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Elite Teams And Too Much Winning

Elite Teams And Too Much Winning

The brain and its dendrite, cells used for communication are becoming more and more toxic. The solution, make sure your child has manners, make sure whenever possible you look for the best environment for your child that has thoughtful positive role models.

 This pertains to teams your children play on as well. It may not be their “in thing” or cool and proper to say no to the elite, triple “A” team, but your child’s brain, and your child will thank you in the years to come.

More and more of these teams are being formed with an “elite” status

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How Toxic Is Specialization In Sports?

How Toxic Is Specialization In Sports?

Because of specialization in sports and in the classroom, more and more children are becoming swimmingly upset. I like to use the duck analogy, on the surface everything seems to be normal, but when something happens they start paddling and quacking like crazy. There is so much pressure on them at an early age to be great or excel in school and the classroom that the first environment in which they should be learning becomes toxic.

This toxicity takes shape in many forms. You can see kids, parents, and coaches get discouraged when things don’t go well in a game

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What Does Negative Thinking Have To Do With It?

What Does Negative Thinking Have To Do With It?

Negativity in the brain manifests itself in many actions by the body. A reaction to stress, sometimes unintended, gets the brain worked up. In some cases the brain decides that it is going to taste the negative toxicity and get a little dopamine rush. Ever seen a child snap at a friend, teammate, classmate or parent? This child seemingly is absolutely fine then all of sudden a small incident will happen and they will fly off the handle? There is a reason for that.

Think of positive and negative thoughts. The negative thoughts have a shorter distance to travel in

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What Does Negative Thinking Have To Do With It?

What Does Negative Thinking Have To Do With It?

Negativity in the brain manifests itself in many actions by the body. A reaction to stress, sometimes unintended, gets the brain worked up. In some cases the brain decides that it is going to taste the negative toxicity and get a little dopamine rush. Ever seen a child snap at a friend, teammate, classmate or parent? This child seemingly is absolutely fine then all of sudden a small incident will happen and they will fly off the handle? There is a reason for that.

Think of positive and negative thoughts. The negative thoughts have a shorter distance to travel in

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What Does Negative Thinking Have To Do With It?

What Does Negative Thinking Have To Do With It?

Negativity in the brain manifests itself in many actions by the body. A reaction to stress, sometimes unintended, gets the brain worked up. In some cases the brain decides that it is going to taste the negative toxicity and get a little dopamine rush. Ever seen a child snap at a friend, teammate, classmate or parent? This child seemingly is absolutely fine then all of sudden a small incident will happen and they will fly off the handle? There is a reason for that.

Think of positive and negative thoughts. The negative thoughts have a shorter distance to travel in

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Rough Housing

Rough Housing

Rough·House

NORTH AMERICAN informal
verb
gerund or present participle: rough-housing
rəfˌhous,ˈrəfˌhouz/

act in a boisterous, violent manner.

"in front of the stage hundreds of teens and young adults roughhouse, flinging themselves into each other"

Therese Borchard says BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) actually acts like fertilizer for the brain. There seems to be neuron growth in the hippocampus and cortex when rough housing and fun are introduced to children. When the children have some manners and sense of community real long term learning can take place. Their brains, like muscles, strengthen and grow so they can solve problems better, more often.

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Play IS An Answer

Play IS An Answer

The Mercer Island School District in Washington State has reintroduced tag at recess for the children in their school district. This form of free play exercise has proven to be very beneficial to the children. It helps them strategize, be creative, problem solve, and have fun. This kind of learning environment where the physical nature of play is attached to the brain is fast becoming an excellent way for children to learn and grow.

Allowing kids to experiment and be free seems to be unlocking the brain's desire to learn and grow in a holistic approach. I heard my children

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Long Term Success

Long Term Success

Research done in the 60’s and 70’s at Stanford using marshmallows showed conclusively that delayed gratification led to long term success. The immediacy of eating one marshmallow quickly ended up being a detriment to the subject as opposed to the subject who waited and ate two. More times than not research shows that waiting for a goal, and working towards a goal is much better for the child than an immediate reward. That try for a short term victory may come back to haunt a coach, player, and team in the long run.

Resilience as defined by Pediatrician Kenneth Ginsburgh,

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Let Them Be Kids

Let Them Be Kids

Researchers have written numerous papers, books, and given seminars on this subject. There is a natural order for children to grow. Ironically, it is called chaos! The only constant amongst children in sports and school is their age. They do just about everything differently, at different ages, and even at different times of the same day.

Dr Steinberg states that the plasticity of the children’s brains is at its peak for biological and social development. The prefrontal cortex is at its most malleable stage. What does that mean do you as a coach, parent, or teacher? It means that children’s

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Balance, A Key Ingredient In Learning And Life

Balance, A Key Ingredient In Learning And Life

Just thirty years ago kids engaged in unstructured play outside with their friends for long periods of time. The brain benefited from all kinds of play and activity. These afternoons outside helped the children grow and grasp many complex learning skills from the simple implementation of playing, imagining, and being creative on their own.  They had fun.

Balance, a key ingredient in learning and in life, was at the forefront in all the activities they did. Coaches rarely yelled at kids, and parents, for the most part, just cheered quietly or did not come to the games. This approach has

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Why Balanced Excellence?

Why Balanced Excellence?

Over the last 30 years a remarkable change has occurred in the way we coach and teach our children. At Balanced Excellence, we believe strongly that the synthesis level of thinking is needed here. If we take the science that is available to us and combine with what we already know about the holistic natural approach to children’s growth we may have something cutting edge here. This way is certainly not working. Immediacy and winning with elite status is robbing the children of the benefits of trial and error during their childhood journey. The base, so important to learning life

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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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