There is no such thing as an “off-season” when you want to be the best. There is pre-season, in-season, post-season, then prep-season.Read More
Coach, your athletes are watching you. Your words are motivational, but your actions are what inspire them. Be intentional about what they see, and leave a legacy mark on their character that transcends performance and the scoreboard.Read More
John Wooden, legendary former UCLA basketball coach, did a TED Talk before he passed away about how to find success. I have watched it many times, and even shown it to a few teams I have worked with.Read More
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.Read More
Coach, your team needs to know you believe in them. I’m not talking about blind faith, but real belief in their abilities to compete and be successful because you have created an environment of competition, growth mindset, and constant improvement. Set them up for success, then get out of the way!Read More
This is a breathing technique you can use not just in sport, but in life, as in preparing for a test, walking into a big presentation, or calming yourself before engaging in an uncomfortable conversation.Read More
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.Read More
With the start of a new season or class, regardless of the sport or subject, I start with the same lesson. This is an example of how I do it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed living it.Read More
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.Read More
“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 JumpRead More
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!Read More
Sometimes to perform at our best, all we need is a pause.Read More
Be the kind of coach that is a student of students. Learn about each player and be intentional about growing each relationship appropriately. You are one of the most important models of how to be an adult, so model the behavior you want to see in the world.Read More
To find more success in youth sports, simplify your playbook, increase your ability to connect with children, and practice in-game situations. But whatever you do, don’t assume the child has learned how to listen and respond. We are the adults, and we are their models for how to be.
Be a great adult.
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!Read More
Character matters. It shows in the little moments that don’t take much effort but have major effects. Find ways to celebrate a player who displays wonderful traits like empathy; but more importantly, be a model of empathy to your players.Read More
In defeat, there can be success. Be the coach that empowers others to make the attempt, regardless of the scoreboard.Read More
You know first impressions matter. You want them to respect you. You want them to trust you. You want them to want to come to practice and give everything they have.
Doubt creeps in, bringing along questions you know are ridiculous, but you entertain them anyway.Read More
Former South African Rugby National Coach Peter DeVilliers leans in, piercing me with his eyes while the echo of his words bounces around in my head.
A coach is merely the extension of a child’s dream.Read More
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.Read More