Tag: lead em up

WYC 137 – Youth Baseball – Jack Perconte talks Creating a Season to Remember

Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth and their parents through the complicated world of youth sports. Combining his playing, coaching and parenting experiences he continues to help create better sporting experiences for both athletes and their parents. He has authored multiple books, including his most recent, Creating a Season to Remember.

Website/Book: baseballcoaching.tips
Twitter: @Jackperconte

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Listen Now:

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Cringe Moments

  • Early on Jack was bothered by the ‘know-it-all’ kids, but over the years he has learned to stick with them and they can become some of your best supporters

Teaching skills

  • Start with talking with the kids about their individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Set up short-term and long-term plans with them
  • Utilize multiple stations with small groups to keep everyone

Achieving peak performance mentally

  • Confidence comes and goes, it’s the coaches job to keep stay optimistic. Good things happen in the players’ heads when you have confidence in them and let them know you believe in them.
  • Confidence comes from perfecting the fundamentals

Attitude

  • When Jack was playing in the Dodgers organization, the Dodgers came down to watch a couple players  in the minor leagues. One player was on fire, and the other was struggling. A few weeks later they called up the player who was struggling. They said it was because they were so impressed with the attitude of the player while he was struggling.

Parents

  • It’s critical to have a meeting with the parents before the season and explain your philosophies on playing time, strategies, etc.
  • Continue that communication with updates to the parents throughout the season

Coaching your own kids

  • Each kid is different. Some embrace learning from their parent, some resist it.

The One that Got Away

  • Jack made the last out of the season in a one game playoff when with the Dodgers
  • Failure is a great motivator to work harder

Favorite books/quotes

  • All books by John Wooden

Baseball coaching 

  • Website/Book: baseballcoaching.tips
  • Creating a Season to Remember – A great A to Z resource for coaching a team
  • Podcast: Something Worth Catching

Parting Advice

  • Stay ahead of the curve. There are so many resources, keep learning.

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The Big 3 (ways to win at sports)

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing.
You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time.
Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”​
– Vince Lombardi
I am not a ‘winning’ apologist. It’s in the name of my podcast.
I spend a lot of energy talking about building strong children and developing awesome team cultures.

​​​​​​​That is why winning is important. One of the fundamental cornerstones in building strong children is teaching them to not be satisfied with ‘good enough.’ 
That’s what’s so powerful about competition. It is a measuring stick that provides tangible results on how we are progressing.

The key is defining the end goal. John Wooden defines it like this:
Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.
A win, in and of itself, should not define whether you were successful. If you let it, you will become complacent after a win. You shouldn’t. You should continue the striving ‘to become the best you are capable of becoming.’
We discussed this at length in this week’s podcast. Strategies on how to lead your team to perform it’s best.
Lynden Gwartney has studied winning coaches in sports and compared the results with military leaders who have been successful on the battlefield.
Looking at 45 components of successful teams, he narrowed it down to his ‘Big 3.’
  1. Find your opponents weakness and attack it
  2. Stick with what’s working
  3. Find your opponents strength and neutralize it
These are great in-game tactics for a coach to use to give their teams the best chance to perform at a high level and have success in the game. (And dare I say, give their teams the best chance to win?)
Check out the podcast with Lynden here.
Make winning your habit starting today!
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WYC 136 – How to Win at Sports – Lynden Gwartney talks the Science of Winning

Lynden Gwartney is the founder of Mind Of A Champion Sports, and trains athletes and coaches in the principles of winning in sports. He is the author of How to Win at Sports, where through examples from Marine Corps history and analysis of the world’s top athletes and coaches – as well as thirty years of exprience as an athlete and coach – Lynden reveals the concepts that all champions use to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Facebook/podcast: /scienceofwinningpodcast

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Coaching 6 year olds

  • Break every motion into 3 simple steps. Step bend pass, step bend pass.
  • Maximize touches!

Winning – The big 3

  1. Find your opponents weakness and attack it
  2. Stick with what’s working
  3. Find your opponents strength and neutralize it

Find your opponents weakness and attack it

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • What are their tendencies

Stick with what’s working

  • This changes game to game. What’s working TODAY.
  • You have to use statistics to make these decisions. Don’t just go on ‘feel.’

Find your opponents strength and neutralize it

The Science of Winning Podcast & How to Win at Sports book

Parting Advice

  • Focus on the big 3.

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WYC 135 – Coaching Education – Dr. Clayton Kuklick talks Random practice design & the power of analogies

Dr. Clayton Kuklick is a University of Denver Clinical Assistant Professor of Master of Arts in Sports Coaching and a PhD in Athletic Coaching Education. Clayton played college and pro baseball and has coached at all levels from youth through college.

Thank you to our sponsors! – Lead ‘Em Up – Save 10% using discount code ‘wyccoaches’ at leademup.com

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Coaching your own kids

  • Make sure to communicate the different roles you will be having with your child – coach vs. parent

Cringe moments

  • Initially Clayton was very structured and controlling. He learned to incorporate different ways to facilitate and teach vs. structure and commands.

Teaching Skills 

  • The difference between learning and performance – Create variation in activities vs. blocked practice design.
  • Dynamic systems theory – Provide a few guidelines, then allow athletes to try different strategies and learn. Small-sided tactical games are a great way to do this.

Mental toughness

  • Routines can reduce stress – Having a pre-bat routine in baseball reduces stress. Practice it. In practices, before they perform a task, have them: Take a deep breath, one positive thought, then we go. A positive thought is best when process related: fast and loose vs. get a hit.

Culture

  • It starts with core values. Keep it tight – have only a couple core values. Then you have to define what behaviors demonstrate those core values.
  • Great analogies to reward behviors –
    • The Sugar Shaker – who made practice sweeter today?
    • The Live Sponge – who learned and applied something new today?

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Clayton coached a kid who was struggling in school, he had a big presentation coming up – so they used some of the same mental skill approaches they use in athletics to apply to his presentation

The one that got away

  • Clayton played on a team in college that went to the playoffs, and they got pampered and ate a bunch of unhealthy food. They had not educated their players throughout the season about the importance of their diet.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Clayton played with Justin Gordon – and Justin did a great job using analogies

Favorite Quote/Book

Parting Advice

  • Challenge: How can you embed life skills into your practice drills? Decision making, resiliency, social skills.

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WYC 134 – Youth Football – Anthony Stone talks Every Kid Learning 2 things

Anthony Stone is a Physical Education teacher at Gregory Elementary School and Quarterbacks Coach at Boylan High School in Rockford, Ill. He is also the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach for the 2017 Women’s Australian National Outback Team & writes blogs for “Hudl” & “Firstdown Playbook.”

In July 2016, he was named to the Hudl 100 list. He has presented at IAPHERD, the top physical education convention in Illinois, on how to get students moving with his Games Galore presentations. He has also presented at the Chicago Glazier Clinics on quarterbacks & special teams. He was the Defensive Coordinator for the 2010 U.S. Women’s National Tackle Football Team, winners of the IFAF Women’s World Championship in which Team USA did not allow a point in three games with an overall score of 201-0.

The rest of his coaching experience involves coaching in the CIFL and the IWFL Leagues as well as Beloit College (Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator) and Rockford University (Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers).  As well as coaching football at the youth, middle school and high school level.

He will be putting on fundamental youth football camps around the world in 2017, with his “Back to the Basics Football Camp” coming to a city near you.

Website/books: coachstonefootball.com

Thank you to our sponsors! – Lead ‘Em Up – Save 10% using discount code ‘wyccoaches’ at leademup.com

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

‘If you’re still teaching your quarterback the day before the game, you’re in trouble’

Coaching your own kids

  • Why not? You can learn what you don’t know, go do it if it interests you

Cringe moments

  • ‘I was a yeller’. Anthony has learned the value in being positive

Teaching Skills – Great games

Practice Planning 

  • Use notecards/notebook – keep it with you in practices and games and note things you need to work on
  • When teaching skills – visual analogies comparing the motions to real-world activities work great.

Mental toughness

  • Practice reading situations – so your players know what to look for and don’t panic when they see something new
  • ‘If you’re still teaching your quarterback the day before the game, you’re in trouble’
  • Mondays through Wednesdays are work/teaching days
  • Monday – introduction
  • Tuesday/Wednesday – work day
  • Thursday – the players should be teaching it back to the coach
  • Friday (gameday)- just be there to chit-chat with the players, not teach them anything new. Ask them if they have any questions – if they do, have them try to answer their own question.

Coaching up the parents

  • Moms of football – go from a fan, to a team mom, to a coach on the field
  • Have a teaching day – start with your coaching philosophy. Then make a one-page cheat sheet that explains the basic rules. Then take them on the field and have them try it out a bit.

US Lacrosse soft stick program

Culture

  • Start with a team motto i.e. #CloseTheGap
  • Have the kids create the team standards and the motto

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Anthony mentioned several stories of guys he has connected with who have become lifelong friends

Favorite Quote/Book

  • Quote: ‘Work smarter not harder’
  • Quote: ‘Don’t make a bad play into a worse play’
  • Quote from Lou Holtz: ‘You need 4 things in life: Something to do. Someone to love. Someone to believe in. Something to hope for.’

Coach Stone Football resources

Parting Advice

  • Have fun. Make sure every kid learns 2 things, and has fun and wants to come back next year

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Overfunctioning = Underfunctioning

Newton’s third law of motion:
 For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 
Had a great conversation this week with a friend who was one of my mentors and church youth group leaders when I was a rambunctious teenager.
He is now a certified leadership coach through the Resilient Leadership program in Washington, D.C.
We discussed the empowerment experiment I am going through with my current team, and he provided a powerful A-Ha moment.
I was drawn to start the conversation with him when I saw he was part of a new podcast titled ‘The Overfunctioning Leadership Podcast.’
Overfunctioning. That word drew me in.
As we discussed the empowerment experiment, he shared the simple, yet profound concept:
When there is an overfunctioning leader in any group, whether it is a sports team, a work team, or any group environment – the team members will always underfunction.
There are no exceptions to this rule. It is a law of nature, specifically Newton’s third law of motion. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
He validated that our empowerment experiment is dead on. If the coaches and parents are doing all of the work, the children have no opportunity to ‘carry the water’ or ‘sweep the sheds.’ How can leaders be developed if we are taking away their opportunities to lead?
So we will continue to look under every rock for opportunities to allow our athletes to own this team and experience. To be empowered. To lead.
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WYC 133 – Youth baseball – Dave Holt talks drills and practice design

Dave Holt is a high school administrator/ teacher, operates a private baseball teaching school, helps with an American Legion baseball team and constantly is researching, writing articles and guidebooks, and adding to his coach and play baseball website.

Website/books: coachandplaybaseball.com
Facebook: /Holtbaseball

Thank you to our sponsors! – Lead ‘Em Up – Save 10% using discount code ‘wyccoaches’ at leademup.com

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

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Quote

‘A good coach can give correction without causing resentment’ – John Wooden

Coaching your own kids

  • Dave’s dad did a great job of just going out and playing with and throwing with his boys, and not instructing them. Just let them learn to enjoy the sport and don’t antagonize them by nitpicking their mechanics.

Cringe moments

  • Dave wishes he had spent more time on the one-on-one relationship side of coaching

Teaching Skills

  • Maximize # of touches!
  • Get lots of touches in some type of competition
  • Fast catch – Line up with a partner and when you’ve caught 10 in a row, take a knee (competition)

Mental toughness

  • You want kids to be ultra-aggressive and play without fear
  • Be thinking long-term development, not short term wins.
  • Don’t focus on winning. Focus on playing well.

Travel sports options

  • Travel sports lite – you can do travel teams and compete within your own area, not all over the country

Culture – Rewarding success

  • Dirtiest uniform, biggest sweat ring on their hat, best encouraging teammate

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Dave coached a kid who was going to quit, Dave got together with the principal and they encouraged him not to quit. He stuck with it and went on to start on the baseball team his senior year.

The one that got away

  • Dave had a player who was the best player on the team and skipped a team event. Dave played him instead of disciplining him, and regrets that decision.

Best Stolen Idea

  • 3-team it: Break the team into 3 teams and rotate them together. Great way to practice with lots of touches and you can scrimmage with these 3 teams.

Favorite Quote/Book

Coach and play baseball resources

Parting Advice

  • Baseball has a very high level of failure. Embrace and expect mistakes. Help kids manage the failures.

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Silent Saturday – An experiment

“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
Our fall practices culminated this past weekend with a scrimmage against another local team. As a continuation of our empowerment experiment, here is a quick summary of the conversation I had with my main assistant coach (who is 24 years old) after our last practice:
 –
Me: ‘Hey man. We’re going to implement a silent Saturday approach to our coaching during our upcoming scrimmage. The only 2 things we are going to yell from the sidelines are substitutions and praises.’
 –
Assistant: ‘But 2/3 of these kids have never played in a lacrosse game before. I think we’ll be setting them up to be confused and frustrated if we aren’t giving them some guidance.’
 –
Me: ‘Your concerns are valid. What if we do this: 1- Utilize our experienced players to coach up the newer players and explain to them where to be/what to do on the field. 2 – Use timeouts and play stoppages to answer questions to minimize their frustration’
 –
Assistant: ‘I will try it out. I don’t agree this is the best way to do it, but I’ll give it a try.’
 –
Me: ‘OK I respect that. Let’s debrief after the game, and we’ll write down what we were most tempted to yell out as instructions, and that way we’ll know those are areas we need to focus on in future practices to better prepare them for gameday.’
 –
I read a post by my friend James Leath this week that was discussing the same thing, teaching in practice and letting players play in games. He said it like this:
‘make sure every athlete understands the expectations you have for them and the knowledge to live up those expectations.’
You can read his full post here: James’ blog
 –
I told James about my experiment and here is how he said he does it:
I keep a 5×8 card in my pocket and fill it up after the game with areas I need to teach better in practice. The game is not the time, it’s too late!
So full disclosure – it was very hard to bite my tongue during the game! 🙂 But we did it for the most part, and the whole experience was much more enjoyable – for the coaches, players, referees, and parents!

We are meeting as a coaching staff next week – and we are going to take the notes from after the game and use that as a starting point as we prepare for practices in the spring.
John O’Sullivan writes about this process and summarizes the issue very well:
“It’s the introduction of adult values into kids’ games,
When I grew up, it was children competing against children.
Now, more often than not, it’s adults competing against other adults through their children.” 
– John O’Sullivan Changing The Game Project
Teach in practice, let kids play in games!
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WYC 132 – Mental Toughness – Christian Buck talks Goalies having a ‘Bring it’ Mentality

Chris Buck, President of Get It Done Consulting (www.getitdoneconsulting.net), has his Masters in Exercise and Sport Psychology and is a Certified Consultant and member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). He has consulted with professional and amateur athletes alike, implementing mental conditioning programs in a wide variety of sports, including lacrosse, golf, tennis, soccer, basketball, track/field, crew, fencing, hockey, and baseball.

Coach Buck works with multiple NCAA lacrosse programs as a Sport Psychology Consultant to the team as well as a Goalie Psychology Specialist. He is also the Goalie Psychology Specialist for G3 Lacrosse.

Chris is the author of “Thinking Inside the Crease,” a book describing how to become a mentally tough dominant goalie. He also wrote the Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 goalie coaching certification materials for US Lacrosse.

Chris grew up and played lacrosse in Wilton, CT, winning two state championships during his time there and finished his four-year high school career with a 46-1 record as the starting goalie. After high school, he played lacrosse at Ithaca College.

Professional Website: getitdoneconsulting.net
Twitter: @GetItDoneCT

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Quote

‘What you believe is more important that what is objectively the case’ – Albert Bendora

Cringe moment

  • Chris coached a girls team, and didn’t know the difference in the rules between boys and girls rules, so he was telling the girls the wrong things

A-ha moments

  • Grades are just as important as on-the-field skills to earn a scholarship!
  • Remove self-limitations, believe you can accomplish huge things. ‘What you believe is more important that what is objectively the case’ – Albert Bendora

Mental toughness

  • The physiological affects of fear cause you get into Fight or Flight mode. Chris teaches his goalies to develop a fight mode, ‘bring it!’ “Let’s see how many bruises you can get”
  • Focus on doing your job, not on impressing others or getting the win
  • Don’t provide physical solutions to mental problems
  • When making goalie changes – communicate! Even if you are just wanting to get someone else some playing time, they may view a switch as them getting benched. Talk to them about exactly what is going on. Something as simple as ‘Wasn’t your best game, but you’re still my guy.’

Practicing in a game-like environment

  • Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent
  • Ask who wants to take a pressure shot in practice – good way to see who might be clutch player at the end of a game

Flushing routines

  • Take your hat off, brush some water in your hair, when you put your hat back on you are starting anew
  • Release, replan, refocus – Turn your back to the field of play, replan, then when you turn back around you are refocused
  • Serena Williams – has notecards at her bench with 2 or 3 points of emphasis, she looks at them every time she changes sides
  • Evaluative environment vs Expressive environment: Players don’t perform well when they feel they are being evaluated every single play, they perform much better in a expressive environment
  • Dump card – write down everything that is stressing you out – then leave it in their locker – you’re not bringing that to the field with you – you can stress out about it again when you get back to your locker

The Sport of School – the book

5 different types of student athletes:

  1. The workhorse
  2. The rookie
  3. The natural talent
  4. The spectator
  5. The intellectual

3 ways to be successful:

  1. Work hard
  2. Solve problems
  3. Have intellectual curiosity

Book: Coming soon!

Best Stolen Idea

  • Brendon Burchard – Influence
  • CUP: Connect, Uplift, Praise

Favorite Quote

  • Quote: ‘The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there’ – Vince Lombardi

Parting Advice

  • Have the players control the controllables. Focus on effort.

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

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

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

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

Book: /book link
Twitter: @CTrieste2

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Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Coaching your own kid

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

Cringe moment

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

Teaching Skills

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

Mental toughness

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

Culture

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

14 Great Coaches – the book

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

Parting Advice

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

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WYC 130 – Youth Coaching – Mike Kasales talks how the military builds teams & achieves peak performance

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

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

LinkedIn: /michaelkasales

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Quote

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

What can coaches learn from the military?

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

Team warm-ups

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

Teaching Skills

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

Fun Games to teach skills

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

Mental toughness

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

Culture

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

Connecting with and impacting kids

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

The one that got away

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

Favorite book/quote

Parting Advice

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

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A Novel Experiment to Empower Athletes

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


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

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

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

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

You prepare a healthy breakfast for your child.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

The answer was – A bunch of it!

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

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

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

It always comes back to the saying:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Quote

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

Coaching your own kids

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

Cringe moment

  • Early on, Casey was too focused on winning

Teaching Skills

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

Games

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

Mental toughness

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

Culture

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

Captains and leadership

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

Rewards and recognition

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

Connecting with and impacting kids

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

The one that got away

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

Favorite book/quote

Best borrowed/stolen idea

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

Parting Advice

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

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Finish This Sentence: ‘I Am Unstoppable At ___’ ??

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

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

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

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

Website/book: bysamwalker.com

Twitter: @SamWalkers

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Quote

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

Inspiration for the book

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

Coaches – Develop your leaders

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

Youth coaches – Key characteristics to Develop

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

Choosing captains

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

Do you need captains on a team?

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

Sportsmanship – The Cuban National Volleyball team

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

Parting Advice

  • Find a partner – a captain – on your team

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

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

Website/Podcast: drdavidgeier.com

Book: tghbook.com

Twitter: @drdavidgeier
Facebook: /DrDavidGeier/

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Quote

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

Practice Design

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

‘That’s gotta hurt’ book

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

Youth injury prevention

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

Concussions

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

Favorite Book/Quote

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

TedX Talk

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

Parting Advice

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

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

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

Website: meaganfrank.com

Twitter: @choosingtogrow

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Quote

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

Coaching your own kids

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

Cringe moments

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

Coaching girls

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

Teaching skills

  • Start and end each practice with something fun/positive

Good energy-builders

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

Player Choice practices

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

Peak performance

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

Building Culture

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

Best team building activity

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

Travel sports choices

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

The one that got away

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

Best stolen/borrowed idea

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

Favorite Book/Quote

Parting Advice

  • Smile. Have fun. It is contagious.

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

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

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

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

Website: jamybechler.com

Book: theleadershipplaybook.com

Twitter: @CoachBechler

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Quote

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

Cringe Moment

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

Teaching skills

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

Peak performance

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

Building Culture

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

Captains

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

Training your leaders

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

The one that got away

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

Best stolen/borrowed idea

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

Favorite Book/Quote

Parting Advice

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

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Anatomy of a Teammate ?? Captains Part 3 of 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website (and book coming soon): kateleavell.com

Twitter: @kateleavell

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Quote

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

Coaching your own kids

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

Cringe Moment

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

Accelerate Deep Training

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

Good Icebreakers/games

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

Peak performance

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

Building Culture

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

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

2 – Players – Positive self-talk

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

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

Lessons from Jon Gordon

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

The one that got away

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

The Positivity Experiment

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

Parting Advice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twitter: @CoachTJRosene

Websites: pgcbasketball.comhardwoodhustle.com

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Quote

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

1st steps in building culture

  • The first step is believing
  • Then define key cornerstones

Buy-in & Building great teammates

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

Empowering players

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

Communication needs 3 things:

  1. Truth
  2. Love
  3. Transparency

Start each practice talking for 5 to 8 minutes

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

Communication – Life skills

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

Caz McCaslin’s 2 minute Coaching tips

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

Captains

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

Leadership development

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

Connecting with kids

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

The One that got away

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

Best Stolen Idea

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

PGC Basketball Clinics

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

Parting Advice

  • Keep perspective. Define your legacy.

– 

Today’s Sponsors

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

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

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Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch – Part 5: O Captain My Captain

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Part 5 – Captains
It’s easy for coaches to be control freaks. I am. It’s very hard for me to give up control of anything. I have trouble giving up control to assistant coaches, so it’s even harder for me to give up control to kids, i.e. captains.
But that is the old me, the one who often would get distracted by winning instead of developing young men. And ironically, the winning actually happens more for teams that have full buy-in. So this has become a huge learning point for me, developing captains that lead the team. Here is the breakdown:
Why are they important?
  • It’s your chance to develop the next generation of leaders! Teach them to be problem solvers, don’t do it all for them.
  • Buy-in. Work with the captains for establishing your team’s standards. Brainstorm with them on how to handle discipline – it starts with them!
  • Ask the captains what they are seeing in the game. Gametime should be minimal instruction – let the captains be your vocal leaders. Janis Meredith from Positive Sports Parenting teaches parents to use the acronym WAIT – Why Am I Talking – this often applies to coaches too. Listen more, talk less.
How do you pick ’em?
Your captains are held to a higher standard. If they are cutting corners when you are running laps then they probably aren’t good candidates to be a good captain.
There a tons of theories on how to pick them: do the coaches pick them, do the players vote, or a combination of these choices (coaches narrow it down to 5 then players vote, or visa versa.) I don’t know if there is an absolute wrong or right, but here’s what I have found works well:
  • Let the kids vote for 3 people
  • Tally the results, then look it over to see if there is a big gap between the totals. That can help you decide if there are 2, 3, or 4 captains.
  • You then pull aside each of them individually and let them know the responsibilities of being a captain. This is your chance as a coach to vet out anybody you have a concern over.
When do you pick em?
Waiting until the season starts is too late for a school team. Ideally at the end of a season, have all the non-seniors (returning players) vote for next year’s captains. That way you can be meeting in the offseason with the captains to plan for next year’s season.
How do I train them?
My friend Adam Bradley has developed a resource that is entirely dedicated to training captains how to lead teams. The cool thing is knows kids have short attention spans so he has made all the lessons in his 8 week character development series into games. It’s an awesome resource, go check it out:
What about non-recurring teams (travel teams, youth sports teams)?
All of the above applies, except for the timing. You probably will want to have several weeks of practice then have the team vote. Since you won’t have the benefit of an offseason to plan with the captains, the coaches will have to establish the standards and get buy in from the captains as early as possible.
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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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