This is one of the best posts I���ve ever read on our message boards and wanted to share it with as many people as possible. A good reminder to keep a reasonable perspective, especially regarding your child���s mistakes both in sports and in general:
There is something in our nature that makes us strive for perfection, some more than others. Our children are our creations, and we want them to be perfect. But remember, there was only one perfect child and he had perfect parents.
We also want to protect them. We want them to not suffer the hurts and pains we felt growing up - the strikeouts, the errors, the dropped passes, the missed steps in the dance recital, the transposing of the i and e in the spelling bee.
Plus, too often, we think that the mistakes they make are somewhat a reflection on our inability to parent. So we only see the good, or if something is so egregious, we look automatically to find an excuse for what happen (a bad hop, a bad call, the floor was slippery, the teacher is too tough, etc.). In that way, we believe it's not our parenting skills that are questioned but just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Recognizing that we 1) don't have perfect children, 2) their mistakes don't reflect negatively on our ability to parent, and 3) a mistake is an opportunity to grow and learn will heighten our ability to look at our child's accomplishments in unbiased eyes.
I just recently spent two weeks at a famous children's hospital with a two-week old granddaughter on a respirator for most of that time. Thankfully, I was able to spend her first Easter with her last month as a healthy, striving 3 1/2 month old child. But next to us in the waiting room, for two weeks before and at least two weeks after, were the parents of a 15 year-old girl basketball player. On a Thursday, she started coughing. On Friday, she ran fever and Mom called the doctor. On Monday, she was in a coma with staph pneumonia. About six weeks later, without ever regaining consciousness, they were planning her funeral. Don't you know they would love to see her miss one more free throw or get called for walking?
In his first year as Kansas State University���s basketball coach, Bob Huggins led his team to a 23-12 record and the school's best Big 12 record in 11 years. That will also prove to be his last year coaching at K-State. Huggins has chosen to turn his back on a school that, based on his track record, took a pretty big chance on him. Huggins even admitted that leaving wasn't the right thing to do.
I empathize with the incoming freshman class of athletes who will put their collegiate careers in the hands of a coach they've never met and an entirely different program than they signed up for in the first place. This happened to me the summer before my freshman year of college. I received a devastating phone call a few weeks before moving into college from the coach that recruited me to say she was taking a position elsewhere. She was the person I knew the best in the place that would be my home for four years and the leader of what would soon be my second family. Luckily, everything ended up working out.
There are athletes like Cobi Jones and Kevin Garnett, who have each stuck with their respective teams for 12 seasons, through trying times and probably bigger money offers from other organizations. Likewise, there are coaches in college sports who have stuck with the same school out of pride and the desire to build a tradition, to leave a legacy in a program that they built from the ground up.
Is it just me, or is this becoming increasingly hard to come by these days? I can't help but feel like coaches and players alike are making moves based on immediate and usually monetary gratification instead of doing the right thing. Since free agency began in the early 1970s, team compositions change quickly as players will move teams often, even to teams that have no viable chance at a successful season, if the money is right. Is this behavior, from players and coaches, in mainstream sports encouraging similar team-hopping in youth and college sports?
In volleyball, it's important for attackers to recognize a block when on the offensive -- doing so improves a hitter's kill percentage by reducing the chances of swinging into the block. Vision training can help hitters of all levels perfect this skill.
What is vision training? It's a progressive drill that uses color cards to widen the attacker's view of the court, so they see both the block in front of them and the defense behind the block. Follow the practice plan that Karen Milborn, Assistant Volleyball Coach at Northwestern University, provides here in succession to improve skills hitters need to make better decisions in the air.
(Photo provided by Getty Images/taken by Andrew Wong)
The Institute for International Sport will administer the 17th Annual National Sportsmanship Day celebration on March 6. Over 13,500 schools from throughout the United States and in many, many countries throughout the world are planning to participate in discussions and activities aimed at promoting good sportsmanship.
The two themes for National Sportsmanship Day 2007 are "Don't Punch Back, Play Harder" and "Defeat Gamesmanship." National Sportsmanship Day programs are designed for student-athletes from elementary school right up through intercollegiate competition.
The Institute for International Sport cites five principles of honorable competition for children to remember:
Respect the game. This includes showing respect for opponents, referees, coaches and fans.
Play by the rules, and within the spirit of the rules. Don���t try to get away with cheating or taking shortcuts just because you think no one will notice or catch you. The only real victories are honest victories, untainted by cheating or gamesmanship.
Play your best, and understand that doing your best does not mean embarrassing or humiliating your opponent.
Don���t punch back, play harder. When provoked, an athlete should ascend to the highest level of honorable competition by increasing focus and intensity, not by reacting in an undisciplined, unproductive way.
Employ competitive self-restraint ��� play hard but with self-control.
Athletes were involved as customers in an illicit steroid distribution network that led authorities to raid two Orlando pharmacies and arrest four company officials, a New York prosecutor said.
Customers include Los Angeles Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., according to the Times Union of Albany, which first disclosed the investigation, citing unidentified sources. Matthews would not answer specific questions about the story Wednesday. Matthews said he didn't know why is name was reportedly on the client list, adding, "That's what we're working on, trying to find out. I will address it at appropriate time."
The Times Union said investigators found evidence that testosterone and other performance-enhancing drugs may have been fraudulently prescribed over the Internet to current and former Major League Baseball and NFL players, college athletes, high school coaches, a former Mr. Olympia champion and another top contender in the bodybuilding competition.
A Corpus Christi Pee-Wee football coach who charged and knocked down a game referee is blaming the 18-year-old ref for the attack.
Witnesses said the coach, Robert Watson was angry at the ref for ordering him off the field for cursing -- as well as at his 5- and 6-year-old players for not blocking. Watson's team, the Titans, was trailing the 49ers 12-6 with 10 seconds left in the Pee-Wee league's championship game when the incident happened.
Police Captain John Houston said the coach had been warned several times about cursing on the sidelines before his ejection. Houston said the referee was left briefly unconscious by the attack but is otherwise alright.
In the face of increasing amounts of abuse such as this from players, coaches and fans, many officials are leaving the profession. But there are steps you can take to help keep them around.
I just read an article by CNN's Carl Azuz that can help answer those questions in which he spoke with baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr., a record-holder for most consecutive games played, a father, and the author of the book, "Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way."
Bob Knight could pass former North Carolina Coach Dean Smith for the most career wins in NCAA Division I men���s basketball in tonight's game when his Texas Tech Red Raiders play host to Nevada-Las Vegas in Lubbock, Texas. It will be the crowning achievement on a 41-year career filled with: five Final Four appearances, three national titles, an Olympic gold medal as the coach of the 1984 United States team and a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
However, some worry that Knight���s coaching accomplishments have been overshadowed by his often profane and highly publicized tantrums, which include throwing a chair onto the court during a game against Purdue, a run in with a police officer in Puerto Rico, and especially his dismissal from Indiana in 2000 after 29 seasons in the wake of a confrontation with a student.
Knight hopes to remembered differently as reported by the New York Times, "I want them to know that I am a guy who watches more film than anyone, who cared if I could find a way to take advantage of a weakness in an opponent so I could beat them," he said. "I want them to know I���m a teacher."
I wonder when his career is over and everything is said and done, if he'll be remembered more for being one of the greatest coaches of all time or one of the most controversial and volatile coaches of all time. What do you think?
(Photo provided by Getty Images, taken by Matthew Stockman)
Part-motivational tome/part- memoir, this book from Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski is, as the title suggests, a blending of sport and life lessons learned during Krzyzewski's twenty-year coaching career. "I am a believer in the power of words," says the author and the book reflects this in its organization of the book through wordssuch as passion, excellence, and integrity that Krzyzewski often employs his players to visualize during a game.
Dr. Andrew Jacobs has been a sport psychologist for 25 years and has worked with all levels of competitive athletes from youth sports to the professional and Olympic level. He recently led a teleseminar with Fred Engh about "How to avoid and overcome the issues that can ruin your child's youth sports experience." Find out more information about this teleseminar or Dr. Jacob's other audio programs at winnersunlimited.com.
Coaches will have to have the knowledge and experience to know what to do in certain situations. However, if you ever listen to interviews with athletes on victorious teams, there will always be references to the importance of teamwork, trust and confidence.
But the one element that I see lacking in a major area of these athletes is: STOPPING
No, I didn't type that incorrectly. Stopping or decelerating is a primary problem with young athletes. There is so much information out there to the public on how to become faster and speedy, but very little is addressed about knowing or learning how to decelerate!
The amount of deceleration can be determined by speed of the athlete and if a change in direction is required. Proper body control and angle are of major importance when trying to slow ourselves.
The athletes need to pay attention to their chin, shoulder and hip position when slowing from a rapid movement or attempting to change directions.
So, start adding in basic deceleration drills into their training or skill work. Pay attention to their body positioning. By learning how to accept their body weight and force they will be much more efficient on the field when changing directions.
A couple of things that I always relay to my athletes:
If I was teaching you how to ski jump, I would teach you how to land first; the jumping part is easier!
I wouldn't ask you to get into a sports car and drive at 100 mph. if it didn't have brakes!
This tip is really powerful, yet simple and to the point.
Know exactly which pitch you are looking for and do not swing unless the situation calls you to do so.
Before you go to the plate know exactly which pitch you want. If you like a fastball middle in do not swing at a curve ball low and away on the first pitch.
If you do you will likely miss or make a soft out. You certainly won't get many good swings on the ball. This is called getting yourself out. I see this way too often.
Changing this can easily skyrocket your batting average and help your team because you have a much greater chance at hitting a pitch you know you can handle than one you don't.
Hitting is already difficult enough. Please don't make it any more complicated than it already is.
Sit on your pitch and force the pitcher to come into your wheelhouse. The great ones all do this.
I know this tip may seem very simple, but do not overlook how effective it is.
To learn more about proper hitting I have written a report titled "The 7 Secrets of Successful Hitting". I am currently giving it away for FREE! Just visit www.milliondollarhitter.com and I will rush it rig