Coach’s Corner: UM’s Shannon Profiled by SI.com

Positive Coaching Alliance550Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports:

Miami Coach Randy Shannon Brings Real Life Experience to Hurricane (Dave Hyde, SI.com, 9/23).

“Do you know how many black coaches off America’s meanest streets walk the sideline of big-time college football in these enlightened times of 2009? The one in this office. Maybe Shannon isn’t the most amazing story in sports right now. But go ahead, name someone else.” -Dave Hyde, SI.com

Coach’s Job Not Always Protected (Nick Wilson, Chico Enterprise Record, 9/24).

“One of the things that seems to set high school athletics apart from the collegiate and professional ranks is that the competition hasn’t been marred by money-grubbing agents or laden with litigation … or at least, so we would hope.” -Nick Wilson, Chico Enterprise Record

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Coach’s Corner: Game On a Must-Read Book

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Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports. This week’s lead is the Institute for International Sport’s pick of “Game On” as a must-read book for educators. It was chosen in recognition of exceptional sport-themed books that contribute to the education of youth and adults, and to the American sports culture.

Game On Named Sports Education Book of the Year (The Institute for International Sport).

“Game On will change the way American society looks at youth sport. With great precision, Mr. Farrey trains his investigative lens on a realm populated by more than 30 million boys and girls, documenting the consequences of sorting the strong from the weak at ever-earlier ages: fewer active kids, rising obesity rates, testier sidelines and U.S. National Teams that rarely win world titles.” -The Institute for International Sport

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Coach’s Corner: Pioneer Press Series on Youth Sports

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Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports. This week’s lead takes a look at St. Paul Pioneer Press writer Bob Shaw’s great four-part series, “A Generation on the Sidelines.”

A Generation on the Sidelines: To Revive Participation in School Sports, Let Kids Be Kids (Bob Shaw, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 3/24).

“Minnesota students’ rate of participation in school-sponsored sports has fallen by half since the 1981-82 school year as kids leave sports because of increasing cost, hassles and win-at-all-costs pressure. But that trend can be reversed.” -Bob Shaw, Pioneer Press

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Coach’s Corner: Should Student-Athletes Pay to Play?

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Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports. This week’s lead tackles the issue of dwindling athletic department budgets in high schools and wonders if student-athletes should pay to play. After the jump we look at women in coaching roles, as well as the rough year youth sports organizations are having.

It May Be Time to Pay to Play (Carl Love, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 3/10).

“So here’s a thought as we stand on the precipice of the next Depression: Why not make kids pay more to play high school sports, much like kids pay hefty fees to play on the travel teams so popular around here?”-The Press-Enterprise’s Carl Love

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Coach’s Corner: Can DNA Predict Athleticism? T-Ball Pioneer Remembered

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Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports. This week’s lead takes a look at whether DNA tests can screen athleticism. If you’re not into controversy, then jump ahead to a look back at the life of Jerry Sacharski, who has the distinction of pioneering T-ball. Allentown’s Morning Call has a must-read. Hear what readers had to say about what’s good in sports.

Baby Olympian? DNA Test Screens Sports Ability (Bill Briggs, MSNBC.com, 3/4).

“Then, to get the genetic scoop, they simply brushed the inside of Ava’s cheek with two cotton swabs, sealed the samples in a baggie and mailed them to an Australian lab used by Atlas. Although there are 20,000 strands of human DNA, the lab hunts for variations of just one: ACTN3, which can predict certain athletic skills, some experts believe.” -MSNBC.com’s Bill Briggs

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Coach’s Corner: Should Youth Be Allowed to Lose?

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Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports. This week’s lead takes a look at the “politically correct” culture within youth sports. The issue of fighting in hockey continues to make news, and we’ve got another look at that after the jump. And when it comes to danger, hockey’s not alone. Guess what other sport grabbed a headline.

9-0 and No More! PC Rule Could Blow the Whistle on Crushing Defeats in Children’s Football (Nick Craven, Londo Daily Mail, 2/27).

“We’re being over-protective with youngsters but doing them no favours. … Life throws down challenges to you, and sometimes it lays you flat on your back, but you have to learn to pick yourself up again, and you won’t develop that spirit if no one ever allows you to lose.” -Civitas Deputy Director Robert Whelan

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Coach’s Corner: Milwaukee High School Basketball Game a Great Display of Sportsmanship

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports. This week’s lead tells the heart-warming tale of a high school basketball player that showed up mid-game the day his mother passed away. Johntell Franklin: “I knew my Mom would have wanted me to play. She was always proud of me playing basketball.”

Because Franklin showed up in the middle of the game, his team was assessed a technical foul because Franklin wasn’t listed in the scorebook. The team’s opponent, though, displayed tremendous sportsmanship by intentionally missing two technical foul shots. Read the rest of the story:

Out of Tragedy, Sportsmanship Has a Shining Moment (Art Kabelowsky, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 2/16).

“I gathered my kids and said, ‘Who wants to take these free throws?’ Darius McNeal put up his hand. I said, ‘You realize you’re going to miss, right?’ He nodded his head” – DeKalb High School boy’s basketball coach Dave Rohlman

Some more articles of interest:

Parents of N.J. Athletes Prepare for ‘Temporary Insanity’ of Winter Sports (Mark DiOnno, Newark Star-Ledger, 2/21).

Just 7 of 19,000 Texas High School Students Fail Steroid Testing (Jim Vertuno, AP, 2/20).

High School Sports Feel Squeeze From Budget Shortages (Preston Williams, Washington Post, 2/20).

Armchair Field Generals, Getting Sacked on Wall Street (Sally Jenkins, Washington Post, 2/19).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

Coach’s Corner: Is the Goon Era Coming to an End in Hockey?

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Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth and amateur sports. This week’s lead examines hockey’s impact on concussions and the effort to ban fights in the sport:

Concussion Panel Recommends Ban on Hockey Fights (Canadian Press, 2/10).

Fighting Hockey Violence Will Give You a Concussion; Medical Advice Won’t Change the Cultivated Culture of Violence in Professional Hockey (Jeffrey Simpson, Toronto Globe & Mail, 2/14).

Montreal Suffering Net Loss; Shortage of Goaltenders in City’s Minor Hockey Ranks Due to High Costs, Lack of Pro Role Models (Andrew Chung, Toronto Star, 2/13).

Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, But Don’t Look for Them on TV (Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer, 2/11).

“Painful Lessons”: Abuse At Chicago Schools. Hundreds Of Kids Beaten, Whipped, Even Choked By Teachers, Coaches (Dave Savini, CBS 2 Chicago, 2/9).

Chaos Makes Us Forget What Prep Games Should Be About (Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times, 2/9).

Background Checks for Prep Athletes? (Robert Napper, Bradenton Herald, 2/12).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

Coach’s Corner: As Colleges Look for Top High School Athletes, is Recruiting Getting Out of Hand?

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Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth sports. This week’s articles take a look at the national conversation around recruiting:

College Basketball Recruiting Enters Halls of Middle School (Michelle Kaufman, Miami Herald, 2/3).

College Recruiting’s Thin Gray Line (Evans & Thamel, New York Times, 2/4).

As Colleges Woo Athletes, It Adds Up (Todd Holcomb, Atlanta Journal-Constition, 2/4).

High School Athletes Find College Sports Scholarships Elusive (Gus Ostrom, Cherry Hill Courier Post, 2/3).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

Positive Coaching Alliance’s Thompson Shares His Take on 100-0 Dallas Prep Game

Positive Coaching Alliance

With all the recent buzz surrounding the Covenant School’s 100-0 drubbing of The Dallas Academy in a girl’s high school basketball game in Dallas, Texas, Positive Coaching Alliance Executive Director Jim Thompson offers his take on the game.

Under the header, “No Winners in Dallas’ 100-0 Basketball Game,” Thompson writes in this month’s Positive Coaching Alliance Connector:

If you want to win, here is a sure-fire, guaranteed way to do so. Schedule your team against a really weak opponent.

In the wake of The Covenant School girls basketball team’s 100-0 “win” over Dallas Academy, many have defended since-fired Covenant Coach Micah Grimes, asking what he could have done differently, because “it just isn’t right to let the other team score.”

My answer — often shared in our Double-Goal Coach workshops, where we train coaches to win and teach life lessons — is that there are many ways to make productive use of a blowout game. It all starts with preparation for a game against an obviously mismatched opponent. When coaches have an upcoming game against a strong opponent, we prepare our players for the challenges facing them. We tend to not do the same when we know we are facing a much weaker team.

But blow-out games provide as many teachable moments as do highly-contested ones. For example:

  • Don’t try to build a comfortable lead and then let up. Start your substitutes even if it means a slower, less-stable advantage. Even if your team falls behind, your stronger players can then enter, challenged to play their best.
  • Start players in unfamiliar positions. Got a big center who doesn’t dribble well? Have her bring the ball up. Let your smallish guards post up.
  • Have your players dribble with their weak hand. Caution them not to show up the opponent-have them dribble weak-handed without a big show.

These are ideas for basketball, but with some creativity and preparation, coaches can apply these to any sport. But let’s look at the bigger picture, which a 100-0 game forces us to do. What exactly is the purpose of sports?

With the attention that winning big brings to coaches in the college and pro ranks it’s easy for youth and high school coaches to forget that they are educators. Many, perhaps most, youth coaches imagine themselves, from time to time, coaching on the big stage.

But as much as youth sports resembles pro sports, they are fundamentally different. One is an entertainment business. The other is about educating kids. Or should be.

Everything that happens on the playing field is grist for the mill of the Double-Goal Coach. Win or lose, come through in the clutch or blow it, coaches who see themselves as character educators can make a life lesson out of it.

Sports soars when worthy opponents compete and it takes their best to win. Mismatches happen, so coaches must prepare their teams to play weak opponents with class, just as they prepare them to play tough opponents with determination.

Otherwise, why not schedule against a kindergarten team and go for 500 points? –Jim Thompson, Founder and Executive Director, Positive Coaching Alliance

To offer your own thoughts on the topic, please visit Thompson’s Responsible Sports Blog (Positive Coaching Alliance).

Coach’s Corner: Elite Soccer Club Forbids Players From Playing on High School Squads

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth sports. This week’s lead features an article from the Dallas Morning News that examines the FC Dallas Juniors soccer club’s decision not to allow its academy players to play on their high school squads:

Exclusive Club: FC Dallas Juniors Forbid Varsity Play (Brandon George, Dallas Morning News, 1/22).

Recruiting Middle School-Aged Players: Early Start or Exploitation? Opinions Differ on Football University, Which Organizes Camp for Ages 12 to 14 (S. Thomas Coleman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/23).

CPS to Restrict Game Attendance: League’s Away Games Barred to Fans in a Bid to Cap Violence (Sadovi & Sakamoto, Chicago Tribune, 1/24).

Random Drug Testing of High School Athletes Scores Big Life-Lesson Points (Editorial, Florida Sun-Sentinel, 1/24).

Rivals on Same Side in Fight Against Cancer (Paul Valencia, Vancouver Columbian, 1/24).

Successful Battle: Hanahan Teammates Return to Court After Bout With Cancer (Philip Bowman, Charleston Post & Courier, 1/23).

Hat-Trick Hat Tossing Controversy Almost Saw the Tradition Banned … Hats Off to a Coach With His Head in the Game (Michael Platt, Calgary Sun, 1/23).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

After 100-0 Victory, Texas High School Gets Case of Winner’s Remorse

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In Texas, private Covenant School defeated Dallas Academy 100-0 in a high school girls basketball game on January 13, and the AP reported yesterday that Covenant School now “has a case of blowout remorse.” The Covenant School is now “trying to do the right thing by seeking a forfeit and apologizing for the margin of victory. ” The Covenant School’s Kyle Queal said, “It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. … A victory without honor is a great loss.”

Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Director Edd Burleson: “On a personal note, I told the coach of the losing team how much I admire their girls for continuing to compete against all odds. They showed much more character than the coach that allowed that score to get out of hand. It’s up to the coach to control the outcome.”

Dallas Academy “has eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls” in its high school. The girl’s team is “winless over the last four seasons” (AP, 1/22). Read the entire article from the AP

Life’s Lessons: In Dallas, Barry Horn writes today that Dallas Academy Athletic Director Jeremy Civello “told his girls the life lesson they could take from their loss.” Civello: “told them someday they will be on top in a similar situation and they should remember how they felt when some people were cheering for a team to score a hundred points and shut us out. Hopefully, my girls all learned a lesson in sportsmanship that will last them a lifetime” (Barry Horn, Dallas Morning News, 1/23). Read the entire article from the Dallas Morning News