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Playing and coaching with someone who has less ability has as much to do with you and the team getting better as it does them improving. At some point you won’t be the best player on a team. How do you reconcile your exclusion of others when you start to get excluded? What if a coach purposefully showed up late for practice just to learn what the kids would want to do without the coach? One period or one quarter for one game we ask for no yelling instructions at the kids by coaches and parents. Tell us what happens! You can still be competitive and relaxed. You can still be pumped up and calm and you get to slow down the game in your brain. Spoke at a yearend sports banquet. Asked kids in the audience how many felt pressured to play injured? How many had played pickup games? More kids felt pressured to play than had played pickup games. Shouldn’t that statistic be reversed? What if we asked the kids what they wanted to do, without them having to fear retribution? You lead by example and modeling class behavior. That means you don’t always have to be at the front of the line. You say swag I say humility. You show me an athlete who has overcome struggles in sports and in life, and I’ll show you a person I can trust to be a team player. You say winning I say competition. You don’t know how to win, no one does. But I do know how to compete.

Written by : VJS