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Team Moms/Coaches

Your Child's Coach: Transactional or Transformational?

There are 53.8 million kids playing sports in the United States and, most of the time, when they talk about sports with their teammates and their parents, they begin with these two words: "Coach said... ."

It's not at all surprising, as research shows that, in the hierarchy of adults, coaches occupy the top spot in the minds and hearts of their players. Understanding this stature places quite a responsibility on youth and high school coaches. What they say, and do, really does matter.

Coaches occupy the top spot in the minds and hearts of their players. Understanding this stature places quite a responsibility on youth and high school coaches, who have a choice, says a longtime hockey coach, between being a transactional coach or a transformational coach.

Coaching Kids - Dos and Don'ts

While there a wide variety of coaching styles, techniques and philosophies in youth sports, there are a few qualities that separate good coaches from great ones. A nationally-recognized performance coach explains that there are a few rules of thumb all coaches should follow.

The Road to Varsity: Learning About 'Dead Ball' Officiating A Sign That Goal Is In Sight

I have just completed my annual summer mini-thon of two consecutive weekends of basketball officiating camp, one at UNC Charlotte, the other at Liberty University. 

A 10-year veteran of high school basketball officiating talks about focusing at summer officiating camp about the subtle "dead ball" aspects of her game, a sign that she is very close to reaching her goal of varsity status.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Derek Herber (N. Attleboro, Mass.)


It was the ideal ending to a 17-year coaching career, the sort of final curtain call that coaches imagine as their tenure winds down. In the Massachusetts Division 2 boys track and field championships in New Bedford on June 1, North Attleboro High School earned one point in the 4 x 400 relay, the day's final event. Derek Herber had already announced that this would be his last season as coach, and now his team had won its second consecutive state championship, edging runner-up Central Catholic High School, 69-68. Track athlete in starting blocks of relay race

This month's Heroes blog highlights a track and field coach who, instead of capping off a 17-year career with a state championship, ended up retiring with a gesture of true sportsmanship worth its weight in gold.

The Road To Varsity: Helping Other Women Along The Way Is Not Just A Goal But A Responsibility

 

On May 7, Helena Costa became the first female to coach a professional men's soccer team in the history of the sport in France. I was thrilled to read the announcement, not only because its historic importance, but because of what did not include: completely absent from the article was any mention of her height, body style, hair color, fashion sense, or other meaningless traits too often included in articles involving women. Even better, there was no suggestion that Costa was bossy; at least not yet, and hopefully  not ever! Bravo, Coach Costa! Bravo!

Just as important to a longtime female high school basketball official as reaching her goal of varsity status is helping other women succeed along the way.

Minnesota Wild - Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Series: Valuable Lessons For Youth Coaches

 

The six-game Stanley Cup conference semi-final series between the Minnesota Wild and the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks was really exciting, no matter how disappointed fans in Minnesota were at the outcome (the Blackhawks won the series, 4 games to 2).

As a longtime student and teacher of the game, I had to admire the level of play and skills on display night after night. It was high speed chess, as the home team coaches tried to match lines and get an edge over the other team.

A longtime student and teacher of the game of hockey says the Stanley Cup playoff series between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks taught some valuable lessons for youth coaches in terms of the system discipline and hard work the players showed at both ends of the ice.

Team Culture Is Reflected In Its Attention To Detail


Top teams have a strong culture which is nurtured by coaches and team officials.

It could be described as a "How we do business, here" attitude, one deeply rooted in the leaders' values and beliefs about what is important to run a successful youth sports program.

A program's values and beliefs are on display every day in the form of team communications, attention to detail, group dynamics, and the decisions that the coaches make.  

Top teams have a strong culture which is nurtured by coaches and team officials. A longtime hockey coach explains how a team's culture and values is often reflected in its attention to the smallest detail.

Disciplining Youth Sports Coaches: Lots of Factors To Consider

My March "Youth Sports Hero of the Month" column honored 12-year-old Matthew Marotta for his sportsmanship at the end of a hard-fought pee wee hockey tournament game in Winnipeg, Manitoba on February 16.

For readers who might not have read that blog entry yet, the Nanaimo Clippers edged Matthew's Prince George Cougars, 3-2, on a hotly disputed goal in the final moments of double overtime.Youth hockey player watching action from bench

In his March Youth Sports Hero of the Month blog, Doug Abrams honored 12-year-old Matthew Marotta for his sportsmanship at the end of a hard-fought pee wee hockey tournament game in Winnipeg, Manitoba.   In this post, the former youth hockey coach focuses on the factors sports leagues should weigh in considering disciplinary measures against a coach, using the Marotta incident as a jumping off point.

The Road To Varsity: It's Important To Look At The Signs Along The Way

 

It's been a full month and a half since the high school basketball season started, yet I have yet to officiate a varsity game.

Although I have been officiating for eight years, my move from Virginia to North Carolina last May meant that I was in my first year of membership in a new association.  I fully expected some degree of scrutiny, testing and evaluation after the move.  I paid dues, attended clinics, arrived early, stayed late, volunteered for more than the minimum number of scrimmages, and sought feedback from senior officials. Despite all my efforts, energy and experience, and relatively stellar evaluations and commentary from association insiders during the pre-season, my schedule, at least so far, is chock-full of non-varsity games. 

A veteran high school basketball official learns that her move to new state has meant that the road to officiating varsity games is going to take longer than she thought and take more twists and turns, so she will need to keep a sharp lookout for signs along the way in order to enjoy the trip.

Effective Communication: A Key To Raising High-Performing Athlete

Strong communication skills are a fundamental component of raising a high-performing athlete and an essential part of keeping them in sports throughout their childhood and making them an athlete for life, says the author of a new sports parenting book.
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