Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

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But I will tell you I now understand the desire to have your children succeed in an activity and through it being looked at as a successful parent. 

Unfortunately, as parents, we often invest in short-term happiness at the expense of long-term growth.

For example, when we help our children avoid childhood discomforts now, we keep them from developing skills needed to handle future pain or suffering. Instead, we need to teach coping skills and resilience necessary to bounce back from life’s inevitable setbacks.

My prospective got back on track after reading this quote:

“Your kid’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are.  But having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient, and who tries their best is a direct reflection of your parenting.” (Unknown)

This is why I coach! To make kids better on and off the court through the sport of basketball.

The sport is the carrot to teach life skills and character traits that will allow them to handle whatever life throws at them and still succeed.

This reinforced that I need to take that same coaching approach and use it as a parent to help my children learn invaluable lessons through sports that will prepare them for life.

As a parent, I can’t get wrapped up on what team they are on, their statistics, their awards and trophies to view my success. I need to stay laser focused on allowing the sports to be a great teacher to instill positive habits that will be beneficial throughout their lives.

Parents – Here are 6 ways to create positive sports experience for your child! 

This will instill positive character traits and life skills to last a lifetime for your child:

  1. Let It Be Your Child’s Experience: In order to do so, we must acknowledge that we can’t control the experience of our child…that is why it is called an experience. When we experience something we will have good times and bad times, great moments and average plays, we will deal with victory and defeat…allow your child to experience these highs and lows in sport which will allow them to deal with the ups and downs of life…If we try to control the experience our child is not being prepared for life.
  1. Focus on The Process: Sports like life are a process and we need to attack the process every day to grow and get better. The process is hard work, knowledge, attitude, perspective, teamwork, coachability, dealing with success and failure. Winning will only be the by product in sports and in life.
  1. Encourage Your Child to Take Responsibility: Teach your child early on not to pass the blame or make excuses, but to take responsibility for their actions.
  1. Let Your Child Solve Their Own Problems: There is much to be gained in learning how to solve problems as there is in solving the problems themselves. Your child should know that you’re always there for them, and that they can call on you when needed, but give them the opportunity to learn to solve their own problems.
  1. Allow Them to Learn Through Consequences: Sometimes the best thing that can happen is to make a big mistake and live with the consequences. However, it’s often the case that the mistakes we make as children have fewer long-range effects than things we screw up when we get older. So, it is better to learn from smaller mistakes while we’re young.
  1. Embrace and Understand That Failure is Inevitable: Failure is a prerequisite to success. No One accomplishes anything great if he or she is afraid to fail. In failure, children learn how to struggle with adversity and how to confront fear. By reflecting on failure, children begin to see how to correct themselves and then try again with better results.

I know it can be tough to look at the long-range goals when you get wrapped up in the emotions of your child.

But we need to not lose sight of the need to ingrain the positive character traits and life skills that will enable your child to successfully navigate through life on their own as they get old enough to leave your home.

That is the mindset you need to develop on how you view success as a parent.

The value is not in the medals and trophies that will collect dust and eventually be thrown out or left behind. The ultimate value is “WHO WE BECOME THROUGH THE SPORT!”

– Coach Jim Huber

Here are some vital practice requirements for youth coaches that Jeff Haefner wrote:

In my opinion, this is something all youth coaches should adhere to when conducting practices…

1) Little to no standing in lines. Players should be active. Keep them moving. Improvise to keep them active (use stations, split into groups, use better drills, etc).

2) Lots of touches on the ball. Players should have a ball in their hands during a large portion of the practices. Sharing one ball among 10 players, severely limits their touches. Use drills for optimal development and touches.

3) Use small sided games (1v1, 1v2, 2v2, 3v3, etc) in addition to unopposed skill work (ex: cone dribbling). Competitive games are a dynamic and critical training tool for development.

4) Run some type of competitive 1v1 full court dribbling drill in at least 9 out of 10 practices. This is probably the best drill there is for ball handling, agility, on ball defense… do this daily.

5) Enforce the rule: Eyes on coach and listen carefully. When a coach is talking, require players to have their eyes on the coach and listen carefully. Be stickler. Have them sit out or do push ups any time they don’t abide by this rule.

6) Reward effort, not natural ability. If a player is trying hard, give them praise! Encourage discipline and effort. Really focus on emphasizing “effort”.

7) Be positive! Make things fun. There’s no need to yell. Give out high fives and lots of verbal praise when they do a good job. Set a good example by being a positive coach. We want to build up their confidence and make this a fun experience for the players. Keep in mind, you can still require discipline without yelling. For example, if they don’t listen, just sit them out of the activity for 5-20 minutes.

8) Allow Mistakes. Players will make lots of mistakes. That’s ok. That’s how you learn and “fear of failure” is probably the biggest hindrance to player development. Make sure they know it’s ok to make mistakes and they are in a safe zone.

9) Allow yourself to make mistakes. As a coach, you will mess up and make mistakes. Don’t worry about it. Hindsight is 20/20. I have been coaching a long time and I still make mistakes all the time. That’s how you learn. In addition, no one expects you to know everything on day 1. Slowly increase your knowledge and understanding of the game. As a coach, learning should never stop.

10) Eliminate the three Ls. Eliminate lines, laps and lectures. Running laps or wind sprints, especially without a ball, is a waste of time. All conditioning drills should be done with the ball in their hands. Lectures should be left for the classroom. Kids come to practice to be active and participate, not to be talked to for extended periods of time. Keep lectures short and concise. Players learn by seeing and doing.

11) Focus on player development! Put learning how to play basketball ahead of learning your system. This is paramount. Most of your time should be spent on things that will help players no matter what team or coach they play for in the future. Teach them fundamentals like spacing, cutting, screening, shooting, dribbling, 1v1 moves, passing, footwork, defense, and lay ups.