Tag: mom

WYC 159 – Youth Baseball – Adam Walker – A Championship Culture

Adam Walker is the coach of a U14 boys fastball(baseball) team in Ontario Canada. His note to WYC:

‘I have been coaching for years in hockey and fastball, I have had good results but not great. I also had decent relationships with my athletes but again not great. Last winter I found your podcast and after listening to a lot of episodes especially those around creating a winning culture I made some changes to the way I coach. In the past I was never overly negative but I didn’t focus on being positive. I spent time talking to my athletes but I didn’t make it a point to really know them.

After making these changes last season not only did I see a huge change in the passion these young athletes have for the game, we were also closer as a team, I developed great relationships with my athletes, and in the end we won our provincial championship and then went on to win a National Championship.

These young athletes had such a passion for the game and it resulted in them working harder every time we were at the diamonds. In the end their skills and self confidence grew and the result was a National Championship and memories these kids will never forget.’

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

New Sponsor!

Want to save time running your sports team without paying a penny? Overwhelmed by constant texts, calls and emails?  Check out the Heja app, which helps coaches all over the world more easily manage youth sports teams – 100% free of charge!
Click the link to download the app and get your team better organized for free now! app.goheja.com/pod

Show Notes – WYC 159 – Adam Walker

Cringe Moments

  • Putting way too much emphasis on winning championships at the youth level. ‘It was more what I wanted not what the kids wanted.’

Long Term Athlete Development

  • How do you prepare athletes long-term to succeed? Failure is part of the process – have them fail early, but make sure it is in a safe environment.

Changing culture

  • Post-game talks – Coach doesn’t need to rehash all the things they did wrong. Have the players share with each other what they did well.
  • ‘Your athletes can either show up to every game afraid to make a mistake or excited to play the game. Both options are up to the coaches.” Put pressure on the other team by making them make a perfect play, then live with the results.
  • You have to be both: Positive & Demanding.
  • They had a plan:
    • Year 1 – Develop _____ skills
    • Year 2 – Enhance _____ skills
    • Year 3 – Put these together and compete to win championships

Game goals

  • Process based. Not ‘go 3 for 3’, but rather ‘hit 2 balls hard’

Best Stolen/Borrowed Idea

  • 3 team game – 1 in infield, 1 in outfield, 1 hitting. They do it every practice.

Favorite books/quote:

Parting Advice

  • Focus on the long-term. Not the individual game wins.

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The best playbook ever

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:
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 Don’ts 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.
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WYC 158 – College Recruiting – Shannon Evans – A Female Coach in a Boys Sport

Shannon Evans is the Founder of The Scholar Coach Academy. Shannon was an active lacrosse coach and is now incredibly passionate about spreading the word about the Truth of getting athletic scholarships, importance of teaching Leadership prior to college and HS and celebrating failure!

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

New Sponsor!

Want to save time running your sports team without paying a penny? Overwhelmed by constant texts, calls and emails?  Check out the Heja app, which helps coaches all over the world more easily manage youth sports teams – 100% free of charge!
Click the link to download the app and get your team better organized for free now! app.goheja.com/pod

Show Notes – WYC 158 – Shannon Evans

Each One Teach One

  • The experienced players get to teach the less experienced. So the coach shows the experienced player what they want to teach, then the experienced player teaches that skill to the less experienced. Great way to teach your leaders how to lead.

Great small area game

  • Chumash – 3 on 3 – can score on either side of the goal. Similar to 3 on 3 basketball, you have to take it ‘back’ when possession switches.

Pop goes the weasel/Fox in the box

  • 5 defenders in front of goal, 5 offensive players. Defenders have to stay in the box, offensive players cannot go in box. Then a defender ‘pops’ out of box and covers the ball, then when that players passes it the defender goes back into box and the next defender pops out. Teaches offense to not run into traffic and move the ball.

Nonverbal communication

  • Creating some really simple hand signals is much more effective than trying to yell across a field

College recruiting – Showcases

  • Elite camps – the key is the student needs to have a relationship with the coaches before the camp.

College recruiting – Know what D1 demands are

  • D1 – Train and practice year-round – Full time job year-round and you go to school
  • D2 – Full time job in-season, mostly a full-time job out of season
  • D3 – Full time job in-season, off-season the expectations are much lower

Best way for a high school coach to prepare an athlete for college

  • Freshmen/sophomore year – Look for camps where coaches from a school you want to go to will be. Make sure the school you are interested in has the major you want to study.
  • The athlete should email coaches (make sure you understand the specific NCAA guidelines for your sport). Never should come from the parent. Coaches don’t want to hear from parents.
  • Remember MOST college athletic scholarships are not for full rides. Many only cover 1/4 to 1/3 of cost.
  • Grades/test score/rigor of your schedule – are the most important things a high school athlete should focus on.

The one that got away

  • Being a female coach in a boys’ sport – Shannon got called horrible names. She taught her players the best way to beat a bully is to outscore and outplay them.

Favorite books/quote:

  • ‘You can march to the beat of a different drum but you have to stay in the parade’

Parting Advice

  • For each practice – have a clear measurable obective. Tell the players what it is at the beginning of practice, then review it at the end and ask for input on how well you accomplished it.

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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Guest Post – Tips For Smaller Hockey Players

Tips For Smaller Hockey Players

Just 5-foot-6, Theo Fleury was an eighth-round draft pick who would go on to register 1,088 points in a 15-year career that wrapped up in 2003.

At 5-7, Henri “Pocket Rocket” Richard — the younger and shorter brother of Maurice “Rocket” Richard — became the only player in NHL history to play on 11 Stanley Cup winners.

They called Marcel Dionne “Little Beaver” because he stood all of 5-8, but that didn’t stop the longtime Kings star from scoring 731 goals, fifth in NHL history.

Lest you think that sort of thing is ancient history, think again. For all the behemoths – 6-9 Zdeno Chara and 260-pound Dustin Byfuglien leap to mind — there is still plenty of room in the NHL for players who check in at less than the league average of 6-1, 201.

Players such as Brad Marchand (5-9, 181), Johnny Gaudreau (5-9, 157), Cam Atkinson (5-8, 179) and Alex DeBrincat (5-7, 165) have all found NHL success — and there are lessons any undersized player can take from those players and others to prove that size doesn’t always matter.

Roll With It

You’re short. Everybody knows it. Don’t go all Napoleonic about it. At least, that was Gaudreau’s take in a 2016 piece for the Players’ Tribune:

“You’re always going to have people on you about your size, so do what you can to be in on the joke,” Gaudreau said. “Last All-Star weekend, Ryan Johansen brought out a little kid during the penalty shootout and scored a goal with him. So as a gag, Jakub Voracek came up to me and asked if he could use me as a prop for his shot. I thought it was hilarious.”

A couple of other tips from Johnny Hockey:

• “Next piece of advice, keep your head up. Always. You’re not built to take heavy shots, so you have to be twice as careful out there.”
• “Try that move out, look silly, and get better. As long as you’re smaller, your best skill needs to be your effort.”

Go Big or Go Home

In everything you do on the ice, demonstrate size — of your heart, your effort, your willingness to learn. These keys will open doors typically closed to smaller players.

Maximize your gifts: You can’t make yourself taller, but you can work on getting faster, stronger and more explosive. That means time in the weight room as well as on the ice.

Emphasize those gifts: If you’re the fastest player on the ice, build your game around it. If you’re a great passer, focus on setting up your teammates. Get better at the things at which you’re already good.

Play with confidence: Believe in yourself, play to your strengths, know that your size can lend you an elusiveness that big players are not granted.

Accept contact: It’s going to happen anyway. Like Gaudreau said, keep your head up. Keep your feet moving and your center of gravity low — victories in NFL line play typically go to players with the best positioning and leverage, not the most strength.

See and sense the game: Decision-making skills can be honed, hockey IQ (or “ice sense”) can be developed. Pickup games help, tough practices help, small-area games where you stay on the ice longer and you’re more concerned about finding the open man than dragging your carcass up and down the ice helps. So does carefully watching the smartest players in the game.

If You Don’t Believe, No One Will

Mostly, the key to your success is just don’t quit.

Ultimately, it comes down to belief in your ability. One without the other isn’t enough. Or, as Gaudreau said, “It doesn’t matter where you’re playing or if you’re getting cut from teams. If you have the talent, the right person will find you.”

Author bio: AJ Lee is Marketing Coordinator for Pro Stock Hockey, an online resource for pro stock hockey equipment. He was born and raised in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, and has been a huge Blackhawks fan his entire life. AJ picked up his first hockey stick at age 3, and hasn’t put it down yet.

A thank you to our sponsor who makes WYC possible – check them out:

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WYC 157 – Youth Baseball – Peter Caliendo – Developing the Habit of Hustle

Pete Caliendo has lead clinics for Major League Baseball International, USA Baseball and many other baseball organizations in various Latin American and European countries, and throughout the United States.

Pete has lectured on baseball all over the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America, has written articles for various publications and an international coaches book. Has a set of 5 baseball instructional DVD’s developed specifically for the volunteer coach to help them organize, teach and have fun throughout their practice and games.

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

New Sponsor!

Want to save time running your sports team without paying a penny? Overwhelmed by constant texts, calls and emails?  Check out the Heja app, which helps coaches all over the world more easily manage youth sports teams – 100% free of charge!
Click the link to download the app and get your team better organized for free now! app.goheja.com/pod

Show Notes – WYC 157 – Peter Caliendo

Cringe Moments

  • Trying to repeat a process over and over again – each individual is unique and sometimes you’re best to just work with what works for each individual. Keep an open mind when working with athletes.

Teaching skills

  • Don’t just practice ‘normal’ situations – practice reacting after a mistake is made (a groundball is dropped, then react to how recover)

Achieving Peak performance mentally

  • Kids need to fail, earlier better than later. Ask them ‘what did you learn?’
  • Let the kids make decisions, let them learn, don’t use them as robots.

Team Culture

  • It starts with respect for the game. Respect your equipment, your opponents, the umpires. Clean your dugouts.
  • Character – are you happy when your teammates do well? How do you treat your teammates, the coaches, ets.

Captains/Leaders

  • They are servants and need to model behaviors

Discipline

  • It’s all about communication – if a player isn’t hustling, ask them ‘are you tired?’ If they say no, tell them it looks like they’re tired because they’re not running hard. Maybe tell them you’re going to sit them out of the next few plays because they look tired, and they need to come tell you when they are ready to run hard again.
  • Practice hustle. It’s a habit, not inborn. For warm-ups in practice, have them run to their position on the field. Then blow a whistle and have them run back to you. (hidden conditioning)

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • It’s cool when players you coach start implementing things you taught them

The one that got away

  • Tell kids what to do, not what not to do.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Don’t just copycat other coaches’ ideas. Learn, but make it your own.

Favorite books:

Parting Advice

  • Create the most fun you can in practice. Make it unique and not too repetitive/boring. Make it competitive.
  • Come with enthusiasm. Talk to each kid during each practice. Talk less, ask more questions.

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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Quite often I talk too much

Last week I wrote about the first huge takeaway I had at a recent level 1 certification class put on by U.S. Lacrosse, Are you a palms-down coach or a palms-up coach? 

The second principle that really hit home was the concept of Guided Discovery.

Quite simply, it is the concept of letting those you coach learn through their mistakes. Contrast that with the old-school approach of telling them in excruciating detail exactly how to do something.

Picture yourself teaching a new skill, I’ll use picking up a groundball in lacrosse as an example:

Old way:

  • You spend 10 minutes explaining the proper way to pick up a groundball, you demonstrate it, and you tell them all the reasons it’s important to do it ‘your way’ and the bad things that can happen if they don’t do all the things you’ve shown them. Then you let them try it and you walk around correcting mistakes.

Guided Discovery:

  • You start by playing ‘hungry-hungry-hippo’ with lacrosse balls by splitting the group into 2 teams, throwing a bunch of balls on the ground, and tell them it’s a race to see who can pick up the most balls and put them back on their side.
  • After a couple of rounds of this, you ask the group what seemed to work well when picking up the balls, and what seemed to not work so well. Maybe they say ‘it works better to use 2 hands instead of 1, and it works better when I bend lower and put both hands really close to the ground.’
  • You acknowledge their ideas and suggest trying another round or two using some of those concepts.
  • And you keep adding constraints as their skill level gets higher

Which method do you think will get more buy-in and understanding from the athletes?

This concept reminded me of a great question coaches can ask, as written about by Michael Bungay Stanier in his book The Coaching Habit – Say Less, Ask More, and Change the Way you Coach Forever:

The AWE Question – ‘And What Else?’

When talking with the players on our teams, instead of continually offering solutions, instead ask them ‘And what else?’ or ‘Tell me more.’ Then listen and seek to deeply understand.

I often fall into the trap of thinking that if I explain something clearly, people will naturally understand. But that’s not how most people learn. People learn by doing. Failing. Figuring it out on their own. Discovering. Solving. 

My job as a coach is to teach these young men and women. And if people learn by discovering solutions vs. being told them, that’s what I need to do. Talk less and listen more.

 

A thank you to our sponsor who makes WYC possible – check them out:

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WYC 156 – Girls Lacrosse – Dave Briglio – Say Less & Ask More

Dave’s bio:

My direct sports coaching experience range from 2-10th grade for the past 10-yrs, but I also intersect with the varsity players while I’m working w JV (girls lacrosse). But my day job (consulting Engineer) is what led me to learning to coach adults on the job, and see how similar the process is between 8-18 yr olds and 22-62 yr olds…different nuances, but it all comes from the same place: connections, compassion and creating community. And it doesn’t have to be all rainbows and unicorns; but it certainly takes a lot more than “managing” and “instructing” with a firm attitude.

My big interest is seeing how critical youth/HS sports are in helping the next generation grow into the best people they can be. And I tell stories about my time as an athlete, mentors I’ve found after college, my family history (Dad created a company/vocation with a HS diploma and a work ethic futures through sports), and the young people I “serve” as their “Chief” Engineer.

And I now use these stories to help PARENTS see how to have less worry and find more joy in their kids’ sports/school.

Facebook: /complete3

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

New Sponsor!

Want to save time running your sports team without paying a penny? Overwhelmed by constant texts, calls and emails?  Check out the Heja app, which helps coaches all over the world more easily manage youth sports teams – 100% free of charge!
Click the link to download the app and get your team better organized for free now! app.goheja.com/pod

Show Notes – WYC 156 – Dave Briglio

Coaching your own kids

  • In an ideal world you can have non-parent coaches, but often there aren’t enough coaches so you have to step up to help the program
  • The key is to be open and honest and communicate with your own kid and the other kids about being a parent coach

Teaching skills

  • Guided Discovery – It is more effective to let the kids figure it out on their own vs you just telling the kids how to do it
  • Start with a basic drill, and as they develop expertise in that skill, you add a twist to the drill to add complexity

Letting the players own the game

  • The players can’t hear you – so barking orders during the game is very inneffective and frustrating
  • Send in instructions with the next group/line. Coach them vs. yelling at the players on the field.

Achieving Peak performance mentally

  • Praise the effort over achievement
  • Fear is a very short-term motivation. A feeling of security and that someone believes in you is best way to increase kids’ confidence.
  • Figure out what you want to celebrate – and do it a bunch, in practice and in games. Real-time (otherwise it feels like false praise if you do it later.)
  • Some of the best praise is when you are doing it ‘behind their back’ – when you are praising someone who is not there at the time.

Self Esteem vs Self Confidence

  • Confidence is what you visibly display. But esteem is what you truly believe about yourself.

Favorite books:

Parting Advice

  • Play with them – Jump in and practice with them

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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Are you a palms-down or palms-up coach?

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”  – Jim Valvano

I recently had the opportunity to attend a level 1 certification class put on by U.S. Lacrosse. Besides the myriad of great drills I learned, there were two overarching principles that were sprinkled throughout the training that really hit home for me. I’ll share the first today, and next week I’ll share the second.

The first principle that really caused me pause was the question:

Are you a palms-down coach or a palms-up coach?

 

 

I wasn’t sure what they meant by this at first, but it’s really easy to picture when you think of game and practice scenarios:

When a player makes a mistake, or a referee makes a call you don’t agree with – what is your reaction? Think about your body language.

  • Do you hold your hands up in the air with palms-up and visibly show your frustration?

or

  • Do you hold your hands down with palms-down and say ‘It’s OK’?

Think about how different these approaches makes the person (athlete or referee) feel on the other end. A palms-up response is really saying ‘I can’t believe you could make that mistake. You are not a good athlete/referee. I don’t believe in you.’

Compare that to the palms-down response. This approach tells the person ‘You might have made a mistake, that’s OK we all make mistakes all the time. It doesn’t mean you are a bad athlete/referee. We can discuss how to do it better next time. I believe in you.’

It really comes down to your purpose in coaching. If you are trying to prove your worth via wins and losses, you will be a palms-up coach because you think someone else’s mistake is making you look bad. But if you are trying to lead a group of young men and/or women to be the best they can be, and help teach them how to be better and pour into them, you will be a palms-down coach because it is all about them not you.

Let’s all commit to being a great palms-down coach!

A thank you to our sponsor who makes WYC possible – check them out:

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WYC 155 – The War for Four – Brad Butterworth talks Intentionality in Everything You Do

Brad Butterworth is the Director of Education and programs for Shoot360.

Brad has been in basketball development for 18 years as a head high school and collegiate coach. As a high school coach, he was able to help guide Dana Hills to its best records in school history. He’s worked with Florida State University, Western Washington University, Air Force Academy and Colorado College. Coach Butterworth’s success at the high school level was due to the work he put into the youth of his program in order to create a more competitive community and repeat success. He took that philosophy and helped create scale-able basketball development programs using sports technology.

Website: shoot360.com
Facebook: /Shoot360
Instagram: @shoot360
Twitter: @shoot3sixty

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

New Sponsor!

Want to save time running your sports team without paying a penny? Overwhelmed by constant texts, calls and emails?  Check out the Heja app, which helps coaches all over the world more easily manage youth sports teams – 100% free of charge!
Click the link to download the app and get your team better organized for free now! app.goheja.com/pod

Show Notes – WYC 155 – The War for Four – Brad Butterworth talks Intentionality in Everything You Do

Cringe Moments (Brad calls ‘Turnovers’)

  • Brad went into his early coaching experiences without understanding how he needs to sell his program to the players and parents and community. Selling their vision.

Communication

  • Always taken place, whether you say it or not
  • Find shared values with parents

Four Keys

  • 1 – Spacing
  • 2 – Timing
  • 3 – Communication
  • 4 – Dramatics (or engagement) – Am I sold out to this?

Mastery

  • 4 stages:
    • 1 – Don’t know what they don’t know
    • 2 – Know what they don’t know
    • 3 – Know what they know
    • 4 – Doesn’t even know that he knows (unconsciously competent.) Only way to get here is practice.
  • The War for Four (rule of the doubles)
    • Out-offensive rebound your opponent by factor of 2
    • Shot attempts in the paint 2x amount of opponent
    • Deflections 2x amount of opponent
    • Free-throw attempts 2x amount of opponent

Shoot 360

  • Advanced basketball facility
  • Teach individuals, teams with advanced skill development
  • Get 350+ shots in 1/2 hour. Exact statistics are kept for every shot, allowing for instant corrections
  • Facilities on west coast, Indianapolis, and growing all the time
  • Website: shoot360.com

Parting Advice

  • Don’t worry about winning. Kids need to enjoy the game.

Legends on the Lake Coaching Academy

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It’s time for me to stop talking and start doing

‘We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope’ – Romans 5:3-4

You know someone’s message is effective – when it doesn’t just make you think, but it causes you to ACT.

This week’s podcast with Riley Tincher, did just that for me.

Riley opened his heart about the power coaches had in his life. In saving his life to be specific.

During the podcast, I shared with him about 2 conversations I had recently with parents of kids struggling to find their identities in high school. I had talked with their moms about some suggestions. But I had not taken the time to talk with these boys individually.

Typically when I finish a podcast interview, I am a bit spent and take some downtime to get a snack and relax for a bit and think through what was just discussed.

But after my conversation with Riley, literally from the second I hit the button to end our Skype call, I felt encouraged to take immediate action on my calling to be a coach. To quit talking about being a coach who cared, and instead to take action showing my love for these boys.

So before I did anything else, I immediately texted both boys and set up one-on-one meetings with them. To pour love and wisdom and encouragement into them, and as Riley so passionately shares in his message, to let them know they are uniquely created with gifts that have nothing to do with their athletic prowess.

It’s so easy to get caught up with practice plans, X’s and O’s – I hope this note encourages you to set up a meeting, make a call, write a note – reach out to 1 or 2 kids on your team. Do it now. And keep being a a coach that pours hope into these young men and women – what a glorious calling!

A thank you to our sponsor who makes WYC possible – check them out:

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WYC 154 – The Struggle of Self-Confidence – Riley Tincher – ‘You are more than an athlete’

Riley’s bio: I am a former All-American pitcher at UW-Whitewater. I am now a Mental Conditioning Coach (Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology), Author, and Speaker. I own a mentorship program called Coachability, where I have had the great fortune of coaching and mentoring athletes at every level. My book, “Pitching Against Myself,” is about my baseball career and all of the life lessons I learned throughout it, and how they apply to life after sports. It also shares an important message that I wish I would have been able to hear back when I was playing before the identity crisis, depression, and suicide; a message that says “you are more than an athlete.”

Pitching Against Myself book: Use discount code ‘WYC20’ at rileytincher.com to save 20% off book
Facebook: /RileyBTincher
Instagram: @RileyTincher
Twitter: @RileyTincher

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

New Sponsor!

Want to save time running your sports team without paying a penny? Overwhelmed by constant texts, calls and emails?  Check out the Heja app, which helps coaches all over the world more easily manage youth sports teams – 100% free of charge!
Click the link to download the app and get your team better organized for free now! app.goheja.com/pod

Show Notes – WYC 154 – The Struggle of Self-Confidence – Riley Tincher

Lessons from being told “You Should Quit”

  • Riley’s first baseball coach at age 14, after the season told Riley ‘You Should Quit’. This created a huge chip on his shoulder to prove him wrong. But it created an unhealthy need in Riley to prove himself to others.
  • ‘There is purpose in your pain’ – Riley’s struggle with depression and suicide was turned around when a mentor taught him that the purpose in his pain was to help others.
  • I AM MORE THAN AN ATHLETE – The drop caps that start each chapter of Riley’s book spell this phrase, without him planning this.

Performing in pressure situations

  • A big key is understanding we are not alone
  • Practicing pressure situations is also key
  • Confidence comes from:
    • Affirmation – Your words (as a coach) are critical. Remind athletes that they are great where they are. And they can get better. And most importantly, they are worthy enough to get better. A great activity is for athletes to write down affirmation statements about themselves, and then have them share them with their teammates – challenge them if they don’t see to believe them: ‘Speak up, say it like you mean it’
      • You’re the kind of person who _________ (is willing to take the big shot; will learn from any failures or mistakes you’ve had/made)
    • Achievement. Struggle is part of it. The greater the struggle, the greater the reward.

Culture

  • The worst: the coach said ‘I am your master and you have to listen to me’. They had ‘rules’ – but the best athletes didn’t have to keep them.
  • The best – Didn’t have rules, had standards. The players created them.

Best advice from a mentor

  • If you don’t change what you believe about yourself, nothing will change

Parting Advice

  • Stop focusing on the scoreboard and start focusing on your legacy

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Lacrosse Coaching Tactics by Age – Guest Post by Lacrosse Scoop

Ahhh the age-old question for every youth coach out there, do I coach to win or for my players to “have fun”? Should I play everyone equally or should the better, or at least harder working players get more playing time? What age is too early to stop coddling and start coaching players more aggressively? Unfortunately there are no right answers, but here is my best stab:

Ages 10 and Under

At these ages, it is the parents, not the kids, which drive everyone else nuts. No your kid is not a lock to get a scholarship, yes he or she does need to sit on the bench for a few minutes each game. No your kid’s coach isn’t biased against your kid. The worst I have ever seen is baseball parents of young kids, just because your kid had a homerun last game does not mean he will have a 15 year career in the major leagues.

Coaching kids and dealing with their parents in this age group is all about tact. You will want to play each kid close to the same amount of minutes each game and make sure that each kid has the opportunity to start throughout the course of the season. Foster a positive experience and atmosphere so that your kids look forward to practices and games and are able to learn both hard and soft skills.  You will want to teach your kids all of the basics, making use of lacrosse rebounders will allow them valuable reps to improve their coordination and anticipation.

Never lose your temper with kids this young or raise your voice, even if you “have an excuse to”.  You will be fighting a losing battle and doing your kids a disservice.

Ages 11-13

You can turn up the intensity a bit with middle school aged players.  There is nothing wrong with having depth charts and giving your stronger players more opportunities.  We cannot shield our kids from reality forever. Anyone reading who has had middle school aged kids would agree, they can be MEAN! Keep the culture positive and do not allow for any bullying.  Guys especially like to give each other a hard time so make sure that it never crosses the line, you want your players to look forward to practice and games.

Age 14+

High School Lacrosse is one of my fondest memories as a teenager. Almost all of my best friends in high school played lacrosse with me.  Teenagers love to push back to authority so make sure they know who is in charge, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have a sense of humor and a whole lot of fun coaching your kids.  It will shock you how much progress your kids make year to year when they work hard. Between how much they grow physically and mentally and how much time they put into becoming stronger players, they will shock you which is one of the true joys of coaching.  Even though they won’t admit it at this age, the kids still look up to you and appreciate you.

 

There is no magic bullet with coaching kids, when in doubt, air on the side of being patient, understanding and keeping your composure.   Outside of their parents, you are one of the kids biggest role models.  Teaching the fundamentals of the game is crucial, but playing team sports like lacrosse as a child means so much more, the opportunity to meet lifelong friends, learn soft and hard skills and overcome obstacles is invaluable to children.  If you haven’t considered it before, give youth coaching a try, it is essentially volunteering and youth counseling but I suspect you will get as much out of it as the kids to, especially if it means spending quality time with your kids.

This is a guest post by Evan Sutker, founder and owner of Lacrosse Scoop

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3 Ways to Improve Your Basketball Game – Guest Post from Basketball Phantom Blog

3 Ways to Improve Your Basketball Game

Many basketball players assume that to improve your game you should just shoot a lot. Sure, putting the ball in the hoop is the primary goal of every basketball player.

However, there are other parts of your game that require practice as well. Here are three ways to improve your basketball game, things you can work on to be a better player and teammate.

Court Awareness

As players improve their skills, they usually move up in level. As the talent improves, so does the speed of the game.

One of the most important, yet often overlooked basketball skills is court awareness. But, how can you improve this important skill? How can improve your natural instinct to know where you are on the court at all times, without even looking?

Developing better court awareness is the same idea as becoming a smarter basketball player. It starts with knowing the court dimensions precisely.

Measure the width of the free throw lane for instance, and then measure how many strides it takes you to cross from one side to the other. But, what do you do in the areas of the court that don’t have markings?

An old coaching trick is to move players around the court while they’re blindfolded. Start at one point and work your way in a direction you think moves you closer to the basket.

You may find this hard to begin with, but watch how you improve. After a few steps, try to guess where you are on the court at any given time.

Check to see how close your guess is, then start over. It’s essential to work with a partner on the blindfolded drill, but after a while, you’ll begin to have a natural sense where you on the court without even looking.

There are also motion drills you can do that not only practice basic skills like passing, but also enhance your on court awareness. If you know where you are on the court at all times, it makes sense that you can quickly know where you need to be in an instant.

Foot Speed and Agility

As boring as it might sound, there are times when you need to practice things on a basketball court without a ball. Two of those skills are foot speed and agility.

If you can’t keep up with your opponent, or the pace of the game, you’re going to soon find you’re always one step behind. But, how do you improve your foot speed and agility.

Aren’t these skills something you’re just born with? One reason some players like to think they are, is because working on foot speed and agility is both boring and hard.

To get faster, you have to run. Players often see wind sprints as a mode of horrific punishment leveled by an ogre coach. This is not true.

When you sprint from the baseline to foul line, bending over to touch each line, you are improving both your court speed and agility. Sure, these types of sprints, often called suicide sprints, are hard.

However, the sure way to improve your speed is to sprint, and then, sprint some more. To make your pursuit of better foot speed and agility more enjoyable, like court awareness practice, there are some fun drills you can do to improve these essential basketball performance skills.

Ball Handling Skills

Once you appreciate how important court awareness and agility are in the game of basketball, you can move to the skills that put points on the scoreboard. The team of players who can score the most goals, obviously, wins basketball games.

Getting the ball up the court and to open shooters involves ball handling skills. Everyone seems to love practicing their shooting, but to get an open look; you need to be able to handle the ball.

If you’ve watched professional players prepare for games, you may have noticed superstar players doing ball handling drills before they ever shoot a practice shot. You can do tip drills and dribbling exercises at home.

Every time you pick up a basketball and work it around your body, your ball handling skills will improve. Some ardent coaches even have their players carry a ball around with them everywhere possible.

Like the previous skills, there are on court drills you can do to make practicing ball handling skills more fun. You can work on your power dribble, or set up cones and do figure eights.

The objective is to make the ball feel like a part of your hands. When you are comfortable with the feel of the ball, you’ll have better control. Like everything else in basketball, to improve your ball handling skills, there is no substitute for practice.

Summary

We all want to improve our basketball skills. However, some players are reluctant to work on the little things. Try these three tips to improve your basketball game. Each one will help you toward the ultimate objective, scoring more points than your opponent.

This is a guest post by Sasa Cvetkovic, founder and owner of Basketball Phantom Blog

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WYC 153 – The Playmaker’s Advantage – Dr. Leonard Zaichkowsky talks How to Raise Your Mental Game to the Next Level

Leonard Zaichkowsky, PhD, a professor, researcher and consultant for almost four decades at Boston University, pioneered sport psychology by bringing cognitive neuroscience and sport performance together as an interdisciplinary science. His academic textbooks and research publications demonstrated the importance of an athlete’s remarkable brain in anticipating and acting on opportunities during competition.

He has consulted with teams in the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, Australian Rules Football, the Spanish men’s national soccer team, and Olympic sport organizations around the world. Len is a former president and a fellow of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, and currently section editor on psychology for the International Journal of Health & Sport Science. Recently, the American Psychological Association honored Len with the “Distinguished Service to the Profession” award.

Today, Len is a co-founder and senior consultant at 80 Percent Mental Consulting, advising coaches, teams and sports organizations on developing athlete cognition. After too many Boston winters, he and his wife now live in Fort Myers, Florida.

Buy The Playmakers Advantage on Amazon: Link

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Teaching Skills

Performing in pressure situations

  • Simulate pressure situations often in practice
  • Small area games where all the kids get more touches in tight areas under pressure
  • Encourage the better players to be your leaders and encourage the lesser talented players

Developing athletes

  • Kids need to be active physically (around the neighborhood, in the backyard) before diving into high-level competitive athletics
  • The best athletes are typically self-developed, not grown by private lessons at an early age

What makes a Playmaker?

  • Deliberate practice – It takes a motivated athlete who constantly is thinking about, playing the sport
  • Overspeed training – Go so fast that you fall down physically. For mental overspeed training – there is a neurotracker. Good website: gamesensesports.com

The one that got away

  • Len kicked a bag of oranges after a bad call and they went all over the court

Best stolen/borrowed idea

  • Tight area games
  • Overspeed training

The Playmakers Advantage

  • The brain and understanding the thinking process is so important to all areas of life
  • Buy The Playmakers Advantage on Amazon: Link

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Picking up the Trash

Heard a really cool story this week. One of my son’s best friends’ cousin is lacrosse player in another state. He is a rising senior, and while quite talented, wasn’t on a lot of D1 radars for lacrosse. Then, after a few fabulous outings at some national lacrosse tournaments, the interest level started quickly rising.

Not that unique of a story at this point, athlete does well and gets some opportunities.

But what happened next is where this story gets really interesting.

This young man got a call from the head coach of one of the top college powerhouse lacrosse programs, some would argue THE top program.

The coach requested the young man and his parents come that weekend for a visit and meeting. They did.

And this story is what still gives me goosebumps: The coach began the meeting with this:

“We saw you play last weekend and were impressed. So we came down to the field after your last game and looked for you. We found your teammates. They were hanging out, taking off their pads, having a good time. But we couldn’t find you. We looked and looked, but to no avail. Then finally we saw you. You were over in the team tent. Picking up trash, cups, and cleaning up. In that moment you went from an average recruiting target of ours, to THE top target. You see, lacrosse is a sport generally consumed with young men who are entitled, selfish, and uncoachable. But what we have found is that recruiting players who will pick up the trash helps us build a culture that wins championships.”

Gives you goosebumps, right?

And as a sidenote – can you guess what 2 books this coach recommended as summer reading for this young man?

Not surprising at all – Legacy by James Kerr, and The Hard Hat by Jon Gordon.

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WYC 152 – Your Coaching Purpose vs Your Coaching Goals – Scott Hearon

Scott Hearon is a native Nashvillian and a 2006  graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy where he played football and basketball for the Big Red. A remarkably average athlete, Scott did not make a big impact in the high school stat columns, but he found his niche as a gifted leader and communicator among his teammates and coaches. Scott continued on to Baylor University and earned a degree in Communications and a minor in Business. While at Baylor, he met new football coach, Art Briles, during football tryouts when Coach Briles informed him that his 5.0 second 40 yard dash time was not quite good enough to be a slot receiver for the Bears.

After returning from Texas, Scott took a ministry job working with high school students and their families and coaching in his spare time. He found a lot of success in his day job, but found his coaching to be a disaster. Reminded of the incredible potential athletics has to prepare players for life, Scott set out on a mission to be be a more full hearted leader himself and to develop opportunities to help other coaches do the same. This journey led Scott to co-found the Nashville Coaching Coalition in 2015 and begin as the Executive Director full-time in 2016 with the goal of fully leveraging the human growth potential of sport in Nashville.

Previous episode with Scott:

WYC Episode 106

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

The good and bad of sports coaches

  • Many kids validate themselves based on what coaches say to them and how they treat them

The lost dream of being an all-state player

  • When Scott realized he wasn’t going to be an all-state player, he could feel the disappointment from his father. He and his father realized this wasn’t healthy, so they ended up reaching out to Joe Erhmann to learn what being a man is really all about.

The 8 Feelings

  • Dr. Chip Dodd has researched emotional intelligence – and come up with 8 core emotions that every human has. We have the ability to choose a positive or a negative response to each emotion. The 8 core emotions are:
  • 1 – Hurt
  • 2 – Lonely
  • 3 – Sad
  • 4 – Anger
  • 5 – Fear
  • 6 – Shame
  • 7 – Guilt
  • 8 – Glad

Why do you coach?

  • To win a championship?

or

  • To build strong children?
  • Difference in goal vs purpose:
    • Purpose is about the big picture (to love kids)
    • Goal is the short-term focus of the team (to win a championship)

Meetings with parents

  • Always have the players present
  • Always start every conversation with your purpose statement
  • Over-communicate your vision

The Coach Forum

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WYC 151 – The Circle of Intentional Influence – James Leath

James is the Founder of Unleash the Athlete and former Head of Leadership and Character Development at IMG Academy. He helps college, professional athletes, and business professionals develop the mental and relational side of their craft through interactive lectures and teambuilding activities. James is also the director of performance for Complexity, the esports organization owned by the Dallas Cowboys.
Instagram: jamesleath
twitter: @jamesleath

Previous episodes with James:

WYC Episode 31

WYC Episode 50

WYC Episode 61

WYC Episode 100

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Don’t sell yourself short

  • James was going to apply for an internship at IMG, his mentor told him to go for the full-time job
  • Do you ever sell yourself short, thinking you’re unqualified?

I’ve arrived – the destination of a championship

  • ‘I wished I would’ve enjoyed the journey more’
  • ‘Who am I now? I’ve always been the person going after this’

The Circle of Intentional Influence

  • Influence -> Relationship
  • Relationship -> Trust
  • Trust -> Authenticity
  • Authenticity -> Ownership
  • Ownership -> Credibility
  • Credibility -> Influence

How to Communicate Effectively

  • Take your sunglasses off
  • Take a knee
  • Take note of what’s behind you (the sun, the cheerleaders)
  • Take 2 minutes or less

Unleash the Athlete

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WYC 150 – Youth Baseball – Donny Murray talks Overspeed Training

Donny Murray is currently a professional pitcher in the independent Frontier League. Donny is from Boston, was a 4 year starter at D1 Holy Cross, and also pitched 2 summers in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Falmouth Commodores. In 2016, Donny pitched the first no-hitter in USPBL (professional independent league) history. He also works with SuperSpeed Slugger, which is a bat speed training product being used by MLB teams and youth players of all ages. The WYC listeners can get 10% off SuperSpeed Slugger by using promo code “WYC”.

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Making Cuts

  • Always try to look at potential, and a huge factor is attitude and if they are coachable

Adjusting when losing talent

  • Be pre-emptive with your culture to get your players/coaches focused on the right things if the winning is going to drop off
  • It’s even more important to develop your leaders when winning is going to be tough. A leadership council of 2 kids per grade can help prepare your younger leaders for when they are future captains.
  • 2 types of captain:
  • 1 – Vocal leader
  • 2 – The hard-worker who just gets it done

Using video

  • Using video analysis is a great tool for a player and/or a coach

Teaching Skills

  • Take the time to evaluate a player before you start giving advice. Don’t watch them for 1 rep and start changing things.
  • Then start with the fundamentals and get their foundation right.
  • Individualize your feedback!

The One that Got Away

  • Donny’s last collegiate game – he just wasn’t ‘on.’ It made him work that much harder to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Best Stolen/Borrowed Idea

  • Make every practice drill a competition

SuperSpeed Slugger

  • Overspeed training – a set of 3 bats. 1 is 20% lighter, 1 is 10% lighter, and 1 is 5% heavier
  • Swing with both sides of the body (not just dominant hand). Great for injury prevention
  • Teaches the body to swing faster.
  • Within 6 weeks it’s engrained in the body.
  • Only takes 7-8 minutes per day, 3 days per week
  • SuperSpeedSlugger.com
  • The WYC listeners can get 10% off SuperSpeed Slugger by using promo code “WYC”.

Parting Advice

  • Players and parents notice how much effort you put it to your coaching, and they will play harder for you if they think you are putting in the effort

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‘You should be angry’

As a follow-up to my previous note on our Season-Ending Awards Banquet

I left the players with a final challenge, specifically talking to everyone who didn’t win an award or hear their name called.

I asked them: “If you didn’t win an award or hear your name called tonight – are you upset? Hurt? Angry?”

And then I challenged them with this:

“You should be upset. Angry. Did you know anger is one of 8 core emotions that make you human?

But do you know you have 2 choices with what to do with each of those core emotions? 1 is a positive choice that will improve your life, and 1 is a negative choice that will make your life worse.

Specifically with anger, here are your 2 choices:

1 – Negative choice: Self-pity and depression. You can sit around and feel sorry for yourself and fall into depression.

2 – Positive choice: Passion. You can choose to let your anger today to fuel a passion. A fire to have better results next time you are in this position.

I hope you choose the positive choice. Picture yourself sitting here next year. What’s it going to take to hear your name read? If you need help with understanding that, I’d love to give you feedback on how you can make that happen. Then go make it happen, live the next year with passion to be great and win.”

I hope you are living your life with passion. To be great. To win. It’s easy to fall into self-pity, so take action every day to stay focused on the bigger prize. Make winning your habit starting today!

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Coolest Awards Banquet. Ever.

Just got done with our post-season banquet.

Best one.

Ever.

A huge shout-out to Scott Rosberg from Great Resources for Coaches. I interviewed him back on WYC Podcast Episode 75, and he shared this awesome idea:

Don’t have a bunch of awards based on talent-level. (Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, Most Goals, etc.)

Instead, base your awards on things 100% controllable by the players.

I know, doesn’t seem like rocket-science, but why did I never do this before?

We did it, and it was awesome. Here are the categories we came up with:

  • Positive Energy
  • Hardest Worker
  • Best Teammate
  • Field general (best communicator on the field)
  • Do the dirty work
  • Hardest working rookie
  • Leave the jersey in a better place

These were all voted on by the players.

Then we had 1 Coach’s Award, chosen by the coaches, utilizing the criteria above.

And we had 2 MVP awards, which were voted on by the players.

So we ended up with 10 awards for 33 players.

The one other thing we did was read all of the names who received votes for each category. That way kids(and their parents) could hear their name, even if they weren’t walking away with an award.

I left the players with a final challenge, specifically talking to everyone who didn’t win an award or hear their name called… Insert cliffhanger here… I’ll share the details of that in next week’s post.

 

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WYC 149 – Athletes with special needs – Amanda Selogie & Vickie Brett talk leveling the playing field

Amanda and Vickie practice Special Education law in Southern California. They also run a non-profit called Inclusive Education Project where they aim to level the playing field in academic settings for students living with disabilities. They co-host their own weekly podcast by the same name – the Inclusive Education Project Podcast and they feature conversations on how parents and teachers can best ensure an inclusive school environment.

Website: http:www.iepcalifornia.org
Podcast: Inclusive Education Project Podcast:  www.iepcalifornia.org/blog

Facebook: /IEPcalifornia

Twitter: @IEPcalifornia

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

A different approach

  • Kids learn differently – kids with special needs might need things slowed down, show visually, or some other approach
  • Utilize the parents – they have lots of techniques that work well with their child
  • Peer role models and buddy systems work great, and benefit not only the kid with special needs but equally (if not more) it benefits the peer role model
  • Positive reinforcement is much more effective than negative reinforcement. Catch them doing something right

Breaking down skills into small pieces

  • The steps: Hearing what you’re being asked to do, then seeing what you need to do, then physically doing it. Sometimes actually taking their arm or leg and doing the motion for them.

Handling emotions with kids with special needs

  • Address it, don’t hide from it. Handle it the same as you would with any kid who gets upset – address it, teach them what is acceptable. Then re-focus them.
  • The parents are a great resource to get ideas

Reach out to the school to get more inclusive

  • P.E. teachers, school administrators could recommend a few kids that could be good candidates to join your team

Favorite Quotes

  • Quote: ‘Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose’ – Friday Night Lights
  • Quote: ‘All of us do not have equal talents. But all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.’ – JFK

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WYC 148 – Youth Soccer – John Adair talks Constraints-based Coaching

2018 will mark John Adair’s fourth year at Coerver Coaching. Adair is the Regional Director for all of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, overseeing player development and coaching education. Prior to joining the Coerver Coaching staff, he has enjoyed success at both the club and high school levels in the South Jersey area.

Instagram: coachjohnadair
Twitter: @coachjohnadair

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Cringe moment

  • Early on John did a lot of cone drills and isolated movements without decision-making and learning the game through their own mistakes

Creativity and problem-solving

  • Instead of cones, set up small area games in confined spaces. 2 v 1’s. 3 v 2’s.

Training better individuals vs just winning as a team

  • Instead of 11 v 11, break the game into corridors and small area games
  • Use this mentality to create mini-goals so each unit has accountability and measurements to look at after games, not just wins/losses as a team

Constraints based coaching

  • Create games where players have a variety of choices, they learn skills while making decisions

Self-confidence for players

  • Focus on the process – so it’s different for each player. Don’t compare them with other kids. Use guided discovery through side conversations with players for them to uncover solutions to what they need to improve.

Team Culture

  • Involve the kids to get buy-in. Have the kids write down what they thing a good player on this team will do.

Great teambuilder

  • Have play days. The kids run the day, play mini-tournaments. Kids make all the decisions.

5 for 5

  • Spend at least 5 minutes talking to 5 different kids about something other than sports

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • John coached a kid who had the physical tools but not the technical and mental tools needed. The kid approached John and worked his butt off over the summer and went on to play college soccer.

The one that got away

  • Coaching a state playoff game, they played the underdog role too much, changed their tactics too much, and went away from what got them there. This led to a lack of confidence.

Best learned/stolen idea

  • Constraints based coaching. Make everything in practice relate back to the game and involve decision-making. Don’t be reactive in practice-planning – set objectives and have a plan that you stick to.
  • Great resource: Youtube channel: Opposite Direction Coaching – Task constraints; Environmental constraints

Favorite Quote/Book

  • Quote: ‘If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room’
  • Book: Leading by Sir Alex Ferguson

Parting Advice

  • Value the experience over winning, and the results will follow

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5 Simple Questions (to ask your coaches)

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”​
– George Bernard Shaw
Coaching staffs all have disagreements. They should. You have smart people with different solutions to common problems.

But how often do we discuss these ‘elephants in the room’?

We are 3/4 of the way through our lacrosse season, and we had some unresolved elephants in the room.

So we had a a coaching meeting last week, and I asked these 5 questions to start the dialogue:

  1. List 2 things going well with our team
  2. List 2 things we could do better as a team
  3. List 2 things I am doing well to support you as an assistant coach
  4. List 2 things I could do better to support you as an assistant coach
  5. List 2 elephants in the room – some dynamic that is going on with our team or coaching staff, that everyone knows about, but no one is talking about

A powerful, honest conversation ensued. No one’s feelings were hurt, and as the head coach I got great feedback and we implemented a few tweaks that will powerfully change the direction of the remainder of our season.

Build trust, be open and honest, and value everyone and your team’s dynamics will be infinitely improved.

Make winning your habit starting today!
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WYC 147 – Thriving On & Off the Field – Tywanna Smith talks Preparing for Transitions

Tywanna Smith, President & Founder of The Athlete’s NeXus, has several years of experience working with professional athletes in a financial and business capacity. Smith earned her Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Marketing and her Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). She was also a four-year starter for the SEC program’s women’s basketball team, eventually taking her talents to Europe for a 2-year professional career.

As a Registered Financial Representative, Entrepreneur, and Best-Selling Author of Surviving the Lights: A Professional Athlete’s Playbook to Avoiding the Curse, Tywanna takes pride in her business professionalism and integrity. She is committed to helping each professional athlete become a better citizen, a better role model, and a better businessman.

Website: theathletesnexus.com

Book: Surviving the Lights

Facebook: /TheAthletesNeXus

 

Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Transition

  • Athletes are always preparing for the next transition, on and off the field
  • Tywanna tore her ACL her junior year of high school – she used this as fuel when people starting to write her off.

The importance of education

  • Even if a student athlete’s priority is to play college athletics, their grades will be extremely important in determining what opportunities they will be afforded

Off the field keys

  • Grades
  • Social media – future coaches, employers – will look over your entire history of social media posts

Mental toughness

  • It comes from the top down. The coach’s energy and confidence in the players is very contagious.
  • Tough practices teach athletes how to deal with adversity, and they want competition
  • Visualization – Have the athletes close their eyes and visualize favorable results

Surviving the Lights

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • An athlete trying to play professionally was struggling to make in into the pros.
  • Tywanna worked with him to re-center – and reaffirm him what his gifts were and that he had great talents off the sports field

The one that got away

  • The day Tywanna tore her ACL her junior year, and her team was poised to win the state championship
  • But she says it was the best day in her life because it gave her the perspective on life that there’s more to life than sports

Best learned/stolen idea

  • The balance between sports and life. Tywanna’s college coach, when she walked out of practice was done with sports and focused on life off the court

Favorite quote

  • ‘If you stay ready, you never have to get ready’

Parting Advice

  • Take the edge off a little bit, it’s just a game.

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WYC 146 – Youth Sports – Ben Kissam talks having a Four Quarter Mentality

Ben Kissam is a youth sports coach and writer in Denver, CO. Ben’s areas of expertise are in relationship-based coaching and teaching, effective communication, and fusing lessons in sport and entrepreneurship.

Website & podcast: thecoachkshow.com

Facebook: /thecoachkshow/

Twitter: @thecoachkshow

Listen Now:

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Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Coaching role models

  • Ben had 2 examples from his athletic career – 1 very positive and 1 very negative. He learned from both

Cringe moment

  • His attitude towards the kids – he thought they should just always do what he says. The lesson learned was to focus on getting buy-in instead of just mandating what should be done.

Practice format

  • Routines help. Teach them to run their own warm-ups.
  • Lots of reps, but get creative in making it competitive. It’s also very important to start with the basics when explaining a skill and continue to reinforce what good looks like.

Good practice games

  • The gauntlet – Set up a 10 yard tunnel, and kids go 1 on 1 in it
  • Odd man situations – 3 on 2

Self-confidence

  • Teaching a growth mindset is key. Every failure is a step on the journey to success and it is a necessary part of learning.
  • Be a relationships-based coach. Focus on having as many 1 on 1 conversations with your kids as possible.

Captains

  • It’s important to have a right-hand man. They can also help with communication – group texts, etc.

Four Quarter mentality culture

  • Setting up a practice plan that builds up the intensity throughout and emphasize finishing strong

Best team builder

  • Eating together. Pasta nights.

Connecting with kids

  • A goalie who Ben coached lacked confidence, and after working with him for 3 years he sees a totally different kid who now is confident

Favorite quote

  • ‘Athletes don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’

The one that got away

  • Ben coached a team of super talented, super knowledgeable kids.
  • They rolled through the regular season, and played a way lower ranked team in the first round of the playoffs, and lost.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Have a sense of urgency in practice. Create a long-term vision but create a sense of immediate urgency of the importance of every drill and everything you do in practice.

Favorite book

Parting Advice

  • Know one thing about each of your kids that has nothing to do with the sport, and check in with them about it.

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WYC 145 – College Recruitment – Carter Armendarez talks college recruitment do’s and don’ts

Carter Armendarez is a senior at Wesleyan University, where he’s also captain of the wrestling team. Getting recruited to play sports in college is confusing to lots of athletes, but it really shouldn’t be. Carter has seen too many athletes fail to get recruited. So he made Acute Recruit’s College Recruitment Guide for Athletes so that doesn’t happen anymore.

Website: acuterecruit.com

Facebook: /Acute-Recruit-369368080173002/

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The best coaches…

  • Believed in me
  • Had me focus on becoming an expert in one skill vs trying to be OK at everything

Getting Recruited to college

  • The most overlooked area is grades
  • Start early
  • Coaches want to hear from the athlete, not their parents
  • Start a website to have as a landing page to share with coaches. Include:
    • A page with highlight films
    • An ‘about me’ with your accomplishments and bio
    • A contact page with your contact details and your coach’s contact details

A big opportunity

  • A lot of D3 schools have trouble recruiting quality athletes because their academic standards are too high. This is a great opportunity for athletes who may not have been the highest level elite athlete in high school.

Contacting Coaches

  • Meet them in person at tournaments
  • Research schools you want to pursue and look up the coaches online

The one that got away

  • Carter lost by one point his senior year on the match to qualify for state
  • What he learned: He learned to play to his strengths

Best Stolen Idea

  • Quote from Tim Ferris when he asked an professional skier what the most important turns are on the run: ‘The most important turns are the 3 years I spent preparing before the run.’

Parting Advice

  • Focus on the basics
  • Keep it fun!

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WYC 144 – The “Owner’s Manual” for parents – Michael Richards talks Your Student Athlete: Must Do, Should Do, and Don’t

Michael Richards is the Owner and Operator of Elite Athletic Performance in Benton, Arkansas. After missing out on an opportunity to play collegiate baseball due to what he describes as  “Youthful ignorance and a slightly bad attitude”, Michael began playing semi-pro baseball and attending his sophomore year of college. Shortly thereafter he began training fitness clients and young athletes as a sole proprietor. What started as a fun way to “Not get a real job” and make extra money in college, has turned into 16 years and approximately 30,000 hours of “in the trenches” training experience.

Today he strives every day to help kids be the best athlete and person they can be. A particular love for Velocity and Accuracy training for baseball and softball pitchers has led to a number of 90+ MPH clients, professional and collegiate coaching contacts, and a burning desire to learn new information whenever possible.

Website: eaperformancellc.com

Book : Your Student Athlete: Should Do, Must Do, and Don’t: The “Owner’s Manual” for parents to maximize their kid’s time, help them perform better, and avoid injury

Facebook: /eliteathleticperformancellc/

Twitter: @EAPerform

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Grades and attitude as a high schooler

  • Michael had the athletic ability to play baseball beyond high school, but his attitude and his grades prevented him from that opportunity

Myths around youth sports

  • 1 – Pitchers running day after pitching to flush the lactic acid buildup. J-bands (Jaeger bands) or massaging the muscles makes way more sense.
  • 2 – Everyone needs to be hyper-flexible. Some people just aren’t very flexible, and while some stretching can add a bit of flexibility, there are other things such as massage rollers and dynamic stretches that are much more beneficial.

Multi-sport athletes

  •  If kids love multiple sports, they should play them. But the belief that you must be a multi-sport athlete to be recruited to college is not always true. Especially in your junior and senior years –  Don’t play a 2nd sport just to do it if you don’t love it.

Travel ball and showcases

  • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the most efficient use of time is travel teams and showcases. Private lessons are often a much more time and cost efficient. And the lessons don’t need to be year-round.

Favorite books/quotes

  • Book – Start with why by Simon Sinek
  • Quote – ‘If I had asked my customers what they needed they would have told me a faster horse.’ – Henry Ford

Parting Advice

  • Keep it simple and make sure they’re having fun

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WYC 143 – Performance Anxiety – Kathy Feinstein talks Developing a Growth Mindset

Kathy Feinstein is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Sport Performance Consultant (CMPC). Since 1998 her unique practice has empowered adolescents, adults, couples, families and teams to achieve greater satisfaction in sport, health and life. Kathy’s practice focuses on the 3 key areas: counseling, sport performance psychology and education through seminars and workshops. Kathy works with youth, high school, collegiate, adult amateur and professional athletes in such sports as golf, tennis, hockey, volleyball, basketball, figure skating, cheerleading, track and field, swimming and cycling. In addition to sport and exercise psychology consulting, she also offers team and coach consulting.

Website: kafcounselingandsportperformance.com

Podcast: Parenting Peak Performers Podcast

Facebook: /kafcounselingandconsulting/

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Being a crazy sports parent

  • Kathy got really excited about her daughter riding horses, but she lost sight of doing what’s best for her daughter

Performance Anxiety

  • The first step is to normalize the need – kids need to know that performance anxiety is very normal

The importance of breathing

  • Anxiety is all about the future. What if…
  • Breathing is all about the present.
  • If you can do this 20 minutes per day, it changes your mindset
  • When you inhale, there will be a cool sensation at the tip of your nostrils. When you exhale, there is a warm sensation at the tip of your nostrils.
  • When you do this, you will start having some thoughts. Without any judgement, bring your focus back to the breath. Do this over and over again.
  • Do this for 5 minutes with your team, your coaches, your players, etc.

Recovery routines

  • Having a discharge routine – if you are upset about something, have a quick discharge routine to flush away the past. Then have a different re-focus routine that gets you back in the moment and focused on the future.

Growth Mindset

  • Encourage kids to take risks, risk making mistakes. Mistakes are an opportunity to get better.

Confidence inventory

  • Have kids make a list of all of their accomplishments. Then have them read it before a performance.

Post-competition routine

  • After routines, write down what you did well, then add 1 or 2 things you want to do better next time

Visualization

  • You have to train how to visualize: Have the athlete do a simple activity (touch your toes and and jump in the air.) Then have them close their eyes and visualize doing that same activity.
  • The more vivid the visualization is, the more effective it is. Try to involve as many senses as possible
  • Visualization exercise:  Imagery Exercise – KAF

The one that got away

  • Kathy had a presentation that went bad and she got stuck. She learned a new way to prepare for presentations, where she focuses on the audience and their needs.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • The post-performance routine
  • Well-better-next

Favorite Quotes/books

  • Quote: ‘What is before us and what is behind us are small matters compared to what’s within us’ – Emerson
  • Book: The Champions Mind by Jim Afremow
  • Book: Getting Grit by Caroline Adams Miller

Parting Advice

  • Ask kids about what mistakes they made today – and be excited about them and celebrate them

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The Ultimate Guide to Sharing Tryout Results – Guest post from TeamGenius

The Ultimate Guide to Sharing Tryout Results

For youth sports coaches and league directors, the hardest part of tryouts may not be the evaluation sessions themselves – instead, it can often be communicating the results to the athletes and their parents.

Having kids involved in youth athletics can bring many positives to their lives. It keeps children active, builds teamwork and social skills, teaches determination and perseverance, and allows kids to see the benefits of hard work.

These are positives coaches and directors want to be involved with and want to watch young athletes partake in.

Unfortunately, youth sports can also teach other lessons, like how to cope with the disappointment of not making a team, and dealing with the reality that they weren’t skilled enough to be on the squad they wanted to join. These are hard life lessons that can come at young age for youth athletes.

For these reasons, it’s important for coaches and league directors to communicate tryout results properly to kids and their parents and should be included on any tryout prep checklist.

What to do

It’s important for youth sports coaches and directors to start communication early with parents and players so there are no surprises at the end of tryouts. Entering evaluation sessions, parents and players should be informed as to the number of teams that will be formed, how many athletes will make the squads, and what the options will be for the players who are cut.

To accomplish this, leagues should send out communications to parents far in advance of tryouts (even as early as 1-3 months before the evaluation sessions). This email or letter can include information about registration, the tryouts format, and any potential cuts.

On the day of evaluations, coaches or the league director should address the parents in person to ensure everyone knows the format and expectations for the day. Information as to how many players will make the team can be shared at this time.

After the tryout sessions the directors will need to determine how and when to communicate results to all athletes. Those who did not make the team will need to be notified and given options as to what other teams or leagues they can join, or how they can improve for next year. For those who made the squad, they will need key information like schedules and equipment requirements, and any pre-season meetings they will be expected to attend.

How to do it

While it can be pre-planned for when coaches and directors should address parents and athletes about tryouts, it can be much more difficult to determine how to relay the results. While each league may choose to convey the evaluation outcomes differently, here are some suggestions to consider:

Keep it private: For some leagues, the most convenient way to reveal tryouts results is by posting a roster to their league website. This is a quick and easy option, so it can be appealing. However, leagues need to make sure to protect players’ privacy when using this method. Posting players’ tryouts numbers instead of their names is one way to avoid sharing who made which team.

Make it personal: The Springfield (Ill.) Area Soccer Association (SASA) used to post tryout results on their website, but they’ve recently opted for other methods.

“I feel the best way to communicate results is an individual email to parents,” Andrew Lenhardt, the Director of Coaching at SASA, said.

Lenhardt feels that sending individual emails to parents allows the league to send a personal note to the player and discuss their individual scores and placement.

Another way to communicate results is to have a one-on-one conversation with each player, or make a phone call to each competitor. According to Dr. Justin Anderson, a sports psychologist at Premier Sport Psychology, this is the best way to share the news with youth players.

According to Anderson, this allows coaches and directors to be honest with the athletes and give individual feedback.

“Be authentic. Share reasons why (they didn’t make the team). Allow it to be a growth opportunity. Give them things to work on,” Anderson said.

Be available: No matter how the results are communicated to players, it’s important for the coaches and directors to be available to answer questions from athletes and their parents after the teams are announced.

Players will likely have questions as to why they were placed on a specific team, or why they didn’t make a squad, and want to hear directly from those who determined the rosters.

Who to tell

While the method of revealing tryouts results is difficult to determine, leagues also need to decide who they will communicate the results to – the parents or the athletes, or both.

This can depend largely on the age of the players. For young athletes, the news will likely come better from a parent, initially. Then coaches and directors should be available to answer any questions from the player later.

For middle school and high school athletes, results should be conveyed to the players themselves. They are old enough to be able to hear what they need to work on and what it will take to make the team the following year.

There is no perfect way to tell a young athlete he or she did not make a team. However, by keeping the child’s feelings and development in mind, and planning out how to communicate the outcomes, tryouts results can be better received.

Author: Chris Knutson

Bio: Chris Knutson is co-founder of TeamGenius, a leading player evaluation software that helps youth sports organizations by streamlining tryouts and player evaluations. 

 

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WYC 142 – Physical Literacy – Steve Boyle talks living life as a Walk-on

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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Walking-on to his college basketball team

  • Steve was probably the 4th best player on his high school basketball team. He approached his coach and said he thought he could play D1 basketball. His coach did everything but laugh at him.
  • That fueled him to go on and start for his D1 team in college
  • He now takes pride in living life as a ‘walk-on.’ Trying things he has no experience with and taking risks.
  • Lesson for coaches: Be careful about ever telling a kid ‘this just isn’t your sport’- you never know when someone will be a late-bloomer or just outwork the others.

Physical Literacy and Project Play

2-4-1 Sports

  • Camps that promote sport sampling
  • Now in Connecticut, Denver, and 2 more locations coming soon

Recent great books read

Parting Advice

  • Be as genuine and honest as you can with your athletes. Value being trusted over being liked.

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Dang. I saved our lacrosse team $7600

I was just doing some math – and realized I saved our lacrosse team $7600 in uniform costs by doing a little homework.
Our county has a ‘deal’ with one of the big sports apparel companies. As a club sport, we have the benefit of getting the same 40% discount, but we don’t have to use that company.
So I priced out getting our uniforms with that discount. For 44 sets of uniforms, which included 2 pairs of shorts and 2 jerseys, the price was $10,400.
That was a tough hit for our parents, so I did some research. What I ended up with was awesome uniforms from a brand name – total cost: $2,800.
​​​​​​​That savings of nearly $175 per player was huge for our program, considering parents were already paying close to $700 to play a club sport.
I know most of us coaches don’t have time to do this kind of research and just end up ordering whatever is suggested. 
But what I did is pretty easily repeatable, and if you or a team manager have a few minutes, you could save your program a boatload of cash.
I’m would love to share these ideas – if you want more info – just click below, which will send me an email and I’ll share the goods.

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WYC 141 – Youth Sports – Jenn Casey talks Fun in Movement & Crossfit Kids

Jenn Casey is the Program Director for CrossFit Kids and Swing Fit (a Kettlebell Sport class) at CrossFit Kennesaw in Marietta, Georgia. She is the President and Co-Founder of Georgia Kettlebell Sport, which has the mission to develop and promote Kettlebell Sport in the state of Georgia and the greater Southeast Region of the US. She is developing a youth-focused Kettlebell Sport program and is taking her youth team on their first road trip in December 2017. Jenn is an active Kettlebell Sport athlete and in 2017 was chosen to participate in the IUKL World Championship in Seoul, South Korea as part of Team USA where she placed 4th in 16kg One Arm Long Cycle.

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Quitting at age 13, because it wasn’t fun anymore

  • Jenn was on the team track in gymnastics, but by age 12 or 13 she quit because it wasn’t fun anymore. Then she didn’t do much of any athletic activity for 2 decades.
  • At age 39 she jumped into Crossfit

Kettlebell

  • Look like a cannonball with a handle
  • You can use them for hip-hinge movements, but they also can be great for cardio
  • The competitive side of the sport involves Kettlebell overhead lifts
  • The competitive side involves how many overhead lifts you can do in 10 minutes

Keeping the fun in movement

  • Give kids lots of opportunities for success and catch them doing things right
  • Ask lots of question – ‘where do I put my feet in a squat?’, etc.
  • Definitely praise when they self-correct
  • Rep / No-rep – Coach does a rep, some correctly and some incorrectly, then the kids call out whether that was a good rep or a no-rep.

Good analogies

  • ‘Glue your feet to the ground. Pretend you have concrete blocks on your feet’
  • ‘Your knees don’t like each other’
  • ‘Pretend you are lifting an elephant over your head’

Mental toughness

  • Jenn was a kid who was good in practice, then would freeze up in competition/tryouts
  • Breathing is key to keep your heart rate steady
  • Do practice reps using the same routine you will use in games
  • The Talent Code – by Daniel Coyle
  • Mindset – by Carol Dweck
  • Mastery – by Robert Greene
  • Coaching Better every season – by Wade Gilbert
  • Start with Why – Simon Sinek

Best borrowed/stolen ideas

  • Gamifying deliberate practice

Parting Advice

  • Find the fun in whatever you’re doing.
  • Get the kids involved. Have them help design a practice.

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WYC 140 – Player feedback – Ian Goldberg talks goal setting and the feedback loop

Ian Goldberg is the Founder and CEO of iSport360, Inc. a SportsTech venture that helps youth sport coaches and parents share objective player feedback. As a sport parent and coach, Ian has witnessed the chaos on the sidelines and in the bleachers when coaches’ and parents’ expectations are not aligned….and the kids suffer.  His company has developed a solution to the pain in the form of an app and an informative (and frequently humorous) newsletter “The Chaotic World of Youth Sports”.

Website: isport360.com
Facebook: /isport360/
Twitter: @isport360

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The feedback loop

  • Ongoing feedback is way more effective than end-of-the-year feedback
  • Regular feedback is important, but can be time-consuming. Ideally coaches should be able to spend a few minutes and quickly evaluate and provide feedback to all players

Objective goals

  • It’s easy to just look at how many points/goals players score, but most coaches are trying to evaluate many things beyond just scoring. The key is to define measurable objectives of what you are trying to improve in players.

Empowering kids

  • Ideally kids should be able to:
    • Talk to the coaches themselves
    • Set their own goals

What happens in a parents’ brain when watching their kids play sports

  • Fight or flight mode – Parents’ stress levels and cortisol levels are skyrocketing when being on the sideline watching their kids

Parents are either part of your process or part of your problem

  • Involve them – they want to know what’s going on, regardless of age
  • A good way to base how much parents are involved – how much money they are spending. So for cheap low-level rec sports, not as much. For high-level travel teams costing thousands of dollars – the parents should be communicated with more.

iSport360 – The feedback loop

  • Mobile app – Coaches can work with players to set goals at beginning of season and allows the coach to provide feedback
  • Parents can also send other players on the team positive emojis
  • Weekly newsletter with funny stories

Best Stolen Idea

  • Barbara Corcoran from the Shark Tank: ‘To be successful, you have to have a certain level of stupidity, so that when you keep getting knocked down, you continuously get back up, expecting better results.’

Parting Advice

  • Don’t let sports take over your life. Enjoy it and keep it in perspective.

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WYC 139 – Practice design – Coach Kav talks competition and how kids learn

Coach Kav owns a sports performance facility called The Sport and Speed Institute. On top of that he runs NFL Combine Programs and All-American Football Camps every year, and just published a #1 bestselling book on Amazon.

Website: coachkav.com
Instagram: @CoachKav

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How kids learn

  • Remember what you want them to work on is what they are most insecure about, so be strategic about how you approach it

Trust

  • The key is building trust, the kids will know when you don’t truly have their best interest in mind

Practice design

  • Teach and deconstruct a skill
  • Compete. There needs to be a winner and a loser. Positive conditioning- the winners get to do additional workouts. But at the youth level, this takes the right situation
  • Make sure you’re not just teaching a skill and doing a drill for 10 minutes – you have to keep reinforcing what you teach continuously throughout that practice and throughout the season
  • Try not to use the term ‘suicides’ for running. Powerful word that should not be used in this context.

Auditory reactionary drill

  • Two lines in a relay race – have multiple cones – you stand behind them and call which cone they have to go around (#1,2,or 3). This also helps you balance the teams so you don’t have to worry about evening up the teams.
  • Also can reward the team that has better team spirit

Good practice games

  • Tic tac toe – 2 teams – throw cones/pinnies in a square
  • Tag – great competition/conditioning game with lots of cutting. You can add a cognitive element – give everyone a number – then use math to call out the numbers of who is ‘it’

4 things every parent can do with their kid to prepare them for life:

  1. Read
  2. Learn a 2nd language
  3. Play an instrument
  4. Play a team sport

Favorite books/quotes

Man up – The book

  • The 5 areas of focus to guarantee your athletic success
  • BALLS – Balance, Accountability, Lust (your drive), Sacrifice
  • Link: Man up

Parting Advice

  • Remember all kids you coach are telling others about you – so treat them all with respect

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WYC 138 – Leadership – John Moyer talks Overfunctioning Leadership

John Moyer is a current teacher at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, where he has taught since 1990.  John is certified coach in Resilient Leadership, based in the Washington DC area.  John currently is employed by the Stow City School District as their District Leadership Coach, where he helps teachers, coaches and administrators become more effective leaders.

Podcast: iTunes link
Facebook: /theofpodcast/
Youtube: youtube link

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Every system(or team) desires 5 things: SCARF

  • Status
  • Certainty – This takes time for a newer coach.
  • Autonomy
  • Relatedness
  • Fairness

Good places to start

  • Read books
  • Attend conferences, talk to other coaches

Critical thinking in the stress of a game

  • If you have established your guiding principles, it greatly increases your ability to calmly think through and stay focused on what’s important

Overfunctioning=Underfunctioning

  • When one overfunctions, there is a reciprocal reaction of underfunctioning
  • The best balance for a coach is to be there to be a calm presence in a storm, but not overreact to negative situations that will occur in every game

A child-focused society

  • If a parent over-focuses on their children, the child is worse off
  • As a coach- do your coaching well, but think less about it.
  • Game theory – There is a fear our kid/team will get behind if someone else practices more or plays on more travel teams.
  • A 2 person relationship is inherently unstable. For parents – it is far easier for them to talk about their kids than it it is to talk about their own relationship.

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • John works with kids to help them start establishing who they are and identifying their self

The One that Got Away

  • In John’s senior year, he played against a tackle that went on to be an all-pro center. John got worked over pretty bad by this guy, but he learned resilience and knew to focus on process over outcome.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Relentlessly eradicate hurry from your life

Favorite books/quotes

Parting Advice

  • Smile a lot.
  • Be organized.

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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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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.

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Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

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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

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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

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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

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Coaching your own kid

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

Cringe moment

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

Teaching Skills

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

Mental toughness

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

Culture

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

14 Great Coaches – the book

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

Parting Advice

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

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3 Types of People in this world – #NationalAnthemProtest

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

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

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

LinkedIn: /michaelkasales

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Quote

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

What can coaches learn from the military?

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

Team warm-ups

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

Teaching Skills

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

Fun Games to teach skills

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

Mental toughness

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

Culture

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

Connecting with and impacting kids

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

The one that got away

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

Favorite book/quote

Parting Advice

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

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A Novel Experiment to Empower Athletes

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


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

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

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

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

You prepare a healthy breakfast for your child.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

The answer was – A bunch of it!

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

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

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

It always comes back to the saying:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Quote

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

Coaching your own kids

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

Cringe moment

  • Early on, Casey was too focused on winning

Teaching Skills

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

Games

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

Mental toughness

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

Culture

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

Captains and leadership

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

Rewards and recognition

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

Connecting with and impacting kids

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

The one that got away

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

Favorite book/quote

Best borrowed/stolen idea

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

Parting Advice

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website/book: bysamwalker.com

Twitter: @SamWalkers

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Quote

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

Inspiration for the book

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

Coaches – Develop your leaders

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

Youth coaches – Key characteristics to Develop

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

Choosing captains

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

Do you need captains on a team?

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

Sportsmanship – The Cuban National Volleyball team

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

Parting Advice

  • Find a partner – a captain – on your team

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

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

Website/Podcast: drdavidgeier.com

Book: tghbook.com

Twitter: @drdavidgeier
Facebook: /DrDavidGeier/

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Quote

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

Practice Design

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

‘That’s gotta hurt’ book

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

Youth injury prevention

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

Concussions

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

Favorite Book/Quote

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

TedX Talk

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

Parting Advice

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

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