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YS MYTH:Personal trainers are a necessity to be excellent in youth sports.

Category: Uncategorised
Published: Monday, 25 July 2016

 Play pickup games. Play tag with your friends. Do hop-skip- and jump, hop scotch, or red rover. They are just kids.

Think of your top five athletes. Are any of them  12 years old? By putting that label on children at such a young age we certainly have a tendency to believe they are special.

 I’m being told there is such a thing as a 10 year old athlete. My definition of an athlete is a person that starts for a varsity high school team in their chosen sport(s). No 10-12 year old does that.

 I was once told that my son, at the age of 10, was a good athlete, by multiple people. I didn’t know they were serious. I thought they just wanted me to tell them how great their kid was.

Are we now saying you have to have financial resources to play youth sports? Is that not entitlement? How do poor children get to play at the higher levels?

 Have we gotten to the point that specialization has robbed the children of the basic fundamentals of running stopping, throwing, kicking, and catching? They now have to be taught by specialists?

 I am all for C.A.T. in rehabbing injuries. But let’s be clear. Until you show me a study where an overweight 10 year old was given a personal trainer for 8 years and made into a DI athlete with no baggage, I have a hard time believing.

 We have gotten messages from a couple of national trainers and they say it gives an athlete a mental edge and a physical edge, but that applies only for the very top 1% of the athletes in the country.

 Go outside or play for fun pickup games. Coping, sharing, playing, socializing, and fun will give you the tools you need to be successful on and off the playing fields.

In the last 30 years there is no question that athletes are bigger stronger and faster than ever before. But in the history of mankind this time continuum is about a mili second of a nano second of a micro second. So the increase is from technology not genetics. If this is true, then there must be a cost.

I am all for off season conditioning and having children get down time and active ret from youth sports. But I am seeing a disturbing trend where children go from playing one sport in the afternoon a to cross fit training and sometimes doing two sports in one day, multiple times during a weekend.

At Frozen Shorts we specialize in balance. It is very important that adults realize that children have a natural pace of development. Trying to speed it up  through a personal trainer or by playing one sport year round to get to the mythical 10,000 hour level of excellence comes at a cost.

 We are seeing on children some of the same injuries we see in adults. We are also seeing some of the emotional stress with playing DI and professional sports in young children.

If only 1% of all the kids playing sports make it to the D1 level why on earth are we coaching and training these little children like D1 and professional athletes?

Let’s embrace the fact that they are children, not take advantage of it.

 

 

The Watching Myth

Category: Uncategorised
Published: Monday, 18 July 2016

The watching myth:

The advantages of sitting on the bench and watching have been brought up to me on numerous occasions and I would like to address the issue. It is exponentially better to play than to sit on the bench. The example of Aaron Rodgers sitting on the bench learning from Brett Farve was used as an example. Let’s look at Aaron Rodgers stats from 2008 to 2011.

Year             Team             G     Att    Comp     Pct      Att/G    Yds       Avg   Yds/G   TD 

 2011 Green Bay Packers 15    502   343       68.3   33.5       4,643   9.2    309.5     45 

2010 Green Bay Packers 15     475    312      65.7   31.7       3,922   8.3     261.5    28

 2009 Green Bay Packers 16    541    350      64.7   33.8       4,434   8.2     277.1    30

 2008 Green Bay Packers 16    536    341       63.6   33.5      4,038   7.5      252.4     28

G-Games   Attempts-Attempts per game   Comp.-Completions       PCT.-% Completed       Att/G. Attempts per game

YDS. Yards gained passing for the year    Avg. Average yards per pass     YDS/G -Yards  gained per game

TD- touchdowns thrown for the year

In the professional ranks there is a lot more to the game than just playing. There are many variables to consider for the athletes. They need to learn, where to live, where to avoid, where to bank, whether to buy or rent, where to eat, where to get dry cleaning, where to buy a car, endorsement opportunities, and who to hang around with, workout partners and schedules, grocery stores, etc. If married with kids what schools are available?  I think you get the picture.

Now this has nothing to do with youth sports. A child sitting on the bench during a game gets bored, plain and simple. You could literally turn the child around and not face the field, send the child in to play and the child’s play would not be that different than if they watched the proceedings. Why? Children join a youth sports team to play not watch.

It was mentioned to me that they could learn while sitting on the bench. It is true that coaches will lecture players on the bench as to the mistakes the players are making on the field playing, but that just frustrates the players sitting on the bench. Why correct them, they are doing nothing wrong.  At work would you want your boss coming to you complaining about another employee’s work and not let you get a crack at fixing the problem?

It was also brought up to me that coaches don’t put players in games because they don’t want them to fail and quit. Did the coach ask the players if that was the case? NO. Another comment by a coach was that if a player was too small and they put them in they might get hurt. Again, did you ask the player? Did the coach explain that paradigm to the player when they joined the team? No, of course the coach didn’t.

Does a coach ask the players who didn’t play much during the game what they learned after the game was over? Well. I have. Here are some of the answers.

“Learned what?” “From who?” “No, I just want to go home.” “Yeah, a little, I guess.” One boy even told me, “Yes, this is no fun.” Go ahead and ask. Don’t frame the question though to predetermine the answer. Don’t ask leading questions like, “Did you see what Johnny did out there, what did you learn?”

Now ask the kids who played what they learned while they played. I have those answers also, but I think it’s best that you hear them for yourself. Sometimes they don’t even know they are learning when they are playing, and that is when they play the best.

Let’s look at the player’s sitting on the bench a little more closely. If they already played, they are probably tired and need a break. It’s called a break, not a sit and watch. If a player has not played at all his mind has wandered and he is trying to figure out when he will get a chance to play.

Here’s what he does learn by watching. Other players out there are not that much better than him. They are only better because they get to play more. They learn that being a teammate does not mean the same to each player on the team. They learn to get frustrated and tense. When it is their turn to finally get in the game, they realize they can’t make many mistakes for fear of getting pulled out of the game. They learn to be robots doing the coaches bidding. They learn that it is not fun to play youth sports.

            One of the most valuable things children can do is play. Do you ever go by a playground and see the joy of the children playing with each other? They don’t need structure or supervision. You can see them hop, skip, and run around just laughing and playing. Just writing this last sentence brings back great memories of my children when they were young. I am smiling just writing this down. Wouldn’t it be great if we could transfer that great feeling to youth sports. I believe we can!

The Truth. It's whats best for the kids

Category: Uncategorised
Published: Monday, 11 July 2016

1% of 1% of kids who play sports go pro. Its a race that doesn’t exist. Its like playing the lottery to win! Just heard a kid say he wanted to play for his HS over club team so he could hear the fans from his school and talk to his friends and classmates about the game in school the next day. The kids inherently want to experience life skills! Ever seen a 2nd grade teacher with a Masters degree try to get her kids to line up properly to go to gym or lunch? Now you want to tell me that there is a realistic and not adult made up elite 2nd grade travel sports? Parents: ever had an older child take something from a younger child? Ever had them share? Which do you have to teach them to do more often, to be competitive or to get along? The best learning environment is when the teacher and the student learn together, and both share that knowledge with others who have the same or less ability. It’s called community, and it is very important for later on in life coping skills. Sometimes you have to treat the symptom to relax the patient first. Then we treat the disease. We need more tolerance and inclusion, not eliteness and exclusion

TRIPLE A

Category: Uncategorised
Published: Monday, 27 June 2016

TRIPLE A—Does that mean attitude, athleticism, and academics?  A recent conversation with some hockey players who were playing “Triple A” hockey at the Bantam level led me to this next blog. 

The children were adamant about both their ability to get a DI scholarship, and the proper path to take to receive the scholarship.  They would continue to play at their current level, which included not playing for their high school team, missing days of school to go to different tournaments, and playing as much as possible.

Let’s break it down.  First and foremost, just because it is “Triple A”, does that mean it has to be elite?  The very fact that these kids (families) are paying money to play certainly limits the pool of players.  What about the region of the country they are in?  Also, what about the players’ age group?  What time of the year are they born, versus the age cut off?  Is this group of kids, like in a high school demographic, a group of above average students for their graduating year, or as in a professional league, maybe in an off draft year?  Next, what happens when you are no longer one of the better players as you leave your little myopic corner of the sports world and venture out into the big pond? 

Now let’s look carefully at the team you are playing on.  How many kids from that team have gone on to DI scholarships?  Do you know the true amount?  Take the amount of money they are paying to play and compare it to what most athletic scholarships give, and you will find they could have saved money by not playing and paid for more college tuition.  I was told by these players that the odds are better if they play Triple A, then Juniors, and then college to get the DI grant.   Although true, it leaves out the very important fact that it is very hard to play Juniors in the first place.  Also how many Junior players get full scholarships?  I was told by one parent her son played on a Junior team and tuition was $9,000 a year.  The average DI scholarship is $8,700 a year.  What if they don’t make it?  All these great high school memories that most of them would have are lost.  Angst over not achieving their dream comes instead of those memories.  What is the long term fall out when they don’t make it?

I am the father of a 17 year old daughter.  She is wonderful and I love her very much.  She seems to have no interest in attending a convent to ease her father’s woes and gray hairs.  During my last talk to a youth sports group I brought up the name Megan Fox.  She seems to be incredibly popular with the teenage boys.  I have to confess I know nothing about the girl, but if millions of teenage boys are interested in her I certainly would not want her as my daughter, owing to the fact that I like to sleep at night.  I offered the following story to the young boys in attendance as an analogy to their youth sport’s journey. 

Let’s say Megan Fox is a parallel to a DI scholarship. Everyone kept telling you that Megan Fox wanted to go out with you and she thought you were really cute and great and wanted to spend time with you.  When you finally got to meet her, she said, “Who the heck are you?” and walked away.  Now, do you really think that when you went back to your friends and to the others who had told you that Megan Fox was going to date you, and you ended up with nothing, that you wouldn’t be constantly reminded and aggravated about what had happened as you journeyed on in life?

After I saw the look on the young boys’ faces and some of their heads hanging low, I offered this solution to their unrealistic dreams and desires for what ultimately is an unattainable goal.  Get a group of kids together, rent the ice, and play a pickup game.  Play for fun.  No coaches or parents, just one adult for safety.  Players pick the teams, make the rules, and have at it.

When talent level was broached to me and the kids didn’t want to play with players that weren’t as good as them, I answered, “What happens when you’re not the best and players want to exclude you?”  In life, just like sports, you will meet, socialize, play, and work with all difficult levels of personalities and talent.  This is an excellent way to nurture the life skills you need for later in life. 

Now let’s look at status.  Believe me, it plays a huge role.  As much as we want to be individuals and find our own path, we want to belong to something.  We want to brag to people about the organization we belong to or the team we play on-a natural social phenomenon.  It becomes a problem when we put too much value on it, when in actuality it has little value to you at all.  If you play youth sports for fun, you will get better.  If you get better, and by that I mean good enough for college level sports, you will be found. 

Finally, be very aware that the people telling you how good you are are in fact the same people profiting from your participation on their team or in their organization.  They may also be paid to bring you to other teams, in which you still have to pay a fee to participate.

If we really want to find out who is the best through competition, then we have to play for free, so all can be evaluated and grow.