This is an original post by my friend Jake Thompson at CompeteEveryDay.com and reprinted with his permission.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
As adults, we have a responsibility to allow our children to be children. Why do so many parents feel the need to fill every weekend with tournaments and training at the cost of letting a child be a child? What about family time? What about letting kids hang out with their friends? These are a problem that is only being exacerbated by many people in youth sports, specifically the club coaches who promise that taking a weekend off, much less a few weeks, would be severely detrimental to the development of that player. That is just wrong thinking.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
My dad passed away on Monday. He was a good man. He was a father to more than his sons and a friend to more than a few. This is one of my favorite moments as his oldest son.Read More
The whistle around your neck is not just to get the attention of the team; it is permission to be one of the most critical parts of a child's emotional, social, and physical development. Take pride in your position, and give your athletes more than just a playbook, give them an experience.
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
Focusing on self, others, and the team is going to happen whether you do this exercise or not. However, I find that doing this helps you as the coach guide the thought process of your athletes, leading them to focus on positives instead of negatives.Read More
Sometimes to perform at our best, all we need is a pause.Read More
We continued to talk for a few more minutes. It is always great to catch up with former players and see what lessons they took from our time together. This conversation reminded me, however, that a coach’s influence doesn’t end when the season is over, but that for the rest of that player’s life, I will always be “Coach.”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
Coach, when my 14-year-old son comes home from practice and the only one criticizing him is himself, it is frustrating. As a goalie, he is pretty vocal on the field, except for when he makes mistakes. The angrier he gets at himself, the worse he plays. Is there a technique to somehow curb that anger and frustration so it doesn't mess him up, or does that start to become a maturity thing?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.
Remember, we are in the business of creating adults. In the past week, I have not seen a cone, replaced a cleat, or heard a whistle, but I have had hard conversations with other adults. I can do that in part because the youth coaches I had were my models for communication and I was lucky to have some really great examples.Read More
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
When the scoreboard says defeat, and you have given yourself completely to the experience, you can hang your head high knowing you gave your all.
But if you held back, and you lost, you lost TWICE: A double defeat.
That will for sure keep you up late at night sobbing about your "what if" story.Read More
Coach, challenge your athletes to set the standard for the team. They will not adhere to seemingly arbitrary rules handed down on a piece of paper or written on a wall. You didn't when you were an athlete and neither will they. However, if you can get them to feel how the expectation will help them, you will see improved compliance.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