Monday, December 14, 2015

A Letter to New Sports Parents; Enjoy the Ride!

Sports Parents
Dear Parents,

You are about to embark on a journey through the world of sports with your children.  Whether it's at the grassroots or "rep" level, one way or another, it will be memorable.

If you go in expecting the worst, you will miss something very special.

You only get one chance to be a sports parent.  Don't blow it.  How you enjoy the experience directly impacts how your child will feel about sports.

Enjoy the sunny days with other parents while your children play their game.

If you live above 45'N Latitude, enjoy the chill at the ice rink at 6am.  If you don't realize it

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Are you sure you want to "coach to win"?

coach to win
"I'm a winner"

I have interviewed, supervised and mentored a lot of coaches and this declaration has been made more than once.

Most coaches are not involved in truly competitive situations.  And most are involved in age groups where "winning" shouldn't be the mandate.  Chances are most coaches or parents reading this are not in competitive situations.

You need to ask yourself a big question ... do you REALLY want to coach to win?  Even if you wanted to, can you coach to win?

Winning is not a sin.  Wanting to win is not a sin.  But the environment must be conducive to this coaching philosophy.  I coach at the college level and the environment is that of coaching to win.  I

Monday, July 6, 2015

Is your team's depth chart fluid or did you get it 100% right on day 1?

Every coach has a pecking order of some kind.  It's usually unofficial at the amateur level, but every coach has one.  If you want to deny it, go ahead, but you know I'm right.

My son has played on hockey teams where the same five guys started EVERY game for seven months. Same power play unit, some penalty kill unit, every week, every game. That coach must have it gotten right on day one.  What a genius! (my son was a goalie, so I got to watch this phenomenon with an unbiased viewpoint)

As a soccer coach, if your starting 11 is not up for grabs every week and if there is no movement, you're not doing your job.  All of the years I've been coaching with my friend Rino, we always had conversations on how the top 11 players keeps changing over the course of a season.  It's your indication that your team's culture is alive and well.

Monday, June 29, 2015

When will your team be ready to teach the "offside trap"

Nothing stirs emotions in a soccer game more than the breach and subsequent call involving Law 11, offside.

Yesterday, my friend who was the Assistant Referee at our last match, was interrogating me as to why we were trying the offside trap in a game we were losing.  I pointed out to him that once we got it, the goals against

Friday, May 22, 2015

Your Goal This Summer ... Learn Law 11!

I like Law 11, also known as the "offside" rule.  It reminds you that people are actually watching the game.

You know the scenario.  It happens every time.

A pass is made.  The flag goes up.  The whistle blows.  Supporters of the offending team will collectively proclaim "Ah ref ... there's NO WAY that was offside".  If the flag doesn't go up, the defending team will be supported by claims of a missed offside or a blind referee (or both).

Let's start with some education:

http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/afdeveloping/refereeing/law_11_offside_en_47383.pdf

First, your players.