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My Son Did Not Start Today

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Author: Chris Fore
My son is 9. His name is Nate. He LOVES sports.
In football this year, he led the team in touchdowns . . . . and tackles. In baseball, he was the starting short stop, and hit the ball further than anyone in the whole league. In soccer, nobody on his team scored more goals last Spring. He’s an athletic kid.
Nate has played 4 seasons of basketball, 1 season of baseball, 1 season of soccer, and 3 seasons of flag football. And because he’s the biggest kid on the team (every single season, not one teammate has been taller on any of those 9 teams), he’s usually been one of the best kids.
It doesn’t hurt that he was at a high school football game the fifth day he was alive; I was a Head Football Coach at the high school level at the time, 2006. He’s grown up around the fields and gyms as I’ve been a high school Athletic Director for 6 of his 9 years.
They’ve had two basketball practices this year, today was their first game. I’ve been to both practices. I told my wife after the first one, “well this is going to be an interesting season for Nate. He’s not the best player on the team this year.” I’ve got a very realistic view of my kid’s talent. I know that most of his success so far has been because of his size.
The first year he played basketball, his team would win 14-4 or 18-12, and Nate would score 10 or 14 points. The coach LOVED him. But look how easy it was for him to score! He was a giant!!
The next year, his coach told him to shoot a whole lot more than I thought he should. I would tell him to pass the ball more, so other kids would have a chance, and he would say “Dad, my coach told me not to, cause the other kids can’t make them like me.”
So I was worried about how he would react to the first time he wasn’t “the man” on this team, the first time he wasn’t a starter. I wondered when that would be.
For the first time ever my son didn’t start today.
Today when I watched the coach sit the whole team down on the bench, and then call out 5 of the 9 and 10 year olds to take the court, my son wasn’t picked. Nate was one of the three left on the bench. My heart kind of sunk. For my kid.

Nate is sitting on the bench as the starters are selected. The one with the old school high socks!
I was worried about this day, when he wasn’t the best kid, or at least one of the top ones on the team. I was worried for my kid. How would he react? I’ve been working with unrealistic parents for 15 years as a high school football coach. I definitely DO NOT want to be THAT dad! So, I wasn’t worried about me, I was worried about my son.
And you know what?
He NEVER even mentioned not being a starter, not one time today did he even hint at it. I even tried to get him to. “What was your favorite part of the game?” “What was your least favorite?” “What was the best thing?” “What was the worst thing?”
His favorite part: “We won!”
Least favorite: “The one basket I missed.” (He did score 2 points)
The best thing: “We won!”
Worst thing: “That the game was over.”
Parents: your kids will be fine if they don’t start! As long as you’re fine!!!
If you’re teaching your kids all along the way that the TEAM > i, then when he doesn’t start, it won’t be a big deal.
If you’re teaching your kid to shake the coach’s hand, and say thank you after every single practice and game, he will have a healthy respect for his coach; it won’t matter when he doesn’t start.
If you teach your kid that every single person has a role to play on a team, starting at a young age, then it won’t be a big deal when he doesn’t start.
If you teach your kid to “just play hard and have fun,” then it won’t be a big deal when he doesn’t start.
If you use teachable moments while watching the NFL to teach your child that you don’t always get what you want, it won’t be a big deal when he doesn’t start.
I was more proud of my son today then I ever have been. He was the only one on the bench standing and cheering for his teammates.

And this afternoon, while there was a commercial break during the NFL game, I asked him why he likes to cheer so much for his team when he isn’t in the game. This little 9 year old looked up at me and said “Dad, I like to treat others the way I want to be treated.”
For the first time my son didn’t start today, and I couldn’t have been more proud!

Author Chris Fore is a veteran football coach and athletic director from Southern California. He has a Masters degree in Athletic Administration, is a Certified Athletic Administrator, and is on the California Coaches Association Board. Eight Laces Consulting, his business, provides dynamite resources for coaches.

Components of a Great Point Guard

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“A Point Guard who can score is a great advantage.”
“A Point Guard who has to score is dangerous to their team.”

1.OUT WORK EVERYBODY
-Hard Work Breeds Confidence, Lead By Example
-To be an effective leader, you must be the hardest worker on the team!

2.BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
-The size of your Heart is more important than the size of your body

3.BE AN EXTENSION OF THE COACH
-Listen to the Coaches. Figure out what they want. Commit yourself to carrying it out with enthusiasm to the best of your ability.
-Spend time with the coach asking questions, watching films and discussing philosophy.
-Be the best communicator on the floor
-talk constantly on defense helping your teammates to recognize potentially dangerous points of attack by their opponent. Keep your focus throughout the course of a game, and pay attention to details at all times.

4.KNOWLEDGE OF GAME SITUATIONS
-Have a feel for the game. Understand the other players’ positions in order to help them be as effective as possible.
-Think 2 or 3 Passes ahead – Know what you want to do before the ball arrives
– Great point guards know who can score on their team, how and where.
-look for and find quickly player mismatches.
-Always know the score and time
-When your Team is ahead by lot you have more freedom
-In a close game, you must be more fundamental
-Your Performance is reflected in the last two minutes of the game
-YOU MUST WANT THE BALL LATE IN THE GAME
-Be available at all times against pressure
-Accept the challenge when being pressed

5.FUNDAMENTAL BASKETBALL SKILLS
-Think pass first, Shot second
-Be the absolute best ballhandler on the floor! Always try to improve your handle.
Dribble North/South ( up the court- not across)
-Have a plan when you get into the lane
-Go to the ball when receiving the outlet pass
-Look at the rim, see the whole floor
-Having 3 point range makes you one step quicker
-Be a great free Throw Shooter

6.DEFENSE
-keep constant pressure on a passer or dribbler forcing them off of their desired path of attack.
-Be a pest (This is a compliment)
-Protect your basket – Your first step must be back when the shot is taken

COLLEGE COACHES ON BODY LANGUAGE

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There’s a superpower that instantly impresses college coaches—and it has nothing to do with your student-athlete’s size, speed or agility. It’s all about their body language. From shoulder shrugs to high fives of encouragement, a coach can learn everything they need to know about a recruit without even talking to them. And when your child displays confident, positive body language on the field, it’s a tell-tale sign they can make a successful impact on the team.
In fact, many college coaches adapt coaching techniques around body language. Mike Brey, men’s basketball coach at the University of Notre Dame, explains in an interview with Positive Coach Alliance that bad body language can be “cancerous.” His solution? Have players watch film to see how they communicate on the court, and then correct it.
But, like most of us, your child may not even realize the subtle physical messages they’re sending. Here are some common scenarios during a game when college coaches are taking note of your athlete’s body language—and what it’s telling them.

BODY LANGUAGE IN A HUDDLE
For those few seconds, when players are in a huddle around the coach, what’s your student-athlete doing? Are they engaged and actively participating, or wandering off? This brief interaction tells a coach a lot about your child’s personality.
For example, recruits who don’t hustle over, or are standoffish, are typically viewed as players who don’t work well in a team setting and would rather function independently. But those who take charge in the huddle and motivate others are viewed as leaders.

BODY LANGUAGE ON THE SIDELINE
When your student-athlete is taken out of the game, coaches get a critical question answered: Will this recruit need a babysitter? Being benched, especially when a college coach is watching, brings out a lot of different characters (we’re talking about teenagers, after all). There’s the athlete who pouts, the one who argues with coaches, the ‘all about me’ recruit who doesn’t handle criticism well—you get the picture.
The truth is coaches have several other players and personalities to manage, and depending on the school, there’s a chance your student-athlete won’t see as much playing time their freshman year. Quite simply, coaches want to work with student-athletes who can handle sitting on the sideline with grace.

BODY LANGUAGE AFTER A TOUGH PLAY
Mistakes happen. Actually, scratch that—mistakes are bound to happen. And this is when coaches get a glimpse of your child’s mental toughness. Specifically, they keep an eye out for what recruits do immediately after a bad play.
For example, if they throw their hands in the air, or always accuse other teammates, it shows they have a hard time with blame. Coaches also take note of how quickly your child bounces back from a tough play. Letting it go and moving on proves they’re disciplined mentally.

BODY LANGUAGE AFTER A PLAY THEY’RE NOT A PART OF
Coaches pay attention the entire game. When the ball is across the field, their eyes are still on your athlete. Why? Seeing how recruits act during plays they’re not involved in helps coaches determine how self-motivated they are. And motivation is not an easy characteristic to teach, especially among college-athletes who are on their own for the first time. In fact, it’s one of the reasons coaches request full game highlight videos.
Whether it’s a head hanging low or lack of hustle, certain movements tell a coach your athlete needs a little inspirational boost. On the flipside, coaches tune into recruits who display an all-in attitude and encourage teammates, even when they’re not a part of the action. Skill evaluation is really the easy part. When coaches evaluate recruits in person, they already know their athletic ability. What they don’t know yet is character. And because of the huge impact of body language, your student-athlete can tell them everything without saying anything at all.

Kids Play Fewer ‘Pick-Up Games,’ and it’s Hurting Youth Sports

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Pick-up games.
They used to be a staple in the lives of American children. Get a group of kids together, grab a ball, and go play. It was a sanctuary of sport where meddling parents or coaches had no say. But as organized youth sports have become more time-intensive, and digital devices like iPads and Xboxes have made the indoors more appealing, pick-up games have largely disappeared.
“Youth sports culture has changed dramatically over the past 40 years. It is less common today to see a group of young children congregate in a neighborhood to play a ‘pick-up’ game without any adult influence. The norm has become for children and adolescents to participate in organized sports driven by coaches and parents, often with different goals for the game than its young participants,” reads a 2016 report on youth athletes in the journal Pediatrics.
The demise of pick-up games is a real shame, as it’s difficult to overstate how many benefits these type of contests offer for young people. No matter the sport, the nature of pick-up games allow for the natural development of athleticism, fitness, competitiveness, teamwork skills, communication skills and more.
The competition will take care of itself. Most kids want to win no matter what or where they play. They want to beat their friends, classmates, siblings, etc. It’s not mean-spirited, it’s just good, healthy, fun competition.
“(My childhood pick-up football games) were really competitive—probably more competitive then half the stuff you see on the field,” says Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Mason Cole. A childhood filled with competitive pick-up games is a commonality we notice in many of the professional athletes we interview, from Drew Brees to LeBron James.
As a competitive outlet, pick-up sports lack the added pressure coaches, parents and institutions often bring to organized sports. A loss or poor performance doesn’t result in the child being yelled at or shamed by authority figures. This translates to an experience that’s more free and more fun for children. And “more fun” matters. It’s no exaggeration to say a lack of fun may be the biggest problem in the modern youth sports ecosystem. A poll from the National Alliance of Youth Sports found that 70 percent of U.S. kids stop playing organized sports by the age of 13, citing “not having fun anymore” as the most common reason.
Pick-up sports give kids a chance to just be kids without having to worry about failure or disappointing others, and stay active while doing so. The simple fact that pick-up sports keep children active is a huge benefit, as CDC data shows 1 in 5 children and young people now qualify as obese. Most pick-up games consist of nothing but play—there’s no sitting on the bench, there’s no standing around waiting for others to go through a drill, there’s no listening to coaches try to explain strategy or fundamentals. There’s just play. That’s exactly the type of activity our young people need more of, as organized youth sports offer less exercise than you might expect. In fact, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that children only spend about 30 percent of their organized sport practice time engaged in moderate-to-vigorous exercise. So even if a kid has an hour-long practice, they’re still likely 40 minutes short of the 60 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous exercise most experts recommend. This is where pick-up games and unstructured play can quickly make up that gap.
“Pick-up games and self practice/play is the epitome of skill acquisition and broad athletic development. Pick-up games are not supervised by a coach. So each participant has much more free expression of movement and less stress of trying to ‘do it right’ according to what the coach believes. There is the opportunity to experiment and develop one’s own natural style without the fear of screwing up,” Jeremy Frisch, owner of Achieve Performance Training in Clinton, Massachusetts, wrote in a recent social media post. “As one practices and plays, the body adapts naturally and the participant will be able to play longer and longer and rest shorter and shorter…improving fitness naturally.”
The diversity present in pick-up games brings about its own slew of benefits. Kids learn how to play with and against a range of athletes of all different ages, sizes and ability levels. This helps them learn how to dynamically adapt their play and behavior to best suit their teammates and their competition. It’s a skill that has benefit far beyond the realm of sports. Then the diversity of the games themselves—different sports, different balls, different playing surfaces, different sized fields, different rules, etc.—are further bonuses. The more diverse we can make sports for our kids, the more all-around athleticism they’ll develop and the more fun they’ll have. Based off the strong connection between early sports specialization (and the training usually associated with it) and overuse injuries, participating in pick-up sports can also help kids stay healthy and pain-free.
A study from the University of Colorado found that children who spent more time in less structured activities (such as pick-up games) develop better “self-directed executive function.” This skill largely centers around being able to set your own goals and take action on them. A 2014 University of Texas study found that college students who’d spent their childhoods splitting equal amounts of time between organized and unstructured sports were more creative than peers who devoted the majority of their play time to the former. There’s also a bevy of research showing the increased amount of exercise that can come via participation in pick-up games results in better performance inside the classroom.
If their child reaping all of these benefits wasn’t enough to convince a parent of the importance of pick-up games, how about the fact that pick-up games require zero fees and zero time commitment on their end? As organized youth sports have become increasingly laborious for all involved, parents have also felt the effects. A 2013 survey by i9 Sports of 400 moms found that over 50 percent believed their child’s participation in organized sports added stress to their life and the lives of their family. Simply cutting down on specialized training sessions or having a child play in a recreational league instead of travel ball will lead to a more stress-free experience for all and give the kid more time for unstructured play.
What can we do to address this issue? Encouraging children to play pick-up games and providing them with the equipment to do so (which is usually just a ball) is a great start. Children also need the time to participate in pick-up games, so if you’re sending your 7-year-old to specialized baseball training lessons three times a week, perhaps you want to reconsider your priorities.
Youth sports coaches can also begin blocking off large chunks of practice time for “pick-up” style games, or encourage parents to drop their kids off early or allow them to stay late to give the kids extra time to play pick-up. The key is keeping interruption from parents and coaches to an absolute minimum during these games. A 2006 document Best Practices for Coaching in the United States released by the U.S. Soccer Federation encouraged youth coaches to be more hands-off in their approach. “Coaches can often be more helpful to a young player’s development by organizing less, saying less, and allowing the players to do more,” the authors write. “Be comfortable organizing a session that looks like pick-up soccer.”
Let’s not hinder the overall physical and mental development of our children by placing unrealistic expectations on them and trying to turn them into the “next big thing” before they’ve even had the chance to be a kid. Pick-up games teach skills that make better athletes and better people, and to ignore their benefit is to the detriment of our youth.

EQUAL PLAYING TIME IN YOUTH SPORTS?

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I recently attended a sporting event where I witnessed a father talking to his distraught daughter.
The daughter was not currently getting as much playing time as her teammates and she was very visibly upset about this. Instead of going and complaining to all the parents in the bleachers or going to the coach to complain, the father asked his daughter these questions: “When was the last time you have been to the gym to work on your skills? Have you been working in the weight room? Have you had a good attitude? Have you been working like a team player?”
She could not answer these questions for her father. He then responded to her, “This is one person’s problem, yours. You need to make it so they have no choice but to leave you in because you are that good and valuable to the team.” I want to give kudos to this parent for putting the responsibility back on his daughter and making it a life lesson. He did not handle this all-to-common situation by engaging in the whispering bleacher banter or yelling profanities at the coach throughout the game. This father chose to put responsibility on his daughter to make her realize that she needed to improve her performance and her attitude if she wanted to increase her playing time.
By the time kids reach the junior high level the idea of equal playing time should not be seen as a requirement. Lower level activities require equal playing time, enforce no-cut policies, and do a great job at allowing kids to hone their skills and try new roles, positions, etc. so they can find their strengths. By the time kids reach junior high they are competing for larger goals and they are preparing for high school level competition. Not everyone is going to get equal playing time. Not everyone is going to get an A on his or her test. Not everyone is going to get the same amount of stage time. Not everyone can be first chair in the band. Not everyone is going to be a starter. People earn these things by their performance.
When you are on a competitive team of any kind you have to realize you are competing! You are competing not only as a team, but also you are competing for specific spots and roles. This is not a bad thing. This is a time to find strengths and weaknesses. It is a time to find likes and dislikes. It is a time to learn life lessons.
We cannot expect everyone to have the resilience of Rudy Ruettiger, but an attitude like his paired with hard work, listening to coaches, showing up to perform and displaying good character and teamwork can benefit a player as well as the whole team.
Unfortunately, even with hard work and great attitudes, some kids just aren’t cut out for certain activities. Me, for example, I am never going to be a performance singer. No matter how much I practice or how many voice lessons I pay for I am never going to be a good singer. Even if I got a spot on the choir I would know I would never be a soloist. We all must understand our capabilities.
Parents need to help their children by setting a good example of sportsmanship instead of instilling entitlement. If you join a competitive activity and you are not able to honorably ride the roller coaster of emotions then maybe competitive activities are not one of your strengths.

25 Things Girls Who Grew Up Playing Basketball Know To Be True

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by Stephanie Hankemeier
To say I miss playing basketball would be the biggest understatement of the year. Growing up on a basketball court changed my life in so many ways and absolutely contributed to the person that I am today.
1. Your teammates and coaches became family. You spent endless hours at weekend tournaments, between games, and at sleepovers with these girls. You shared everything about boys, your family, and all the drama from school.
2. It taught you about work ethic. You had some tough coaches, but the more they pushed you, the better you got. You may have even hated them at times, but looking back, they made you better on and off the court.
3. You learned that you are capable of so much more than you thought. You had no idea you would end up playing such a big role on your team.
4. You fell in love with the game at an early age. Even in elementary school, you and the girls would literally count down the days until game time.
5. You learned to be a better team member. On and off the court, you learned to work well with others and work toward team goals.
6. You mastered the mental battle. And now you apply it in your adult life. When you win games that everyone expects you to lose, there’s a confidence that stays with you for life. Your coach was right, the biggest battle really is in your head.
7. You loved playing in close games. This was the greatest rush you could ever experience.
8. The words “killers,” “burpees” and “get on the baseline” are significant. These still make your stomach turn.
9. But you kind of miss running killers, doing burpees, and getting on the baseline. You never thought you would actually miss that.
10. You love the smell of the gym. That familiar smell is forever engrained in your memory.
11. You still hug your coach. Whenever you see him/her as an adult, you can’t help but hug them tight. After all, they will never truly know how much you appreciate all the lessons and memories.
12. You were never alone. Being on a team meant you never went through anything alone.
13. You miss the friends you made. Whether it was on AAU teams or at summer basketball camps, you’ll never forget all the laughs you shared.
14. You feel empty without it. Every time you watch a game, you feel a pit in your stomach, because you miss it so much.
15. You remember the plays. You still remember some of the plays that you used to run.
16. You can use your left hand. The day you finally learned to use your left hand made you realize that you could do anything that you set your mind to.
17. You have scars. You’re proud of your basketball scars and you still smile when you see them.
18. You love the music. Your pre-game song still gets you pumped up.
19. You own medals and trophies. You still have all the medals and trophies that you won and they still make you proud.
20. You were a tomboy. You went through a tomboy phase and that little boy still lives in you to this day.
21. You have a favorite number. Your basketball number is still your favorite number.
22. You hate annoying parents. Who can forget the parents that yelled way too much and made the refs want to pull their hair out?
23. You miss home games. That feeling when the gym was packed and the cheers were loud will still give you goosebumps.
24. You own plenty of socks. All Nike everything.
25. You’re excited to have kids. The thought of watching your future kids play, and maybe even coaching them someday, makes your heart skip a beat.

One of my friends asked “Why do you pay so much money for your kids to do all their sports”?

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By Chris Rohrer

So, if I am not paying for sports what am I paying for?
– I pay for those moments when my kids become so tired they want to quit but don’t.

– I pay for those days when my kids come home from school and are “too tired” to go to their training but they go anyway.

– I pay for my kids to learn to be disciplined, focused and dedicated.

– I pay for my kids to learn to take care of their body and equipment.

– I pay for my kids to learn to work with others and to be good team mates, gracious in defeat and humble in success.

– I pay for my kids to learn to deal with disappointment, when they don’t get that placing or title they’d hoped for, but still they go back week after week giving it their best shot.

– I pay for my kids to learn to make and accomplish goals.

– I pay for my kids to respect, not only themselves, but other athletes, officials and coaches.

– I pay for my kids to learn that it takes hours and hours, years and years of hard work and practice to create a champion and that success does not happen overnight.

– I pay for my kids to be proud of small achievements, and to work towards long term goals.

– I pay for the opportunity my kids have and will have to make life-long friendships, create lifelong memories, to be as proud of their achievements as I am.

– I pay so that my kids can be out on the field or in the gym instead of in front of a screen…

…I could go on but, to be short, I don’t pay for sports; I pay for the opportunities that sports provides my kids with to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I have seen so far I think it is a great investment!

The Power of Unselfishness

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By Kevin Eastman (former College and NBA Coach)
Two words that never seem to go together or work together: selfishness and winning. On the other hand, when we study the key characteristics of winning organizations we find that unselfishness is of paramount importance. It’s a necessary ingredient that enhances other aspects of success in a team endeavor.

So why is unselfishness so important? What does it do to teams? It has been my experience with the Boston Celtics and the Los Angles Clippers (and in particular, as a coach in our 2008 NBA World Championship run) that unselfishness itself was extremely important for us, but the unselfish attitude created additional advantages for us that were also key to our success.

Some of those by-products of an unselfish approach:
• The spirit of our team was much greater
• The intensity of our play was increased
• The willingness to move the ball created easier, high percentage shots for us
• It helped us plug holes in our defense; we covered for each other
• It created frustration in our opponents, as the power of the pass can never be underestimated
• It kept us juiced up for the next game (which is very important when you’re playing over 100 games in an NBA season); our guys wanted to come to work
• It gave us confidence that we could survive a player’s off night because the ball always found the open player (and therefore, the high percentage shot)
• It allowed us the feeling that one guy never had to carry the burden
• It gave us a sense that we could not be beaten because opponents had to beat all of us together — not just one superstar on his own
• Most of all, it made us want to be out there on the floor every night, knowing it was truly us against the opponent. We knew our backs were covered every minute of every game. We knew if we absorbed ourselves in the team that we would have a chance to succeed at the highest level!

Is unselfishness important? YES. It is proven year after year if you study championship teams in all sports. Unselfishness is important enough that it is part of the DNA of every champion!

My Son Didn’t Start Today

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My son is 9. His name is Nate. He LOVES sports.
In football this year, he led the team in touchdowns . . . . and tackles. In baseball, he was the starting short stop, and hit the ball further than anyone in the whole league. In soccer, nobody on his team scored more goals last Spring. He’s an athletic kid.
Nate has played 4 seasons of basketball, 1 season of baseball, 1 season of soccer, and 3 seasons of flag football. And because he’s the biggest kid on the team (every single season, not one teammate has been taller on any of those 9 teams), he’s usually been one of the best kids.
It doesn’t hurt that he was at a high school football game the fifth day he was alive; I was a Head Football Coach at the high school level at the time, 2006. He’s grown up around the fields and gyms as I’ve been a high school Athletic Director for 6 of his 9 years.
They’ve had two basketball practices this year, today was their first game. I’ve been to both practices. I told my wife after the first one, “well this is going to be an interesting season for Nate. He’s not the best player on the team this year.” I’ve got a very realistic view of my kid’s talent. I know that most of his success so far has been because of his size.
The first year he played basketball, his team would win 14-4 or 18-12, and Nate would score 10 or 14 points. The coach LOVED him. But look how easy it was for him to score! He was a giant!!
The biggest kids are usually going to score the most points! I get that. Guess which one is Nate?! This was his first year playing basketball. 2013
The next year, his coach told him to shoot a whole lot more than I thought he should. I would tell him to pass the ball more, so other kids would have a chance, and he would say “Dad, my coach told me not to, cause the other kids can’t make them like me.”
So I was worried about how he would react to the first time he wasn’t “the man” on this team, the first time he wasn’t a starter. I wondered when that would be.
For the first time ever my son didn’t start today.
Today when I watched the coach sit the whole team down on the bench, and then call out 5 of the 9 and 10 year olds to take the court, my son wasn’t picked. Nate was one of the three left on the bench. My heart kind of sunk. For my kid.
I was worried about this day, when he wasn’t the best kid, or at least one of the top ones on the team. I was worried for my kid. How would he react? I’ve been working with unrealistic parents for 15 years as a high school football coach. I definitely DO NOT want to be THAT dad! So, I wasn’t worried about me, I was worried about my son.
And you know what?
He NEVER even mentioned not being a starter, not one time today did he even hint at it. I even tried to get him to. “What was your favorite part of the game?” “What was your least favorite?” “What was the best thing?” “What was the worst thing?”
His favorite part: “We won!”
Least favorite: “The one basket I missed.” (He did score 2 points)
The best thing: “We won!”
Worst thing: “That the game was over.”
Parents: your kids will be fine if they don’t start! As long as you’re fine!!!
If you’re teaching your kids all along the way that the TEAM > I, then when he doesn’t start, it won’t be a big deal.
If you’re teaching your kid to shake the coach’s hand, and say thank you after every single practice and game, he will have a healthy respect for his coach; it won’t matter when he doesn’t start.
If you teach your kid that every single person has a role to play on a team, starting at a young age, then it won’t be a big deal when he doesn’t start.
If you teach your kid to “just play hard and have fun,” then it won’t be a big deal when he doesn’t start.

If you use teachable moments while watching the NFL to teach your child that you don’t always get what you want, it won’t be a big deal when he doesn’t start.
I was more proud of my son today then I ever have been. He was the only one on the bench standing and cheering for his teammates.
And this afternoon, while there was a commercial break during the NFL game, I asked him why he likes to cheer so much for his team when he isn’t in the game. This little 9 year old looked up at me and said “Dad, I like to treat others the way I want to be treated.”
For the first time my son didn’t start today, and I couldn’t have been more proud!

Author Chris Fore is a veteran football coach and athletic director from Southern California. He has a Masters degree in Athletic Administration, is a Certified Athletic Administrator, and is on the California Coaches Association Board.

Success vs. Geno Auriemma

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UCONN’s Geno Auriemma’s career record is 970–134. Coaches with the most victories against him: Notre Dame’s Muffett McGraw (11-33);Villanova’s Harry Perretta (11-36); PROVIDENCE’S BOB FOLEY (10–16); Pat Summitt of Tennessee(9-13).