You’re Out How Long????

April 23rd, 2012

If you are a coach and one of your athletes has been injured, when do you put them back on the field?  When they tell you that they’re ready?  Do the parents decide?  Do you wait until they are cleared by a doctor?  What if the doctor says that they are out several weeks?  Do you make them sit the whole time?  What if that means that they will miss a big game?  Do you still follow what the doctor said?  Sometimes as a coach you must deal with issues like this.  So how do you handle it?

There are two major factors to keep in mind when dealing with these situations:

  1. What did the doctor say?  You should always follow the doctors wishes.  The only time to go against them is if you feel that a child isn’t ready and needs to sit out longer.
  2. Remember, this is a chance to teach kids (and maybe some parents) that the correct decision isn’t always the most popular one.  Do what is right.

While all of this seems very logical, it amazes me how often these two simple steps get forgotten.  It almost makes me wonder if we are really playing sports for the adults or for the kids.


Doctor Pin Pic


The Secrets To Becoming A Great Athlete

March 23rd, 2012

Do you want me to let you in on the secrets to making your kid into a great athlete?  What are the handful of steps to take so that little Johnny or Susie can make it to  “the next level”?  Well, I’m going give you two of them in this post.

The first secret is to let your child fully develop their overall athletic skills.  How can you do that?  Do they need to speed 10,000 hours focusing on one sport and the exact skill set needed to succeed in that sport?  No.  Do they need to start playing a sport at a ridiculously young age.  No.  What should they do?  Play multiple sports.  “But won’t that slow up their development in the sport of _______?  Nope.  Not one bit.  You see, each sport develops different skills.  When a kid is able to play a variety of sports, they are able to develop their overall athleticism. They develop some skills in sport #1, some in # 2, and so on.  In the end, this makes the kid a better overall athlete.  That then enables them to be more successful in their chosen sport as they become older.  You don’t believe me?  Then read this article about Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox.  He played five sports in high school.  Yes, you read that right – 5 sports.  It doesn’t look like it held him back either.

Ok, now for secret number two.  As the saying goes, “pick your parents well”.   Genetics does play a role in the development of athletes.  It gives them their foundation.  Now, as we all know, some kids have great genetic gifts and they never become great athletes. Other kids are able to work hard (and smart) and overcome being less genetically gifted.  Obviously having good genetics isn’t a guaranteed pass to sports superstardom.  At the same time, most times it never hurts to have good genes on your side.

Regardless of what your kids genetic makeup may be, every kid should be allowed to follow secret # 1.  Let them play several sports when they are young.  As they get into high school, they will gravitate towards one specific sport.  (If you’re wondering exactly when they should pick a single sport, I’ll address that in another post).  At that point, the athleticism that they developed should take over and give them a greater chance at excelling.


For more info on proper training techniques, please visit Sports Upgrade


The Value of Coaches

July 28th, 2010

I read a great article today called “Coaches Are Undervalued, But Powerful“.  Paul Chapman, the author, discusses the importance of coaches and of sports in general in the lives of young people.  If you are a coach, read it so that you can remember why you got into coaching.  If you are a parent, read it so that you realize what a profound effect that these men and women can have in the lives of your children.  Read the rest of this entry »


Suggested Reading

July 28th, 2010

Here’s a post from Sports Upgrade about safe training program design for adolescents.  It really applies to everyone so give it a read.

Using Common Sense

In the June issue of Pediatric Clinics of North America, there is an article on “Resistance Training for Adolescents“.  The authors make two points that I feel are imporant:   (continue)



Is Cheerleading A Sport?

July 23rd, 2010

Cheer Pic

The Age Old Question

Cheerleading has gotten a lot of press recently.  If you have missed out on all of the hoopla, it all stems from a court case in Connecticut involving Quinnipiac University.  I’ll let you read the details of the court case yourself , but it’s basically the same argument that has been made before:  someone decides that they don’t like the way that Title 9 is being interpreted, so they suddenly claim that cheerleading shouldn’t be counted as a sport.  Of course, this never seems to come up unless some sport feels that they are being treated unfairly.  It leads us back to that often asked question, “Is cheerleading a sport”?  Read the rest of this entry »