Friday, 4 August 2017

Published Friday, August 04, 2017 with 5 comments

The Coach Who Does Not Do His Job

Being a youth sports coach is a huge responsibility. Most coaches would agree. But this secondary school coach disagrees. Coach Rao is teaching Slalom Skating to a diverse age group of kids aged between 5-15 years.

“It is not a responsibility, it’s not a job either; coaching youth sports cannot be categorized as an obligation of any sort. Coaching youth sports is a calling, a passion”, says Rao.

It may sound a little dramatic but you can see it in action during Coach Rao’s practice sessions. He personalizes attention for each kid, he even personalizes training for each kid because all kids may not necessarily pick up at the same pace. While working on game skills, Coach Rao also works on each child’s emotional and mental bearing. He handles each child individually while taking care of the entire group as a team. This is an exceptional skill, and only a dedicated, passionate coach can do it.

“Coach Rao is like a third parent to my son”, says Sith’s mom. Sith has been training with Coach Rao since he was 5 years old. Coach Rao has been handling toddler tantrums, mood swings, growing phases and everything parents handle in a child. Sith is now 14. Coach Rao has practically groomed and nurtured Sith to become the athlete Sith currently is, and the athlete he is in becoming. Sith has participated and won in several national and international Slalom Skating competitions and has won several medals for his excellence in the sport.

Coach Rao strongly feels that every word and every action of adults has a very strong impact on the child’s mind. He advises parents on how to put up a model behavior in front of the child. He also consults parents on individual problems or concerns their children might be facing. This also strengthens the coach-parent relationship, which is the key to the success of a youth program.

And the best part is, Coach Rao makes his coaching fun and interesting for the kids. He jokes, plays and laughs with the kids. Kids love his classes. Most of them never want to miss a class, even if it’s an exam or the kid is unwell.

While training little kids for serious sports indeed is a huge task, but looking at the way this coach conducts it, looks like passion can actually change the way one does things, like turning youth sports coaching into a breeze.

Read More

Friday, 28 July 2017

Published Friday, July 28, 2017 with 0 comment

The Ideal Youth Sports Coach

To begin with, there is no ideal youth sports coach. Different coaches have different styles, different philosophies, different ideologies and so on. There is no one type that you can pick up and label good or even bad for that matter.

That said, there are some traits that are essential in youth sports. even with different styles, philosophies etc., some essential elements for youth sports coaching can make your child’s sports training a success. Ensuring that these essential elements are there, the kid not only picks up sports skills but also picks up life skills that help in making a better person of your child.

Here are the things that you need to ensure in your child’s sports coaching, irrespective of the coach’s coaching style.

·        Positive Reinforcement

There are coaches who can get very irritable at the players. Disappointment can be justified, but taking it out on kids is not done. Seven-eight year olds cannot objectify yelling. They lose confidence and in some cases even get emotionally wrecked. Coaches need to have patience and know the art of positive reinforcement.

·        Talk the child’s language

Coaches need to talk the language children can understand. This includes explaining technical terms, simplifying jargon and also using a tone that can be comprehended by children. This also means that the coach breaks down instructions into bits and pieces such that children can understand well.

·        Set realistic goals for kids

Some coaches are very ambitious, which is actually a good thing, but that should not translate to putting undue pressure or giving false hopes to kids.

·        Communication with parents

If you ask coaches about sports parents and communication issues, most would say that parents are interfering, demanding and unreasonably critical. That being true to some extent, coaches also need to realize that parents are anxious about their child’s performance. A lot’s riding on it. a good coach would know the importance of communication with parents. In fact, coaches can collaborate with parents and delegate a lot of work that otherwise takes up the coach’s time and leaves little time for the actual coaching.

Many successful teams have been so because of the fantastic coordination between the coach and parents.

·        Teach children to lose, not just to win

A good coach knows the importance of learning to lose gracefully. It is obvious how the coach would react when the team wins, what you need to see in your child’s coach is, the coach’s reaction when the team loses. The coach needs to teach kids how to accept defeat, how to learn from it and how to emerge all fresh and enlightened out of the whole experience. This is not just a sports skill but it’s a great life skill too.
Read More

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Published Tuesday, July 11, 2017 with 1 comment

Want your Kid to Enjoy Sports? Do This!

Sports should not be a compulsion. Sports should be a passion, recreation or just plain joy. Sports should not drain energy, sports should revitalize it.

If your child is not energized before going to the practice, or is showing signs of depression or stress, or has to be literally dragged to her practice every day, you have a problem. Either ask your child to give up sports completely, because perhaps you are not seeing what the child is trying so hard to show you, she does not want to play mainstream sports. Or, you give up on your hopes and expectations from your child. just let her enjoy the game at her own pace.

The thing is, the day parents enroll their child into youth sports program, their hope rise and eventually expectations rise too. Then they want the child to perform well, win games, outshine others, get successful, clear the way to college scholarship and so on. Well this might work for some children who have in-born talent and can take the pressure, children who grow up to be star athletes, who grow up to play pro sports and have their career in it. But not every child is made to that specification. Majority of the kids do not end up in pro sports. So why force every child into it.

The dilemma most parents face is, how would they know if the child has it in her, until they push the child into it. Here are a few tips that will help parents ease off the pressure and let their child enjoy playing.

·        Don’t make victory the benchmark for success when your child is playing. Sometimes the fringe benefits are more important than winning. See what your child is learning. See if she is enjoying the game or not? Is she making new friends or building up on her emotional quotient.

·        If the child is struggling with the sport in the beginning, support her but do not force her in to it. There’s a fine line between motivation and emotional coercion.

·        If you think that only winning will motivate your child, you are probably wrong. Victory and success is usually the motivation for adults. Children can find motivation and joy in innocent things the adult mind may be incapable of processing.

·        Please don’t live by the notion that if the child is not good at a particular sport, the child is wasting her time playing it. The very fact that she is loving the sport means that she should play it irrespective of her level of skill
Read More

Friday, 30 June 2017

Published Friday, June 30, 2017 with 1 comment

Tips for Parents to Handle Unruly Kids

Kids these days are so stressed and strained that they generally take to extreme behaviors, like aggression. Sports kids have that added pressure that can push them to the edge.

For parents, handling such kids is a big challenge. Although, there can no one-medicine that can cure this menace because different kids need to be handled differently, but here are a few general tips that can come in handy for parents to help them tackle unruly kids.

·        Do not try to control your child’s behavior or reaction. Control yours. You want the child to behave herself but you are the one who’s raising their voice, it will never work. Not for you, not for your child.

·        If you keep a calm and cool tone while arguing with your child, chances are the child will mellow down too. If you talk loud, the kid will talk louder to match it, or worse, will just walk away. End of discussion. But if you reason it out, hear the kid out, there is a fair chance either of you will agree, which is the best outcome that can be, for the family.

·        The minute you point a finger at your kid, she becomes defensive. The whole game changes. It becomes power struggle. Forget who’s leading. Keep your focus on the discussion, the motive why you are having this discussion in the first place. For instance, if your 14-year-old wants to go for a party, and you are not sure about sending her for you think there might be alcohol, keep your focus on your concern. Do not drag the discussion to studies and friends and college and everything else.

·        There are chances that you might be over reacting because of stress, chronic anxiety or sickness. Give that discount to your child also. Kids have their own pressures and tensions, which in their world are huge. So, if you think the child is over-reacting, think about what might be causing it.

·        Hear your child out. Listening is the best communication. It will also help build a positive connection between you and your child.

·        Think of your kid as a person, and not as an extension of you. The kid may not necessarily have the same personality traits, likes and dislikes as you. Accept it. And stop expecting the kid to become like you.

Read More

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Published Thursday, June 29, 2017 with 0 comment

Getting Settled After Sports Break

Kids who have enjoyed a well-deserved sports break are usually enthusiastic about getting back in the action. Mostly, it is the parents who dread getting back into the hectic routine. If you are one of those parents, here’s a little help to get you started.

To begin with, do not feel guilty for dreading the starting of kid’s youth sports program. During the break, life is a tad bit easier for both, you and your child. It is just natural to resist getting in a rigid schedule, waking up early, getting to school, going to practices, diet regime, game days and so much more. Responsibilities increase, time demands increase, workload increases and commitment also increases. It’s definitely not an easy task.

Your task just gets even tougher when your kid isn’t enthused about it too. In that case, convincing the kid and managing her becomes a challenge.

Before the kid re-starts youth sports program, you need to talk to the child and let her know what would be different this year. Understand what is it that she wants to make the sports year a successful and memorable one. Ask her to list the following:

·        Ask the child if she has problems with the team, coach or anything else. Once the problem is pinpointed, a solution will come out naturally.
·        Ask your child if there is anything that can be changed to make the game or team better. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how clearly your child thinks.
·        Set hopes or goals for a successful sports year. List down all the things she wants to make it a great year full of achievement and learnings.

For parents, it will be challenging to get started with the rigorous routine, and considering that you child has grown by one year now, responsibilities will also increase. But it’s important that parents show enthusiasm and excitement for starting the sports routine back, because parents need to set the right example for kids. If you are still apprehensive, here are few things you can try:

·        Try and make a group of a few parents who can co-ordinate and share responsibilities, including carpool. It’s a win-win for everyone.
·        Create a time table, both for your child and for yourself. This way wasting time trying to figure out ‘what to do next’ will be minimized.
·        Try and socialize with other sports parents in the team; it would help in team bonding and moreover, it becomes kind of like a support group, that stands by each other in the thick or thin.

Since this transition from one sports-year to the next you are doing with your child, you share the same level of inertia. Getting started will be difficult. But the right start can make noticeable difference in your kid’s game. Remember in sports, attitude is more important than aptitude. 
Read More

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Published Thursday, June 15, 2017 with 0 comment

Be The Parent Your Child Needs

Are you a parent whose kid is in youth sports? Do you meet other co-parents who have issues with the coach, the team administration or the whole athletic department of the school?

Well, the answer in all probability is, almost every single day.

The real problem is not that the coach, admin or the athletic department, although there might be room for development there; the real problem is that all of us have risen our expectations (and our egos). A coach has to be sensitive to child’s feelings (and the parents’ ego), so he cannot raise his voice in the game. He has to keep his tone appropriately moderated. “Coaching youth sports is an emotional experience. High passion and drama make the game worth it. You don’t get passionate players with moderation. It’s like robots playing in the field”, says Jim McNelly, an elementary school coach.

At the same time, kids are facing a problem because their parents and coaches have high expectations from them. Every parent wants their child to win. Every coach wants the team to win. For an athlete who is average, life becomes tough. For an athlete who’s good, it gets even more tougher. The sheer pressure of high expectations increases so much, that some kids even give up, forever.

And then there is the expectation of excellence. Parents and coaches have set the bar of expectations so high, that they do not settle for average skills. Every child who loves to play may not necessarily be a star athlete, but that does not call for taking the game away from that kid. Coaches want only the best players in their team. If you have recently been to a tryout, you must have seen the fierce competition kids are exposed to. It’s almost cruel.

But the problem is that, this is the reality. This is the world our children will live in. So how do we bring our children up differently. It would not be practically possible to ask kids not to be competitive or not push them to try beyond their abilities. Nor would it be wise to bring up your kids in a haven bubble.

Either of the extremes is dangerous. Being too competitive and victory obsessed has its repercussions. But then, lack of positive aggression has it’s lows too.

A good thing to do is, to flow with what the child is comfortable with. There are kids who have an in-born talent for something. Be the parent who sees the talent and lets the child use it. Some child might be naturally aggressive. Be the parent who helps the child use that aggression positively. A child might just be a beautiful human being from inside. Instead of killing her soul and trying to make her excel in something the child has no interest in, be the parent who lets this child be. Instead of forcing your aspirations on the kid, be the parent who lets the child spread their own wings and choose their own sky.
Read More

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Published Saturday, June 10, 2017 with 1 comment

Football Cleats on Sale

Looking for football cleats for your kid? Here are some top selling brands that have discounts on these cleats. Hurry, so that you don’t miss out on the discounts. To get an even better deal, try the shoe in the store and look for coupons online. Buy online or in-store depending on the place offering a better deal. 

New Balance Kids' 4040 V3 Baseball Cleats

NOW:$39.99(11% off!)
WAS: $44.99

Buy Now

Nike Kids' Alpha Shark 2 Mid Football Cleats

NOW:$29.97(25% off!)
WAS: $39.99

Buy Now

Under Armour Kids' Renegade RM Football Cleats

NOW:$29.97(25% off!)
WAS: $39.99

Buy Now

Nike Kids' Strike Shark Football Cleats

NOW:$39.97(25% off!)
WAS: $54.99

Buy Now

Under Armour Kids' Renegade RM Wide Football Cleats

NOW:$29.97(25% off!)
WAS: $39.99

Buy Now

Nike Force Savage Shark Snake (BG) Youth's Football Cleats

NOW:$49.99(25% off!)
WAS: $55.00

Buy Now

Nike Force Savage Shark (BG) Youth's Football Cleats

NOW:$49.99(25% off!)
WAS: $55.00

Buy Now

Under Armour Hammer Mid RM Jr. Youth's Football Cleats

WAS: $44.99

Buy Now

Read More