Thursday, September 19, 2013

Positive Coaching

Positive Coaching Alliance website continues to get better.  Check it out here.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Best newcomer in baseball?

"He has a different flair. Not everybody is an average guy out there," Ellis said. "Nobody would watch baseball if everybody was like me. You need guys like him that are entertaining." - Mark Ellis Dodgers 2B on Yasiel Puig aggressive play.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bench Mob

Mississippi State's Bench Mob is winning games and having fun while doing it.  Loose play wins games.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


"Be the parent that creates meaningful change by reaching their hearts rather than lecturing their minds."  David Benzel

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Put the kids where they want to play

When the game is on the line, sometimes the hardest thing to do is put a kid into a position they might not be best suited for, but it's the place they want to play.  As a coach, you might want to only put the best kid there.  Consider this, the kid might just surprise you when given the chance.  If they happen to fail, what a great teaching moment.  They'll understand the importance of getting better at the position.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Coach and learn, learn some more and then coach

Growing champions for life is a good resource for learning to look objectively at your coaching.  Consider signing up for the monthly newsletter.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lightning and Youth Sports

Here's a great article on lightning and taking precautions for youth sports.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Positive Coaching Alliance

Check out the Positive Coaching Alliance website for all things coaching youth sports and sign up for their free talking points emails.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Magic Ratio

Maintain a "Magic Ratio" of five truthful, specific praises for every one specific, constructive criticism. If you do, you will find out why it's called that, because children will be able to do things you wouldn't have thought possible.  From Responsible Sports

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why are you playing

If the kids aren't having fun, why are they playing?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Five keys to playing you're best on the pitch

1.  Stay focused on the game.  Watching anything other than the game is asking for trouble.  Ask your family and friends what they were doing after the game.  Keep your eyes and ears on what's going on within the game.

2.  Listen to the coaches.  The coach is trying to help you understand something specific about the current game.  Be open to adjusting your play to help the team.

3.  Keep moving.  Never stop when you're on the pitch.  You can't do much for yourself or your team standing in one spot.  Move, and keep moving.

4.  Think and react.  Focus on the task at hand.  Ask, "what should I be doing right now to help the team," then do it.

5.  Put a smile on your face.  If you're not having fun, find something else to do.  It's soccer!  What could possibly be more fun than running around kicking a ball?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Are youth coaches over using young arms?

If you haven't read Tom Verducci's article on MLB pitching injuries, do so now.  It's an interesting insight into the rate of pitcher injuries in MLB.  

I've also been reading some of Eric Cressey's pitching information on his site.  I was especially interested in this article on the amount of pitching young people should be doing each year.  Although I don't agree with everything Cressey says on the topic, I think it at least should make a coach think hard about the impact each and every season can have on a young person's long term health, especially pitchers.  It's very easy to always look to your go to guy when you need a big win.  But is it the right thing to do?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Opening Day 2013

Opening Day 2013.  Baseball's back.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bling guy hitting, Mark Wetzel

I had the privilege of spending some time learning from the blind guy hitting coach Mark Wetzel this afternoon.  He has a really concise message when it comes to the baseball swing, keep it simple, don't move you head, relax, set up is key, and get the barrel of the bat squared up on the ball.  Mark was working with a young man while explaining his basic technique, and the you could see the kid improve with his simple instructions.

Thumbs up to Blind Guy Hitting Mark Wetzel.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

But did you have fun?

On your ride home ask your kid, "Did you have fun?" Follow up with "Did you have fun with your friends?"  Leave the game recap and strategy talk for the next practice.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Keep practice lighthearted, let your kids smile

If there's one thing I've been learning about practice lately, it's this:  If your kids are smiling they're having fun.  If they're having fun, they're learning.  As coach it's your job to get them to learn, therefore get them to.......

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eric Cressey's 20 Ways to Prepare Young Athletes

I've been following Eric Cressey for quite some time now.  I like the technical insights he provides for baseball training.  Here is an excellent example of his work about working with young people.

Ever feel like someone is watching your every move?

Grantland's Brian Phillips wrote an interesting piece on Maradona, arguably one of the greatest ever, at least on the field.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Making excuses for losing games

My coed Futsal team wrapped up the winter session on Saturday with a 1-5 loss.  We went the entire session without winning a game, 0-6-1 was our record.  Not many people like to lose, and I consider myself a gracious loser, always respecting the opponent.  Having said that, a win-less season is very difficult to accept.

The coed team I put together was a combination of my son's eight year old and my daughter's nine year old teams.  Both teams finished in the top half of their divisions this fall.  All of the players are pretty good for their age, some better than average.  So I wouldn't claim we were out talented.

It was our first foray into indoor Futsal and none of the kids have had any experience with the heavier, low bounce ball, on the smaller, compact field. I think the fast pace of the game also surprised them and me. 
It was seemed like every team in our division had played before.  They were quicker to respond to the action.  They dribbled less and passed more, some actually executed set plays.  They shot on goal at every opportunity.    More than once I overheard coaches say after the game, "See you at practice."

So what went wrong with my youngsters?    

My team didn't practice, we don't have the indoor space and we were driving 40 minutes for the games as it was.  We were placed in a mega division, full of veteran teams.  The five of the six teams we played were older than us, we played three 11 year old teams, and two ten year old teams.  The one team that wasn't older, took first place in the league with an +84 goal differential.  

So I'm a little stuck on how I should feel.  We learned some new things, the rules and pace of the Futsal game.  How to match up against an older more aggressive opponent.  I spoke with the kids about how much they improved as a team and individually in the short session.  We didn't score a goal in the first two games, but finished with eight goals total.     

One of them asked, "So we didn't win a game?" 

I said, "Sometimes you've got to take your lumps to get better." 

I'm not sure I believed my own response.  I'm not sure it was fair to ask us to play in such a league that we were so overpowered.  As a coach, I've been seeking answers for what I could have done better.  I'm trying not to make excuses for losing games.     

Coach Matty

Coach Matty does a great job of breaking down baseball into easy to follow steps.  Check out his YouTube videos here Pro Swing NY.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baseball Injuries

Good article on early season injuries when playing baseball.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Futsal season kicks off in two weeks

The winter Futsal season kicks off January 12th.  Check out this video to learn more about Futsal strategy.