My son’s youth baseball league now utilizes a new system for league registrations. It’s pretty cool as all registrations are done online through their online league toolbox. When I clicked the link they emailed me to register, it went right to my online account, and both of my boy’s names were already listed as players. I thought cool! I then noticed not only could players register, but there was a registration option to be a coach too. Now, that is official! Continue Reading
Fifteen years ago, researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation did a national study examining kids’ perceptions of athletes’ behavior both on and off the field. According to their findings, many kids are learning lessons about sports and life from watching famous athletes.
The findings may be 15 years old, but not much has changed in the world of kids and their heroes. There’s no way around the fact that children are going to emulate people they admire, and realistically that isn’t going to be people like Thomas Edison or George Washington. They want to look up to someone they can relate to.
Role models in sports are definitely a mixed bag. There’s a ton of good, bad, and somewhere in between. And your kids are learning from all of them.
What Kids are Learning from Bad Examples:
It’s okay to disrespect players, coaches and refs.
There’s no need to answer to anyone; if you are a good player, your bad behavior is more easily tolerated.
The best way to handle your money is to spend it foolishly.
Cheating on your spouse may be frowned on, but you will be easily forgiven if you keep playing well.
Selfishness is okay, and is in fact, the best way to get to the top.
Some of this bad behavior we’re seeing in professional sports is filtering down to local school yards and gyms around the country, says the Kaiser Study. It’s very evident that kids take their cues from heroes on TV.
Bob Still, public relations manager for the National Association of Sports Officials, remembers an incident from several years ago when Cleveland Indians second baseman Roberto Alomar spit on umpire John Hirschbeck. “We had never had an incident like that before at the youth level. But after that, we had three calls reporting spitting ‘at youth sports officials’,” says Bob.
What Kids are Learning from the Good Examples:
Dreams do come true.
It takes a team to win.
It’s good to give back to people, and be generous.
Hard work pays off.
Humility is more attractive on an athlete than arrogance.
Celebrity athletes have the power to motivate young children to step out in courage to be whatever they want to be. The challenge comes in finding those positive role models and pointing our kids towards them.
As much as it frustrates us that there are so many bad role models for our kids, we can use both sides to speak into kids about the good and bad ways to behave as an athlete. And we must take heart that there is much to be learned from the athletes who take their influence seriously and have chosen to be good examples. Let’s lift them up, point them out to our kids and let their lives speak into our children.
Boston, MA, February 18th 2013 – CoachUp, the country’s leading private coaching company, has announced that it will begin accepting applications for its 2nd annual scholarship program. The scholarship program directly supports the company mission, to change the trajectory of kids’ lives through sport. Students nationwide, that have participated in sports and have been accepted into, or are currently enrolled in a US college or university, are eligible to apply. CoachUp will award 3 student scholarships in the amount of $2,000 cash for school, plus $500 toward private coaching sessions through CoachUp.
CoachUp has made several changes to the scholarship program. Students are now able to apply for one of the scholarships with a general application. To be considered students must complete an online application and submit a personal reference, a short essay and a 1 minute video essay. Merit demonstrated by the student’s essay, personal reference, and application, will be the basis for the awards.
This year video is required, and video views will be factored into the evaluation process, as well. Crowd support in the form of video views from friends, family, and supporters will now account for a portion of the scholarship award evaluation. Students are encouraged to share their story to spark both conversation and sharing of their video application. CoachUp will highlight trending videos throughout the voting period.
Details and the digital application can be found here at: http://www.scholarship.coachup.com
Applications can be submitted starting on Monday February 17th, 2014 and must be received by Sunday, May 6th, 2014, by midnight PT, to be considered. CoachUp will post all application videos on http://scholarship.coachup.com. Online video sharing and viewing will begin Tuesday, May 6th 2014 and end on Sunday, June 1st 2014. Winners will be announced on the CoachUp blog on Tuesday, June 9th 2014.
I’ve written about the important role youth coaches have in the lives of youth athletes. The influence goes well beyond the field, the court, or the arena. Anyone who has had the experience of playing for a great coach knows exactly what I’m talking about. Continue Reading
Cussing is so prevalent in today’s world that many people almost don’t even hear it anymore. We are so desensitized to it that words that would have never been used when coaching kids 20 years ago are regularly being used today in youth sports.
No matter how you feel about cussing around kids or in youth sports, the fact is that there are just some things cussing won’t do for a coach:
- Profanity doesn’t make someone a better coach. It may shock the kids, or even get their attention. But it doesn’t mean that the coach is teaching skills and helping kids realize their potential.
- Profanity doesn’t get coaches heard any better. It may get the kids’ attention for a second, but kids hear profanity all the time, at school, on TV, in the movies, and maybe at home. Does using it really give the coach an advantage?
- Profanity doesn’t set a stellar example. Using profanity sets the example for kids to use profanity. If it doesn’t bother a coach to hear 7-year-olds telling their teammates to get of their a**** or 12-year-olds telling someone he is playing like s***, then by all means, keep cussing.
- Profanity doesn’t communicate clearly. In fact, it can be a crutch. If a coach doesn’t know enough about what he is doing, then sometimes cussing helps fill in the blanks, while relieving some frustration. Instead of telling someone to get off his a** and play ball, how about saying, “you need to hustle down the court faster and get set up to play defense”?
- Profanity won’t make a coach popular. To some parents, cussing is still offensive; they’d prefer that their kids not hear it all the time, or at all, when they are playing sports. Out of respect for those parents, coaches might consider different ways to express themselves.
How about, parents? Do you think cussing and youth sports should co-exist on the same field or court?
There are a few things that many of the Olympians competing in Sochi share in common. Take a look at Jamie Anderson, Patrick Kane, and Ted Ligety. Jamie Anderson is only 23 years old and she just won the gold medal in one of the newest Winter Olympic events, Ladies Snowboarding Slopestyle. Patrick Kane has won two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe trophy, and played a key role in USA’s silver medal against Canada in the 2010 Olympics. Ted Ligety is considered the best slalom skier in the world and is an Olympic gold medalist in the combined. Each of these athletes have at least three things in common: their young start, their training regimen, and the importance of their coaching.
Jamie Anderson learned to snowboard at age nine, and is the youngest to ever medal at the Winter X Games. There are stories of Jamie hanging around her older sisters, learning to snowboard at her development program when she was just a kid. She earned a spot in the X Games when she was only 13 years old.
Patrick Kane started playing organized hockey at the mite level. He scored so many goals in one of his leagues that several parents petitioned to not allow him in the league. Patrick was 9 at the time. He became so good by the age of 14 that he moved to Detroit to play in the Midewest Elite Hockey League.
Ted Ligety was competing in races at age 11. Unlike his Olympic peers though, Ligety wasn’t the best at his age. He didn’t make the team when he tried out for his local racing development program. He kept working hard and practicing throughout high school and eventually was invited to join the United States’ development ski team at age 19.
Jamie makes sure to take care of her body and incorporates many different sports into her training. She works out with a personal trainer. She also mountain bikes, runs, hikes, and does yoga. She schedules her training seasonally so that she isn’t over doing it in the spring and ramps up her activity in the fall before her season starts.
Patrick puts in a lot of work during his offseason. He’s been known to work out 15 out of every 17 days for three hours a day in the summer months. He’s also made adjustments such as increasing the amount of skating he does in the offseason. He’s said that when he’s at his peak, he is practicing on the ice anywhere from three to five times a week.
Ted Ligety trains year round. The only months he doesn’t ski are June and July. When he is training, he’s working 5-6 hours a day and works out his core every day. Similarly to Jamie, Ted incorporates other sports into his training by mountain biking as well as playing basketball and tennis.
IMPORTANCE OF COACHING
When Jamie Anderson was developing as a snowboarder, she participated in a development program and was coached by Brady Gunsch. It was under Coach Gunsch that Jamie developed her fluid yet aggressive snowboarding style. Coach Gunsch teaches athletes to snowboard in all conditions so they won’t become distracted in competition.
Patrick Kane has been coached by Darryl Belfry who specializes in research based hockey development. They’ve known each other since Kane was playing minor hockey. Belfry provides Kane with specific areas where he can improve by breaking down game tapes and offering advice on ways to skate faster and find more space. Kane will sometimes text his coach during the season just to ask for some helpful advice.
Ted works out with USSA High Performance Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Alex Moore. Alex is the strength and conditioning trainer for the US ski team as well as Ted’s personal trainer. Ted says that Alex does a good job of keeping him on track by bringing in a sports science component to his training. Alex makes sure that Ted works hard so that he’s able to be the best in competitions, especially for the 2014 Olympics.
Young athletes looking to reach the Olympics have only to look at the Olympians competing in Sochi to see the amount of hard work and determination it takes to reach such a level. If you wish to succeed, take a note out of their book and start young, work hard, and make sure you receive the proper coaching. If you want to follow in these Olympians’ footsteps and book private coaching sessions, you can do so using CoachUp. Simply select your sport, enter your location, and find a coach that can bring your game to another level.
Last week we posted Part 1 of what to watch for in the Olympic Games. Here’s what to watch for in week two. The times provided for these events show when they will be streamed live and are in Eastern Standard Time.
Sunday, February 15
The US Men’s Hockey team faces Russia, which should be a great game to watch. The game is at 7:30am. For more hockey viewing, watch the women’s quarterfinals begin. There are games at 3am and 7:30am.
Tuesday, February 18
Tuesday marks the first time the Ski Halfpipe will make a showing in the Olympics. The men’s finals are at 12:30pm. American Aaron Blunck is only 17 years old and is expected to earn a medal.
Wednesday, February 19
The medal for the women’s bobsled event will be awarded. The event starts at 11:15am. Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones will attempt to earn her first Olympic medal in these Winter Olympics and Lauryn Williams will try to become the fifth person to win medals in both Summer and Winter Olympics.
Thursday, February 20
The Women’s Ski Halfpipe event gets going and Maddie Bowman and Devin Logan are expected to earn the top two medals for the US. The final is at 12:30pm. In addition, the medals will be awarded for women’s figure skating which begins at 10am. The third event to keep an eye on is the women’s hockey gold medal game at 12pm. Coming into Sochi, the Americans were the frontrunners for gold with the Canadians seeking their fourth consecutive win.
Saturday, February 22
At 7:45am, Bode Miller and Ted Ligety will compete for the US in the skiing slalom.
Sunday, February 23
The Men’s Ice Hockey gold medal game is at 7am. The closing ceremony will be live at 11am.
These events are must watch, but the great thing about the Olympics are that you can practically watch sports 24/7. There’s something for everyone. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have been great to watch in week one and should continue to be in week two.
We recently interviewed Coach Matthew K, a private basketball coach with CoachUp. Coach Matthew has an extensive college basketball resume. During his sessions, he focuses on what basketball players need to improve, want to improve, and need to help them advance in basketball.
Tell us about yourself.
I have been playing basketball since I was three years old. In high school, I was a McDonalds All-American nominee and went on to play college ball at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. I was all conference and scored over 1,000 points at Swarthmore. I have coached at numerous basketball camps and clinics since I was able to do so.
Why did you decide to become a private coach?
I saw older guys get coached when I was younger and thought it was great. My dad was always my basketball coach when I was growing up. But for kids who have parents that cannot coach them, private coaching is great. If they put the work into getting better with a coach, they can get a lot out of it.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I enjoy seeing the improvement. I have never coached anyone who has not improved. It is great to see how happy the kids always are, and just playing with the older kids is a lot of fun.
What can a client expect from private lessons with you?
I have high intensity and high positivity workouts. I want playing basketball to be fun. My clients are paying good money for my coaching so they should expect to get a lot out of each session.
What is your coaching style or philosophy?
Positivity helps younger kids work harder and do better.
Who is your favorite coach and why?
My middle school and high school basketball coach. He taught me the most about the game and helped me reach my potential.
What is your favorite moment in your athletic career?
Reaching the 1000 point mark in my second to last basketball game of my career. I scored 31 points in that game. Also, I made a buzzer beater to beat Franklin & Marshall on the road. We had not beaten them on the road in about 40 years.
Do you have any success stories from coaching an athlete?
I love when kids come back from AAU or high school basketball tryouts and tell me they have made the team. It is the small achievements that make it all worthwhile.
What other sports or activities do you enjoy playing or practicing?
I ran cross country and played tennis in high school, and I play some soccer now.
What is your favorite sports related movie?
Remember the Titans
What’s your mantra or favorite saying (in the context of sport and/ or life)?
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size fight in the dog.
What team do you root for most enthusiastically? (any sport)
San Antonio Spurs
Do you have any special talents or a surprising thing someone might not know about you?
I have bodysurfed in four different oceans.
Coach Matthew books private basketball coaching sessions on CoachUp, and his profile can be viewed here.
Most of the events during the 2014 Sochi Olympics are going to be streaming live online. That’s 15 sports and 98 events. It’s going to be a lot to keep track of, and let’s be honest; we want to make sure we see the good stuff. There are 12 new events that have never been in the Winter Olympics before, including ski halfpipe, ski and snowboarding slopestyle, and team figure skating. Here’s the week one breakdown of what to watch and when it’s on.
Friday, February 7
The first thing to watch is the Opening Ceremony. People from all over the world will be watching the event which is expected to showcase Russian history as well as include thousands of performers and special effects. The Opening Ceremony is Friday at 11am Eastern Time and will air on NBC at 7:30pm.
Saturday, February 8
Saturday kicks off with a bunch of great events. One of the new events, Men’s Snowboarding Slopestyle will have the finals at 3:45am Eastern Time. (NBC is tape delaying many events due to the time difference, so be sure to double check your TV guide, as you could very well be sleeping when the events are live.) Shaun White removed himself from this event to focus on his main event, the snowboarding halfpipe. The three remaining riders for the US are Sage Kotsenburg, Chas Guldemond and Ryan Stassel who will be competing in the semifinal round.
Sunday, February 9
Skier Bode Miller is looking to compete for gold in the Men’s Alpine Downhill. At 36, Miller is trying to become the oldest man to win gold in the Alpine Downhill. The event is live 2am Eastern Time. The US Women’s Ice Hockey team will also play their first game against Sweden at 3am.
Tuesday, February 11
The Men’s Snowboarding Halfpipe final is at 12:30pm (hurray for an event that isn’t on at 3 in the morning!). Shaun White is looking for gold, and anything less would be a disappointment to him.
Thursday, February 13
On Thursday, hockey fans should get excited as the US Men’s team takes on Slovakia at 7:30am. The US will be shooting for gold, but Canada and Russia are both stacked and are expected to do very well.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 of the Olympics Viewing Guide.
Basketball, baseball, tee ball, flag football, track, and sometimes soccer. This is the season our family has entered into. I grew up playing and absolutely loving sports, and our three kids are becoming chips of the old block. The only exception is I “only” played basketball, baseball, and football as a youth athlete. My kids play all of the above, and one of them wants to take karate, and all of them want to swim. But what I’ve learned is we are not the only families with lifestyles similar. Continue Reading