Practice drills on the fly

The feedback we get from youth soccer, baseball, basketball, football and softball leagues everywhere has been overwhelming for many years. What we hear is that leagues love providing their coaches, who are volunteer moms and dads, with a tool they can use, “on the fly” when they haven’t had time to put together a practice plan. We know there are online resources out there available for free. But we also know that the average busy, volunteer coach who works a full day, comes home, has dinner and puts the kids to bed is not then going to, at 10:00 o’clock at night, log into a website, with streaming video, print sheets of paper and download practice plans. They need something like CoachDeck which can be used quickly and easily on the field, while the kids are getting out of their cars. This is why thousands of leagues, clubs and organizations choose CoachDeck as part of their coach training efforts.

Hearts will be broken, but they’ll heal

Right now, in Little Leagues across the country its getting down to the nitty-gritty for all-stars. Some District champs have already been crowned, others will finish their tournaments this week. We have heard from coaches asking for advice and saying if they don’t win their district and continue on a path to Williamsport, their sons’ hearts will be broken. Well don’t worry. Those little kids will be resilient and they’ll bounce back. There is an important lesson learned with every victory, but also every defeat. Just make sure everyone does their best and there should be no one hanging their heads.

Professional volunteers?

Found the following description of a soccer club on their website. Kind of amusing and confusing.

Playing on one of our teams is a full year commitment with the guidance of professional, licensed, volunteer coaches.

Huh?

Youth football practices begin soon

We love this time of year when Pop Warner and other youth football practice is about to begin. Coaches, did you know we make a deck of 52 good, fundamental drill cards you can carry in your back pocket? Perfect for that quick, practice “pick-me-up” or to plan out the entire thing! You can even give cards to assistant coaches and have the offensive line, d-line, backs, quarterbacks and special teams all in on the act. And, every drill comes with a unique, “make it a game” feature that turns an ordinary drill into a fun and exciting competition kids love.

Sad note from a disgruntled Little League volunteer

Well, this didn’t make our week. A person who had been receiving our monthly OnDeck Newsletter responded and asked to be removed from the list. The reason? Here is what he said:

Good morning. After spending countless hours over 14 years in little league. Not a thank you or no appreciation for all I have done. Please stop sending me your emails. It’s just a constant reminder of a political organization that I feel has turned into not for kids!!!!!

So we asked for more information. We wanted to know what had happened to so embitter a faithful, dedicated Little League volunteer. Unfortunately what we heard was not a surprise. In fact much of it is stuff we’ve been talking about and preaching for years. But maybe, just maybe, hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth might make some take more heed. We hope so. Here is what this disillusioned Little League volunteer had to say:

Personally. I feel sorry for alot of kids! Little League Baseball was designed to be a fun learning, development, and most importantly sportsmanship!!!!!!
Fourteen years!! Crazy right? I kept asking myself why I continued to put myself through the continued headaches. There were years that we did not have enough board members to cover all positions. So I had to fill three different positions just so that kids could play. NOT TO FORGET my wife!!!!!! She also worked very hard.
It’s the parents!! The ones that come to the board for only one agenda. To put their child first. Then you have those that want to coach, manage, etc. And it was those Parents and Managers that I say were trying to relive their childhood out of their kids.
As an umpire I watched the fear in those kids while up at bat to that catcher, who just might not stop that one wild pitch. 
There is no fun anymore!!!! Especially for those that end up sitting on the bench because why???? Because they are not the coaches favorite’s. To this day!!!! I have those that now have grown up and some have kids of their own still call me coach…
Little League??? Often have to wonder. What is it designed for??? It is not all about winning!!! It’s not all about how bad you made that other team look. Kids!!!!! They end up going to schools together, friends. Yet when on different teams and to see and watch how coaches, parents behave in a manner unsatisfactory.
Parents, coaches, fans, board members, let’s all take a step back. It’s time to make sure that what we’re doing is in the best interests of the kids…all of them…and then you can be proud of the service you’re bringing to your community.

Should parents stop coming to their kids’ games?

It’s a wild thought. But best-selling author Daniel Pink thinks that’s just what we should do. CNN commentator Mel Robbins agrees…to a point. Her recent article on CNN.com is full of great advice for parents who feel their involvement and, essentially, manipulation of everything their kids do is a good thing. And this reminds us of an article we wrote earlier this year on pretty much the same topic. The bottom line is that kids need to be able to handle things on their own in order to succeed in the real world. And nowhere is our parental involvement so over-the-top as in our kids’ sports. If you’ve got a youngster playing sports take a few minutes to read these articles. It might be the best thing you ever do for your children.

Soccer moms and players take on NFL team over fields

The Santa Clara youth soccer fields sit on some pretty real estate. adjacent to the San Francisco 49’ers Levi’s Stadium. When the 49’ers went to the city with a plan to use the fields as a parking lot in exchange for $15 million rent, you’d think that the NFL team with clout would get their way. But when protests from kids and parents went viral, the team had to back down.  Nothing like good, old fashioned Democracy in action! Read more about it here.

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