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Yannick van der Putten

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Okay, we get it, there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’, however, there is no ‘I’ in ‘me’ either, is there? Still there are arguably ‘me teams’ in sport and business. Do we actually need to put effort in team coaching and place individual egos aside? More so, how does a team transform into a ‘we team’? From recent sports and business readings, interviews and papers, a simple foundation was constructed, named; WE TEAM. Work first. There is no need for a team bonding session if your team hasn’t gone through some ups and downs first. Set rules and expectations to use as a starting point and actually experience working together first. Educate. As a coach or leader, you are not only a mentor but also a teacher. Meaning, you create challenges but also values. Educate skills by game like drills, use deliberate play and practice. Be an example, lead and lift the standards. ~~~ Tasks. Not…

Dear Out of Control Sports Parent, You. Yeah, you. The one shouting “Get the rebound!!!” to your kid. The one with the heart palpitating so loudly that you cannot contain yourself. The one yelling and complaining about the coach. The one hollering at the 13-year-old referee.  The one angry at my kid for making a mistake. The one hollering at the kids who made a mistake running the scoreboard in a recreational tournament in a meaningless pool play game. Yeah, you, the one whose spouse won’t sit next to you during the game. The one who is micromanaging every aspect of the game and turning what would be a pleasant normal Saturday into a heightened state of anxiety for all of us, including your fellow parents stuck next to you for today’s game, this season, and our kids’ childhoods. PLEASE STOP! PLEASE CALM DOWN! Do you notice the Normal Sports…

The title says it all.  Although this article has been taken from an American source and in the UK we do not have college scholarship programmes, it would be naive of us in the UK to think that we are not suffering similar issues.  In many ways the message to parents is very much the same. The original article was written by Danielle Braff, Chicago Tribune Nov. 17, 2014. Youth sports long have been seen as a ticket to a college scholarship, and as college costs go ever higher, parents may be putting more pressure on their children to snag some of that cash. “It’s become a win-at-all-costs culture,” said Jason Sacks, executive director of the Positive Coaching Alliance, a Chicago-based national nonprofit organization founded at Stanford University to encourage positive coaching experiences for coaches, teachers and parents. But as the stakes grow, the children are the ones losing, according to…

Due to poor behaviour on the touchline the game of rugby union which prided itself on the behaviour of its players, parents, coaches and referees has recently introduced sanctions in competitions that could lead to schools being docked points or being thrown out of  competitions. Have things finally gone too far? There is no doubt that there has been an increase in aggression on the side-lines of children’s sport over the last decade.  What has caused this? With the ever increasing professionalism and commercialisation of sport at younger and younger ages there is an over-emphasis on winning, this at an age when children should be having fun and learning the fundamental movement and sports skills that will ensure sporting success at later stages. This emphasis on results and winning increases the expectations and thus pressure placed on young sports people to perform. In a survey conducted in the UK in…

The other day my U10 boys won a game by 16-2. However, I would like to focus on something after the game that broke my heart. For some reason the coach of the opposite team thought it was necessary to rage at the kids for at least ten minutes. He made them do burpees, jumping jacks, push ups and kept yelling at them: ”That’s what you get if you’re a loser!” ”You should’ve fought harder!”. Actions which are in my view, contentless b%^#&@. After his ‘boot camp’ he started explaining the kids why they lost. To be completely honest with you, I’ve never heard so much nonsense in my life. ”Y’all should’ve fought harder!”. Afterwards, he started to explain and point out his tactics. Even if you’re a donkey, you would understand that if a team full of 9-year olds lost with 16-2 to a team within the same age…

Bright reflections playfully explore contemporary topics and aim to make you think. They are always teasing, sometimes provoking, but never judging.  With a flirt to sport and business… John Wooden once said about being a coach; ‘someone who can give correction without causing resentment’. Firmly believing in being a positive focussed coach, there are still different types of individuals that make up the team. Some types need that harsh comment to shake them up and do what they can and need to do. Others rather want you to show them where to look, but not what to look for. Thinking of how coaches in all sorts of levels act towards a certain performance, excluding the focus on the resources and timeframe, I collected information from readings and experiences and summarised this on the base of three ‘coach’ questions. Who is a coach? A coach is the same person in sport, home,…

Highly successful college athletes in the USA were questioned as to what was their worst memory of sport growing up.  The No. 1 response was ‘The Car Journey Home.’ Every week up and down the country the car journey home has now extended to the walk back to the car, the car journey home and the return back to the house. I hear it every Sunday after a match, where most often than not the dad delivers advice on the way back to the car, they can’t even wait until they get into the car. Why did you do that there?  Do you remember when you got the ball off the goalie, why didn’t you pass it down the wing?  Why didn’t you mark properly at the corner? All the child is doing more often than not is looking down or drinking their water pretending to really listen when actually…

Let me be blunt and scream this from the rooftop: the best athletes PLAY sports. They don’t work them, they play them. When sport becomes more work than play, athletes struggle, they grind, and if they cannot get back to playing instead of working, they eventually drop out. From youth to pros, when the fun goes, soon to follow is performance. But what about developing future athletes? What is the role of play in the training and advancement of aspiring young players to the next level? Should they be practicing or playing sports? If they do both, is one more important than the other? For kids under 12, I believe wholeheartedly the answer is yes. And that answer is PLAY! The role of deliberate practice in skill acquisition is a hot topic. Without rehashing everything I have written on the subject in the past, simply defined deliberate practice is the focused improvement…

Today’s business leaders could learn a few plays from the coaches and players who fulfill leadership roles on the basketball court every day. The role of a leader on a sports team is often vital to the overall success of the team. With a strong leader in charge, a team is be able to identify a common goal and work together toward it. Good leaders provide a sense of direction, whether it is leading a project or rallying a team in the final moments of the NCAA Championship game. Strong leaders can be relied on to make the right decisions in the clutch moments of a game or project cycle. A good leader takes responsibility for their actions, motivates the team, promotes a strong work ethic and is flexible when faced with unexpected challenges. In addition, the values of a leader on the court align with that of a good leader…

With many sports facing issues over the behaviour of parents on the sidelines – what can we do to wrestle back control? One of the major positives of academy football in the UK is the relative silence in training and at matches where parental involvement is kept to a minimum.  However, the environment surrounding grass roots sport is very different. The article below was originally written by Todd Beane of the Tovo Football Academy. Be honest. Are you screaming on the sidelines? Be very honest. Do you think it helps? A parent asked me if I was a competitive person. My friend who knows me almost choked on his chorizo sandwich. He knew me well enough to know that I hate losing. Always have. I asked for a bit of clarification from the Mom. She explained, “All of the parents are over in the stands yelling and you are so…

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