Category: Coaching

This category includes essays and perspectives on youth and interscholastic sports. Learn more about effective coaching and ways that you can help others become successful coaches.

Your Legacy Starts Today! Don’t wait!

When you happen to meet a former student out in public, do you ever wonder what is going through their mind? What do they remember from you and your classes? Does what they now remember after having you as their teacher match what you wanted them to learn from you?

In short, what do you want your legacy to be? Here’s a hint: Don’t wait. Your legacy starts now! Whether you are a new teacher or not so new, and whether you want it to or not, your legacy is under construction!  All of us should be asking ourselves, “What do we want our former students to take from their experiences in our classes?”

What I encourage you to think about is not whether you were “popular” with your former students or they viewed you as their “friend.” But rather, what’s the most important thing you want them to remember from their time with you? Is it a certain set of skills? A particular attitude? Knowledge? Or something completely different?

Youth Coach Development: Learn, Connect, and Support

There is a strong movement in the United States to improve youth sport. Non-profit organizations such as the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), Right to Play, Changing the Game, Proactive Coaching, and many others are promoting a positive culture change in sport through coach development, parent education, and youth sport guidelines.  This movement also extends to professional sport organizations: Major League Baseball (MLB) created the RBI program or Reviving Baseball Inner City to increase “…young people’s interest and participation in baseball and softball by re-introducing, reviving and rebuilding America’s pastime in underserved communities” (MLB Community, 2017).

Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Tom O'Connor/NBAE via Getty Images)
Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Tom O’Connor/NBAE via Getty Images)

Additionally, several sport governing bodies have created programs designed to grow the game and create opportunities for young people. USA Football for example, operates FUNdamentals Clinics to introduce young athletes to the basic skills of the sport.  This collective effort by sport organizations is based on a grassroots mindset that focuses on the participation and developmental aspect of youth sports (Good Governance…, 2013)

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a USA Basketball Youth Development Coaching Academy as an attendee and speaker.  The Coaching Academy is a clinic for basketball coaches, where a line-up of speakers share insight on a variety of topics related to teaching the game, connecting with athletes, and dealing with off-court issues. Attendees also have the opportunity to become licensed USA Basketball coaches.

Created as a division of USA Basketball in 2013, the Youth Development Division is charged with developing young people and coaches to grow the game of basketball. The Coaching Academy is only one part of the Youth Development Division’s mission. They host regional youth camps, youth clinics, a national youth tournament, and an open court program (USA Basketball, 2017).  All events follow best practices for a positive and healthy youth sport experience, as outlined by the Youth Basketball Guidelines (NBA, 2017). Recognizing the significance of the coach in growing and developing youth through sport, USA Basketball offers organizational accreditation, coach licensing, and multiple coach academies (USA Basketball, 2017).

2018 National PE & School Sport Institute Bloggers Wanted!

Thanks! First of all, we would like to thank the 400 folks who attended the 2017 National PE & School Sport Institute this summer.  We were overwhelmed to have such a large group of terrific participants representing 37 different states and 10 foreign countries.  Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend, participate or present, and for sharing your insights with all of us!

Mark Your Calendars! The 2018 dates have been set for July 23-25, 2018. As always, we will gather on the beautiful, hill-top campus of the University of North Carolina Asheville during this time.  We are very fortunate to have all of the many unique and special tourist attractions that the City of Asheville affords as a comfortable backdrop for this annual summer event.

Coaching for the Long-Term: Staying in the Game

The retention rate for high school coaches is reportedly declining.  After the 2015 high school football season, 116 of the 601 head football coaching positions in Southern California were open, and in Florida 129 of 560 high schools were looking for a new football coach (Rohrbach, 2016).  Administrators often feel forced to select, evaluate, and retain or remove coaches based on external pressures (i.e. a losing season, unhappy parents, etc.). Sadly, this urgency to produce winning programs coupled with dwindling administrative support, is putting coaches in a constant survival mode.

To endure this win-at-all cost mentality, coaches first need a short-term action plan. Reassuring parents that all is well, convincing athletes that your strategies and tactics are working, and minimizing any conflicts your athletic director might face with parents and athletes are ongoing demands. But it’s not easy to handle day-to-day and often unanticipated non-game issues and still coach effectively. For an increasing number of coaches, the stress experienced proves to be unsustainable.  So for coaches to “stay in the game” and enjoy extended careers, a recommended strategy is to adopt a long-term action plan.  This involves three key elements: 1) become a life-long learner, 2) implement deliberate practice techniques, and 3) pursue coaching mastery.

Become a Lifelong Learner

2017 National PE & School Sport Institute Update!

What: 2017 National PE & School Sport Institute
When: July 24-26, 2017
Where: Asheville, North Carolina
Website: NationalPE.com

Just over a month remains before the start of this year’s National PE & School Sport Institute. Registrations are fast filling and the schedule is finalized. Take a look below at the amazing variety of presentation topics and the list of outstanding presenters. This year’s keynoters include Joey Feith, Greg Dale, Jim DeLine, and the entire Team PHYSEDagogy (Adam Howell, Naomi Hartl, Jonathan Jones, Matt Pomeroy, Sarah G-H, Collin Brooks & Jorge Rodriguez).

As always, the most important people at the PE & Sport Institute are the participants – you! This is your opportunity to learn from others, share your own ideas, and have a great time meeting new colleagues and getting together with your teaching and coaching friends in a warm and inviting setting. Earn 15 hours CEU credits. Learn more by visiting our website and also watch film of previous keynoters including George Graham and Jean Blaydes. Don’t miss this fantastic learning opportunity. Register now and join us in July in Asheville, NC for what is guaranteed to be a highlight of your summer.

GOPHER