Goal-Setting for Young Athletes

Posted by Tim Nash on Mar 14, 2019 8:14:42 AM

You know what’s interesting? Watch a group of 12- and 13-year-old female soccer players go through a goal-setting session.

There was toughly 50 of them in a conference room which was not built with acoustical quality to match the high-pitch decibel level girls that age can reach. Once they quieted down, there were (mostly) all business.

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Topics: Youth Sports, Coaching, Goal Setting

Re-storing Confidence in Your Players

Posted by Tim Nash on Mar 7, 2019 11:49:13 AM

“It’s a chicken and egg thing.” That’s the way confidence was explained to me once.

Which comes first? Is a particular athlete confident because they played well, or did they play well because they were confident? The answer differs from athlete to athlete, of course. And with young athletes, the level – or the existence – of confidence can differ from day to day.

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Topics: Youth Sports, Motivation, Coaching

Monitoring Concussion Recovery

Posted by Tim Nash on Feb 14, 2019 9:33:24 AM

There’s this girl who was on one of my teams, good little player, great kid, always happy and ready to play. She’s a bit of a crash-test dummy, though. She goes hard and doesn’t back down and not just on the soccer field. She’s had knee surgery, a broken leg, broken arm, and I’m sure other injuries I don’t know about.

She doesn’t play anymore because she has had multiple concussions. She’s 13. One of the concussions, believe it or not, was suffered while doing homework. She leaned back in her chair, tipped over and hit her head.

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Topics: Youth Sports, wellness, Injury Prevention

Is Your Organization Retaining Players?

Posted by Tim Nash on Jan 3, 2019 8:48:08 AM

There are three questions every youth organization should continuously ask. Honest answers can clarify the work being done and the direction taken toward success.

The questions are:

  • Who are our customers?
  • What do they want?
  • Are we giving it to them?
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Topics: Youth Sports, Coaching

Developing Tools to Combat Chaos

Posted by Tim Nash on Dec 13, 2018 8:10:18 AM

Athletic competitions, when you get right down to it, consist of a series of problems or puzzles. The coach’s job is to be sure the athlete has enough tools to solve every problem and to teach the player how and when to use them.

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Topics: Youth Sports, Soccer, Coaching

Should We Stop Telling Players to Relax?

Posted by Tim Nash on Oct 17, 2018 9:50:19 AM

“Just go out there and relax.”

Most coaches have said that to their team at one point or another, or in some cases before every game. And chances are good that later on you are going to ask those same players to have more intensity.

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Topics: Youth Sports, Sports Performance, Coaching

Let's Admit When We are Wrong

Posted by Tim Nash on Oct 2, 2018 2:35:11 PM

Do you want to really get your team’s attention? Start a pre-game speech with “I made a mistake.”

Players don’t hear those words very often from their coach. When they do, it’s usually followed by “I thought you were better than you are.” What’s wrong with telling your players you were wrong, you made a mistake, screwed things up, and in the end, let them down?

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Topics: Youth Sports, Soccer, Coaching

Lawnmower Parents Hurt Player Development

Posted by Tim Nash on Sep 12, 2018 10:38:19 AM

You’ve heard of Helicopter Parents, right? If not, they are the parents that hover over their children to the point of smothering.

These parents are common in sports. They are in near-constant contact with the coach, they pack and carry their kid’s bag, and they never have to tell their child to remember something because they’ve already taken care of it.

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Topics: Youth Sports, Sports Performance, Elite Sports Teams, Coaching

Circling in on Dominance

Posted by Tim Nash on Aug 2, 2018 12:13:56 PM

 

Way back in the 90s, the late Tony DiCicco had his players complete an exercise that emphasized teamwork, accountability and work ethic.

DiCicco used the exercise with his 1996 Olympic Gold medal winning women’s soccer team and the 1999 Women’s World Cup Champions.

The exercise is very simple, yet very effective. DiCicco drew the team’s formation on a whiteboard and asked a player from each position to come up and circle the area for which they felt they were responsible.

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Topics: Youth Sports, Coaching

Gymnast's Focus: "Train, Dominate, Repeat"

Posted by Tim Nash on Jul 11, 2018 11:58:14 AM

Last week, I met a remarkable 14-year-old athlete. Her determination, commitment and attitude toward her sport is remarkable. But it was her focus that really interested me.

Elizabeth Kapitonova is a rhythmic gymnast from Staten Island. She’s without question the best in the U.S. in her age group and will be competing in the youth Olympics this year.

I knew nothing about gymnastics before I was hired to cover the USA Championships. After four days, I know next to nothing, but it’s not hard to spot special athletes, even if you don’t know anything about what they are doing.

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Topics: Youth Sports, Motivation, Goal Setting