Thursday, 27 October 2016

Published Thursday, October 27, 2016 with 1 comment

What Coaches (Don’t) Want

If only we could read the coach’s mind!

There’s a long list of things, that a coach wants from the players. Obvious ones include dedication, focus, hard work, team spirit, discipline, punctuality and the list goes on. On similar lines there’s another list, a list that’s not as widely discussed, list of things that the coach doesn’t want players to do. And yes, that list is as important as the to-do list, if not more. Here’s the brief list of things that any coach would want the players to refrain from.

  • Playing the blame game: If there was a slip-up, there was, the coach would understand. But what really bothering for a coach is when players try and blame something or someone for it. It’s not just lame but also scary as it may turn into a habit, which then further becomes the personality.

  • Bullying: Bullying demoralizes kids, takes away their confidence, spreads insecurity and hatred in the team. Being bullied is also as bad as bullying itself. If your child is bullying and you’ve come to know of it, it is important for you to understand that bullying is the child’s way of taking out his own problems on someone vulnerable or his outburst of stress. There’s something bothering the child who’s bullying, you need to tackle the problem before it grows beyond control. And if your child is getting bullied, it is perhaps the best time to teach your kid to stand up for himself. 

  • Taking rash: Teach your child to never talk disrespectfully, not to fellow team-mates, not to other kids and teachers and never to the coach. For someone who is teaching you not just a game but also life skills, the coach does deserve to be spoken to respectfully.

  • Quitting: Quitting or giving-up is unacceptable for any coach. A coach works hard on instilling confidence, motivation and courage to keep going on and ahead in the game. Quitting is exact opposite of all those things and like an insult it would hurt your coach.

New to sports parenting. Here’s a must read
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Published Thursday, October 27, 2016 with 4 comments

Practical Ways to Increase Team Bonding

Matches are not played by players alone; matches are played by teams. Apart from talent, teams need bonding which gives them confidence on the field. Players who do not share a healthy relationship with their team members suffer from insecurity, lack of trust and ultimately their game suffers.

Here are some practical ways to create a warm and healthy relationship amongst team players.

  • Encourage players to play games other than the team’s sport just for fun and recreation. Do this exercise randomly during any practice session. Do not make it a routine or the fun element will go away.

  • Some of the best bonding occurs while watching a pro game. Have match watching sessions with the team together. Organize some snacks, make the setting warm and casual.

  • Organize volunteer activities. Volunteering together plays a big icebreaker for players who haven’t had a chance to get to talk beyond the sport. Also, by working together players learn new dimensions of teamwork.

  • Socialize together. Have pizza parties or evening out or even team picnics to bring the team together. But the timing needs to be well planned because too much of fun would take the interest away from fun also.

  • Have adventure trips. For instance, go on a cycling trip or go kayaking or hiking, something like that. Let students do the planning. This will make it even better.

  • Teach your sport to smaller children. Teaching is a great way of learning and doing it together would be a great team bonding exercise too.

Do you know some tips that can help in team-bonding? Please let us know in the comments below.

Think your team might be having problems? Read 
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Published Sunday, October 23, 2016 with 1 comment

Sports Commandments

Here are sports commandments, rules that Olympians and professional sports people live by. Great learning for our budding athletes.

Sports is not just s part of life but it actually is the way of life. Sports is the discipline, the character, the aptitude and the attitude of a person. So, if you are serious about a sports career, inculcate these ten habits now, and live by them, come what may, just like professional athletes do.

  • Thou shall think team.

You can never win alone. Period. Even if you are into an individual sport, like swimming or running or something else, you still have a team that works with you to help you achieve what you are able to. Respect that fact. The day you replace the word ‘I’ with ‘WE’, that is the day you’ll move close to your success (or your team’s success, we must say).

Yes, it’s sport and not victory. Being obsessed with victory does not count as passion. You must totally be in love with your sport. That’s the routine, and that’s the recreation, sort of passion. If you have passion, you’ll learn and get better every time you lose, but if it’s obsession with victory, you’ll get demoralized every time you lose.

  • Thou shall work on your strength – physical, mental and emotional.

Being strong means beyond physical strength. This by now you would have understood. But what you need to really sink-in is the fact that working only on game skills would not do, you need to consciously work upon your mental and emotional strength also. Work on your relationships, get rid of your insecurities, do what you scared to do, meditate, go to a serene place and spend quality time with yourself, work on fulfilment, work on happiness.
  • Thou shall not whine

Being a sports person you have to learn to take everything in your stride. You cannot afford to complain or whine about things even if they are genuinely bothering you. Learn to make things work.

  • Thou shall eat healthy.

You must prepare a diet chart and as far as possible, stick to it. there can be a party bump or Holiday break, but you must control the frequency. Eating healthy will not only ensure physical health but will ensure mental health also. Good food will take care of a lot of worries.

  • Thou shall have sleep discipline.

Abrupt sleep pattern can make life difficult. It’ll cause fatigue, stress, lethargy and even health problems like hypertension, migraine etc. Again, like with food, try and stick to the routine as far as possible with as few breaks as possible.

  • Thou shall cherish good friends.

Have a circle of friends and spend quality time with them. This will refresh you beyond you know. It will also bring in deep sense of security and belonging. Most of all, you will have friends, one of the biggest fortunes to have.

Like the article? Read more about getting inspiration from the Olympians (

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Published Sunday, October 23, 2016 with 2 comments

The Art of Photography with Your Smartphone

Capturing Your Kid’s Games’ Treasured Moments

Amongst the many conveniences that cell phones have brought in our lives, there is this Smart phone camera that has really changed the concept of photography. We no longer have to depend on a camera, we can always capture our camera moments instantly as we always have our smartphones around.

There is no arguing the fact that we would not get photograph quality close to that from the professional or SLR camera that we have at home, but nevertheless, the mobility and Instant access that cell phone camera provides cannot be discounted either. No doubt, you would have to compromise on zoom, light effects, motion blurring and other great features that make pro cameras just unbeatable. That apart, cell phone cameras have also come of age and have incorporated many advanced features. Besides, here are a few tips to help you capture the treasurable moments from the game without having to worry about carrying the bulk of a pro camera.

Clean the lens
Take the soft lens cleaning cloth or if you don’t have one, use a very soft clean cotton cloth to clean the lens of your cell phone camera. Do it even if you think the lens is clean because you are always handling your cell phone and invariably the lens would have oil, dust or finger print on it.

Adjust the tech settings

  • Set picture resolution to ‘High’, this will get you great pics that would be comparatively easy to enlarge. The file size goes up with this setting which might make the files a little difficult to share. So if you are not really planning to take a print of the pics, and just share them on social media, you might want to skip this one and let the picture settings remain to default.
  • If you are taking pictures in low light, use exposure lock. Exposure lock helps you lock the exposure you want for all your photographs. Even if the light is low, your smartphone camera will provide the exposure you had locked.

Find a good spot

Pro photographers always have a spot, and for a reason. Get as close you can to the action, lesser you use zoom, better your photographs turn out.

Use Burst Mode

Burst mode allows you to capture several shots within a second. You will not miss a moments of the action. Even if you are not using the Burst mode, make sure you take multiple clicks of the same shot to get the best picture.

Use light to your advantage

While taking the shots, ensure light is behind you. This will enhance your photographs. On the other hand, facing your camera towards the light source will blind your photo. If you cannot help the light direction, adjust your flash to make the adjustment.

Play around with the photographs, colors, modes or other photo-enhancing tools. Cell phone cameras have some brilliant tools that can bring life into your photos.

Share your photos from the game instantly on InstaTeam. Not sure how? Clickhere. 
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Monday, 17 October 2016

Published Monday, October 17, 2016 with 0 comment

When The Going Gets Tough

How to motivate your kids to carry on when the fight gets tougher in youth sports

According to a research conducted by National Alliance for Youth sports, around 70 percent of kids dropout of organized sports by the time they are 13. This is a scary statistic for parents who are investing a lot of money, efforts and not to mention hope in providing for the professional sports coaching for their children.

There are numerous reasons for this. One of the major reasons could be that youth sports has become so competitive and victory oriented, that kids do not enjoy it after some time. Especially if your child has been playing professionally organized sports from a very young age, by the time they reach adolescence they are worn out. Plus, coaches and even parents become too pushy, even if they do not admit it, and every game is seen as a victory or a loss. And as if all this wasn’t enough, there are lessons learned and analysis around every game. To make the long story short, there is too much obsession with success around youth sports and children are no longer expected to just play for fun.

Another very obvious reason is the age, of course. At 13, they are fickle, and then there’s so much more to do at school, that giving the kid of time youth sports demands, becomes really difficult.

All that said, sports till remains to be one of the best mediums of learning life skills like team work, sportsman spirit, striving to win, leaning to lose, and practically everything that’s important in life. As parents you cannot let your kid quit on all of that. Here are a few tips to help your children stay in sports and drop out.

  • Redefine success for your child. Do not get obsessed with the outcome of the game, rather focus on the progress your child makes. For instance, if she did better running than last time, celebrate that even if the lost in the race. If your child helped a teammate, applaud her team spirit. Every game should make the child feel they are achieving something, even if it is the ability to lose gracefully. This will play a major role in keeping your child’s focus on the life skills which would be the most important take away from the game anyway, even if your kid grows up to be a star athlete.

  • Be a role model and not just pretending not to care. So while you are focusing on the learning part of the game in front of the kid but having discussions or bragging about their performances with other parents, it doesn’t really set the right example. Remember your kid is watching you and is going to eventually reciprocate what she learns from you. Do not compare skills or performance during play with any kid, do not crib or brag about your child’s bad or good game skills whatever the case, do not dissect the game. 

  • Be positive and supportive. Show them in action that you support them and are happy about their participation in the sport and are not going to judge their performance. This will need patience, a lot of it. Some children might be slow learners, children may lack one skill or the other, some children might be genuinely not interested. There can be other issues too. There can be peer pressure, bullying or just some adolescence stress which might be bothering them. Give them time, space and the support they need and you won’t regret it. Because when they eventually come along, they’ll come strong and positive, refreshed and ready to face it all.

  • It sort of becomes compulsive for us, parents, to give advice all the time because we come from experience. But, refrain from it. many a times what your child is looking for is just supportive listening, and not parental advice or instructions. If you give them the listening they need, they’ll most likely come to you for the advice too, when they need it. 

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