coaching

Control Your Emotions, Coach by James Leath

Young athletes are not adults and do not have the life experience to be held to the expectation of being able to control their emotions. Sports gives a student a controlled environment to learn how to manage feelings and emotions, and the coach is the teacher. That teaching is one of the biggest lessons a coach can teach an athlete under their supervision.

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Meeting Your New Team by James Leath

Too many coaches think the most important thing in a meeting is to tell the players what they need to know. Yes, there is a time for that, but not enough coaches give space for their players to share. There is wisdom to be learned from a coach, and just as much from an athlete. Remember, as coaches we’re in the business of training the adults of tomorrow, adults who will be reminiscent of the things they learned from their coach (good and bad) above the stats and win/loss column.

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Abusive Coaching by James Leath

Our voice as “Coach” stays with our athletes long after they hand in their jersey for the last time. Our words echo inside their brains, the good and the bad. For example, I remember when my high school volleyball coach spent over an hour with me after practice preparing me for a job interview and sharing tips on how to dress and what to say. I also remember when my eighth-grade baseball coach yelled at me from the dugout to “just throw fu$&%ing strikes” when I struggled to get the ball over the plate.

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Winning and Losing by James Leath

“Sometimes when you win, you actually lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs.” -Gloria Clemente, White Men Can’t Jump

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Setting Expectations with Parents by James Leath

At the beginning of every season, I sit down with the parents and let them know what they can expect from me as the coach of their child. I go through a list of bullet points I have curated throughout the years, so there are no surprises

To start the new school year, I wrote down for you a sample of how my parent meetings go. It is directed at a youth football team. Enjoy!

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How to Connect to Athletes by James Leath

As an older coach, how do you stay relevant to the younger generations? I get this question often. Pop culture is constantly evolving and it can be hard to stay knowledgeable about what is going on. A few years ago I took about 30 minutes to figure out what Pokemon go was all about. When I dropped it in a lesson during class, it was instant street cred!

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Kids are not mini-adults by James Leath

Every season, no matter the level of the sport, a different team shows up. Though the athlete could be coming from the same school as the year before, every season has its own culture and feeling. 6th graders are now 7th graders, juniors are now seniors, so on and so forth. A lot changes in a young athlete’s life between seasons, and as coaches we should not assume fundamentals are as sharp as they were the year before, or that the athletes are coming with prior knowledge.

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