A quick read about the importance of youth sports. Great article that illustrates the “good” that youth sports can bring to children as long as adults can keep things in perspective.
Anther Great Tip for Coaches
This is a great article from “Coach and the Athletic Director” which touches on the hot button topic of parents and playing time. I am a firm believer that playing time on the varsity level should be the coaches discretion, and theirs only. Parents should not have an influence on their son or daughter’s playing time. That should be earned by the player either in practice or the game. If a player has a question about how much they are playing then they should approach the coach and have a conversation. Try and find out what they may, or may not, be doing to earn more playing time. That is a conversation a coach can respect and appreciate. It is also a way for a young adult to advocate for themselves in a way that will come in handy as they get older and move on in their lives.
This is what I love about sports at the collegiate level. A walk-on player who works hard and does his job the best he can gets rewarded for the effort. It is a true testament that coaches will notice if you give maximum effort in every practice and game. Effort is the one thing that every player can control each time they step onto the field, court, ice, pool, track, or whatever surface they compete on. This video is proof that it pays off in a big way. Congrats to this young man and to Vanderbilt for having him as part of their program.
Another article that gives specific examples of why specializing in one sport can have major health risks. I believe that athletes until the age of 16 or 17 should be playing more than one sport and having a “down” period to each year. What is a down period? It is at least a month or two where the athlete does not play a sport or train. This allows the muscles to heal and relax, as well as mental break for the athlete. Everyone thinks in this day and age that if you stop playing, or training, that you are falling behind the athlete that goes all year round. I believe this is just a myth. Talent is talent, and college recruiters will find it no matter whether you play twelve months a year or nine. Make sure to give your body and mind time to rest and relax during a calendar year and I promise you will still achieve your athletic goals.
Good article for parents about how to choose the right youth league for your son or daughter. It gives you a few questions to ask yourself before your child up.
A great interview with Ray Lokar, a long time coach and administrator who also is a lead trainer for Positive Coaching Alliance. He discusses many topics that face youth athletes and their parents in this day and age. It is one you should read.
This is another example of how youth coaches forget that they are roles models for young men and women they coach. I can not comprehend what was going through this coaches mind when he decided to trip an eleven year old boy after a hockey game. What example does this set for his team, and god forbid if his own son was on his team? It tells me that some of these coaches, and certainly not the majority, are in it for the wrong reasons. It also puts a black eye on those youth coaches that set a great example, and are role models for the young children that are playing the sport. I believe that this coach should never be able to coach youth sports again if possible. We will see what comes of the charges, but good for those parents in seeking justice for their sons.