academy – based on developmental stages. Kids graduate from levels by testing out of levels. Instead of belt colors (like in Karate), they 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.
  • Each individual’s experience matters. The kids ‘in the middle’ in many sports are the ones who get left behind.

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Robert coached a kid who reminded him of himself in high school – a bit of a loose cannon. He didn’t try to change him overnight – just supported him and believed in him.
  • Don’t try to compare athletes – ‘I want Joe to be the best Joe’

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • 6 Pillars of Character:
    • Respect
    • Attitude
    • Passion
    • Integrity
    • Discipline
    • Honesty
  • Steel Sharpens Steel – We all need each other to make each other better

Best Stolen Idea

  • Coach Mike Denney – Taught Robert the importance of character and creating a family environment. He lived it too – re recruited Robert out of high school, and Robert chose to go to his rival – and yet every time he saw him he always came over and shook his hand and said hi.

Recommended Resources

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The best playbook ever – Being a great gameday coach Part 4 of 8

The search for the perfect playbook for their team consumes many coaches’ focus and energy. The irony is, the great coaches I have observed consistently have playbooks than can be boiled down in 2 simple ways:
1 – They have 2 or 3 base plays and a few variations off of these
​2 – They don’t change much throughout the season
Do you know what the best playbook is for your team? It’s probably the one you have right now, but probably should have less plays. Keep it simple. One of the best football minds I know is Joe Daniel, he shared this with me:
‘Simplify so kids build confidence-confident kids play fast-fast kids win games.’
During every season most likely there will be a game, or a stretch of games, where it feels like your playbook is not working. Here are a few Do’s and Dont’s to consider when evaluating how to fix it:

– Do this: Spend time perfecting your base plays in practice the next week.  Re-visit the fundamentals of what makes the base plays work and analyze any shortcomings.  Lots of reps vs. air with attention to the ‘little things’ that make your system work
– Do this: Seek input from an expert. Show video of a couple plays to your local high school coach and ask for his advice.
 Don’t do this: Panic/over-react. Think your system is flawed, scrap the whole thing, and implement a whole new system.
– Don’t do this: Think you need more plays to ‘trick’ the other team.  Often if things aren’t working you have too many plays.  And sometimes the other team is just really good.
Keeping things simple and sticking with a consistent plan allows you to focus on what the great coaches focus on: teaching kids to be great at fundamentals and to play games freely without overthinking complicated systems.
Next week we’ll look into gameday scenarios to be prepared for.
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WYC 068 – Player Development – Stuart Armstrong talks The Talent Equation

 

Stuart does player development for England Rugby by day and shares stuff with the world about talent development by night. Stuart worked in coaching golf for 10 years and invented a game called Try Golf, and over the past 4-5 years has been involved in developing talent pathways with many athletes, including Olympic athletes and the players at England Rugby.

Website: thetalentequation.co.uk

Facebook: /thetalentequation.co.uk

Twitter: @stu_arm

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘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.’ – Stuart Armstrong

Coaching your own kids

  • Stuart coaches his own 8 year-old son in field hockey. He also plays ‘house hockey’ with his 4 year-old daughter and son

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Use video to have someone record you while you’re coaching – then watch it back and make improvements on what you don’t like
  • Most gameday frustrations are really just showing your own shortcomings as to what you are teaching (or not teaching) during practice

Talent development

  • 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. So the players shouldn’t think everything is easy and fun – it should be a little frustrating and uncomfortable.
  • 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
  • Mark Upton and Al Smith – My Fastest Mile – Thought leaders on Task Design
  • Is your coaching on TARGET?:
    • Task Design
    • Autonomy
    • Repeatability – Repetition without repetition
    • Grouping
    • Engagement
    • Time
  • Implicit Learning – False praise and spoon-feeding kids actually creates a fixed mindset in them.  Create the task, then say very little – and observe their attempt to solve the problem, and observe what choices they make, then allow them through a questioning approach subsequent to the activity to feed back to you what they are experiencing, then allow them to solve problems. Link: Tharp-Gallimore paper on verbal cues

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • How do you know if learning is taking place? – Teaching Games for Understanding founder Rob Thorpe: ‘It’s great now that kids are playing games instead of doing drills, the problem is if all they are doing is playing games- it’s not a great deal better.’ You have to be doing games in a certain way to create positive learning experiences.  One element of this – is to create games that create pressure, or scenarios that have cognitive stress that replicate the competitive environment. One of the ways to do this – is ritual humiliation: i.e. if you lose this competition the winning team will get to choose the song the losing team has to sing.

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Amanda Visek’s research on 81 Fun Maps – top of the list is team dynamics.
  • First priority for team dynamics is to get them aligned to a set of behaviors. Establish:
    • Unacceptables – We do not accept this behavior
    • Acceptables – This is what we are looking for
    • Exceptionals – This is what we are striving for
  • The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lensioni

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Stuart coached a young man who he challenged to really start to think through the game and challenge himself.

Sports specialization

  • Although generally specializing at a young age is not good -there are some young athletes whose have  the ‘rage to master.’ i.e. – Rory McIlroy was obsessed with golf and to have forced him to play other sports probably didn’t make sense for him.

Concussions

  • Rugby players he coaches have a graduated return to play – that is 21 days!

Parting Advice

  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – be creative, try out some new games. Move away from ‘cone-pawn’ – we don’t want to see fields full of cones and kids following cones.

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WYC 067 – Leadership Development – Adam Bradley talks Lead ‘Em Up

 hardwood hustle pic

Adam is an expert in leadership & character development speaking and training coaches all over the country. He is the founder of Leademup – Lead ‘Em Up is a turn-key sports leadership and character program designed to equip coaches with the tools to implement a dynamic leadership program. They provide coaches the season-long curriculum and teaching materials to lead their team every week through a powerful 30-minute session. The Lead ‘Em Up curriculum includes teaching lessons, engaging team assignments, week-long player exercises and fun interactive game dynamics from their friends at Game On Nation.

Adam also currently serves as a Leadership Coach for various sports teams in the Baltimore/Washington area, and is the co-host of the nationally recognized Hardwood Hustle podcast.

Leademup

Website: leademup.com

Facebook: /LeadEmUp

Twitter: @Lead_Em_Up

Hardwood Hustle Podcast

Website: hardwoodhustle.com

Facebook: /HardwoodHustle

Twitter: @Hardwood_Hustle

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘The drug of choice amongst the youth of today is popularity’ – Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California

Hardwood Hustle Podcast

  • Website: hardwoodhustle.com
  • Designed for players, coaches, and parents
  • Episodes are either basketball focused or hustle related
  • New episodes every Monday and Thursday

Character development

  • Adam teaches kids that being cool and being a leader don’t have to be either/or, you can do both
  • Many kids would rather be cool than be great, but they don’t realize that it’s when they become great that they become cool
  • Think about the word the kids will call each other: ‘Try-hard.’  Why is that a bad thing?

Lead ‘Em Up

  • Website: leademup.com
  • Adam partnered with Game On to gamify his leadership curriculum so that he can really engage the kids and get them excited to learn how to be leaders. Game On’s created an acronym for gaming, people are drawn to games because of the MILE: Mystery, Incentive, Laughter, Empowerment.  During the games – they often forget to try acting cool.
  • Lead Em Up has developed a plug-and-play curriculum you can use with your teams – It’s a 12 week program with a new theme each week to be done in a 30 minute session with your team.

Parting Advice

  • The first thing you have to evaluate as a coach – is how much you really care

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WYC 066 – Concussion – Emily Cohen and Janis Meredith talk the movie ‘Concussion’ and Roundtable on how it relates to youth football and other youth sports

          Janis

What does the movie Concussion mean to youth sports coaches and parents? Listen in as youth sports’ thought leaders Emily Cohen from Teamsnap and Janis Meredith from JBMThinks.com join Craig in a roundtable discussion on the movie and its implications to youth sports.

Emily:

Website: www.teamsnap.com/community/podcast

Twitter: @emilygcohen

Janis:

Website: jbmthinks.com

Twitter: @jbmthinks

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Links mentioned:

The Knockout Project – theknockoutproject.org

Concussion App – Concussion Quick Check by the American Academy of Neurology

Other concussion links:

American Journal of Sports Medicine: Epidemiology of Sports-Related Concussion in NCAA Athletes From 2009-2010 to 2013-2014. Link to free abstract: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26330572

Concussion rate per 10,000 athletic exposures:

Boys’ wrestling 10.92
Boys’ ice hockey 7.91
Girls’ ice hockey 7.52
Boys’ football 6.71
Girl’s soccer 6.31
Girls’ basketball 5.95
Girls’ lacrosse 5.21
Girls’ field hockey 4.02
Boys’ basketball 3.89
Girls’ volleyball 3.57

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WYC 065 – Youth Football – Jason Hahnstadt talks Getting Players to Commit to Each Other


What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Jason Hahnstadt shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Jason Hahnstadt is the creator of The Pro Style Spread Offense website, blog and podcasts. He has been a passionate football coach since 1999, and in 2014, he began writing about offensive football strategy. In this time, he has coached in many different programs and have seen many different styles of offensive football. From his experiences, he created a complete offensive system called the Pro Style Spread Offense. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. It is just everything he knows that really works. It is simple to understand and can be installed with any level of team. He has created an eClinic with all the details on how to install this system with your team.

Website: prostylespreadoffense.com

Facebook: /prostylespreadoffense

Twitter: @prostylespread

Listen Now:

 

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘Hey Joe, go Joe, Attaway’ – Coach Hahnstadt

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Coach shares a story of making a tough decision to play a junior over a senior, then 2 days later the junior got hurt. The lesson he learned was to make playing decisions more on a week-by-week basis rather than permanent.
  • A-ha moment – Learned from Andy Lambert at Trinity – You can always control your attitude.
  • A-ha moment – Learned from Frosty Westering, Pacific Lutheran University coach – If you focus on winning, it can be a lose-lose situation.  When you win, you become overconfident therefore you cannot achieve your potential; when you lose, you become discouraged and again cannot achieve your potential.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Be honest, and always positive when teaching. And get buy-in that they agree when something needs to be improved.
  • Fun games:
    • Fox and hound – Hounds have the football, foxes chase them, if fox tags you, you have to give them football
    • Relay races
    • Four-corner tag – All the kids start in a corner and run 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.
  • Steps – You cannot progress to the next step until they master the current step. Walk through it, then run through it, then add competition, then add the whole team.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • The key is to get them to focus on the process not the outcome
  • Practice the key situations.  Practice is the key to building confidence

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Establish routines and processes and hold high expectations
  • Couple of key rules: Pay attention, don’t use foul language, treat others with respect
  • Recognition – They bring all the levels together and will recognize kids who did something special.  They also have sessions where the team recognizes fellow teammates.  Part of the process is the player who is recognized has to ‘accept’ the compliment and say thank you.  Then the team affirms the compliment ‘Hey Joe, go Joe, Attaway’, then 3 claps.

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Jason coached a kid who got in some off-field trouble.  Jason kept pouring into the kid and really helped guide him out of trouble.

The One that Got Away

  • Jason’s biggest regrets from games is as a player – he let the fear of failure motivate him, and he regrets that approach

Best Stolen Idea

HUGE IDEA

  • 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.

ProStyleSpreadOffense.com

  • Website: prostylespreadoffense.com
  • Blog, and eClinic with all the details on how to install this system with your team – it works at all levels!
  • Also has a bubble screen package
  • Includes Champions Manifesto by Scotty Kessler

Parting Advice

  • Your planning and preparation is everything.  Have a minute-by-minute practice plan and be prepared for things going wrong.

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WYC 064 – Martial Arts World Champion – Melody Shuman talks Developmental Stages by Age


What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Melody Shuman shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Melody Shuman is a martial arts world champion. She started and ran a successful chain of martial arts schools, then re-invented her entire business and has created a booming business teaching martial arts, and teaching others how to start their own schools.

Website: skillzconnect.com; Coming soon: skillzworldwide.com

Facebook: /MelodyShumanPage

Twitter: @mastermelody

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘Have every student become a better version of themselves’ – Melody Shuman

The evolution of martial art schools

  • Most martial art programs were developed for adult males. Melody has studied teaching and designed her schools to teach males and females at the appropriate age level.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Identify 7 or 8 skills appropriate for their age:
    • Pre-schoolers – Kicking, punching, blocking, crawling, hopping, running, catching
    • Kindergarten/1st-grade: Focus, teamwork, control their body, memory, balance, discipline, fitness, coordination
  • Then focus on one of these in each practice.  Then they have a test at the end of the practice, and if they pass they get their ‘stripe’ for that skill. To earn

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Creating age-appropriate challenges is the key
  • Goldilocks concept – Not too hot, not too cold.  Create just the right level of challenge that is a slight challenge, but attainable.
  • Catch kids having a great attitude during practices – and prop them up and let them know that that attitude is great and what is going to make him/her succeed

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • #1 rule – Mutual respect amongst students/teachers and each other
  • Our goal: ‘Have every student become a better version of themselves’

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • One kid Melody coached would get nervous and cry when in pressure situations.  Melody and her team kept supporting him, and it slowly got better and better over time.  Melody emphasized: ‘You’re measured best by how you carry yourself under pressure.’  When this boy took his first black-belt test – he was the first student she ever had achieve a perfect score.  He has gone on to win national level competitions.

The One that Got Away

  • Melody was competing in nationals as a 21 year-old.  She made it to the championship round, and they went to extra-time. Melody got cocky and spit out her mouthpiece – her competitor knocked out 2 of her teeth and chipped 5 others.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Vince Lombardi: ‘The greatest accomplishment is not in never failing but in rising again after falling’

Skillz Connect

  • Website: skillzconnect.com
  • They license out the children’s curriculums they have created.  1,000’s of drills, planners
  • Currently martial arts, they are expanding to other sports and will soon launch at skillzworldwide.com

Parting Advice

  • Focus on the athlete’s mind.  When creating drills – make them age appropriate and make them competitive and fun.
  • Recommended reading: The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Siegel

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WYC 063 – Youth Soccer – Willie Cromack talks creating Better People, Better Players via ‘Go Play Better’

 Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.21.49 AM

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Willie Cromack shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Cromack is a former collegiate soccer player who left the game after college to run the family bike shop. During his time at the shop he became heavily involved in charity bike rides, raising money and awareness for everything from cancer to education to the homeless. Cromack noticed something about the participants in his charity rides. They were motivated by a higher purpose that gave them the energy and motivation to complete daunting rides. They focused on a purpose much higher than winning the race, such as raising money by completing a feat of endurance and perseverance. Most importantly, simply by completing their goal, they won! Then Cromack thought “why can’t we do this with my youth soccer team?” Thus Play Better was born.

Play Better is an online giving platform that can be run through a simple phone app. Teams create a team page that handles all the administration of charitable receipts, collects reward donations and allows supporters to leave comments or compliments for players or the team. As Cromack says, “It’s like a benevolent team Facebook page!”

website: goplaybetter.com – Watch the 3 minute video on the homepage to hear what it’s all about!

Twitter: @goplaybetter & @willcromack

Facebook: /goplaybetter

Featured article on Changing the Game Project: changingthegameproject.com/a-higher-purpose-than-winning/

Listen Now:

 

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Quote

‘Who is going to be brave enough to try this new move during the game this week?’

Coaching your own kids

  • Boys are very different than girls.  Boys tend to be more aggressive, girls have the tendency to be more passive and be just as happy passing the ball.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Teaching is complicated.  You have to break things down to the simplest form and start with the basics.
  • Don’t coach for the result, instead coach to get the kids better.  ‘It was all about me early on.  Then I realized it was all about the kids.’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Simplicity is key
  • Skill acquisition is what keeps kids coming back – the thought they are getting better.  And sports has the quickest feedback loop to whether the kids are learning and improving.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Set goals to try a new move during a game that you have been working on in practice: ‘Who is going to be brave enough to try this new move during the game this week?’
  • Your demeanor and body language is more important than anything you say.  If you look relaxed like you could be sitting in a lounge chair on the sidelines – the kids pick up on that.

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Culture – The one word we are going to define our team with is ‘Brave’
  • Coach your parents on what you are asking the kids to do – so they aren’t freaking out and telling the kids to do something different than you are teaching them

The One that Got Away

  • Coach Cromack shares a story of a very talented 11 year-old boys team getting whipped the day after Halloween – it was a reminder to him that they are just kids, don’t take it too seriously

Best Stolen Idea

  • ‘Better people, better players.’

Recommended resources

Go Play Better – HUGE IDEA #2

  • website: goplaybetter.com – Watch the 3 minute video on the homepage to hear what it’s all about!
  • It’s a way to replace win-at-all-cost attitudes with creating grateful attitudes and working for a cause bigger-than-themselves
  • You set a lofty goal (make 100 passes in the game), then instead of rewarding with ice-cream or a treat – they reward with donations to a charitable cause

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WYC 062 – Youth Soccer – Reed Maltbie asks Whats your Echo: Coaching Beyond the Game

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Reed Maltbie shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Coach Reed experienced his own successful soccer career, including being a member of the 1992 Davidson College Final Four team. That dream season ended on their home field, in North Carolina, with a heartbreaking overtime loss to University of San Diego. As sad as it was, the experience left Reed with a deep understanding of what it takes to be a champion. At a school like Davidson, though, he also came to realize the fine balance between champions in the game and champions beyond the game. Soccer was a vehicle to becoming a better person.

Coach Reed turned down the opportunity to continue his career and stepped away from soccer in 1997 to focus on advancing his academic studies of sport, communication, and education. Since 1997 he has gone on to attain two Master’s Degrees. One degree is in sport psychology from Miami University. The other is in Education from the College of Mount St. Joseph. Just as in soccer, Reed excelled in the classroom, developing research that delved into the relationships between mental imagery and success and words and performance. He was highly respected by his peers for his assertions regarding the communication of coaches. He has had multiple papers published and has presented at several academic conferences.

Coach Reed combines his experiences as a player and coach, with his research as an academician to continually develop new methods and styles of coaching youth athletes. One thing continues to stand out to Coach Reed: the words coaches use are far more important than any skill they teach.

He is now the Executive Director of the STARS soccer club in Cincinnati, a TEDx speaker, and most recently joined the Changing the Game Project staff.

Twitter: @Coach_Reed

Facebook: /coachreed

website: coachreed.com

TEDx talk: http://youtu.be/EhRXQs0K6ls

Listen Now:

 

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘What’s your Echo? Coach beyond the game’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Being a coach is all about evolving
  • When young, Coach Reed was very aggressive, focused on winning
  • A-ha moment – Reed’s son started disparaging the referees while watching a game on TV, and Reed realized he was just imitating his Dad

Coaching your own kids

  • It’s a great blessing to spend time with your kids and coach them, but it comes with challenges
  • Enjoy the time, then pass them along when it’s time for someone else to coach them

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Kids are very literal – ‘Grab some grass’ – they all grabbed grass and handed it to coach
  • Kids hang on every word you say – they will mirror your actions
  • Set up a proper classroom environment

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Scaffolding – Break down everything into chunks
    • 4T Model – Technical, Topic, Tactical, Tie-in
  • Words echo – the words you use when coaching kids matter – be careful choosing what words you use

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Begin by reducing stress by reducing constraints:
    • Lots of physical space
    • No defense or few defenders to gain confidence first
    • Stress can be good – but only if it’s manageable because they have had success and know they can overcome it
  • Turn the confidence internal so that they are doing it for themselves.  Let them ask question and begin to solve the game themselves, so they get excited about solving the problem.  Seek the joy- help them find the things they love and keep doing it.
  • Give them a challenge, and see if one of the players can figure it out on their own.  If one does – let him/her show the team.  If not, give them a hint and let them keep trying.

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

Discipline

  • It’s all about building a culture.  Instead of calling them rules – have the team create ‘Habits of excellence’

Rewards

  • Kids need constant feedback.  Not just meaningless praise.  Specific positive feedback that is something they can control.
  • Reward the actions you want to see, not just the goal-scorer.  If a defensive player made a good stop and then passed the ball to the goal-scorer – make sure to acknowledge the defensive player and celebrate his great play too, not just the goal-scorer.

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Reed was struggling with how the system was only helping the top 1% athletes, when he went to a speech by one of his players who talked about how he taught that kid integrity, brotherhood, teamwork, etc.  It really helped Reed realize he was doing the right things for all the kids.

The One that Got Away

  • Coach Reed had a conflict with a league director who mandated that Reed coach the players in a way that the director wanted to build up their own development academy, but didn’t make sense for the team.  Reed coached one game in the way the director wanted, and it went horrible.  Reed regrets not standing up to the director and letting his team down.

Coachreed.com & TEDx talk

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WYC 061 – Mental Toughness – James Leath and Will Drumright talk Sports Psychology at the AASP

 

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology National meeting was a few weeks ago – so for Episode 61 we invited 2 sports psychology guys who attended to share with us some lessons learned.

James Leath has been a WYC guest previously in episodes 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 work 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.

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

Twitter: @jamesleath; @wcdrummy15

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

What was the biggest ‘a-ha’ moment you had during the meeting?

James

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Teach the human, not the athlete. Children are not mini-adults, they are children.  If you don’t first build a relationship – then the gameplan you develop doesn’t matter.  Tim Elmore quote from Generation iY book: ‘Great teachers build a relationship so strong that it can bear the weight of truth.’ If they understand that you have their best interest in mind, they will respond to and listen to coaching and constructive criticism.
  • Love.  What do you love about your sport? And as a coach I need to love my players for who they are, not for them to please me.

Will

  • The athlete is a human first.
  • Speak to athletes in a way that increases their intrinsic motivation

Were there any discussions on how sports psychology has changed over the past 10-15 years as our society and our society’s approach to youth sports is very different today vs. 10-15 years ago?

Will

HUGE IDEA #2

  • The importance of providing resources to athletes so they can take care of themselves as individuals outside of athletics.
  • Quote: ‘Sport doesn’t inherently build character, it just has the opportunity to do so.’- Dr. Greg Dale, Duke University
  • Is your message slippery or sticky?  Your message is only effective if it resonates with your athletes.

James

  • ‘Culture eats strategy for lunch’ – Dr. Greg Dale, Duke University. One way to create culture – address the elephants in the room.
  • You can’t coach the kids today the way you were coached growing up.  There are too many other options and they will quit.

Learn any new routines for brushing-off mistakes?

Will

  • Develop a flushing routine. It has to be unique, something that is meaningful to the individual athlete.
  • Take a centering breath.

James

  • It’s all about giving meaning to things. Shared terminology. James has worked out a ‘word’ that has meaning with his wife – if he says ‘I’m in a folder’ – it means ‘Hey honey, I love you, so great to hear from you, I can’t talk right now because I’m in the middle of something, I’ll call you as soon as I can.’
  • ‘Great cultures have a ton of inside jokes’

What’s the best story or analogy you heard?

James

  • Yoda on the back of Luke Skywalker – Justin Su’a.  Coaches who fail are the ones who want the spotlight – instead coaches should want to have their students rise up and be stronger than their teacher.

Will

  • Matts Stutzman – Holds world records for longest archery shot – and he was born without arms – ‘How do you become the best.  Period.  No excuses.’  His parents didn’t modify anything for him, they allowed him to struggle.  And that’s what made him a champion.  Failure is a key part of learning!

Hear any out-of-the-box approaches that you thought might have some validity?

Will

  • Dr. Greg Dale, Duke University – ‘Are you effective when you are listening to 3 things at the same time?’ – Realize as a parent you are 1 of 3 voices the kids are hearing – so think about if you need to say anything while the athlete is playing a game
  • Coaches need to spend more time on warm-ups. Spend time addressing all the different aspects of the game – the technical, the tactical, the mental.

James

  • Do you say ‘My team’ or do you say ‘Our team’?  Parents and coaches – give the experience back to the kids -it’s not about you.  Great John O’Sullivan post about this:

 

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WYC 060 – Youth Soccer – Creed Larrucea talks The only rule you need and PCA’s ELM tree of success

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Creed Larrucea shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Creed is a physical therapist in Sacramento, California by day, and a stud youth soccer coach by night.  He coaches youth teams and the local high school team. He is married and has 2 daughters ages 12 and 10.

Listen Now:

 

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out’ – John Wooden

Coaching your own kids

  • The first key is open communication – ask your kids – ‘Do you want me to coach your team?’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Inaction – could have started 2 teams since he had great demand for his team – but he didn’t have the confidence that he could pull it off  (he since has done this.)

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Patience and understanding the age-level you are at are key
  • Say less, have them do more – make it fun and have ‘hidden’ teaching in there
  • Soccer shooting drills:
    • Knockout
    • Bring out different style balls – tennis ball, big huge ball

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Positive Coaching Alliance’s ELM tree of success:
    • Effort – is one of the main things you can control
    • Learning – is what we’re here for
    • Mistakes – are normal and part of growth

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

Discipline

HUGE IDEA #1

  • One rule: ‘Don’t let your teammates down’ – this one universal rule can apply to almost any situation
  • Have fun games right at the beginning of practice – this is a great way to encourage kids to get to practice on time

Rewards

  • Set team goals

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Coach Creed gives effort scores – scores based according to their effort capability

The One that Got Away

  • Writing down mistakes is one of the best ways to not let history repeat itself
  • Creed had one girl on his team who had a family member able to attend one of her games for the first time – so he tried to get her extra opportunities – but he didn’t really put her in the best position to succeed and probably added pressure to her.

Best Stolen Idea

When teaching skills – 3 steps:

  1. Show how to do it
  2. Let them practice with slight opposition
  3. Let them practice in game-type setting

Using this you can see progress every practice, not just at the end of the year

Best Quote/Book

  • Quote: ‘Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out’ – John Wooden
  • Book: The Double Goal Coach – Jim Thompson from Positive Coaching Alliance

Parting Advice

  • Make sure you’re winning twice

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WYC 059 – Youth Basketball – Drew Maddux talks Manhood Mondays at CPA and Elite Hoops Basketball

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Drew Maddux shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Drew Maddux is the Head Coach at Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) in Nashville. Maddux has a combined record of 240-44, while being ranked in the Top 10 each of those seasons. In 2008 and 2009, Maddux lead his team to the Region 5AA Championship. Maddux has acquired many coaching accomplishments being named the NBCA Coach of the Year in 2008, 2011-2012 District 10-AA Coach of the Year, 2012 Tennessean Coach of the Year, and 2012 Nashville Civitan Coach of the Year. In the 2011-2012 season, he lead to Lions to their first ever State Championship and finished the season an impressive 37-2. In 2012-13, Maddux lead the Lions to another State Championship with another 37-2 record. 2013-14 was yet another great season for Maddux and his program as the posted a record of 34-3 and went to the Final Four Drew has coached 4 Mr. Basketball award winners, 19 players that received college scholarships, and 1 NBA first round draft pick.

From 1994-1998, Maddux was a four year starter at Vanderbilt University where he scored an impressive 1689 points in his career, good for 11th all-time at Vandy. There he received several individual awards including All-SEC Freshman, USA Olympic Festival Team, First Team All-SEC, and Honorable Mention All-American honors. Off the court Maddux was just as impressive being an Academic All-SEC member as well as being recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America in 1998. During his junior year, Maddux averaged a team best 16.8 points 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game as he lead his team to the NCAA Tournament.

Drew Maddux first started working with Elite Hoops in 2009 as a Camp Co-Director. Since then, Maddux has been instrumental in growing the Nashville market and in 2014, he will direct 6 NIKE Basketball Camps with over 600 players in attendance.

Twitter: @DrewMaddux; @EliteHoops

Facebook: /EliteHoops

Instagram: /elitehoops

Website: elitehoopsbasketball.com

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘We were running the program with a fear-based approach instead of a freedom-based approach.’

Career decisions

  • Drew had the opportunity to lead a large sales organization, but felt the calling to leave the business world and become a full-time coach

Identity being tied to athletic performance

  • As an athlete growing up, Drew felt he was only as good as his last sports performance
  • ‘My total mission in coaching is to release that identity-driven performance bug out of the lives of our kids and out of their hearts, and that they would understand and be able to perform with freedom and be able to experience all that they have been provided with.’

Joe Ehrmann’s 3 big lies being told to our kids

Coach Maddux teaches the boys he coaches about the 3 big myths/lies being taught about masculinity:

  1. Ballfield – a man’s worth is based on his athletic performance
  2. Bedroom – a man’s worth is based on his sexual conquests
  3. Boardroom – a man’s worth is based on his business successes

Coach Maddux contrasts these myths by teaching the real truths about what being a man is all about:

  1. Man was built to be in relationships with God, themselves, and others
  2. Man was built to be part of a cause that is bigger than themselves

To see more details about this see here: winningyouthcoaching.com/3-big-lies-2-truths/

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • In Drew’s early years he remembers still being too focused on outcomes and placing his worth on the team’s win/loss record
  • ‘We were running the program with a fear-based approach instead of a freedom-based approach.’

Creating a Winning Culture

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Jim Collins book – Good to Great
  • Every aspect of your program becomes about excellence – Coach Maddux began an early morning regiment with his coaching staff
  • Jon Gordon – The Energy Bus – Get the energy vampires off the bus and surround yourselves with energy-givers and life-givers
  • 4 Word Mission statement: ‘Christ-centered, Others focused.’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • ‘It’s not what I know, it’s what the kids know.’ So keep it simple. Be great at 1 or 2 things instead of trying to be great at a bunch of things.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Boundaried Freedom – Create the culture and boundaries – and then give them the freedom to go make plays

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

Discipline

  • Life happens in the gray – every kid we serve have unique situations and unique families
  • Long-term transformation only happens when you create the right habits
  • Shared sacrifice with shared accountability

HUGE IDEA #2

Teambuilding

  • Coach Maddux does not do cuts – if you want to be on the team – you are
  • Coach has a goal to call every kid’s name to them at some point of every practice
  • During circle time they’ll call out a few of their leaders to speak a blessing about another player on the team.  This creates the culture built on loving each other, complimenting each other, encouraging each other.
  • Manhood Mondays – every Monday during the season they have different coaches and players create a shield with 4 parts to share with the team:
    1. Tell a childhood story that defined them
    2. Tell a recent story that defines them
    3. How does the public view them
    4. Who their private self is

Winning

  • Excellence and the pursuit of greatness should be a goal.  The scoreboard doesn’t define this.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Billy Donnovan, former Florida Gators and current Oklahoma City Thunder coach, the way he sets up his practices and team to be great passing teams.

Best Book

The One that Got Away

  • Drew lost his last game his senior year for the state championship in overtime
  • Drew lost a game at Vanderbilt to Kentucky at the buzzer
  • Lessons learned: to keep the game in context, the sun does come up the next day

Elite Hoops Basketball

  • Located in the Southeast – elitehoopsbasketball.com
  • Teaches basketball skills and life skills – to live an elite life
  • 3-on-3 leagues, camps

Parting Advice

  • ‘Pick up the trash’ – Use the opportunities given to leave people, places, and things better than we found them

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WYC 058 – Youth Softball – Valeri Garcia talks Growth Mindset and Starting at ground zero

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Valeri Garcia shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Garcia, a Program Advisor at UC Davis’s Student Academic Success Center, has known since about age eight that she wanted to coach. At UC Davis, Garcia conducts workshops based on Mindset, the book by Stanford University Psychology Professor and PCA National Advisory Board Member Carol Dweck, which emphasizes individual growth through effort, rather than reliance upon talent.  Valeri was honored with the Positive Coaches Alliance Double-Goal Coach Award in 2013.

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Quote

‘Stop trying to coach at a pre-college level – coach them at the level that they are right now.’

Coaching your own kids

  • Utilizing the concepts from Carol Dweck’s book ‘Mindset’ has been big help – her girls know she will focus on their effort rather than be critical of their results
  • A big compliment is she has had parents who don’t know she has a daughter on the team

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Valeri wishes she had started teaching the value of pursuing greatness and using their skills to win at a little earlier age – she was focused on effort, which was great, but she says she might have instilled a little more of the competitive part of the game a little earlier for her 12 year-olds

Travel Sports

  • Valeri is struggling with what to do with her daughter who is becoming good enough to play for some higher level travel teams, but Valeri is concerned with the coaching mindset and philosophy on those teams.  Common struggle – the most important thing is to do the research and understand the philosophy of the organization and coach before signing up!

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • To encourage aggressiveness – she rewarded them with effort points
  • Always start with ground zero: you have to know where your athletes are with regards to knowledge – what do they know and what do they not know.  You have to meet them where they are.
  • HUGE IDEA #1: Great way to make sure you are teaching at their level: Try to teach one your assistant coaches to do a skill with their off hand: i.e. If they are right-handed try to teach them to throw left-handed.  This forces you to break down the skill into it’s most elemental pieces.  Then add in variables a little bit at a time.

HUGE IDEA #2: FUN GAMES THAT TEACH SKILLS:

  • 1 – 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 girls to play in pressure situations.
  • 2 – 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.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Positive Coaching Alliance: ELM tree – Effort, Learning, Mistakes
  • Brush-off routines: One effective way to help kids brush off mistakes is for teammates to pick each other up: ‘I’m ready, are you ready?’

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Valeri sometimes gives homework assignments – involving things like John Wooden’s pyramid of success
  • Transferrable skills – Valeri understands and teaches the importance of teaching kids that being on this team will teach as much about life as it will about sports

The One that Got Away

  • Any game where the team does not play up to their potential
  • They had one game where they had the chance to beat a team that was much better than them, and it slipped away.  She wishes she had told them more – during the game – of how proud she was of them.

Parting Advice

3 questions to ask yourself at the end of the season:

  1. Did they learn something?
  2. Did they have fun?
  3. Do they want to come back?

‘Stop trying to coach at a pre-college level – coach them at the level that they are right now.’

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WYC 057 – Youth Hockey – Warren Nye talks Mental Fitness and Mind over Sport

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Warren Nye shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Warren has been coaching youth sports for over 30 years, mostly hockey teams from the youth level through junior national teams in which he has won the national championship in Canada.  Coach Nye is a student of the mental aspect of the game, and over the last few years he has launched ‘Mind over Sport’- which is a passion of Coach Nye’s to work with people and companies as their peak performance life coach. Warren lives in Ontario, Canada, with his wife and 2 teenage children.

Website: coachingmindoversport.com

Website: ultimatehockeysource.com

Facebook: /warren.nye.73

Twitter: @coachnye

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Quote

‘Success is a peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction, in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.’ – John Wooden

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Warren admits to thinking he knew it all when he first started coaching
  • He also shares a story about trying to fire up his team in the locker room so he kicked a garbage can and it accidentally hit a kid in the head.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • You have to gain the kids’ trust before they will buy into what you are teaching them.  Really listen to them.
  • Start practices with a fun game – it helps get the blood flowing and gets their mind in the game.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Practice and reps are key.  Coach Nye wrote a blog about the 5 Habits of a Successful Coach – and point #2 deals with performance practice: ultimatehockeysource.com/2015/09/29/the-5-habits-of-a-successful-coach/
  • Visualization – if they are thinking about mistakes – have them picture a time or game when they were  doing really well – and have them keep replaying these times/games in their mind.
  • The process to excellence – If a kid is beating himself up over mistakes – it’s usually a symptom of bigger problems – and it can’t be solved overnight.  But pour into the kid and be a positive role model in their life by truly caring.

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Mental fitness – It starts with repeating positive self-talk.  But the core is action. ‘I can do it’ is great – but you have to define the actions and repeat them.

Culture – Creating a Winning Attitude

  • Discipline – Establish the culture up front with the players and parents.

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Lay out a game plan for the 1st half of the season and the 2nd half of the season to set expectations and create the vision of where this team is going.

 

  • Don’t overlook anything that needs corrected – correct it immediately.
  • Rewards – The kids vote after each game to nominate player of the game
  • Encourage the kids to carry forward their success at this sport towards some other activity they are passionate about (this requires for you to get to know them and other interests they have)

The One that Got Away

  • Coach Nye shared a story about one team he was involved with who changed their identity going into final tournament of the year – and how it ended up preventing them from winning the tourney.

Leadership Quotes

  • ‘Success is a peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction, in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.’ – John Wooden
  • ‘If your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, then you can achieve it’

Mind over Sport

  • Peak performance life coach
  • Coaches athletes and their parents, and businessmen, and performers.  Live and over Skype.
  • Website: coachingmindoversport.com

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WYC 056 – Sport Sampling – Steve Boyle talks Life is 2 short 4 just 1 sport

  

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Steve Boyle shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Steve is a former Division 1 basketball player (Manhattan College). In NYC and Seattle, WA, he coached soccer, basketball, track and field and x-country. In Seattle, he founded Boyle’s Cougar Hoop Camp for Girls, the largest all-girls camp in the state of Washington at the time. He was a school counselor at Hall High School in West Hartford for 15 years where he has coached Varsity basketball, track and field, freshman and JV soccer. He is currently a counselor at King Philip Middle School, coaches youth basketball, assists with track and field at Hall High and is Partner at the Crossover Consulting Group.

Steve and his wife Kerry started their first camp in 2008, and only 4 summers later, the camp was declared “Best Summer Camp” in Hartford Magazine’s Readers Poll and their programs have received tremendous positive coverage from area media outlets. Now over 1000 kids have come to recognize that “Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport” and kids from throughout the U.S. and beyond are attending their programs.

Website: 241Sports.com

Facebook: /241SportsLLC

Twitter: @241Sports

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Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

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‘It’s perfectly OK to let kids know that winning is an expected outcome of competition.  The problem becomes when we focus too much on the value of the win as opposed to the value of the experience.’

Coaching your own Kids

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Talk about the elephant in the room – Don’t work too hard to treat your own kid as a coach – it’s good to be truthful and authentic in front of the team and treat your own kid from a parenting point of view sometimes.  Don’t be over the top – but kids enjoy and learn from watching you enjoy spending time with your child.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Steve shares a great story about his team having to help rescue a man from the river – and how he fainted afterwards.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Teaching is 85% about relationships.  Connect with the kid first – then you just need to stay one step ahead of them regarding the technical skill teaching.
  • Consider the cross-over effect.  Know what sports kids have played then use their knowledge from the other sport to teach.
  • Make all drills competitive – they are not fun if they are not.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Visualization – Your mindset is a choice. ‘Look at everything as an opportunity to enjoy the moment and have no regrets.’

Culture – Creating a Winning Attitude

  • Discipline – First impressions are really important.  Don’t have a policy that says ‘you can only miss 2 practices’ – that sets up the expectation that it is OK to miss 2 practices.  Coach doesn’t expect to have any discipline issues, so predominantly – he doesn’t.  It’s not allowed.
  • Coach Boyle doesn’t use running as a punishment – that doesn’t mean they don’t run gassers- but if they do it’s because they need to be in great shape.
  • Rewards – Coach starts every practice in a circle – and he shares about his day, and they share about their day.  This allows everyone to get a pulse for where everyone’s mentality is that day.

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Coach asks every kid to write him a letter after each season – evaluating their experience on the team, and his performance.  He reads and keeps them all and uses the feedback to improve

Connecting with Kids

  • Influence the influencers.  One of Steve’s former players is now a Major in the army – and he wrote to Steve telling him that many of the leadership skills he uses with his men in the army are skills he learned from watching how Steve coached.

Winning

HUGE IDEA #3

  • Sports games are not fun without a winner and a loser.  But if you hear ‘it’s too competitive, it’s not fun’ – but the ‘too competitive’ part comes from the projection of the adult onto the kids.  It’s perfectly OK to let kids know that winning is an expected outcome of competition.  The problem becomes when we focus too much on the value of the win as opposed to the value of the experience.
  • Focus on the process, not the winning.

The One that Got Away

  • Steve remembers his last high school basketball team where another team took away the 2 best scorers on his team, and he wasn’t really prepared to be the primary scorer so he didn’t shoot very well.  Lesson – always be prepared to step up.

Best Stolen idea

  • The power of the assistant coaches.  Especially how much they can care for players – Steve had several assistant coaches when he played college ball that really cared for him and his teammates and Steve saw the power in that.

2-4-1 Sports

  • Every organization agrees – kids should be playing more than one sport
  • Recognized by the Aspen Institute’s Project Play as 1 of 8 model programs in the U.S.
  • Sport sampling – they have found that if a kid can try a sport, without having to commit to an entire season – they often find new sports they really enjoy that they might not have tried otherwise.
  • Currently in Connecticut, starting programs in Denver and Pasadena.

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WYC 055 – Youth Soccer – Jill Kochanek talks Communicating without Talking and Soccer Without Borders

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Jill Kochanek shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Jill has been a teacher and girls soccer coach at Oldfields School in Baltimore for 3 years. She was 1 of 25 award winners for the Positive Coaches Alliance Double-Goal Coach Award for 2015. Jill has been involved with and traveled to Nicaragua with the ‘Soccer without Borders’ program.  Jill also just completed her first Ironman Triathlon.

She is now studying for her PHD in Sports Psychology at the University of Minnesota.

 

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‘The perfect time to build confidence is in practice’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Coming from very competitive college sports as an athlete, it was a big adjustment to coach girls who were just learning the game.  But it was a good chance to reassess the goals for the team and set priorities that really come down to teaching the fundamentals and teaching the team to play for their teammates.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Have a theme for each practice
  • Practice format:
    • Start with a dynamic warm-up led by your captains, then always start with some type of drill that focuses on some fundamental.
    • Then do 2 or 3 drills that are building up the intensity.
    • Then let the kids do what they really want to – play the game.  Either small sided or full team scrimmages.  Minimal stoppages, but pull kids aside for one-on-one coaching as needed.
    • Then finish practice with some type of physical exercise when they’re exhausted – it’s a great time to stretch the kids physically and mentally.

Life is bigger than sports – ‘Soccer without Borders’

  • Jill has been involved with an organization in Nicaragua that gives girls in Granada the social, educational and economic support they need to overcome obstacles to success and achieve their personal goals.  Check them out: soccerwithoutborders.org

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Her biggest takeaway from this has been the importance of communication without words – you can communicate with your actions, visually demonstrating.  This applies even when you don’t have a language barrier – your body language is critical when you’re a coach.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

HUGE IDEA #2

  • ‘The perfect time to build confidence is in practice’
  • Set your practices up with lots of small actions that kids can succeed at – this will build up their confidence.
  • Have some type of physical way to ‘brush off’ mistakes – It can be a trigger word – ‘next one’, or some type of physical action like brushing your shoulder off

Culture – Creating a Winning Attitude

  • Lean on your most intense players who are the hardest workers to be leaders on the team.
  • If your team is less talented and you struggle with being able to win games – keep the players motivated by establishing mini-goals within the game and practice -things that are within their control. These can be attitude-based too – Set a goal of players saying at least 5 positive things to teammates during a game.

Connecting with Kids

  • Jill had an athlete who came into the season with a little trepidation – but she totally bought-in throughout the season and really embraced being a member of the team and loved it.

Best Stolen idea

  • Passion and energy as a coach – including sensing when the team just needs a break or some fun – Jill had a coach who would occasionally back her car onto the field and play loud music during some of the drills.

The One that Got Away

  • While Jill didn’t enjoy the first couple games of her first season when they lost 8-0, 7-0, etc.  But in retrospect she realizes that failures are a part of any process – so she wouldn’t say she would want a do over.

Parting Advice

  • Communication is critical. Not just verbal communication – but your body language and passion are just as important if not more important than what you are saying.

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WYC 054 – Youth Soccer – Chris Stricker talks turning around a culture so kids believe they can win

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Chris Stricker shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Chris has been the Head girl’s soccer coach of perennial powerhouse Coppell High School in Texas.  His accolades include: 7-time District Coach of the Year, 17 straight years of playoff appearances, 2009 and 2014 Texas 5A State Champions, 2009 NSCAA Texas Large School, Dallas Morning News, and  TASCO Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Organization Coach of the Year. Chris also has built one of the best soccer camps in the country.

Chris is married and has 4 children –  15 year-old son, 13 year-old twin sons, and a 11 year-old daughter.

Twitter: @stricker_soccer

Website/Camps: strickersoccer.com

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Quote

‘As a coach – you can’t be pulling the wagon by yourself.  If your best players are pulling the wagon – everyone is going to on board.’

Turning around the culture on a team

  • You have to instill the vision so the players believe they can win
  • Have them set goals – and every practice you’re reminding them of what there goals are

HUGE IDEA #1

  • 4 Pillars of the program:
    • CALI:
      • Commitment
      • Accountability
      • Love
      • Integrity

Establishing goals/guides

  • Break everything into relatable levels: Barclays level, National level, College.

HUGE IDEA #2

  • If your best players are your hardest workers – you’re going to always have a good team:

    ‘As a coach – you can’t be pulling the wagon by yourself.  If your best players are pulling the wagon – everyone is going to on board.’

  • Every kid on the team needs to be crystal clear on what their role is on the team

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Everyone will be treated fairly, but that doesn’t mean everyone will be treated equally

Teaching Skills

  • At the younger ages – the most important thing to teach is technique.  To keep the kids engaged you have to find creative ways to keep it fun.
  • An effective way to teach is have your most talented kids help teach the less talented kids.

The One that Got Away

  • Losing to their big rival the first 2 years, which kept them out of the playoffs.  But those losses were used as fuel

Favorite sports movies

  • When the Game Stands Tall
  • Miracle
  • Remember the Titans
  • Facing the Giants

Best Stolen idea

Parting Advice

  • Don’t try to be the kid’s friends – be their teacher who cares about them
  • Have a plan

 

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WYC 053 – Youth Baseball – Al Ainsworth talks coaching defense first and making big ugly mistakes

  

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Al Ainsworth shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach and author.

Al has coached middle school and high school baseball for 16 years.  He currently also does the high school color commentary for his local baseball team.  Al is the author of the sports books series ‘Coach Dave.’  Al is married, lives in Mississippi and has 3 children – 2 boys and a girl.

Twitter: @alainsworth

Facebook: /alainsworth

Websites and blog: alainsworth.com; coachdavebook.com

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Quote

‘Coach defense first’

Coaching my own kids

  • Al coached some of kids early teams, but really saw the value in handing them off to experience other coaches.  With Al’s extensive coaching background – he was often asked to help, but he preferred to help coach the coaches instead of coaching the kids, so that the coaches could learn and keep all the authority.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Al had to learn that if you coach players who might not be as die-hard about the sport as you are – you can still value them and enjoy coaching them.
  • Have fun.  In Al’s early years he was too focused on the box score and winning.
  • Don’t coach between every pitch – competitive situations are tough enough – don’t talk too much – game time should be minimal instruction.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Remember that sports seasons are long – so you really have to make an extra effort of keeping things fun towards the end of the year

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Define roles.  If a kid understands his role, he is far more likely to perform at the highest level.
  • Good analogy – in singing: you can’t hold back – ‘Make big fat ugly mistakes’

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Establish the culture, but don’t overdo it trying to set up a bunch of rules
  • Celebrate the non-obvious things – the bunts, the sacrifices, the little things
  • Andy Stanley: ‘What is celebrated is what is repeated’

Connecting with Kids

  • Al had to make a move to move a younger kid into a position over a senior who was a super hard worker.  But the kid later told him that he really respected that he made a tough decision.

The One that Got Away

  • Al’s team lost a state championship in a 7-6 game.  But the other team rode one pitcher’s arm most of the way, whereas Al’s team used several pitchers – and his pitchers went on to have more successful college careers.
  • Al also shared a story of coaching basketball – and how he learned from a mistake he made early in his career and benefited from that mistake by getting it right later in his career

Best Stolen idea

HUGE IDEA #2

  • ‘Coach Defense first’ – Learned from Bill Marchant at Delta State University
  • 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.

Coach Dave – The book

  • Fictitious account of a recreational baseball league
  • Written at a player’s level, through the eyes of a parent, with the catalyst being the coach
  • Lots of game action, very positive
  • Great book for fathers to read with their sons
  • Find it at: coachdavebook.com or on Amazon

Parting Advice

  • Don’t try to coach above what you know – reach out for help
  • If you can, try to stay with the same group for several years
  • Have fun

 

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WYC 052 – Youth Lacrosse – John Doss talks Committing to your Dream and Using the bench to teach not to punish

 

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as John Doss shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

John is entering his first year as the the Brownsburg Lacrosse High School Head Coach after 2 years as the 7th/8th grade coach.  John played collegiate lacrosse as a goalie at San Jose State University. He was named a West Coast Lacrosse League (WCLL) All-Star 3 times.  Coach Doss also played 3 years of post-collegiate lacrosse with San Francisco Lacrosse Club and still remains active as a player with DOGS Lacrosse in Indianapolis.  John is married, lives in Indianapolis and is a supply chain sales manager.

Twitter: @laxcoachdoss

Websites: brownsburglacrosse.com; indyelitelacrosse.com

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Quote

‘Play hard, have fun’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • ‘The Dreaded Playbook’ – installing too many plays and confusing the kids.  Learned that simple is better, fundamentals are more important than game theory.
  • Teach kids: ‘That’s a cone, not a magnet’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Lots of games to keep kids engaged and competitive
  • Teach a concept, drill a concept.  Then allow time for free play for them to try it on their own

Free Play

  • John grew up playing with kids in his neighborhood – and had to figure it out on his own without parents/coaches hounding him

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • The Knute Rockne-type speeches by a coach often take the fun out of the game and cause the kids to tighten up – just let them go play and have fun
  • Coach says these 4 words before every game: ‘Play hard, have fun’
  • Coach has a goalie that beats himself up after any goal allowed – he tells the kid he can take 3 seconds to be upset, then move on.  He will even count 1,2,3 out loud so the kid remembers.
  • ‘Make the right lacrosse play, we’re not worried about the results’

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Have a well-thought out team meeting with parents to set the expectations and guidelines
  • 1 rule: Respect.  Respect coaches, teammates, opponents, referees, yourself, and the game.
  • Coach Doss uses the lacrosse game format to discipline during practices – he has the player take a knee for 1 minute – he is taking away what they really want, which is to play.

HUGE IDEA #1

  • John will pick out a kid before practice and tell that kid to keep his eye out for a player putting out extraordinary effort during practice, then let that kid recognize the player they choose at the end of practice
  • John asks his players what they are seeing during a game – but they have to phrase it as a ‘we’

Connecting with Kids

  • One of John’s goalie’s parent was debating about having their son try out for a travel team – John encouraged the parent to have the kid tryout – regardless of the outcome – try it!  Don’t be afraid of failure, just go for it.

The One that Got Away

  • John’s team was overmatched, got down early, then scored several goals and had a bunch of momentum – and John called timeout to set something up – and he totally killed the team’s momentum.

Best Stolen idea

HUGE IDEA #2

  • 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.

Recommended resources

Coaching/Leadership Quote or Book

  • Roger Federer when asked his definition of mental toughness: ‘Committing to your dream’

Parting Advice

  • As a coach – you have to set the example of every behavior you want to see

 

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WYC 051 – Youth Softball – Jenn Starkey from FastPitch Fit talks confidence, teaching players to go not stop, and the MVP Leadership Academy

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Jenn Starkey shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Jenn is a Softball Coach, Sushi Lover, Yogaholic, and an Expert Marketer on a mission to help young leaders find they leverage they need to go ALL IN.  Jenn has created a leadership program for youth athletes and is currently working on a book titled “A League Of Your Own”- a book written that talks all about what it means to be a leader in your own life.

Facebook: /FastpitchFit

Youtube: /FastpitchFit

Book: ‘A League of Your Own’ – loyobook.com

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Quote

‘If you can’t explain it to a 6 year-old, you don’t understand it yourself’ – Albert Einstein

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Learning to not let the emotions of the game and the emotions of coaching affect your personal life – One rule Jenn has with the parents is that if they want to have a discussion – they need to schedule an appointment (so you’re not being interrupted throughout the evening)
  • One cringe moment – Failing to act when a parent was out of line

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • ‘If you can’t explain it to a 6 year-old, you don’t understand it yourself’ – Albert Einstein
  • Use funny words, ask a lot of questions, ask them how they feel

HUGE IDEA #1:

  • Steps in teaching:
    • A good strategy is to ask the kids if they want to learn something new before you teach it – increases buy-in
    • Then demonstrate what doing it the right way looks like.  If you can’t physically demonstrate it yourself – have someone else do it, or even show a video.
    • Now break it down into steps and explain the why on what they are doing
    • Then do a dry run
    • Then go game speed

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Give genuine compliments on how the player makes the team better
  • The best way to keep the pressure from mounting is to keep the game fun – and practice pressure situations in practice

HUGE IDEA #2:

  • 7 confidence Hacks:
    • 20 minute video: fastpitchfit.com/confidence-hacks/
    • #1- Extra Practice
    • #2 Anchoring
    • #3 Unleash the Alter Ego
    • #4 Power Pose
    • #5 Master Self Talk
    • #6 Visualization
    • #7 Play Up!
  • As a player – it’s your job to go; as a coach – it’s my job to stop you.  So be aggressive until I tell you to do otherwise.

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Make sure you are only punishing things that the kids can control
  • Jenn has a baby elephant story, and a baby elephant award at the end of each week of practice is given to the kid who has worked the hardest and been the best teammate
  • The Tony Robbins triad for you to change how you feel:
    • Move your body
    • What you focus on
    • What you say

Connecting with Kids

  • MVP Leadership Academy
  • Book: ‘A League of Your Own’ – loyobook.com

Winning

  • Winning is an outcome, the goal is growth

The One that Got Away

  • Jenn believes in having a post-game review – then moving on

Best Stolen idea

  • Jenn’s dad attitude about being a coach – He said he is a parrot – learn from the best and do the same things.

Coaching/Leadership Quote or Book

  • Anything by John Wooden or John Maxwell

Parting Advice

  • Athletes aren’t going to remember what you say – they are going to remember how you make them feel.  Write down how you want your kids to feel when they look back.

 

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WYC 050 – Special 50th Episode Guest – James Leath talks Mental Toughness, Travel Sports Alternatives, and Coaching

For our 50th episode – we invited back our first repeat guest on The Winning Youth Coaching Podcast, James Leath.  James’ first interview on the show, WYC Episode 31, was a huge hit and is the #1 downloaded episode all-time on the show.

We switched up the format for this episode and had listeners submit questions on mental toughness – listen in as James provides great new insights on mental toughness.

Website/Coaches’ Notes: jamesleath.com

Twitter: @jamesleath

 

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Questions submitted that James answers:

  • People talk about being mentally tough, but what does it mean?
  • Who are some current athletes who display mental toughness?
  • What compelled you to go into youth sports psychology, and how is it different from adult sport psychology?
  • How come some kids seem to be more tough than others? Are you born with mental toughness?
  • What is a mistake recovery routine?

Questions James asks Craig:

  • In your show notes you highlight 1 or 2 Huge Ideas you take from each guest- tell me about a few of the hugest ideas that stick out to you
  • What’s a book you have read about sports that you would recommend?
  • You talk about alternatives to travel sports a lot – why is that so important to you and why are you so passionate about it?

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WYC 049 – Youth Softball – Stacie Mahoe talks leadership involving action not position

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Stacie Mahoe shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Stacie Mahoe has been involved in the game of fastpitch softball since the age of 9 and is the Founded AllAboutFastpitch.com in 2004. Stacie also served as the Chief Marketing Officer at SoftballPerformance.com for a few years. Her perspectives on the game as a former player, current coach, and current softball parent provide unique insight on various softball issues.

While physical ability and athleticism are necessary to play the game, Stacie believes that the right mindset and attitude separate the good from the great and also help you succeed, not only on the diamond, but in life as well. While Stacie enjoys helping players improve their overall fitness and softball skill, far more rewarding is the opportunity to help young ladies become champions in life .

Website: Staciemahoe.com

facebook:/coachStacie

twitter: @staciemahoe

youtube: /staciemahoe

 

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Quote

‘Leadership is action not position’

Coaching your own kids

  • ‘She listened to other coaches much more than she listened to me’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Make sure you show the kids how you can help them – then they will buy-in and listen more

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Explaining the concept instead of just telling them increases buy-in
  • Fun game – Like red rover, but with nerf balls – trying to get the balls through the other line

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

HUGE IDEA #1:

  • Try to get the athlete to see the small picture – don’t get overwhelmed by thinking of the big picture – ask the athlete to think of a small victory they can picture

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Coach present – If you are asking the kids to play present – you need to coach present.  Don’t be distracted by cell phones, thinking about other things.
  • Consistency – you have to consistently enforce things.

HUGE IDEA #2:

  • Individual punishment vs. team punishment – If it’s something the team can help an individual with – i.e. coming back late from a water break – if no one on the team is encouraging/yelling at a player who is running late – then the whole team can do the punishment
  • Celebrate a lot!  Kids will work harder when they are having fun!

Connecting with Kids

  • Sometimes the toughest players – just want to be listened to – and if you listen to them and value their input they become much more connected and valuable teammates

Winning

  • Help the players learn, develop, grow – the winning will take care of itself.
  • The winning is not the top priority as a coach – developing the kids is the top priority.

The One that Got Away

  • As a player – Stacie had a game where she felt like she could have played better – she didn’t like that feeling so it motivated her to prepare that much harder so it wouldn’t happen again

Best Stolen idea

  • Stacie learned from her father what being a great coach looked like – he was very organized and very prepared

Coaching/Leadership Quote or Book

  • Quote – ‘Leadership is action not position’, and ‘True leadership is serving the people you are leading’  It’s not about being the boss.

StacieMahoe.com

  • Blog – about softball skills, and sports parenting advice
  • Partnering with Janis Meredith from jbmthinks.com on webinars with parenting advice

Parting Advice

  • You are there for the kids – all decisions should be what’s best for the kids (NOT the kid’s parents!)

 

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WYC 048 – Youth Sports – Rich Clayton talks eliminating the pressure of mistakes

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Rich Clayton shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach and athletic director.

Rich has been coaching, teaching, and an athletic director for the last 16 years in California.  He lost both his parents at a pretty early age, so coaches were a huge influence on his life.  Rich grew up playing football, basketball, and baseball, and played Jr. College football.  Rich is currently transitioning from a larger school district in California to a newer one – and he is excited about starting all over and developing new systems.

Twitter:@RCL8TN

 

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Quote

‘In coaching, people will only listen to you, because they truly believe that you can make them better’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • It’s much different approaching kids as a coach vs. as a player. As a player – you can push teammates and call them out, but as a coach it’s a different dynamic so you have to change your approach.
  • ‘As a coach you can run out on the field- but if you don’t have quality teaching and skill development – you’re going to charge out and no one is going to be with you’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • A teaching analogy – ‘I am going to teach you to cut the lawn.  First – this is a lawnmower.  This is how you start a lawnmower, etc.’
  • Teaching model: 1st – teach; 2nd – evaluate, is it working?; 3rd – Re-teach
  • Whole-part-whole: Show whole team concept; Break down into small groups to work on it; Then develop circuit or drill where coaches can check progress
  • Look at skills needed in a game – then develop drills that break down the skills into pieces you can practice.  Make sure these drills simulate real-game experiences.  Name the drill – so you can refer to it during a game: ‘Johnny remember during the waterski drill what we focused on.’

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Book: Mindset by Carol Dweck – Fixed mindset vs. Open mindset – Teach kids that failing is a highly valuable part of the improvement process.  Eliminate pressure on the kids that makes them afraid to make mistakes.  Kids are often getting pressure from family members, parents, grandparents, uncles – so as a coach you have to be intentional to not negatively

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Think through your coaching philosophy before establishing any type of rules.  Then involve the kids in creating any team rules.  Then make sure you are fair, trustworthy, and equitable.
  • Do rewards in groups as much as possible – i.e. offensive line, special teams, etc.

Connecting with Kids

  • Sharif Williams – Tore 4 ligaments in his knee his senior year – the whole coaching staff, and community – rallied around him and helped make sure he had the support he needed to rehab his knee and pursue his dream of playing college football at Univ of Arizona

Can my kid play college sports?

  • Parents – know what the academic requirements are by middle-school.  You need to have your child cleared by the end of their junior year.

Specialization in youth sports

  • You want your kid to get as much teaching as possible from as many different resources as possible

The One that Got Away

  • Rich’s senior year he got a pass interference call on 4th and 2 against the other undefeated team in his league.  Still has no idea why he did it.

Coaching/Leadership Quote or Book

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Book – ‘The Education of a Coach‘ – Bill Belichick – ‘Why would a coach making $12 million a year listen to someone making $100k a year?’ – Belichick’s answer: ‘In coaching, people will only listen to you, because they truly believe that you can make them better’

Parting Advice

  • Constantly be giving positive feedback to the kids.  Show them what they are doing and where you are taking them.
  • Network with other coaches.

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WYC 047 – Youth Sports – Kevin Kennedy talks how to tap into pre-game nerves as an energy source

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Kevin Kennedy shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Kevin is a personal trainer and runs a gymnastics gym in Paramus, NJ called Kids U.  Kevin played many sports growing up, including being a collegiate wrestler and one year of JV collegiate basketball.  He also kick-boxed after college.  Kevin has a passion for youth sports and coaching the kids the right way.

Website: kidsu.com/paramus.html

Facebook:/kennedyfitness

 

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Quote

‘Isn’t that interesting?’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • ‘When you are young – you know how everything is supposed to be.  As you age – you realize it’s not what you are supposed to do, it’s what you can do.’
  • ‘Isn’t that interesting’ – Don’t be judgmental when coaching – rather, make observations and analyze why things are happening
  • Everyone has insecurities – even an Olympic-level athlete.  Figure out what insecurities your athletes have about their performances – let them know it’s OK to admit they’re not perfect at everything, and give honest feedback and break down walls of communication barriers that arise from both the athlete’s and coaches’ insecurities

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Use a kid to demonstrate proper technique.  You can also demonstrate the ‘why’ – such as holding a kid’s sweatshirt to show them why their body has to be in the proper position.  Demonstrating is much more important than talking – to keep the kids engaged.

Teaching Kids to achieve peak performance

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Set up small achievable tasks as goals for a kid before a game – get them to say ‘I can do that’

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Use fatigue as your friend – When the kids first get out of school – let them get the blood flowing and burn off a little energy.  But at the same time make sure you do skill work early in the practice, because you can’t learn very well when fatigued.
  • Rewards – You can team-build by having someone help someone else get better.  You can recognize the person helping privately, while the one getting the help usually gets recognized more publicly
  • Paper-Plate Awards – At end of season ceremony – On a paper plate write down something about each kid that he/she uniquely brought to the team and give them out during awards ceremony

Connecting with Kids

  • Kevin coached a kid who was very anxious, and was a goalie so he felt personally responsible for every goal scored.  In the last game of the year the whole team tried to get him to score a goal.  Even though he didn’t – the whole team dogpiled him afterwards and they had a blast.

HUGE IDEA #2

  • For pre-game nerves: Don’t deny it or try to squelch it!  Embrace it – be excited that you are having pre-game excitement.  It means that this is important to you.  Your body is responding to make you as sharp as possible by waking up all of these feelings and nerves, and you can tap into that strength.

The One that Got Away

  • ‘I have a comment that I want back.’  Coaching his own son – he yelled at him during a game – it shook his son’s nerves and he asked to come out of the game.

Coaching Tools and Resources

  • Youtube
  • Ask the kids: ‘What do you see happening?’

Coaching/Leadership Quote or Book

  • John Wooden when asked how his team is this year:’I won’t know for 20 years’
  • ‘Isn’t that interesting’ – used with no judgement

Parting Advice

  • Coach the kids, not the parents.  It’s all about the kids.

Kids U

  • Facility in Paramus, NJ
  • Gymnastics and sports gym for kids ages 1-9
  • Non-competitive gym.  Not trying to find travel athletes, goal of giving kids confidence to try something new.
  • Website: kidsu.com/paramus.html

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WYC 046 – Youth Football – JJ Lawson from CoachSomebody.com talks how Attitude reflects Leadership and establishing a Warrior Society

 

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as JJ Lawson shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

JJ Lawson is a kitchen designer by day, and youth sports coach every other waking hour.  He has been coaching youth sports for 20 years, in which he has coached football, softball, volleyball, baseball, track, and wrestling.  JJ started a coaching community at coachsomebody.com – which has a blog, videos, and forums for coaches to learn from each other.

Website: coachsomebody.com

Twitter: @coachsomebody

Facebook: /CoachJJ

YouTube: /fbcoachjj

Free Gift from Coach Somebody (pdf): 10 Steps For Coaching Success

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Quote

‘Attitude reflects leadership’

Coaching Your own Kids

  • Coach shares a funny story of what kids do when they have to use the bathroom during practice and there isn’t a bathroom available.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • JJ cringes at how he yelled at the officials his first year of coaching.  He thought ‘that was what I was supposed to do.’
  • He also shared a story of another coach who threw a football at a referee.  It caused nerve damage and long-term concussion damage to the official.
  • Remember the Titans quote: ‘Attitude reflects leadership’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #1

  • You have to show kids multiple ways.  Some learn more from listening, others learn more from watching, others learn more from doing.
  • Chalk it, talk it, walk it, rep it
  • Break your teaching down to 3 steps, any more than that causes the kids to think too much
  • 3 step Progression for football: LEG – Load, Explode, Go

Teaching Kids to play without fear

  • Coach JJ encourages competition in every aspect of practice.
  • Your schemes have to be simple and aggressive if you want the kids to play aggressively.  He teaches his defensive backfield to be walking forward when the play starts.
  • ‘We don’t teach our offensive linemen to block – we teach them to hit.’  Kids don’t want to block – but they often want to hit.

Setting Goals

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Set mini-goals within each game to keep the kids focused.  Be careful about making a goal of not allowing the other team to score at all – because if you give up a score – the kids might be so upset they hang their heads and can’t refocus.

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • The Warrior Society – ‘It’s tough to play against us – but it’s tougher to play for us, because we’re going to work hard.’  The kids gain a sense of pride from working hard.
  • The best memories that most players have is what they accomplished from working harder than they even thought they could do
  • Sprints – coach worked with another coach who would set a goal of being able to do 30 50-yard gassers at the end of practice.  At the beginning of the season, they couldn’t do 5.  By the time playoffs come around – these kids are tough as nails.  His kids would have a mental toughness that comes from the pride of knowing how hard they worked to accomplish this.

The One that Got Away

  • Coach shares that he doesn’t really have any games he regrets
  • Al Pacino in ‘Any Given Sunday’ – “Inch by Inch” – Life is about the 6 inches right in front of you.

Coach Somebody

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WYC 045 – Youth Baseball – Mark Linden from BaseballPositive.com talks practice planning and the pace that kids learn

 

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Mark Linden shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Mark Linden, Director of Baseball Positive, spent eight seasons coaching at the college level.  Experience includes assisting at two programs with multiple College World Series appearances, Wichita State and The University of South Carolina.

Later served as a head coach for five years: two at NCAA D-I Centenary College (La), and three at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, WA.  Drafted three times (Cubs twice, Royals once), played minor league ball in the Cubs organization in 1989 and 1990.  Moved on to another stint at the pro level as radio color commentator in 2007 for the Oakland A’s minor league affiliate in Vancouver, BC.

A lifetime of baseball experience, including the past seven years working exclusively at the 12U level with kids and their coaches, has led to the development of a comprehensive training and development program that is age appropriate and proven effective for kids.

Website/blog: baseballpositive.com

Facebook: /Baseball-positive

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Quote

‘Kids don’t sign up to practice baseball, they sign up to play baseball.’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Mark tried to emulate the style of the head coach he first worked for – This was a mistake for several reasons – he didn’t have the 30 years of experience and credibility.  And he had a very different personality, so it didn’t work trying to be somebody else.
  • Mark admits his temper and style carried over off the field – and it cost him his first marriage

Practice Planning

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Every minute counts!  Plan your practices minute-by-minute.  Start with a baseline template and plug different activities in.  Kids enjoy having a routine.
  • Mark starts his practices with a skill-building-warmup.  Small stations with very basic drills that involve a lot of movement. Nothing that requires hard throwing b/c they haven’t warmed up yet. This works as a great transition for the kids coming from school/home to get into practice mode, and gets them focused.
  • Then they do team time/group time- fly balls, throwing, catching, etc. Break into several groups to keep kids moving.
  • 3rd – Batting practice drill – 4 different groups so they aren’t just standing around.
  • 4th – Scrimmage/play – ‘Kids don’t sign up to practice baseball, they sign up to play baseball.’ This will work best with mostly free play – don’t keep interrupting this with coaching – let the kids make mistakes.  Kids don’t pitch to each other – coaches pitch from short distance to keep things moving.

The pace that kids learn

  • Remember that kids are just that-kids.  They haven’t developed mentally or physically yet – so be patient

Parents afraid to coach?

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Don’t let the fear of not being a guru in a sport prevent you from coaching
  • Identify 5 things they need to learn in that sport and focus on that
  • Kids don’t learn from information – they learn from repetition

Connecting with Kids

  • Mark has hundreds of kids he’s coaches – and he enjoys pouring into them and having them learn and feel good about themselves

Best Stolen idea

  • Gene Stephenson – one of winningest college coaches, from Wichita State – Mark learned from him that there are no secrets to winning

Leadership Quote/Book

Baseball Positive

  • Baseballpositive.com – Simple to use resources for adults to use coaching 12 and under baseball and softball
  • Includes blogs, video, audio for parents, coaches, league leaders

Parting Advice

  • Be prepared for practice in advance.  Have a written plan.  Have all equipment set up before practice starts.  Be disciplined with time – follow your plan.

 

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WYC 044 – Youth Football – Joe Daniel talks keeping things simple so that your kids build confidence- confident kids play fast- fast kids win games

 podcast pic

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Joe Daniel shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Joe Daniel is the Defensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach at Prince George High School in Prince George, Virginia. He has been at Prince George since 2010, following a successful 2009 season at Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls Iowa. At Ellsworth, Coach Daniel coached the Linebackers and helped lead the team to a #9 Ranking in the 2009 NJCAA Final Rankings, as well as finishing with a Top 25 Defense. Prior to his time at Ellsworth, Coach Daniel began coaching at Smithfield High School in Smithfield, Virginia in 2002. From 2007 to 2008, Joe had his first stint as Defensive Coordinator with the school.

Coach Daniel has been featured in American Football Monthly Magazine, as well as on The Red Zone Show with Coach Big B and on Coaches’ Corner Show. He was also a clinic speaker at the Championship Football Coaches Clinic.  Joe also writes Football-Offense.com as well as hosting The Football Coaching Podcast.

Twitter: @footballinfo

Website/blog: joedanielfootball.com

Podcast: The Football Coaching Podcast

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

‘Keep everything simple so that your kids build confidence, confident kids play fast, fast kids win games’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Joe didn’t have a mentor the first time he was thrown into being a head coach – he wishes he had sought out a mentor earlier
  • There are a million ways to coach/teach – be open-minded, there’s always new ways of doing thing

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Dale Baskett – Speed coach from San Diego Chargers – Coach Daniel learned from him how to have kids demo technique instead of having a coach do the demo
  • ‘Everything we do in practice is something you will directly see on the game field.  We don’t run over bags and ladders anymore, because they aren’t on the game field.’  Break everything down into it’s simplest piece and start small, then add progressions after perfecting the previous step.
  • Keep things competitive during drills

Best Stolen idea

  • Pete Carroll rugby tackling videos

Recommended Resources

Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Create the culture and set the standard early – this will limit your discipline issues
  • ‘The first time you do it, it’s on you.  The second time it’s on the team.’
  • When you set rules – don’t back yourself into a corner.  i.e. – If you’re late for practice, you won’t play in the next game – and then your best kid/player is 30 seconds late for one practice.
  • Celebrate the small victories in practice

Connecting with Kids

  • One kid – ‘I never had any friends until being on this team’ – he wasn’t a good athlete, played on the scout team – but being part of the team and feeling part of a football family was huge to him

Winning

  • ‘Until it’s in the papers, it shouldn’t be one of your top goals’ – Once it is, then if you don’t win – you get fired.

The One that got away

  • ‘We did something schematically that did not fit who we were – it looked good on a napkin, but wasn’t what we practiced all year.’

Leadership Quote/Book

  • Book – Dean Smith’s ‘The Carolina Way‘ – great leadership and business components

Joe Daniel Football

  • Joedanielfootball.com – Football defense, offense, coaching schemes
  • Includes blogs, video, audio, podcast, private Facebook group
  • Sign up for weekly emails: joedanielfootball.com/dim
  • Podcast has stories of what real football coaches are doing

Parting Advice

  • Be open-minded – but make sure what you are doing is applicable to the game field.

HUGE IDEA #2:

‘Keep everything simple so that your kids build confidence, confident kids play fast, fast kids win games’

 

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WYC 043 – What a Sports Coach can learn from a Band Director – Cameron Gish talks Harnessing Enthusiasm and Creating a Vision

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Cameron Gish shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth band director.

Cameron Gish is the band director at Hillsboro School. He is in his fourth year leading the band and teaching at Hillsboro. He has started the band from the ground up, and in just their 3rd year they received accolades in parades and competitions – including being awarded grand champion in their first year at the Franklin Rodeo Parade.  Cameron attended Murray State University, where he was a three-year drum major for the 250-member Racer Band, and was named the Outstanding Senior Man of Murray State and gave the valediction at his commencement ceremony.  Cameron’s passion for the kids and vision for creating excellence makes him a rare leader that coaches can learn a great deal from.

 

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

Whenever you encounter some adversity, your character will be revealed with how you respond

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Focus more on the process than the final product

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • You have to figure out the motivation for the age group you are coaching (it’s different than what motivates adults)
  • One important skill to develop in children is for them to understand deadlines and how to get things done
  • Motivator idea: Cameron created a competition – a band Olympics – with multiple rewards and competitions

HUGE IDEA #1

  • The ‘Music Video Game’ – Cameron utilizes a program for the kids to use at home that scores their performance while practicing at home – this fuels competition for the kids to want to beat their own score – and they will keep practicing until they can get their score up to a 100.  Practice doesn’t make perfect – Perfect practice makes perfect

Mental Peak Performance

  • ‘The more I practice, the less nervous I get’ – You will have game-day jitters out of excitement, but eliminate the jitters that come from not having practiced
  • The game/performance is just your showcase to have fun and shows off the hard work you have been putting in

Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Harness their enthusiasm – A positive energy and a little bit of chatter is OK
  • A good strategy is to start pretty tough and then back off slowly
  • Cameron handles discipline offline and one-on-one
  • Praise often and catch them doing something right
  • Kids often act-out to get attention – so give the attention to kids doing it right instead of the on the ones mis-behaving
  • Cameron tries to set up a big year-end fun trip and other offsite activities to just allow the kids to build relationships with each other and with you as the coach

Connecting with Kids

HUGE IDEA #2

  • The Sunshine File – Cameron keeps a file of positive emails he gets from kids/parents – he then can open and read these when he’s having a bad day

Challenge and Free Giveaway – Shoot me a note complimenting Cameron on this interview – I will forward on to him, and send you a free copy of the Audio Highlights from the First 25 WYC Interviews (a $17 value) – Send email to: craig@winningyouthcoaching.com

Winning

  • Trophies are what happens after you do something great.  Prepare to do something great, then don’t worry about the results and just enjoy yourself.

The One that got away

  • ‘Whenever you encounter some adversity, your character will be revealed with how you respond.’

Best Stolen idea

  • David Aydelott – Taught Cameron a model around creating a vision

Parting Advice

  • It’s all about the relationship above everything else

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WYC 042 – Changing the Game – John O’Sullivan talks Sports Specialization vs Early Engagers

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as John O’Sullivan shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

John is the founder of the Changing the Game Project – whose mission is to is to ensure that we return youth sports to our children, and put the ‘play’ back in ‘play ball.’  They want to provide the most influential adults in our children’s lives – their parents and coaches – with the information and resources they need to make sports a healthy, positive, and rewarding experience for their children, and their whole family.

John started the Changing the Game Project in 2012 after two decades as a soccer player and coach on the youth, high school, college and professional level.  He is the author of the #1 bestselling books Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids and Is it Wise to Specialize? John is also a regular contributor for SoccerWire.com, and his writing has been featured in many publications including The Huffington Post and Soccer America. John is an internationally known speaker for coaches, parents and youth sports organizations, and has spoken for TEDx, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, IMG Academy, and at numerous other events throughout the US, Canada and Europe.  He resides in beautiful Bend, OR, with his wife, Dr Lauren O’Sullivan, and two wonderful children and aspiring young athletes: Maggie Shea, age 9, and Tiernan, age 7.

Twitter: @coachjohnnyo

Facebook: /SportsParentingResourceCenter

Website/blog: changingthegameproject.com

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

 

‘When you are coaching sports – you don’t coach a sport, you coach a child’ – Dr. Martin Toms

 

Coaching Your Own Kids

  • Coaching your own kid is a tough challenge because you are discipling their friends and can off-the-field ramifications

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • There is so much to learn as a new coach – early on John didn’t realize how powerful his actions and words are as a coach – they will stick with these young people for their lifetime
  • A-ha moment: John coached a young man in high school – and after college he called John to thank him for the lessons he had taught.  This was eye-opening on the seriousness of the responsibility of coaching young people.
  • You’re going to make mistakes- and that’s OK – but use this as an opportunity to be humble and apologize – this is a great example to the kids.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Dr. Martin Toms’: ‘When you are coaching sports – you don’t coach a sport, you coach a child’
  • Don’t professionalize youth sports – focus on developing the kids, not for the win today.  Long-term goals instead of short-term.  What do kids need from a youth sports coach? – Enjoyment, ownership, and to be intrinsically motivated.

Winning

  • It very much depends on what/who you are coaching – if you are coaching a prospective olympic gymnast, who’s physical activity peaks at 14-15 – you have to start earlier
  • But for all of us coaching kids ages 6-12- the focus has to be development over winning – so don’t not play a kid just because it’s a close game

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Study done by Amanda Visek from George Washington University – asked kids: ‘why do you play sports?’ – 9 out of 10 answered because it is fun.  Then she asked them to define what fun is: they came up with 81 different characteristics of what fun is – and ‘winning’ was down at #48 on the list.  Link to article: Fun not winning
  • Coaching high-level youth soccer – Coach O’Sullivan started every player 1/3 of the games – this gives you the opportunity later in the season/game you can go with who is ‘hot’ because they are all having opportunities to shine

Specialization in Youth Sports

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Unless you are coaching female olympic gymnastics, figure-skating, diving – the rest of athletes don’t hit their peak until their 20’s
  • Kids who specialize early:
    • 70-90% more likely to get hurt
    • Far more likely to burn out
    • Far more likely to develop psychological issues
    • Don’t develop all-around sports athleticism
  • There is a huge difference between specialization and early-engagers:
    • Specialization is adult-driven, organized environment, focused on long-term goals
    • Engagement is child-driven, play-centered, focused on enjoyment of the game
      • There is tons of free-play
      • They fall in love with the game
      • They have the space to fail, the freedom to be creative without an adult looking over their shoulder telling them what they are doing wrong
    • What if your 7-year-old says he only wants to play 1 sport? – You are the adult and you need to guide them to branch out and try different things.

Mental Peak Performance

  • Every kid is different.
  • Preparing a kid doesn’t start the night before a tryout
  • The important thing is to encourage kids to work hard, and learn from situations, good and bad.  Don’t make excuses, don’t blame coaches – just learn teaching moments.

Discipline

  • Great teams don’t have rules – great teams have standards.  Rules are meant to be broken – standards are expectations that the team agrees upon and holds each other accountable to.

The One that got away

  • John shares that the games he looks back upon with the most regret are ones where the opponents just produced such a toxic environment of negativity

Best Stolen idea

  • Jerry Yeagley from Indiana Univ – Jerry could make whoever he is talking to feel like the most important person in the room

Changing the Game Project

  • Teaching parents how to help kids become the most competitive athletes they can be
  • Teaching coaches to develop positive significance in your players’ lives
  • Online coaching and parent education, books, blog
  • Currently developing 7-week online course for coaches with world experts in each area

Parting Advice

  • You don’t coach a sport, you coach a child
  • Coaching is a calling – respect that.  ‘I am not going to be disloyal to a sport that has given me a life’

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WYC Episode 041 – The 10,000 Hour Rule? – Dr. Michael Cathey talks player development and deliberate practice

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Dr. Michael Cathey shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Michael is a professor of exercise science and physical education pedagogy at Tennessee Tech University.  He has coached high school football and baseball as well as his kids’ teams at the youth level.  Michael did his dissertation studying the 10,000 rule and has written and studied this topic extensively.  Michael is married and has 2 children, ages 7 and 5.

Twitter: @m_cathey

Facebook: /catheym

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

You practice with the intent of getting better, and it’s OK to mess up, because messing up helps you get better

Coaching Your Own Kids

  • Coach shares a funny story when a kid asked if he’s unimportant because he’s playing in the outfield – coach turned it around and made this exciting by saying you have to be like a superhero Flash when playing out there

Winning

  • The importance of winning is very dependent on each kid – it depends on where they are at.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • In his early years Michael looks back on how naive he was – too much focus on winning instead of fundamentals and player development.  He wanted to win but wasn’t equipping his players with the skills needed to win.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Michael teaches everything in 3’s so it’s simple and easy to remember
  • ‘Parents come ready and dressed to participate at practice’ – They have competitions and scrimmages against their parents.
  • Teach base running by using high-fives

Mental Peak Performance

  • Teach kids to ignore the noise. And ask the parents not to ‘yip’ instructions at their kids
  • Self-confidence comes from you showing the kids you believe in them

Discipline

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Instead of punishments – have the kids just start that action over again and do it right

Recognition/Rewards

  • They recognize their teammates for hustle,attitude by letting them do the team chant

Inspiring Story

  • Michael shares a story about a kid who was crying at the beginning of practice because he didn’t know anybody- so he had his daughter befriend the kid, and he as the coach got him involved – and once the kid got comfortable he opened up and had a great season

The 10,000 hour theory

  • Michael did his dissertation on this developmental model – specifically studying baseball pitchers
  • Michael found 27 out of 30 pitchers had not specialized in pitching, or even baseball at young ages
  • The professional baseball pitchers predominantly had expert coaches at the high school level – not just a local high school coach or mom/dad
  • Takeaway – think through your travel sports plans when your kids are younger- it might not be necessary, unless there really just isn’t another good option for them to get good competition.  But by middle-school/high-school – seek out paid professionals to coach your kid in the correct mechanics, especially if they want to play at the collegiate level and beyond

Best Stolen idea

  • ‘Talk TO your players, not AT them’

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

HUGE IDEA #2

Parting Advice

  • Have fun, and make sure the kids are having fun.

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WYC Episode 040 – Coaching the Mental Game – Dr. Patrick Cohn from Peak Performance Sports talks sports psychology

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Dr. Patrick Cohn shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a mental game of sports expert.

Dr. Patrick Cohn has been an athlete and a coach. He has experienced firsthand how beliefs, attitudes, and mindsets influence performance. Dr. Cohn’s passion for sports and sports psychology started early in life and continued to grow as he participated in sports such as football, hockey, baseball, lacrosse, racquetball, and golf.

Throughout high school and college, Dr. Cohn experienced both the joys of winning and the lessons of failure. After competing in sports for many years, Dr. Cohn went on to study and research sports psychology and the way that mental attitudes shape physical performance.  Ultimately, he earned a PhD in Education specializing in Applied Sports Psychology.

The more that Dr. Cohn studied champion athletes and their mindsets, the more he realized that winning attitudes are the key to performing well in competition.

Armed with the know-how needed to build champion athletes, master mental game coach Dr. Cohn has dedicated his mental game coaching business to helping every athlete—whether junior, amateur, or seasoned professional—excel in his or her sport.  His peak performance programs also help coaches, athletic trainers, and even parents of aspiring athletes.

Websites: peaksports.com; youthsportspsychology.com

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

Accentuate the self in self-confidence.  You can’t give kids self-confidence, because it becomes a false sense of security.  Move from ‘other-confidence’ to ‘self-confidence.’

Mental Peak Performance for Coaches

  • Most youth sports coaches don’t have any training – Define your philosophy and set goals
  • Coaches – are you putting pressure on young athletes to meet your expectations?  What are these expectations – is one of them for them not to make any mistakes?  Instead of putting expectations on the athletes – focus more on letting the kid know you believe in them and are excited to see them be great.
  • When a kid makes a mistake during a game – leave them in, and then address it in practice, at halftime, or some later point.  ‘Games are a reward for all the hard work they put in during practice.’

Mental Peak Performance for Parents

Huge Idea #1

  • Accentuate the self in self-confidence.  You can’t give kids self-confidence, because it becomes a false sense of security.  Move from ‘other-confidence’ to ‘self-confidence.’  The athlete has to think they can do it, regardless of what the parents and coaches tell them.

Mental Peak Performance for Athletes

  • Focus on your strengths.  Rely on practice, put in extra reps.  Focus on past successes.
  • Visualize very specifically what success is going to look like during a tryout/game

Pre-game and Post-game tips for coaches

Huge Idea #2

  • Discuss with your athletes: During games – it’s time to be done practicing.  Go out and enjoy the game.  Play free.
  • Simplify things.  Get the athlete to be thinking about images and feelings, not mechanics.

Inspiring Story

  • A racer saw himself as a top 5 racer, but not the top racer.  He was limited by his own expectations and beliefs.

Winning

  • If you focus on executing your best in the moment, the winning usually takes care of itself
  • At younger ages, the focus should be: developing skills, developing confidence, how to work with teammates, how to take instruction, how to manage mistakes

The One that Got Away

  • Dr. Cohn focuses on not letting the sport define you.  You a person first and foremost, sports does not define you.

Peak Performance Sports and Youth Sports Psychology

Parting Advice

  • Make sure the kids are smiling and having fun

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WYC 039 Dr. Michael Phillips talks Long Term Athlete and Coach Development

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Dr. Michael Phillips shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Michael is a professor of exercise science at Tennessee Tech University.  He has coached basketball at all levels – 5th grade AAU, middle school, high school, and 8 years at the collegiate level.  Michael also has studied and presented the concept of LTAD and LTCD – Long Term Athlete Development and Long Term Coach Development – concepts used by the Canadians and British, and being studied by the US Olympic Committee.  Michael is married and has 2 children, a 13 year-old son and 8 year-old daughter.

Twitter: @docphillips1

Facebook: /mikephillips

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you figure out why’ – attributed to Mark Twain

Coaching Your Own Kids

  • It’s hard to strike a fair balance of how hard to be on your own kid

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Being a former player – in Michael’s early years he realized he couldn’t just show up and teach them what he knew – he had to learn how to teach kids

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Michael found 2 keys to learning how to teach/coach:

1 – Going to coaching clinics

2 – Talking to other coaches

  • Begin lots of drills without a ball – teach them the footwork first, then add in a ball
  • Great drill – 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

Mental Peak Performance

  • Practices have to be fun, challenging, and competitive
  • Preparation is the key to achieving peak performance.  Take the thinking out of it- so they can just perform.  Make practices game-like so they don’t have surprises during the game.

Coaching Resources

Discipline/Rewards

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Spend much more time praising the kids who are doing it right – and much less time getting on the kids who aren’t behaving.  Often the misbehaving kids want attention so if you are giving all the attention to the kids who are doing it right, the misbehavers will fall in line.

Inspiring Story

  • Michael gave a scholarship to a kid who wasn’t as athletically gifted as some others but had an unbelievable work-ethic and attitude.  Michael really connected with the kid and they had a great experience.

Long Term Athlete Development and Long Term Coach Development

  • Canada and Great Britain have created programs that look at long-term athlete development instead of putting kids on teams immediately focused on winning
  • Most new coaches in the U.S. have never been trained on coaching

HUGE IDEA #2

  • When you coach – ask yourself: is your primary goal the long-term development of the athlete, or just winning?

The One that Got Away

  • When coaching college against his big rival – Coach Phillips showed some ‘Braveheart’ clips pre-game – and his guys got over-fired up before the game, and had absolutely no energy left 5 minutes into the game.  Lesson learned: be more methodical and business-like in pre-game, not too rah-rah.

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

  • Quote: ‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you figure out why’ – attributed to Mark Twain

 

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WYC 038 Emily Cohen from TeamSnap talks sportsmanship and lessons learned from great coaches

 

What does it take to be part of a winning youth team? Listen in as Emily Cohen shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports team manager.

Emily has been a team manager for youth sports teams for over 10 years.  She also is a blogger for TeamSnap, and also hosts a podcast for TeamSnap.  As a youth sports podcast host and blogger, Emily is passionate about sportsmanship, injury prevention, and sideline etiquette. Emily is married and has 2 kids, ages 18 and 15.

Website: www.teamsnap.com/community/podcast

Twitter: @emilygcohen

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming’ – John Wooden

Coaching Your Own Kids

  • Always have an assistant to provide balance for being your own kid’s coach
  • The Team Manager can be a conduit to hear concerns/complaints from parents – embrace this!

Team Managing Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • If the coach you work with is a bad communicator – don’t be afraid to step up and take over the communication role
  • Delegate!  Have specific roles assigned to a bunch of the parents – and assign them right at the beginning of the season (even if it’s something that you don’t need until the end of the season – i.e. coaches’ gifts, team videos)

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Talk to the kids physically at their level – take a knee so you’re not talking down to them which can be very intimidating (this can be especially important when coaching girls)
  • Minimize lines – have multiple stations to keep the kids constantly moving
  • Free-play – 30 minutes of no adult involvement

Mental Peak Performance

  • As a parent – Have your child own the experience and stay out of the way, and don’t attend tryouts
  • As a coach – put each kid in the best position for them to succeed – which is different for each kid
  • Coaches – you have to format your communication to your athletes – so that they don’t freeze from the pressures you are putting on them

Coaching Resources

  • TeamSnap – Software program and app that allows you to enter team rosters, schedules, and tons of team info. You can send scheduling updates easily and it’s a lifesaver for team managers.

Discipline

  • Corporate punishment for individual mistakes – You really need to think through your team chemistry and be careful if you are going to ever use this.
  • Community service can be another positive way to discipline kids.

Teambuilding/Rewards

  • HUGE IDEA #1 – Juggling competition – Each week you try to beat your previous record of how many times you can juggle the soccer ball.  Good reward because it encourages you to practice on your own outside of practice.  And you can set individual and team goals for each week and for the season.
  • When setting up teamwork goals – make sure you include the parents, not just the kids

Inspiring Story

  • Be on the lookout for a kid having off the field home problems – being late for practice, etc. – then seek to understand and see how you can help this kid out

Winning

  • Winning is a happy result – but there are so many more lessons to be learned from losing

The One that Got Away

  • Emily’s son’s final high school start as a baseball pitcher – they were up 5-1, and then one play rattled him and the team
  • HUGE IDEA #2 – Coaches – practice situations going wrong and momentum swinging against them – you have to practice it and be prepared for it
  • Teach your kids to be idiot-proof

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

  • Quote – ‘Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming’ – Coach John Wooden

Parting Advice

  • Forget about the win/loss record – and instead focus on making the experience fun

The TeamSnap Youth Sports Podcast

 

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WYC 037 Ray Lokar from Basketball4ALL.net and Positive Coaching Alliance talks teaching athletes to focus on WIN-Whats Important Now

 

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Coach Ray Lokar shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Ray Lokar is the Director of Basketball4ALL (basketball4ALL.net), which provides a variety of lessons, camps, clinics, competitions, and events for the benefit of the Southern California basketball community. Coach Lokar was the Head Basketball Coach of the 2002 CIF Champions while at Bishop Amat High School led St Anthony High School to the semi-finals, Western Christian High School to the quarterfinals, made 4 NCAA tournament appearances in his 9 years as an assistant coach at Pomona-Pitzer College and is a Past-President of the Southern California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association.

Always an advocate for the multi-sport athlete, “Coach Lok” coaches baseball at Covina High School and has two DVD series titled  “The Fundamentals Factory” and “Effective Practice Planning” for both basketball and baseball that are available at ChampionshipProductions.com. Ray’s book “101 BasketballTips”, published by Lifetips as part of their Lifetips Book Series,  is available at Amazon.com and his eBook titled “Creating Confident and Coachable Players” can be found on his website, basketball4ALL.net, where you can also book his sport-specific “Gold Standard Coaching” clinics. Lokar also serves as the Southern California Lead Trainer for the nationally renowned Positive Coaching Alliance (positivecoach.org) that provides tremendous resources for everyone in youth and high school sports. He has spoken for hundreds of organizations in over a dozen States on ethics in sports,  peak performance, getting the most out of your players, and being a good Sports Parent.

For over 30 years Coach “Lok” has taught basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, football, swimming and track in the San Gabriel Valley at the youth, high school, and college levels and has worked countless camps and clinics during that time for ages 8-18. He coached his children Shawn, Heather, and Brittany throughout their participation in youth and high school sports and they each went on to compete at the college level. Ray enjoyed it so much he is doing it all again  with his young son, Tyler, who he hopes learns all the same life lessons as his older brothers and sisters.

Website: basketball4ALL.net

Twitter: @CoachLok

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘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” – Coach John Wooden

Coaching Your Own Kids

  • Remember often kids like things their team’s name being the RoboSox as much as the wins/losses
  • Before volunteering to coach – make sure to ask your kid if they want you to be their coach
  • Err on the side of being a little tougher on your own kid- but communicate continually with your child, explaining to him why you are doing what you’re doing

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Early on – Coach Lok would start his coaching points being critical – after listening to a Coach Wooden observation, he started focusing on spending more time praising little successes and less time being critical
  • Coach each game possession by possession

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Kids respond to recognition and rewards (think about kids in a classroom who will do anything for a sticker)

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Your results will come from what you measure, recognize, and reward

Mental Peak Performance

HUGE IDEA #2

  • WIN – Whats Important Now – In high pressure situations – have the kids focus on ONE thing that is important(i.e. hold your follow through) – don’t tell them more than one thing or their head will be swimming with too many concerns

Coaching Resources

Discipline/Rewards

  • Advice from Larry Brown: ‘I don’t have a lot of rules, but I have a lot of suggestions’ – If you make any hardfast rules – you have to enforce them – so be careful making too many rules, especially because each individual situation is usually very different.
  • When things tend to go bad – the tendency is to crack down on the bad stuff – but often if you start praising more the kids doing it right – the rest will come along.  You can even come up with a rewards program for rewarding good behaviors.

Inspiring Story

  • You often won’t know the impact you’re having until years later: when John Wooden was asked if the season was a success: ‘We’ll find out in 20 years’
  • Coach Lok tries to draft at least 1 kid each year who is a little challenged and he could impact
  • Biggest challenge to mom/dad coaches – Make them love the game so they keep playing. ‘Don’t ever be any kid’s last coach’

Winning

  • Be careful about talking about end-of-the-year goals of winning a championship – you want to focus on winning each game, one play at a time
  • Jim Thompson, founder of Positive Coaching Alliance – ‘The heat that competition provides is crucial to the recipe of success’
  • Nelson Mandela – ‘Sports speaks to our youth in a language they understand’

The One that Got Away

  • Coach Lok went against his gut – in a game-winning situation – he didn’t let his son (who was his best player) take the shot – he was too worried about the perception from the parents.  When you’re the coach – you need to separate out emotions and do what’s best.

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

  • Books – anything by Coach Wooden
  • Coach Wooden stories:
    • Coach Lok asked Wooden about Wooden’s lack of verbal praise for his players: ‘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’
    • Coach Wooden talked about a player he kicked off the team for smoking – the kid quit school and didn’t go to college.  Coach Wooden said from that point on, he always thought about the consequences of his consequences.

Positive Coaching Alliance/ Basketball4ALL.net

  • Coach Lok is involved with the Positive Coaching Alliance – Their Double Goal Coaching material is a great starting place for a coach at any level
  • Coach also provides great resources for basketball coaches at Basketball4ALL.net

 

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WYC 036 Keith Van Horn, 10 year NBA veteran, talks youth basketball and the importance of free-play

 What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Keith Van Horn shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Keith was the ESPN NCAA Player of the Year in 1997, and went on be drafted with the 2nd pick in the NBA draft.  He spent 10 years in the NBA, averaged over 16 points per game, and went to NBA finals with the New Jersey Nets and the Dallas Mavericks.  He currently serves as the Founder and Executive Director for Colorado Premier Basketball Club which is the largest youth basketball club in the state of Colorado, and works with over 1,000 youth in the communities it serves.  He also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Positive Coaching Alliance.  Keith is married and has 4 kids, ages 11 to 19.

Website: keithvanhorn.com

Blog: layupsandrebounds.com

Twitter: @coach_keith44

Facebook: /keithvanhornofficial

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching my own kids

  • Keep the proper perspective – have fun, learn the sport, learn life lessons

My ‘Ah-Ha’ Moment

  • Youth basketball coaching is very unorganized (vs. other sports like youth soccer, which requires accreditation) – Coaches need to take a little time to get organized so they can teach well

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #1 – 1st look at it from the kid’s performance – why are the kids playing? – To have fun, spend time with friends, run and jump a little bit?  This might be different based on their gender also.  When looking at the 4F’s for goals – Fun, Friendships, Fundamentals, Fight – You need to individualize these for each player – some kids just want to hang out with their friends, others want to improve a skill, others just want to win – so create motivation/goals for each individual based on where they are at.

Teaching skills

HUGE IDEA #2

  • 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.
  • Teaching shooting – Do form shooting in 2 player groups – Shooting the ball back and forth to each other (without a basket) to work on form

Mental Peak Performance

  • If you are coaching an organization with tryouts – have good options for everyone – give the parents/kids good
  • As a player – the key is to play present and stay focused on what you are doing – you have to block out the fans/other coaches, etc.
  • The biggest thing a parent can do is instill the right priorities- a basketball tryout is not the most important thing for your child or your family

Inspiring Story

  • Keith is working with youth to teach more than basketball but real life lessons – dealing with losses, working in a team environment, the discipline of practice.

Layupsandrebounds.com

  • Blog created to encourage parents and kids on lessons learned off and on the court
  • Keith encourages more free-play time with no coaches – just learn the game and have fun

Parting Advice

 

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WYC 035 Brian Brunkow from ZeroOffseason.com talks Football, Concussions, and Coaching kids with Divorced Parents

 What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Brian Brunkow shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Brian is the founder of ZeroOffseason.com, where he trains wide receivers and blogs about youth sports, concussions, recruiting, and many more topics.  Brian is a divorce attorney and financial planner.  His background in divorce law has given him a unique perspective on the importance of dealing with divorced parents when coaching young athletes.  Brian began coaching his Junior year of High School, and has been coaching football ever since.  He recently was added to the speaker bureau at Glazier Clinics and will be speaking at their Head Coach Academy this spring on “Recruiting Regulations Every High School Head Coach Must Know.”

Website: zerooffseason.com

Blog: zerooffseason.blogspot.com

Twitter: @ZeroOffseason

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘We run a forward-looking operation’ – Chip Kelly after tough loss

My ‘Cringe’ Moment

  • Ego – Early on Brian ran a no-huddle offense just to get penalties on the defense – but in retrospect – what was he really accomplishing?
  • Priorities – Was he focused on winning, or developing ALL of the kids?
  • Leadership – It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and fail to communicate with your assistant coaches – prioritize over-communicating with your assistants

My ‘Ah-Ha’ Moment

  • Importance of communicating at the level they can understand – and keep the explanation short (under 10 seconds)

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Cross-train kids on different positions within a sport – they learn the game much better
  • Explain the ‘Why’ – so they can truly learn the game
  • From post-game to Monday practice – have kids think of:
    • 1 thing they did well
    • 1 thing they want to improve on
    • 1 lesson they learned

Huge Idea #1

3 areas to have the kids focus:

  • 1 – set process oriented goals (setting mini-goals within the game)
  • 2 – get present (teach the kid the big red delete button)
  • 3 – control the controllables

Mental Peak Performance

Huge Idea #2

  • Play present – The delete button, and ‘put on the thought-brakes’
  • Visualization – 2 things:
    • 1 – Visualize the worst-case scenario – and realize that failure will not define you
    • 2 – Post-game – Parents/coaches – Don’t discuss suggested improvements for at least 24 hours after a game

Coaching Resources

  • Bookmark your state’s interscholastic site – free resources on safety, concussions, etc.
  • Peak Performance Sports‘ newsletter by Dr. Patrick Cohn – lots of mental tips
  • Ted Talks – Great talks, one on ‘grit’ is great
  • Your library

Concussion Safety

Discipline

  • Don’t use conditioning as a punishment
  • 3 Types of mistakes:
    • 1 – Mental errors – Find a consequence that hits home with the athlete
    • 2 – Behavior errors – 3 strikes then you’re sitting out the rest of practice
    • 3 – Safety errors – get parents involved

Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Focus rewards on process more than outcomes
  • To inspire conditioning – when offense scores, offense gets to do 7 push-ups; when defense stops offense, defense gets to do 7 push-ups

Inspiring Story

  • Kid whose parents were going through tough divorce – Brian really poured into this kid and tried to make a difference in this young man’s life

The One that Got Away

  • In a game where they were heavily outmatched physically – Brian and his coaches spent halftime trying to figure out technical adjustments – he wished he had spent the time just teaching life lessons

Best Stolen/Borrowed Idea

  • Chip Kelly – after tough loss, talked about moving forward not looking back: ‘We run a forward-looking operation’

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

  • Quote: ‘Fall down 7, get up 8’
  • Book: ‘David and Goliath‘ – by Malcolm Gladwell – problem-solving creativity

ZeroOffseason.com

  • Book, blog, coaching and parenting advice
  • Developing student athletes
  • Tips on coaching kids with divorced parents
  • Book on amazon: Zero Offseason

Parting Advice

  • ‘Don’t send a 10 year-old into early retirement’ – Make them love the game and love being on the team

 

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WYC 034 Upward Sports President Caz McCaslin talks about Playing with Purpose

 What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Caz McCaslin shares stories and discusses God’s journey in developing Upward Sports to reach Hundreds of Thousands of kids through youth sports.

Caz is the founder of Upward Sports.  Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider.  Today, approximately half a million players at more than 2,000 churches in 47 states participate in camps, clinics, and leagues through Upward Sports’ Recreation Division.  In 2012, Upward Sports created its Performance Division – Upward Stars – aimed at young athletes wanting to further develop their skills and participate in a higher level of competition. Within the first year, approximately 900 athletes competed on Upward Stars teams.  Caz is married and has 3 grown daughters.

Website: upward.org

Twitter: @CazMcCaslin; @UpwardStars; @UpwardSports

Facebook: /UpwardSports

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘Caz, you don’t need another gym…What you need is 1,000 gyms.’

Coaching Your Own Kids

  • Remember that each kid is different so you have to coach them differently

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #1

  • The 360 Progression – Grow children mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially
    • Children want to grow – so give them the right direction
    • The progression for each kid is very different – you have to build on where they are at – then progress them.  It has nothing to do with their age or grade.
    • The greatest challenge for a parent/coach – is to understand where each child is in their journey – then progress then appropriately

Mental Peak Performance

  • Confidence and arrogance are 2 very different things – They are the same on the inside, but the difference is on the outside – are you confident internally or are you bragging externally?
  • Getting better, progressing – builds self-confidence on and off the court

Coaching Resources

  • Upward equips and trains their coaches in all elements of coaching

Discipline

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Billy Graham on sports: ‘It’s the last thing left where there is immediate discipline for wrongdoing’ – so make discipline immediate and make it be something the kids really want:
    • Freezeball: If a kid is dribbling and picks up his dribble – yell ‘Freeze’ – everyone freezes, then explain to the child that he cannot dribble again or it is a double-dribble.  His options are to pass or shoot.  Then unfreeze.
  • Let the team come up with the rules – i.e.: If someone talks when the coach is talking – let the team decide at the beginning of the season what the punishment is

Teambuilding

  • Every team should do a service opportunity in their community as a team

Inspiring Story

  • Being on a team often has a powerful impact on individuals but on and off the field
  • Coach K response to Duke’s only loss of one season: ‘How could I be disappointed in how these kids have grown and matured? I don’t have one ounce of disappointment in anything that has happened with this team’

The One that Got Away

  • In Upward Stars’ early days – they had a game ripped away from them by a referee – but Caz actually wouldn’t change a thing – because the Upwards Coaches, players, and parents handled it perfectly with class

Upward Stars

  • Created to bring the positive impact of Upward Sports to post 6th-grade athletes in competitive levels
  • 480 areas across the country targeted
  • Currently 41 areas served and growing

Parting Advice

  • The tagline for Upwards – ‘Play with Purpose’ – Coaches have a purpose with everything you are teaching these young men and women – a purpose on the court and more importantly a purpose off the court
  • ‘The moment you decided to be a coach – you became a legacy.  What kind of legacy are you going to leave?’

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WYC 033 Athlete Development – Olaniyi Sobomehin from Pro Squad Athletics and the New Orleans Saints talks self-confidence and ‘Prime-Time’

 What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Olaniyi Sobomehin shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports trainer.

Olaniyi is the founder of Pro Squad Athletics, which inspires and propels young athletes to their ultimate potential by showing what it takes to be great, providing a plan that works, and the systems, habits, and mindset that greatness requires.  Pro Squad has successfully trained athletes at the youth, high school, college, and professional levels.  Olaniyi played college football at Oregon State and was an All-American his senior year at Portland State and went on to play for the New Orleans Saints in the NFL.  Olaniyi is also a full-time firefighter, and is married and has 5 children, 3 sons and 2 daughters, ranging from ages 11 to a newborn.

Olaniyi has also generously offered a free 12 page e-book on the Power of Habits to Winning Youth Coaching listeners, check it out here: prosquadathletics.com/winning-youth-coaching

Website: prosquadathletics.com

Twitter: @NiyiSobo

Facebook: /ProSquadAthletics

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘Leaders are stubborn on vision but flexible on details and approach’ – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

Raising my kids

  • Who is taking control of how my kids are being conditioned(mentally and physically)?  If I don’t do it – somebody else will.  You have to invest in them and have a plan.
  • The Daily D system (Daily Disciplines) – each kid has a set of daily habits that are tracked and rewarded

My ‘Cringe Moment’

  • Early on Olaniyi thought his approach was the only right one.  He learned each kid, each team – have individual personalities and will respond uniquely.  So you have to constantly be learning.
  • ‘Leaders are stubborn on vision but flexible on details and approach’ – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Communicating in a way that the kids understand is your ultimate goal/challenge.  Use analogies with something they are passionate about (Legos, basketball, singing, etc.)
  • Tony Robbins: ‘The only way to know if you’re communicating well – is if your point is getting across’

Mental Peak Performance

  • Fear of failure- Great analogy – Olaniyi’s son hates to lose and might quit in the middle of a race – So he used the analogy of how obsessed his son is with Mari0 Kart to beat a level – when he fails to complete a level – he doesn’t quit, he keeps pushing reset until he eventually will beat the level.  So use this analogy to show your athlete the type of passion you need to accomplish something – quitting is the only way you will fail.
  • Quote: ‘As long as I take action, evaluate the effectiveness, and adjust according to my desired result, then it’s a win’
  • Initially the first killer of confidence is a lack of skill.  So initially establish a baseline and define some quick improvements where they can see their skill improve by doing some Daily disciplines.

HUGE IDEA #2

  • Confidence is a choice.  Olaniyi’s kids start each day by looking in the mirror and do ‘Affirmations’, they call it ‘Prime-time.’  They flex their muscles and tell themselves they are strong, confident, and proud.  They also record audio of their affirmations in GarageBand laid on top of their favorite track.

Discipline and Teambuilding

  • The #1 challenge for a coach is to establish a purpose for being on this team.  The athlete should be excited about coming to practice, not dread it.

Inspiring Story

  • One of Olaniyi’s students did not have much self confidence.  Olaniyi has worked with her to establish a life vision, purpose, morning mastery routine – now she is taking massive action towards these goals.

The One that Got Away

  • As an assistant coach- Olaniyi saw an athlete who was having a rough game – and he chose not to say anything because he was worried about overstepping his boundaries.  He regrets choosing passivity.

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

  • Quote/Book –  ‘ Never cut anything, never dilute greatness, never pull back on your horsepower, and never put a limit on your ambition, drive, and passion. Demand obsession of yourself and all those around you.’  – Grant Cardone in ‘The 10X Rule

Pro Squad Athletics

  • ProSquadAthletics.com
  • Inspires and propels young athletes to their ultimate potential by showing what it takes to be great, providing a plan that works, and the systems, habits, and mindset that greatness requires.
  • Pro Squad has successfully trained athletes at the youth, high school, college, and professional levels.
  • The Daily D habit system – for parents and for athletes
  • Athletes feel free to email Olaniyi with questions – niyi@prosquadathletics.com

Parting Advice

  • Be a student – invest in learning about your athletes- what makes them tick, what are their goals/expectations

 Promotions Partners

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 10.35.39 AM

Free 12 page e-book on the Power of Habits to Winning Youth Coaching listeners, check it out here: prosquadathletics.com/winning-youth-coaching

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WYC 032 Cheerleading – Sean Timmons talks BLT – Believe, Love, Trust; and access to Club Zero

 Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.53.36 PMWhat does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Sean Timmons shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful sports coach.

Sean is the Director of All Stars for all Premier Athletics facilities.  Sean cheered at Rutgers University, and was a member of the first open team at World Cup, The Wild Stars.  In 1996 Sean started his coaching career at the Pop Warner level with the Toms River Angels. During his time with the Angels they won three consecutive National Championships and his success landed him a job coaching at The World Cup All Stars in 1999. Within the 14 years at World Cup he has coached and choreographed for levels 1-5, and has won numerous State, Regional, and National Titles. While working at World Cup Sean also coached Lacey High School, Jackson Memorial High School, Howell High School, and was the Head Coach of Rutgers University from 2009 until 2014.  Sean has traveled all over the US and Canada teaching camps, choreography, judging, and speaking at conferences. He is a former member of the USASF National Advisory Board and is an inaugural member of the NACCC.  His certifications include USASF Level 1-5 (United States All Star Federation), AACCA (American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators), NCA (National Cheerleading Association), and USAG (USA Gymnastics).

Website: premierathletics.com

Twitter: @PA_Premier

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘BLT – Believe, Love, and Trust’

My ‘Cringe’ Moment

  • Early on – ‘I coached with a lot of ego’ and coached to his own agenda instead of putting the agenda of the athlete first

Coaching AH-HA Moment

  • Coaching Rutgers – Sean realized the importance as a role model/ parent role he held as a coach

Coaching Girls

  • You have to work with them through the changes in their athletic ability as their bodies go through changes
  • Your communication style needs to take into account how they respond – sometimes boys respond to ‘yelling’ more than girls – with the girls you need to adjust for this

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Set up drills/stations strategically so you can be watching multiple stations at the same time.  And having 5 or 6 stations for the athletes to rotate through keeps standing-around time to a minimum and the athletes’ more interested and engaged
  • You have to get the fundamentals right first before trying to put the whole team routine together

Mental Peak Performance

  • Mastering skills in practice is best preparation
  • Visualize with your eyes closed your perfect routine
  • If you can walk-through your performance the day before the event at the actual location.  Take out surprises.

Skill Development at young ages

  • Learning skills young can help – but make sure you learn them right first!  It’s much easier to teach them correctly instead of trying to correct bad habits developed.

Discipline

  • Talking to the parents and getting on the same page is key

Reward, Recognition, and Teambuilding

  • Moving up a level is a big recognition – the girls get a bow and they celebrate.
  • ‘Club-Zero Bracelets’ – Anytime an athlete has a perfect routine they get a bracelet.  Then the gym/team with the most bracelets at the end of the season gets recognized with sweatshirts.

Teambuilding with Parents

  • 3 parts to every team: 1 – the athlete; 2 – the coach; 3 – the parents.  When all 3 are working well together, success is more likely to happen.
  • Parents night out – they open the gym up and parents can drop off girls and parents go out (hopefully with other couples from the gym).  Same is true when they have closed practices.

Inspiring Story

  • One of Sean’s students wrote an essay about him as one of the most influential people in her life – he kept this and when he is having a tough day he will read it

The One that Got Away

HUGE IDEA #2

  • In a big competition Sean failed to thoroughly read through his score sheets after the first day, so they made the same technicality on day 2 – and it cost his team first place. -‘My head might as well have popped off my shoulders’.  READ THE RULES/BE THOROUGH!  And don’t be shy about bringing in another coach as a 2nd set of eyes to make sure you are doing things the right way.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Sean learned from a coach who had an amazing gift for communicating everything in a positive way

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

  • Every team is different, so each team has a different quote that applies to them
  • ‘BLT’ – Believe, Love, and Trust

Premier Athletics

  • 9 facilities in 5 states – 4 in TN, 2 in KY, 1 in MI, 1 in NC, 1 in FL
  • Multifunctional facilities – gymnastics, dance, preschool programs, class/school cheer, tumbling classes
  • premierathletics.com

Parting Advice

  • Love the kids unconditionally – regardless of their athletic performance

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WYC 031 Mental Sports Psychology – James Leath talks achieving peak mental performance

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as James Leath shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful sports coach.

James is currently getting his masters in mental sports psychology, has coached youth sports for many years, and is a student of all aspects of sports performance.  James started coaching when his 8th grade coach had to leave the team, so James took over and coached his own 8th grade team!  James played college football and played for the Los Angeles Extreme in the XFL.  James is married and works in sales.

Website: jamesleath.com

Twitter: @jamesleath

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

 

Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘Spend less time in the strategy books, and more time in how to talk to kids’

My ‘Cringe’ Moment

  • Not being organized
  • When he was just out of college – Not being on time actually got him fired from a coaching job.

Coaching AH-HA Moment

HUGE IDEA #1

  • Keep it simple; Run less plays.  Learned from a coach that ran only 1 formation – that coach only lost 3 games in 4 years.  When you simplify formations and the kids don’t have to think about where to line up – the kid’s confidence and success skyrockets.
  • ‘If your goal is to freeze an athlete – give them a whole bunch of stuff to think about’  Give them only 2 decisions to make on a play, and you’re OK as long as you only choose 1 of these 2(even if it’s the wrong choice, because we can teach you how to choose better).  I’m only going to be upset if you choose something other than 1 of these 2 choices.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #2

  • 2 absolute foundational books:
  • Remember to keep the kids accountable – while you love the kids, you are ultimately their mentor and coach, not their peer friend
  • ‘Spend less time in the strategy books, and more time in how to talk to kids’
  • Everything in short bursts – John Wooden would talk in 20 second bursts
  • How to Improve my Youth Practices:
    • Don’t scrimmage very much.  Only the best athletes touch the ball in scrimmages, plus it’s hard to coach in this environment.
    • When teaching  a skill – try to find a way to make the focus the technique, not the result.  So for basketball – teach them against a wall to try to work on form and hit a crack on the wall.  Then add steps that eventually progress into actually shooting at the basket.  This process builds their confidence and makes the focus perfecting their technique.

Coaching Resources

  • Youtube
  • Reach out to your local high school basketball coach
  • The Talent Code‘ by Daniel Coyle

Inspiring Story

  • James and his wife have fostered kids, so some of his athletes have actually stayed with him.  James had one kid who stayed with him for a while in 6th grade – that kid in 11th grade was about to play in state championships and called James up at 11 o’clock at night to talk – very cool.

The One that Got Away

  • Coaching girls basketball – He smacked his plastic clipboard and it shattered in 20 pieces.  He was upset about the girls not getting rebounds – then afterwards he thought about it and he had never spent any time teaching them how to rebound.

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

Parting Advice

  • Pay less attention to strategy and more attention to fundamentals

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