Coaching

Fun, Learn, Compete: Transforming Sports Into A Lifelong Passion

Whether you are a parent, youth baseball coach, piano teacher or faculty advisor for the chess club, your mantra should be the same:  to create a fertile environment where kids can learn, compete, and have fun, says youth baseball coach and author, Dan Clemens.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month

In 1989, Spike Lee earned an Academy Award nomination for his drama, "Do the Right Thing."  As Douglas E. Abrams writes in this month's installment of his series, Youth Sports Heroes, more than 20 years later, the command perfectly describes the noble split-second decisions made by three pairs of high school athletes and their coaches who set a standard of sportsmanship in following their best instincts to do what was right. 

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Advice to Coaches: Involve Players In Planning Practices

If you are a coach, try beginning practice by telling players the entire practice plan. You probably have it written down already.  Just hand it out. It is the responsibility of a good coach to know the skills his players need to develop. In that plan include a time period where the players decide what is best for the team or them personally, based on the last game. If players have a hard time speaking with coaches, they should write down the skills that are important for them to learn.

Finding Sports and Family Balance: A Progress Report

An important part of our mission at MomsTeam the past ten years has been to advocate for more balance between sports and family. It is a cause to which I have been deeply committed for many years, so much so that I devoted an entire chapter in my book, Home Team Advantage, to the subject.

Letting Kids Run Practices Increases Fun, Builds Team Spirit

Girls playing lacrosseOn Saturday, March 27, the world observed the fourth annual Earth Hour, a global event started by the World Wildlife Fund. During Earth Hour, cities, towns and individual families from around the world were encouraged to turn off all non-essential lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.  People in more than 92 countries participated in a global call to action for, and to demonstrate the urgency of, climate change.

Should Sports be 'Dumbed Down?'

The idea of “dumbed down” sports is a scary concept for some. It can be hard for many adults, especially coaches, to accept. The mere idea of doing so can bring their coaching into question and evoke feelings of hesitation, resistance and fear. Many are often quick to admit, “My dad never ‘dumbed down’ sports for me, and I turned out fine.” However, watch a seasoned coach try to teach a young child without “dumbing down” sports, and they fail miserably. Still, purists claim “dumbed down” sports coaching is anything but natural.

AYSO Convention Puts Spotlight On Player Development, Playing Time

For three days over Memorial Day weekend, it was my honor and sincere pleasure to be the keynote speaker and a guest observer and consultant at the 2009 National Annual General Meeting of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) in Dallas, Texas. The majority of the more than 700 folks in attendance were regional commissioners-the true backbone of the AYSO. The AYSO has long been at the top of my list of best national youth sports organizations. They have the right values, mission statement and an amazing number of dedicated volunteers and staff.

Resist Pressure From Coaches For Early Specialization in Single Sport

Coaches who concentrate on the well-being of their young athletes encourage them to cross-train and enjoy other activities during parts of the year, not threaten them with the loss of a place on the team if they don't drop other sports.

Equal Playing Time: Using A Substitution Grid Makes It Easy

The best way to ensure that all players get equal playing time is for the coach to set up a substitution grid and have an assistant coach or team parent keep track of the time with a stopwatch (or, in the case of baseball and softball, keep track of the innings played).

Coaches Curing Kids Cancer: A Sports Mom Raises Money In Son's Memory

Instead of buying your child's coach an end-of-season gift, donate the money to Coaches Curing Kids' Cancer.  The coach will get a t-shirt, baseball cap or whistle along with a personalized certificate and you be joining in the fight to find a cure for pediatric cancer.
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