Monday, January 11, 2016

Are We Not Embarrassed That So Many Kids Quit Sports?

Kids quit sports
It's a very simple job.

Set up an activity for children and make sure they enjoy it.

Why is that so difficult to master?  What is so complicated in that equation?

Kids quit sports before they reach 13-years-old.  It's a fact.  Various studies show the number to be between 40% and 75%.

We are trying to help Syrian refugees resettle in another country and find ways to power our transportation that will not kill our planet.   Who are we trying to fool?  We can't manage to do something as simple help our children have fun, yet we think we can stop our polar ice-caps from melting.

The job is very simple.

1. We set up a sport or activity.

2. We let the kids enjoy it and want to come back.

3. Go back to step 1.

Our children quitting activities is a major failure for adults that we don't seem to acknowledge or own up to.  I think the most difficult part is that most adults probably don't even realize what's happening.

We like to blame their departure on technology, video games, jobs, etc.  The real answer is sad, and not so complicated.
And who do we talk to when kids quit?  Their parents.
If kids were given the option to quit school at 13 years old and told us that was their wish, we would order a royal inquiry into the competence of their teacher(s) and the system they work in.

Once we admit, on a systemic level, what the problem is, the solution will be very clear.

The sport or activity must be about the player/child.  People ridiculed Ontario Soccer for their implementation of LTPD at the grassroots level in 2012, but

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Educate the Vocal Parent Who Doesn't Understand Your Sport

vocal parents
You know who I am talking about.  Luckily, they are not part of every team out there, but some teams have the pleasure.

Tough job: coaching a sport when a stakeholder that influences your program doesn't understand the sport. 

Who are your stakeholders?  Usually, they are executive/management, host school, players, parents, sponsors and media.

My focus here is on some parents.  And those parents don't always realize they're doing it.

Years ago, my oldest son had one of the best (ice) hockey coaches any of my sons ever had.  His name

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.