Resetting Youth Sports - Calling All Moms!

            I’ve got a radical idea to help “reset” Youth Sports, following this Covid19 pandemic!   I don’t think of it as “revolutionary” however, is “evolutionary!”   Some will say it’s not radical at all, nor should I have chosen “moms.”   My choice was intentional, because of the visceral connection that most of us share with the word (or, uh...person) we know as MOM.   Besides, when you turn the word MOM upside-down, you have the word WOW!   What could be more fitting!             I do recognize, however, that my proposal (which follows) would be dependent on women in general and not solely the population of moms.   Before I reveal the proposal, I must share a story that became the catalyst for this idea...please read on!             In the Conclusion of his book, Staring Down the Wolf , author and former Navy Seal Mark Divine recounts a conversation with Australian special ops warrior turned philanthropist, Damien Mander.   After leaving the Service, Mander ve

What If Kids Ran Sports?

Have you ever thought about what Youth Sports might be like if kids ran the show?   I know, you probably have visions of “mass chaos” jump into your mind!   However, take a second to consider several “non-sport” issues, where kids set the example for adults… How often have you seen video on your news feed of children helping other children, without regard to age, race or gender? How many times have your own children or grandchildren “amazed” you with an astute answer or comment in response to an adult question? Ever heard of Jack Andraka, who developed a new, low-cost test for pancreatic cancer at the age of 15? SeeTEDx Talk (July 2013) Savanna Karmue, who wants to be a cardiologist, started making informational YouTube videos at age 8 & started a non-profit (Happy Heart Advice) by age 11! Many adults will likely ask… “Why would you put the kids in charge?   What possible good could they do, with limited experience and resources, not to mention limited maturity?”

Heroes...Where Do Today's Youth Find Them?

Just what is a “ hero ?”   Have you ever had a hero or do you have one now?   Consider the fact you may have adopted a hero and not really been conscious of the decision.   Heroes don’t have to come with tights, capes, x-ray vision or super-powers.   They don’t have to be a giant (in stature) or look like Mr. Universe.   Some heroes may not even know they’re fulfilling the role.             Before we go any further, let’s define what we’re talking about.   Wikipedia offers the following definition: A Hero (Greek), in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demi-god, the offspring of a mortal and a deity. [1] Later, hero (male) and heroine (female) came to refer to characters that, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice, that is, heroism , for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence, but extended to more general moral excellence.             For obvious reasons, I’m going

The Mental Game, Performing "In The Moment"

            While I’m certainly not a sports psychologist – I suggest that being a parent, coach or teacher requires each of us to practice a little bit of psychology.   Don’t discount the importance of the “mental game,” or you may overlook a key ingredient to future success! Have you ever chastised a player or student for not concentrating on what they’re doing?   Most parents and coaches have spoken the phrase “You have to catch the ball before you can run with it!” or maybe “You won’t retain the material as well, if you listen to the radio while you read.”   It’s frustrating business trying to teach a student-athlete to focus. Let me speak in defense of the kids for just a minute…not that I’m trying to start an argument or anything!   Think about how many times you’ve heard the words “ multi-tasking ” in recent years.   In general, multi-tasking describes the attempt or ability to undertake or monitor several activities at once.             Again, from the student-athlete

What About Sportsmanship?

            We hear about it at every level of sports.   Too often, we see professional athletes demonstrating a complete lack of it.   Even parents in the stands and bleachers are sometimes guilty of forgetting it.   So what is “it?”             I’m talking about sportsmanship …you know, the quality demonstrated by athletes and coaches who respect each other and the game.   Wikipedia defines sportsmanship as “an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake.”             Most adults have preached about sportsmanship at some point in their life, if not to their own kids…to a team or neighborhood group.   We normally associate good sportsmanship with fair play, ethical behavior and respect for one another.   Good sports set the example and live by the rules, even when they disagree or think something is unfair.   They conduct themselves with an air of dignity.             Conversely, poor sports are often seen as immature babies who complain abo

Beward of the "Idiot Factor"

            Have you ever heard someone say “there’s no reaction, like over-reaction?”   I used this phrase frequently during my 23-year Army career.   It was normally spoken in a slightly dejected mood, describing a decision or policy that didn’t make sense.   A policy, created in response to a particular action, whose consequences were far too harsh.             So how does this apply to Youth Sports?   Consider the following situations, listed in the 2007 Positive Coaching Alliance “Bottom 10” List – of the worst moments in youth sports. ·      Six hockey players and two coaches are suspended following a brawl between two teams of eight-year-olds in Guelph, Ontario. ·      A Chicago-area man is caught on tape hurling his son’s wrestling opponent off the mat. ·      An Allentown, PA-area middle school lacrosse coach is dismissed after pleading guilty to hitting a 13-year-old opponent in the face in the post-game handshake line. ·      Two Long Island brothers, apparen