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Winning, Development, and Fun are not mutually exclusive

3 in 1

 

I recently interviewed a high school varsity coach who also coached an n “elite club” team. The sport does not matter for this discussion. Hopefully by now you know my mantra that if it is really true, than it applies to all sports, and life. I did not tape record this interview because quite frankly, I did not think it was going to be anything special. I was interested in getting some more background information on the “elite” club team mentality. Specifically, how it applied to the younger children.

 

The beginning of the interview went
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No college with my sport

No college with my sport

 

For those of you following along with my program I first want to thank you for your support. Trying to change a culture is very difficult. Your support is truly appreciated.

 

There has been a new recent development in high school and club sports. Children are purposely choosing colleges to attend that do not have their sport.

 

That is right; a purposeful decision is being made to “Stop the Tsunami.” There can be no parental disappointment in the child if they are attending a college that does not have their “chosen” sport
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Zen thoughts on a championship game

Zen thoughts on a championship game

 

One game at the end of a season does not define you. It only puts an exclamation point on the end of the journey! We sometimes put so much emphasis on the score that we lose sight/joy of the journey, the memories made, the trust shared, and the lasting bond that is built. I can yell at someone young that I'm coaching and get them to do what I want. But praise them; I get them to do what they want to do better! As you look back, you will see great memories take
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Full Length

Full length anything for kids under 10

 

Let’s use 10 year olds. People keep telling me that we need to have the kids play on full courts, full size nets, and baskets. As usual, they say it’s the way it is, that’s the way they are going to have learn to play in high school and college. But do we  bring in a PHD from Harvard to teach Quantum Physics to 10 year olds? Remember, a 10 year old is not half a 20 year old in terms of development.

 

 I say let’s try something different and here’s
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Leading/Learning

You want to teach kids and watch them grow independent? Free play and fun. Plus, it tires the heck out of them and leaves them feeling great.Our leadership tip: Taking care of those less fortunate is a great way to self realization.Self realization is better than extrinsic force any day for long term growth.You cant know where you are going if you don't know where you have been.Leadership involves taking joy and a backseat to others success. They must trust that you will lead until they no longer have to follow. Your positive reinforcement versus negative admonishment takes more thought

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Leadership

One trait I concentrate on my talks and seminars is a leader does not always have to be in front. A great leader has the inner security to allow and encourage others to "take the lead" and then models that behavior by being happy for that person as they continue on their journey of choice. We are losing the importance of community and accountability as a mistake has become equivalent to failure and not an opportunity for self evaluation and growth.

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The Prom

The Prom

 

From time to time I am asked by both athletes and their coaches this question: What do I do about the High School Prom? My simple answer is go. However my answer, in this day and age of specialization and year round participation in youth and high school sports, needs an explanation.

 

 For those of you who have followed me over the years, that usually means a story or an analyzation/comparison is about to happen. This is no exception. For those that don’t follow me, well this is how I relate things to people in hopes
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Money Money Money

Recent data coming out points to parents that are higher up on the economic scale both socially and financially tend to spend more money on their children’s athletic pursuits. That makes sense on many levels. Youth and even high school sports are becoming more and more expensive to participate. Parents who have more money therefore have the economic means and the social motivation to “keep up with the Jones.”

 

But in my 30 years of watching, coaching, mentoring, and writing my book on youth sports, I have encountered another side to this phenomenon. Most parents both work. They do
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97%

97% of the 2010 Olympic athletes were multi sport athletes. In the 2013 NFC and AFC championship games ALL 4 quarterbacks played baseball in high school. Three were drafted by MLB. The other played Legion ball. Their names: Peyton Manning, Colin Kaspernick, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson. The #1 prospect in ALL of baseball Byron Buxton played three sports in high school and played varsity football for 4 years in high school. 41 of 47 FULL ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP RECRUITS by national champion "THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY" played multiple sports in high school

 

  I am not saying to beat
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Is it hammer time?

Now, I try not to hammer people in public, but I’m starting to rethink this philosophy. For one, as a friend told me, trying to reach the people that know it all is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of your time and annoys the hell out of the pig. So you might as well go down swinging. Secondly, our Company is not a gotcha company. We are here to educate, not pound. But, as I give more and more presentations, I am faced by the fact that many people, especially highly paid professionals, who
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I d'ont think you think what you think

Everyone runs faster when they are being chased. Kids are already competitive. We have to teach them to share and help others. That’s long term development. So don’t let kids sit on the bench. Play them all. It leads to better competition and development. Kids need to have fun when they play.How many times did your kids change their mind when they were little as to what they wanted to do during a day?No to specialization for kids Don’t mange games, build relationships. You say you play to win, I play to compete. In the long run I have

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A Kentucky basketball players says something dumb

A Kentucky basketball player says something dumb.
From the time they are kids, little 8 year old kids, they play "elite" travel. At 10 they are told they are athletes and special.They now have an extrinsic value put on them for what should be an internal realization and fun. Adulting kids. At 13 they are interviewed and travel all over the place. Lots of money is spent and made on these kids.Entitlement on and off the playing field with very few consequences are the norm not the exception. In my talks all over the country I repeatedly tell people Im
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8 easy Steps for youth sports coaching

 8 Easy Steps to youth sports coaching
Nobody comes to a youth or high school sports game to watch a coach coach.  If an adult wants to become great youth coach pre puberty for the kids best long term interests? Here are 7 easy steps for all youth sports coaches’ pre puberty! 1. Equal play.2 Let the kids play multiple positions, 3. 9 out of 10 things said to kids is cheering positive with minimum instructions. (Do you really think they will get it done all correctly?) 4. No yelling at kids on the field, court, or rink while
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  • Posted in:
  • May

Let them be kids

Just got off the phone with a coach who told me that FUN doesn’t have to play a part in his teams’ agenda. You should not be coaching children. Last night I watched a father who thinks he knows sports, but never played high school varsity or college level, tell his son after a game his team won how badly his son played. He blasted his son for not playing well. The kid was almost in tears. What a ride home that had to be for the young boy. Amused by parents who say its common sense to teach

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  • Posted in:
  • May

Prom night Part III

The Prom Part III

 

Just when I thought I had heard all the feedback that I was going to get on this subject, I got a call this morning that I had to write about. Now understand I am getting this third hand, but even if only part of this is true, it speaks volumes as to why I feel so passionate about what we do at Frozen Shorts, and how much it needs to be successful for our future generation of children.

 

I was told this morning that a parent had actually blamed a loss for his
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  • Posted in:
  • May

Equal play and fun

There is no medical, psychological data that says equal play impedes child’s athletic development U10. Just the adults’ egos are bruised. We have done pilot programs up to U13 with complete success and others have sent me data that they have done it all the way up to U18 with great success. If you leave kids alone, they will play for hours on end. It’s called free play. The score doesn’t change the way they play if left alone, just the way adults think. I was told by an adult after a talk that the kids want to and
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  • Posted in:
  • May

It's Over

Its Over

Just finished talking with a college athlete whose playing days are over, and the body language and tone in his voice told  the real story of his trip through youth, club, high school, and college athletics. You can see he doesn’t want to give up the dream. But it is over. The sadness I see in his face is not the normal one of oh well, it was a good run.Is the emptiness athletes, not ex pros, just the regular kids. The 99%, who after playing days are over, have this "what the heck, every one told me

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  • Posted in:
  • May

The Mechanic

The Mechanic
I’m just the mechanic. The car should run just fine without me after I am done fixing it. if I give a car a tune-up as a mechanic cause its running rough do I then drive the car myself to prove my point or educate the driver? Why do you hesitate to buy a rental car? Maybe because you fear it’s been run too hard, but you really can’t tell can you? Specialization!!? Are children holding on to the dream after their careers are over because of all the time and money spent? Is the emptiness athlete, not
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  • Posted in:
  • May