WYC 012 Youth Baseball and Upward Stars Basketball – Lance Akridge – ‘The Enemy to Great is Good’

Lance Akridge pictureUpward Stars picWhat does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Lance Akridge shares coaching stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth coach.

Lance works for Upward Stars – an affiliate of Upward Sports. He actively coaches baseball and is constantly recruiting basketball coaches for Upward Stars’ teams. He is married and has three children, a 15 year-old son, 13 year-old son, and 12 year-old daughter.

Twitter: @upwardstars and @upwardstarsTN

Facebook: facebook.com/UpwardStarsNashville

Website: upwardstarsnashville.org

Listen NOW: 

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


Coaching/Leadership Quote

▪   ‘Be a transformational coach not a transactional coach’ – Inside-out Coaching

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Coaching your own Kid

▪   Lance shares that early on he was harder on his own kids than the other players – ‘I’ve learned to be coach on the field rather than be a Dad.’

My ‘Cringe’ Moment

▪   Taking things too seriously and losing perspective. Lance shares a story of taking his son to the baseball field and putting too much pressure on him to the point he was starting to cry- he regrets he had lost perspective

Coaching AH-HA Moment

▪   Watching other coaches embarrass themselves – ‘That is not who I am and not the type of character I am going to exemplify’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

▪   Have patience; Overcommunicate; Impart confidence

▪   Baseball hitting game – Each player gets 7 swings and earns points based on result(kind of like Home Run derby)

▪   Basketball – Break into 3 person teams and have shooting competitions

Best Stolen Idea

HUGE IDEA #1: ‘Short lines, lots of repetitions, learning fundamentals’ – Baseball – Instead of having one coach hitting to the infield – have two coaches hit to each side of the infield and players run to the next line

Coaching Resources

▪   Baseball: Cal Ripken’s Coaches Clipboard – Daily emails – He sometimes forwards these to his players


▪   The best way to keep them focused is to TALK LESS

▪   Make sure your discipline involves taking away fun games – don’t discipline them during talking times

Reward, Recognition, and Teambuilding

▪   Affirm positive behaviors continually

▪   HUGE IDEA #2: Let the players set 2 or 3 objective, realistic(but a slight stretch) goals for their season and continually use those as a target for all of their actions

▪   D-Groups – Twice a month they hang out – 1 hour of fun, 30 minutes eating, 45 minute character discussion ‘Player to Coach: ‘Because you care, I care’’

Inspiring Story

▪   A young man Lance coached in basketball had a really tough home life – was showing anger issues on the court – they loved him and disciplined him in love

 The One that Got Away

▪   Umpires incorrectly ended his game for time limit – Lance yelled at umps – he doesn’t regret fighting for what was right for his team – but wishes he had not displayed his anger towards the umpires the way he did

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

▪   Book: Coach Wooden

▪   Quote: ‘The Enemy to Great is Good’ – Jim Collins

Parting Advice

▪   Be organized

▪   Overcommunicate to the players and parents

▪   Inside-Out Coaching: ‘Be a transformational coach rather than a transactional coach’ – Joe Ehrmann

Upward Stars

▪   Competitive travel teams that are teaching kids to be leaders based on Luke 2:52 – Teaching athletes to grow mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially

▪   Currently in 10 citites – In Tennessee: upwardstarsnashville.org

Interview Links/ Promotional Partners

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 5.36.02 PMThe Inspired Treehouse


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