30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Friday, August 28, 2015

What is Leading?

Some people are natural born leaders. You can see it when groups of little kids are playing or running around. They are the ones who are deciding what will be done and then who will do what. They're the ones choosing sides and deciding what sport will be played. There are those who try to do that, but no one likes them or follows. And if they do listen and follow, they're not happy about it.

Then there are those who can learn to lead. Not everyone can learn to do this. But, everyone can find out what type of leader they will be. Again, if no one is following or is happy about how you lead, then rethink what you do.

What I've found is that people will follow you if you are willing to do what they all do. You must be willing to get dirty, you must be willing to "lower" yourself to do every job that the lowliest to the highest job there is and to do it well without complaining.

People will respect and follow that more than they will the dictator today. It's our society where everyone with an opinion believes they are equal to the person in charge. They want authenticity. They want to feel that you understand them and if you do, they will follow.

Sure, there will be some who won't. In fact, they want to be leaders so bad they cannot stand that when they try to lead, they're only out on a walk because no one follows. Not everyone can be a leader, but you can be the best follower possible.

Or you can cause problems.

The choice is yours.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Things Coaches Wish Parents Knew

Recently, a teacher had her elementary students write "Things I wish my teacher knew" essays. It was heart wrenching some of the answers that were written.

Just today a writer in the local News and Tribune has written an article about what teachers wish parents knew, good stuff, click here to read.

And it really got me to thinking about what coaches wish parents knew. I can say that my perspective as a coach AND a parent has helped in this endeavor.

1. We care about your kids...a lot. We want them to be successful and help our team to be successful. We really do.

2. We have nothing against your kid. Even if they have done something heinous, we don't have an issue with them.

3. We see your kids in a different light. We see them at school interacting with their classmates and their teammates in ways that you don't always get to see.

4. You may not like the role we've given your child, but it is still their role. It's a role that probably all of the assistant coaches have agreed on. We often see our children as better than they really are...coaches are removed from that.

5. We deal with the same issues with our own children. I find myself fighting all of the things I wish parents would not do as a coach.

6. We want to win. We are going to play your child if that helps us win. If it doesn't, we won't. Sometimes they struggle in situations that you want them to thrive in, we keep them from failure by doing so. You can't see that because you are so emotionally connected to the situation.

7. We have watched films, read books, played, coached, and are usually highly qualified to do the job we have. Your watching college basketball games does not equal the same thing. Coaching a team, dealing with individuals and then collectively is a hard art to perfect and in our ever changing world, it gets harder and harder.

8. We will not always sugar coat how we speak with your child. Competition is like's hard. We are trying to toughen them up physically and mentally to help in their competition, but ultimately in dealing with life.

9. Don't come up to us after a loss or even after a win and give us your two cents. After a loss, we are hyper sensitive to criticism and after a win, any critique will not come off well.

10. You have one issue or maybe several issues when it comes to us, we are dealing with multiple players as well as parents, grandparents, girlfriends, school boards, administrators, other students in the building, officials, assistants, camps, travel, scouting, enforcing rules, AND trying to be a good spouse and parent.

11. If you have great ideas about how I should coach, why haven't you coached? Why have you turned down the opportunity when it presented itself to you? But understand even if you have coached, coaching the 5th grade team is nothing like coaching at the varsity level.

12. If you think I'm not putting enough time and effort into coaching the team, it's probably because our spouse thinks we're not putting enough time and effort into our family.

13. Not everything we say makes it into the local paper after a game. And not everything we say is in context of your presupposition.

14. I can guarantee you that we will not hold anything against your child because of something you say or do. We very easily could hold it against you though.

15. We, probably, all want the same things. For your child and the team to be successful.

Monday, August 24, 2015

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Pastor Martin Niemoller
I think today, we could say something like this...
First they came for Native Americans and I said nothing. 
Then they came for African Americans and I said nothing. 
Then they came for the babies of the poor and I said nothing. 
When I finally did say something I was attacked, ridiculed and treated in a hostile I became silent again. 

I'm so ashamed. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

There's Nothing Quite Like Being a Parent


I tend to be honest. At least to the point that I won't get punched in the face. But I am as honest as can be with "new waiting to have a child" parents.

They're the ones who are pregnant and months away from birth and everyone tells them (ok, mostly women) how wonderful it's going to be and how much fun, etc., etc. And I don't disagree, being a parent can be amazing. CAN be amazing.

It's almost as if these people forget about the late, sleep deprived, kid won't stop crying, has some type of rash, sleeping on the bathroom floor while the hot shower runs for croup (you'll figure it out sooner than later), they won't sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time, they want to sleep with you nights.

They seem to forget the late nights and the early mornings. They seem to forget the won't eat days and the lock the cabinets because they snack and don't want to eat real food. They seem to forget those times when you want to throw them against the wall (it's okay to think it, it is NEVER okay to do it).

They seem to forget so much.

But maybe it's because the good far outweighs the bad. Maybe it's because the hug of your own child feels better than anything you could actually put into or onto your body. Maybe it's because the "I love you" from your child is the sweetest sound ever. Maybe it's because when they accomplish something new you get more fulfillment than from anything you've ever done.

Maybe it's because being a parent is the greatest gift you can receive from God.

Just maybe.

Or maybe they just want to lull you into a position of security so you can be shocked into reality like the rest of us.

I would never change what I've gone through with my kiddos. I know I have messed up, I just hope it hasn't been that bad and that I can always apologize when it happens.

As bad as they can be is one of those days where I just want to hold onto them and keep them forever young because the days is fast approaching where they will be grown and moving out.

Too fast approaching...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Everyone Wants Discipline Until Its Their Kid

I have been in education and/or coaching for the last 27 years and I have noticed a few things. One of those is that most people want discipline for children and teams until it is their child or their team. I have seen many people through the years who complain that society has gotten weaker and that children should be held accountable until their child is held accountable.

The argument used just....about....every....time is the "there are kids doing worse things and getting away with it and they throw the book at mine for something less" argument. Meaning, they don't really want their child held to a higher standard, the standard they want everyone else held to.

It's hard, I get it. My knee jerk reaction with my kids is that if they get in trouble at school, they will get in trouble at home. I've tried to punish my own children to such an extent that when the teachers or coaches find out at school, they will not punish them for petty things. Yea, I know, that sounds like the parent I am writing about and it is to some extent.

But it has less about what students get away with and more about what teachers punish. Some of it is petty, but a phone call to me is better than what some of them do. But I do take care of it. Poor behavior will not be tolerated, I don't care what it is and yes, I will punish them on top of what they've gotten at school.

And it carries over into athletics. I can promise you that coaches can make mistakes on personnel, but I also know that they want to win. Yet, many parents are all about the "team" until their child isn't being used correctly for the "team". Suddenly, it's everyone else's fault other than the fact that their child may not be good enough. They are good enough to play and in a different place or position, but the coaching staff doesn't feel the way the parent does.

And we as friends are rarely honest with parents. If I have a parent that is upset about their child and I am friends with them, I risk losing a friendship so I am not as honest as I need to be. I personally have tried to be as honest as possible without being rude, but it's hard.

It's hard because I don't like for honesty with me at all times. It hurts sometimes and is rarely liked, but sometimes needed.

I want it to be known that I struggle with this as parent all of the time. Do I have my parent goggles on when talking about my children or am I on the right track?

I wish more people would be honest when I complain.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Now What?

It's what you do after the "newness" wears off that matters.

You get a job, you're excited and then success doesn't come as quickly as you thought. It actually starts to become work...what happens next? Do you give up or give in or push through?

That pretty girl says "yes" to a date and you go out then a few months down the road you actually find some things that you don't you move on or realize that loving someone isn't an all or nothing thing?

You start on a diet, you lose weight, but you really like some of the foods you can't eat anymore...what next?

You start to exercise but it loses its luster...

You've worked and worked to get to a certain spot, but then the situation doesn't play out like you thought it should...

You are intoxicated by something and can't get enough, do.

Most of these situations describe trying to change habits. 

It is hard to change a habit.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Slow Climb Back

Things really do change.

When I stepped down as a head coach a few years ago, I had zero desire to be in charge of a team again. Sure, I'd be the assistant, but the person making the calls? Nope.

So I took a year off and then started helping certain teams out that my kids played on and then ultimately with the Silver Creek boys basketball program.

At first, I could handle the frustration of not calling the shots, but the lack of anxiety and pressure on me as the assistant. I enjoyed coaching with no issues aimed at me.

But it's changing. I am finding that the frustration of not being the shot caller is growing and I would love to be a head coach again whether it's a 7th grade team or whatever. But still...not yet.

And it really does help that every person I have assisted with has allowed me to have a lot of control and they do things the right way.

But that day is coming again where I want to lead again...but that opportunity may never show again.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Have You Ever Noticed...?

Have you ever noticed that Darwinists are the same people who want to "Save the ______"?

Have you ever noticed that the people on smoke breaks outside of a hospital are nurses?

Have you ever noticed that your expectations for others are much higher than what we have for ourselves?

Have you ever noticed that people who are against abortion, don't fight to make adoption easier and more cost effective?

Have you ever noticed that people who want the government to help the "poor" donate much less to charity?

Have you ever noticed that people who are all about change often are hardened in their ways.

Have you ever noticed that people who want you to save the environment do very little on their own to help out?

Have you ever noticed that religious people are the first to celebrate the execution of any person?

Have you ever noticed that those with natural, God given talent are often the laziest?

Have you ever noticed that we can often see the hypocrisy in others better than we can ourselves?

Have you ever noticed that people who believe in peace often are the most hostile towards others that they disagree with?

Have you ever noticed that those who call for tolerance are often the most intolerant?

Have you ever noticed that pro-life people often support capital punishment?

Have you ever noticed that we celebrate the military off to battle, but seem to forget them after they're back?

Have you ever noticed that politicians spend tax money and run the government financially in no way like they would their own household?

Have you ever noticed that those who believe science can answer every question are blind to see that it cannot?

Have you ever noticed that those who work the hardest are the most successful and giving hand outs to people makes them want to work less?

Have you ever noticed that no one is ever wrong in their opinion?

Have you ever noticed that the United States often wants for nothing, yet we have the highest rate of depression and violent offenders?

Have you ever noticed that the "stuff" we put in our food is poison yet we continue to do so?

Have you ever noticed we are quick to criticize and slow to applaud?

Have you ever noticed that we are jealous of other's success and quick to applaud their fall?

Have you ever noticed we are quick to judge until it's someone we love then we are angered that others do so?

Have you ever noticed that people talk to each on social media in ways that wouldn't be tolerated face to face?

Have you ever noticed that people will spend small amounts of money over a long period of time rather than a large amount of money in a short period of time?

Have you ever noticed that when we fail, it's never of our own doing?

Have you ever noticed that when our kids fail, we often see it as a result of us failing?

Have you ever noticed that large government bureaucracy is slow, tedious, paper filled, and inefficient?

Have you ever noticed that rarely anyone wants to be honest about the big things to people's faces?

Have you ever noticed that we talk too much about other people?

Have you ever noticed that our children seem to be getting softer and softer due to all of the advantages of their parents?

Have you ever noticed that if I am called to the local elementary because my child is misbehaving and I spank them, they could call Child Protection Services?

Have you ever noticed that people don't read details or listen when spoken to and you get asked the same question multiple times when the answer is right there?

Have you ever noticed that we break the law then when called out by law enforcement, we claim discrimination?

Have you ever noticed that if anyone wants to rise above mediocrity many are there to try and hammer them back in?

Have you ever noticed that people who love motivational sayings are often the ones who don't live by them?

Have you ever noticed that when there is a problem created by multiple people that fingers start pointing?

Have you ever noticed that we seem to be motivated by something and are intoxicated it for a few months, then eventually we have zero desire for it at all?

Have you ever noticed that people in charge are held to an unattainable higher standard than everyone else?

Have you ever noticed the more money you throw at a problem it only seems to get worse?

Have you ever noticed that we all seem to have to learn the hard way?

Have you ever noticed how smart you are when you are young and how dumb you feel as you age?

Have you ever noticed that your legacy after you die is in the people you inspire and not the titles you accrue?

Have you ever noticed that those who believe in something greater than themselves often get the most upset over trivial things?

Have you ever noticed that those who believe in evolution think that humans are evil?

Have you ever noticed that children are like pets and will love you unconditionally until they get older and have their own lives?

Have you ever noticed that people who think they have all the answers are arrogant and blog?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What Youth Sports Should Be vs. What Youth Sports Are

 What they should and the kids learn a sport and enjoy doing it.
What they are....cutthroat competitive.

What they should be...a place for a young person to get exercise and to learn life skills.
What they are...a place for parents to live wrongly through their children.

What they should be...something that adds to a young person's life.
What they all encompassing event that controls a life over academics and other social issues.

What they should be...a place to be a kid creating memories for the adult years.
What they are...a place that burns out kids before they get to high school.

What they should be...volunteers who are coaching for the "love of the game".
What they sports where coaches are paid and receive other benefits.

What they should be...something no child should stress over.
What they are...too stressful for a child.

What they should be...somewhere for parents and grandparents can enjoy their child running and jumping.
What they are...where parents and grandparents become enraged if junior doesn't play their position or is taken out of a game, or....

What they should be...cheaply priced.
What they are...too costly.

What they should...scheduled for early week nights and Saturday afternoons.
What they are...schedule every night of the week and both days of the weekend.

What they should and balls and mementos in a scrapbook.
What they are...too many games to remember that one special one.

What they should be...where parents thank the volunteer coach for the time and efforts put in.
What they are...parents question the coaches knowledge and time put in.

What they should be...where parents tell their children they love them after the game no matter the outcome.
What they are...parents micromanage and over criticize their child's performance.

I am sure there are many more examples here and I could go into more detail, but if sports were not our lives and our children even hesitated a small bit, I am not sure it's something I would want them to be around. Yet, no matter what they should be or what they are, youth sports do prepare our children for life. The inevitability of the cruelty of life is coming, too son and our kids need to be able to fight it off.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

When Did Everything Become a Team Sport?

Recently, there have been secretly recorded videos of Planned Parenthood that have hit the media outlets. What is included in some of those videos is outrageous at least and horrific at most. How anyone can defend what they see in those videos is really quite disconcerting. And yet that's happening. The videos were manipulated, this isn't true, etc.

You've seen the pro-choice movement and the supporters of Planned Parenthood defend, deflect, and defend. Why can they not still be pro-choice and pro Planned Parenthood and say "this is not good, we need to take a look at this"?

But isn't just in this one situation, it occurs across the political spectrum and by almost everyone. If there is a basketball coach, it doesn't matter what he or she does; one side will support blindly and the other will critique even in the most positive events that take place.

When did everything become a team sport? Has it always been this way or have we never thought for ourselves and blindly followed along? Maybe so...but as I age the frustration grows.

Yet...I cannot control it so why do I let it bother me so much? I really, really, really contemplate dropping out of society sometimes.  I really do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Yet Another New School Year

It is amazing how much I enjoy the beginning of a new school year and yet can somehow enjoy when they end. Most regular people have jobs that they work year round, but spoiled teachers get bored a couple of weeks into a new school year (me included).

We've gone to a balanced calendar which is 2 weeks off every 9 week grading period and 7 weeks off in the summer. I don't know if it helps or not, but it has created a shorter summer and with snow make up days, longer school year by amount of days.

But I really enjoy the beginning of a new school year. Sure, I will get worn out with it soon, but I still get to be around the future every year.

And I find that really cool.