Showing posts from March, 2020

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