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Choosing Sports Teams Based on Friendships

  
  
  
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A few weeks ago we got an email from a baseball dad whose son plays in a league where one team was hand-picked by the coach and the other teams were created at random. Not surprisingly, the hand-picked team was made up of the best players in the league and was winning almost every game. This baseball dad's son was having a hard time staying excited throughout the season because he knew his team was going to get blown out of the water. And while no one likes to lose, especially a close game, knowing you are about to get obliterated because the other team is stacked is even worse. Why bother showing up if you'll only get to bat once and you can't stop the other team from running up the score?

Coaches Must Focus on Their Communication Skills

  
  
  
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One of the biggest mistakes new coaches can make is to assume that because they played a particular sport, even if they went fairly far in their athletic career, they are qualified to coach said sport. Doing it yourself and teaching someone else how to do it are two very things and require very different skill sets. One of the most important things a youth sports coach can do in order to help their team succeed is to focus on their communication skills.

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Should You Penalize a Player for Their Bad Parent?

  
  
  
Should You Penalize a Player for Their Bad Parent?

We can all agree that the cause of most strife in youth sports comes from parents. At times, some Parents argue with the coaches and officials, don't get their kids to practice on time, bad mouth the opponents, and more. These "bad behaviors" can really drag down a team and, if they aren't stopped, ruin the whole season. But how is a coach supposed to control other adults? It's not as if they can bench a parent the same way they'd bench a player for missing practices, right?

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What Does It Mean to be a Team Captain?

  
  
  
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Being chosen by the coach or elected by your teammates to team captain should be seen as a huge honor for any young athlete. But being a team captain means much more than just stitching a C onto your jersey. It means your coach/team see characteristics in you that mark you out as a good leader, a team player, and someone who the rest of the team can look up to.

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Are There Any Benefits to Early Specialization in Youth Sports?

  
  
  

Some parents/coaches believe that early specialization is the best (if not only) way to ensure that their child turns their love of sports into a college scholarship or even a career. Others argue that early specialization is actually ruining youth sports because it pushes young players too hard, too fast, and too soon. Which side of the argument are you on?

5 Things That Can Ruin a Youth Sports Season

  
  
  
5 Things That Can Ruin a Youth Sports Season

No matter how much we may try to have a "perfect" sports season, things can and will go wrong. Kids might get hurt or bored or burn out. Parents might be too busy to make it to every game. Coaches get frustrated or aggressive. It's bound to happen to everyone sooner or later. And while most players, parents, and coaches can bounce back from one bad game or practice, there are a few things that can ruin a youth sports season for good.

Why Co-Ed Teams In Youth Sports Can Work

  
  
  
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There are a lot of debates to be hand in youth sports. The biggest ones usually happen around participation trophies and keeping score (should we or should we not), but another one that gets people fired up is the idea of having co-ed youth sports team. Usually the question is--should girls be allowed to play on the boys' team?"Well according to Debate.org, 59% of respondents agreed that girls and boys should be able to play on the same sports teams.

Why Are Most Youth Sports Coaches Men?

  
  
  
Why Are Most Youth Sports Coaches Men?

Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 meaning we as a sports society have more than 40 years of women playing sports at highly competitive levels. Millions of young girls have played sports at every level in that time, playing well into college and beyond. According to the Women's Sports Foundation, in 1972 just 1 in 27 girls participated in high school sports; today, roughly two in five do. And the number of women playing at the college level since the passing of Title IX has skyrocketed by more than 600%. However, even though the number of female athletes have exploded since Title IX, according to University of Minnesota, it is estimated that less than 20% of youth sport coaches are female.

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When Does a Coach Become a Bully?

  
  
  
When Does a Coach Become a Bully?

Some coaches, like Bobby Knight, have made quite a name for themselves because of their overly aggressive coaching style (to put it mildly). Everyone has their own kind of "style" when it comes to coaching youth sports, and some coaches prefer the drill-sergeant approach.  Shows like "Friday Night Tykes" are showcasing the most extreme version of this kind of coaching, and that has many parents and sports administrators left wondering---at what point does a "gruff" or "aggressive" coach turn into a bully? Can a coach yell and swear and scream from the sidelines and still have a team that respects them? It's hard to point out exactly where the line in the sand is because each coach and each player is going to respond differently.

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Is The Pressure to Perform Too Much for Youth Athletes?

  
  
  
Is The Pressure to Perform Too Much for Youth Athletes?

We've talked a lot about how 75% of kids quit playing youth sports by the time they are 13 and what we as parents and coaches can do to reverse that trend and keep kids involved in sports longer. Dave Holt made a fantastic point on our post about not forcing kids to play a particular sport (or any sport for that matter);

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