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Learning How to Lose with Integrity

  
  
  
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When two teams face each other on the field, only one team can be declared a winner. That’s just how sports work. In a perfectly equal world we would all win as much as we lose, but in reality some teams might win more than they lose, and some might lose more than they win. But no matter how many times you lose, it’s important that you as a youth athlete learn how to handle a loss with integrity and grace.

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Is Running Up the Score Cause for a Fine?

  
  
  
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Just the other week a story ran about a Southern California high school basketball coach that was suspended and faces accusations of "mercilessly running up the score" after his team won a game 161-2, making it one of the most lopsided basketball scores in the state history.

Are Participation Trophies Worth Giving Out?

  
  
  
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In November 2013, Keller Youth Association football decided to stop giving out participation trophies at the end of each season. Needless to say, this local sport's league decision went national with parents and coaches taking hard and fast stances on whether or not participation trophies were a good or bad thing in youth sports. It's arguably one of the most debated things in sports these days, so what's your opinion?

Overcoming a Fear Failure In Youth Sports

  
  
  
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It seems crazy that a fear of failure could actually lead to more failure, right? But sometimes athletes are so afraid of making mistakes they freeze on the field and actually end up making mistakes they would never make otherwise. A little pressure is good, because it forces athletes to step up their game, but if you let the pressure get to your players it can suck the fun right out of the season!

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5 Things New Coaches Need to Know

  
  
  
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Are you stepping up to the plate (pun intended) this season and finally volunteering to be a youth sports coach? Well first off, congratulations. And secondly, thank you! Without parent-coaches most sports leagues wouldn't exist. Plenty of SportsSignup team members coach their children and we can tell you that you're in for a wild ride! It's going to be a lot of work, but it's also a ton of fun. Here are five things we think all new sports coaches should know:

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Player Development Matters More than the Final Score

  
  
  
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A few weeks ago we talked about the pros and cons of the mercy rule (aka the slaughter rule) in youth sports. Some parents and coaches argue that it actually does more harm than good, because having an opponent "take pity" on your team is worse than actually losing. Others say a mercy rule help keep the game fun because there are no real lessons to be learned (on either side) from a blowout. Much like participation trophies, the mercy rule is a hotly debated topic in youth sports and lots of sports parents and coaches weighed in with their opinions and personal experience with the mercy rule. One soccer coach had this to say on LinkedIn;

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Making Youth Sports A Positive Experience for the Kids

  
  
  
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A lot of sports parents and coaches get so invested (which isn't inherently a bad thing) in youth sports they forget one crucial thing--it's not about you! No matter how much YOU love sports, no matter how big of a sports superstar YOU were, no matter how much YOU want your child to play, at the end of the day it doesn't come down to what you love or you want; it's all about the kids. Yes, YOU are the reason they played t-ball when they were five and six, but as kids get older playing youth sports has to be something they want to do. With 70% of kids quitting sports by age 13 clearly we are doing something wrong.

3 Sports Behaviors Coaches Can't Ignore

  
  
  
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As a youth sports coach, those 12 or so kids are under your watch and your protection during the game/practice, and you are ultimately responsible for what happens to your athletes. And while even the best coaches can't control every single little thing, there are some behaviors that you can't let slip by.

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Using Player Assessments to Address Who Plays

  
  
  
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We recently talked about what is the most uncomfortable question in youth sports, "why isn't my child playing more?" No parent likes to see their child sitting on the sidelines and more often than not they'll go to bat (pun intended) to get their son/daughter on the field. Good youth sports coaches will do their best to ensure that everyone gets equal playing time, but even the best intentions can go unrealized. However, the less-than-great coaches might intentionally be benching certain players simply because they want to win at all costs.

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3 Signs You Aren't Ready to be a Youth Sports Coach

  
  
  
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Let's preface this by saying that any parent who volunteers to be a youth sports coach has our gratitude and respect! It's a big responsibility and many leagues wouldn't exist if it weren't for those parent-coach volunteers willing to step up to the plate (pun intended)! And even though most leagues are always on the lookout for new coaches (after all, parents tend to follow their kids through and out of the league), not every parent is ready to be a sports coach, no matter how much they may want to help out. Here are 3 signs that you may not be ready:

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