Thursday, April 16, 2015


97% of the 2010 Olympic athletes were multi sport athletes. In the 2013 NFC and AFC championship games ALL 4 quarterbacks played baseball in high school. Three were drafted by MLB. The other played Legion ball. Their names: Peyton Manning, Colin Kaspernick, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson. The #1 prospect in ALL of baseball Byron Buxton played three sports in high school and played varsity football for 4 years in high school. 41 of 47 FULL ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP RECRUITS by national champion "THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY" played multiple sports in high school
  I am not saying to beat yourself up or to feel that you need to defend yourself. We are not a gotcha company. What I am saying is that now that you have experienced this, tell your children, that there is a different way so they don’t repeat this with their kids, or coach their kids this way. They will understand. They know you are human. When you admit to mistakes, they actually trust you more. Ours did. They do love you.

 I am speaking in Vegas end of month to Pediatric Orthopeadic Surgeons of North America (POSNA). $1.25 BILLION spent last year on overuse injuries and 40% of that on children under 14. We are making a difference, but each time a parent says the way they did it was right but others are messing it up it just creates more entitlement. I have yet to hear of a 20 year reunion of a modified basketball team. If the coach says you have to do this to play for him do you really want your child in that entitled environment. It’s not competition, remember that. I have worked with, mentored, and coached over 5000 kids and I will tell you the great multi sport athlete, the ONLY ones who are going to get full ride athletic scholarships, do not have to follow those rules and they don’t. It’s mostly the ones that will never have a real chance, and are trying to buy their way into talent. If you looked at spending this amount money on say an investment portfolio, no broker would tell you to take this risk. No teacher would tell you they taught their students this way. It’s a race that doesn’t exist, and should be treated as such. The pts per game per season against other kids whose parents can afford to pay doesn’t necessarily mean talent. It’s just another way to entice. In some cases there is a separation for those who are invited and don’t have to pay. This happens in ALL sports. But what is missed, is that the balance needed in life, and the coping mechanisms learned by playing multiple sports are lost. The child, and they are children, lose out on being with different adults, different skills for different activities and the specialization hinders the Childs all around development. As a head coach in college hockey I can tell you 80% of our job is recruiting and we love our jobs. If you are good enough we will find you. 85% of ALL kids who go to college go within a 3 hour drive. Having a recruiting service or an aau pedigree only increases their external value forced on a child which is not what they need for life. Many parents quoted statistics to me over the years. What we care about as college coaches is how you made your teammates better. How did you fare against the top competition? How did you treat your parents and friends, especially the lesser talented ones? How were your grades in school? You pay money, and therefore you want something in return. that is adulting kids. most parents don’t. Everyone else is the problem. I understand rationalization and the emotion of parenting, guilt, and doing the right thing. I for one drank the kool aid with my son. I hear from more and more aau parents’ coaches and college coaches about the problems they see. I have been to numerous tournaments, its part of my job. What I see each time I go is sad to say the least and borderline abusive. 1% of all kids who go to a 4 year college play at the DI level. Avg. DI scholarship $10,780 a year. But it really is not that much because Football and basketball are head count sports. (Full) Only half of the 1% who play at the DI level play for free. Then 1% of that 1% go on to pro. That life expectancy is 4 years in pro sports... Average pro salary $80K 77 times more non athletic scholarships than athletic. 25% of all kids going to college get some non athletic financial aid only 1% get athletic financial aid. PLAY FOR FUN! I just had a meeting with a big time college AD. At the end he said, oh my vive been doing it wrong all along with my kids (and he ended up divorced) I said, that is in the past. now you know the difference. spread the word Until we can convince the ones like you who get it that it is important to say we could have done it differently and share that with friends and family, our struggle to change this culture will be even more difficult. You knew something was amiss and you did your best to fight it. well done There is no medical evidence that not playing year round makes you rusty. There is plenty that says the opposite. playing other sports actually makes you a better basketball player as many pro players will tell you. the medical evidence is overwhelmingly positive just in injuries for those who don’t play one sport year round. I know it’s hard, but if we can’t convince the really good parents like you that there is a different way to raise kids in this difficult environment, our job is going to get even harder

Monday, April 13, 2015

Is it hammer time?

Now, I try not to hammer people in public, but I’m starting to rethink this philosophy. For one, as a friend told me, trying to reach the people that know it all is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of your time and annoys the hell out of the pig. So you might as well go down swinging. Secondly, our Company is not a gotcha company. We are here to educate, not pound. But, as I give more and more presentations, I am faced by the fact that many people, especially highly paid professionals, who are not used to be told they are misguided, think they have the answers while ignoring the facts that are right in front of them, because they too have succumbed to the dreaded “keep up with the Joneses.” No question parenting is difficult, and the youth and high school sports programs have, in many cases, added to this difficulty, and exasperated it. I have been to over 1000 high school games and practices and I can tell you the reaction of the coaches, players, and fans has taken a decided turn to the seriousness side. The children having fun and as a priority has been replaced by win now, manage the game, and the adulting of youth and high school sports. The short term pursuit of victory has had a long term negative effect on most everyone involved.
Some research is showing that the higher up the pay scale the more the parent will spend on their child's athletic pursuit. When this happens the child feels obligated and pressured to perform for the parent to justify the large expense his family has spent on his/her athletic pursuit. Some research shows that in lower income situations, the athletic scholarship pursuit is being used as a means to an end with little kids being pushed, prodded, and professionalized instead of just letting them be kids in the pursuit of the almighty DI athletic scholarship and a professional career.

I want to make three points here that I think are needed. First, most parents want what is best for their child, I understand that. But my second point is that what they think is best for their child is not based on science, psychology, and data in youth and high school sports. For the most part, they feel that if they don’t drink the kool aid their children will fall behind and lose out, even though, most data suggests that it is a race that doesn’t exist. Only 1% of all the kids who go to college play at the DI level and only half of that 1% play for free. Lastly, I understand the 5% rule in Psychology. There are 5% I will never reach. BUT, I feel that most parents who do not speak up during my talks still have many questions I can see it in their eyes and body language when I speak. They stay around and listen as I answer questions after my talks, programs, and workshops. For most airing their concerns in a public forum is not for them. They still need to hear the truth, and with it, how absurd some of the arguments are being made for parents to continue this course of action for their children. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

I d'ont think you think what you think

Everyone runs faster when they are being chased. Kids are already competitive. We have to teach them to share and help others. That’s long term development. So don’t let kids sit on the bench. Play them all. It leads to better competition and development. Kids need to have fun when they play.How many times did your kids change their mind when they were little as to what they wanted to do during a day?No to specialization for kids Don’t mange games, build relationships. You say you play to win, I play to compete. In the long run I have a better chance of winning than you do. The higher up you go everyone is good. What happens when you get to the next level and you are not the best player anymore? Where you taught to help make your teammates better? Or just to wait your turn? That’s entitlement. True competition is play by performance. All those games you played the whole game aren’t helping. They taught you bad habits. Hey, want to have some fun today? Work getting you down? You bored just sitting around? So do the kids when they don’t get to play. Playing your best players against a poor team reduces competition. Play against the game in that situation. Inter team competition rules the day. More is not always better.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Kentucky basketball players says something dumb

A Kentucky basketball player says something dumb.
From the time they are kids, little 8 year old kids, they play "elite" travel. At 10 they are told they are athletes and special.They now have an extrinsic value put on them for what should be an internal realization and fun. Adulting kids. At 13 they are interviewed and travel all over the place. Lots of money is spent and made on these kids.Entitlement on and off the playing field with very few consequences are the norm not the exception. In my talks all over the country I repeatedly tell people Im surprised that you are surprised that this kind of behavior is happening. How did you think this was going to turn out. Unless we introduce manners, community, and equal play 10 and under the problem, with this kind of outburst, will only continue and get worse. And Im at fault too for commenting on it in this post.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Zen thoughts on a championship game

Zen thoughts on a championship game
One game at the end of a season does not define you. It only puts an exclamation point on the end of the journey! We sometimes put so much emphasis on the score that we lose sight/joy of the journey, the memories made, the trust shared, and the lasting bond that is built. I can yell at someone young that I'm coaching and get them to do what I want. But praise them; I get them to do what they want to do better! As you look back, you will see great memories take time to develop. These things that take time are the most valuable. They are nurtured through time with growth, fun, and failure. This blend builds a solid foundation from which life skills are developed and nurtured. You got your shot and performed. It’s what we say to all. Most kids just need a chance, some time. And confidence. Head up, no back talk no showboat, hard worker, and a classy guy. You make a great team mate and citizen. So impressed by the way you handle yourself. The play you made under pressure today at that time in the game was great. I love pressure and competition and you excelled in both. Don't short change yourself you are going places too. It takes time. When you tie for team lead in scoring in a State Championship semi final with a duy who will play DI, you belong. You no longer have to say I think I might or someone else should when you arrive on the court. You can now look in the mirror and say I know I did. Believe it. So pleased for you and the team. I know today was rough. You handled yourself very classy after the injury, very mature. Impressive. The journey will reveal itself its not who starts first. Because they chose to sacrifice, and give more than they receive, they are rewarded a feeling that no score can erase.

To Jay, Jake, Pete and the boys

Monday, March 16, 2015

Full Length

Full length anything for kids under 10
Let’s use 10 year olds. People keep telling me that we need to have the kids play on full courts, full size nets, and baskets. As usual, they say it’s the way it is, that’s the way they are going to have learn to play in high school and college. But do we  bring in a PHD from Harvard to teach Quantum Physics to 10 year olds? Remember, a 10 year old is not half a 20 year old in terms of development.
 I say let’s try something different and here’s why.
Let’s say you have a 10 year old running up and down a court, field, or skating the full length of a rink. After talking with gym teachers I found out that even in shape, this age kid, and let’s be clear, most of them will get tired pretty quickly.
Since touches are the fun part of playing a sport, not only are they getting tired, but they are also less likely to touch the ball. They are less likely to complete passes, the very heart of team sport production. If you want competition and positive stress, which I am all for, keep track of TEAM pass completion %.
Furthermore when you are tired you keep making mistakes. And when pressure is ramped up to win, the mistakes keep happening because of the outside negative stress being yelled at them by adults. They do not get the memory reinforcement needed to build confidence. This confidence helps them relax, and relaxed players play better.
Then, just like a child with allergies, we put them back in the same environment that caused them to make problems in the first place. Now we sit back, shake our heads, and cant for the life of us figure out why they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. They become sensitized to the stimulus and regress.

Now as a treat, or a reward, you want to have a little fun, with little or no structure,  no keeping score, you can let them play full court, ice, and field, but only like any other drill. Keep it short, include all, and make it FUN.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


You want to teach kids and watch them grow independent? Free play and fun. Plus, it tires the heck out of them and leaves them feeling great.Our leadership tip: Taking care of those less fortunate is a great way to self realization.Self realization is better than extrinsic force any day for long term growth.You cant know where you are going if you don't know where you have been.Leadership involves taking joy and a backseat to others success. They must trust that you will lead until they no longer have to follow. Your positive reinforcement versus negative admonishment takes more thought and effort and produces much better results.