Recent Posts - page 2

  • When Kids Go Robben

    If we don’t teach our kids to put in the hard work to win, and we allow the easy route of cheating, they will never know the feeling of working hard to achieve something. They will never feel the pride of accomplishing something. The will know what it feels like to win, but they will never know what it feels like to be a winner.

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  • Coaches: Memory Makers and Identity Shapers

    A coach has the ability to make a player feel great about what they have done, whether the team won or lost. Coaches have the ability to give players memories that will stay with them a lifetime, reinforcing hard work and effort, and reducing pain from things a player cannot control. The key is really to decide what the coach wants to focus on, because they have the ability to shape the identity of a kid at crucial stages of development.

  • Punishment In Youth Sport?

    Like any area in life, not all behaviours are beneficial or helpful to society and punishments, whether they need to be acted upon or not, need to exist. A player can’t walk on to the field and pick up the ball with their hands and throw it in the goal. Doing so will result in a disallowed goal, a free kick, and depending on the age group, a yellow or red card. They are punished for this.

  • Training Teens To Be Toddlers

    If we continue to praise mastered tasks we’ll see stagnation. If we encourage the status quo, we are by default discouraging development. We don’t criticise our teens for being potty trained, but we don’t praise their toilet-skills either. Praising our teens for their accomplishments is great, but if we want to see further accomplishment we encourage them to keep building on their previously learned skills.

  • When “Whoo” Doesn’t Help

    I have no problem with “Whoo!”, encouragement is great, but it needs to be for things we want to see in the future – new things, beneficial things, growth. I used to give my kids toys when they pooped on the toilet instead of in their diapers. They are now 14 and 16, they don’t get toys for that anymore. We don’t praise and reward things that were previous development steps in everydaty life, why would we do it in sports?

  • The Fear Virus

    The problem with fear is that it is a virus. On the one hand it is fear that keeps us alive, and although it isn’t pleasant to experience it, there are benefits. Fear is the reason we look both ways before we step into the road to cross the street, or the reason we don’t hold a metal pole to the sky in the thunderstorm. Fear, in the right circumstance, is a good thing that keeps us alive. It is a critical component of our survival instinct. On the other hand, just like cowpox, fear can be devastating if left untreated and allowed to run amok.

  • Natural Talent vs Hard Work And Desire

    The reality is that the nature vs nurture debate is null. It is impossible to take one side over another and answer all of the arguments against, no matter which side you take. Why? Because in every facet of life there are Messi’s and Ronaldo’s. There are people who are just naturally good, and people who are driven to be the best.

  • The Fight or Flight Response, Soccer and Squirrels

    For the last couple of articles we have looked at the common thread between soccer and life, and worked from the Albert Camus quote, which roughly paraphrased was “All I learned from life, I learned from the football team I… Read More ›

  • Social Identity, Team Colours And Woking FC

    I became a Stevenage FC supporter on January 4th 1997 for no other reason than I went to see Stevenage play Birmingham in the FA Cup and met some people who accepted me. At the time life was a little shaky and I was encountering a lot of opposition from people I had trusted and respected who in turn betrayed me. I found acceptance in this rowdy bunch of Boro fans. They had no idea who I was, what my history was, where I was from, or anything else. They accepted me unconditionally. I was hooked, and 20 years and a move half way around the world, I am still Boro for life.

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