Sure Valentine's Day is around the corner so maybe I'm feeling sentimental.
Or, I just read too many blogs where the focus is on everything other than the relationship between player and coach.
Today, I want to explain why coaching anybody, in anything, need not start with fundamentals or x's and o's but with a good ole fashioned heart to heart.
There was a great slate of college basketball games on last night: Duke/Michigan State, Marquette/Illinois, and Kentucky/Kansas were just a few I got eyes on. For those that didn't, Duke, Marquette, and Kansas emerged as victors. And while all three teams were impressive, it was interesting to see what these teams are just three games into the season.
Let's take a look at the key takeaways, starting with Duke.
Teams from the youth level all the way to the professional ranks are reading books together. Business teams are reading books together. Church groups: reading together.
While I love to read alone, there's a certain energy that comes with a book discussion. You and I may read the same chapter and have completely different thoughts or reactions.
Reading in itself produces ideas, but just imagine the magnitude of ideas that come from a product group book discussion.
Today, I'm going to recommend several books to read as a team. I'm going to steer clear of sport-specific books so that this list is applicable to a wider audience.
How many of you have been to a youth game where the most talented player on the floor/field struts around like he/she is the greatest thing since sliced bread?
What about when that player gets benched and hangs their head, pouts, and makes it visibly obvious that they're upset?
Today, I'm going to explain why your body language is so incredibly important to not only yourself, but to your team's ultimate success.
Several months ago, I wrote an article that outlined some of the best sports speeches that I had ever heard. The article was multi-purpose: I wanted to get people fired up but also hoped that players, parents, and coaches alike could learn from each one.
In the months since, I've gotten a lot of requests for speech texts, as in "that speech was great, but do you have a copy of it that I can print out?"
I just finished Zen and the Art of Coaching Basketball: Memoir of a Namibian Odyssey by Ben Guest. Guest makes his first trip to Namibia shortly after college as part of the Peace Corps. After a couple stops in Mississippi as a teacher and coach, he returns to Namibia to teach at a private, international high school. Despite the school not offering sports, Guest goes to watch the public school championships and is offered a job to coach a boy's high school team.
Here are my key takeaways from the book.
It was a busy weekend of basketball. On Friday, Iowa shocked undefeated South Carolina to advance to the women's national championship game. On Saturday, San Diego State's Lamont Butler hit a buzzer-beater to help the Aztecs advance to tonight's men's national championship game. On Sunday, LSU beat Iowa to win the women's national championship.
With all of the wins, unfortunately, several things played side show to a fantastic weekend of basketball. We all know what they are. Rather than belabor what happened, I want to focus on what we should be taking away from all of this.
If you’re preparing for your first season of college basketball (or maybe your second, third, or fourth), here are 4 things that I would tell my younger self:
Sports and athletics are a great way to stay healthy, disciplined, and focused. Athletes, like anyone else, can experience periods of low motivation, and as a coach or mentor, it is your responsibility to help them get back on track. According to a report by the Aspen Institute, around 70% of kids in the United States quit organized sports by the age of 13. Another survey by the National Sporting Goods Association found that the dropout rate for kids in sports is highest between the ages of 11 and 13. The main reasons cited by kids for quitting sports include lack of enjoyment, too much pressure, and poor coaching.
The Impact of Sports on Young People
It's 2023, and we're probably all suffering from some form of ADD. With information and entertainment at our fingertips twenty-four hours a day, is it really a surprise when young athletes feel compelled to check their cell phones every ten minutes at the gym?
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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