Category

Communication

Category

Youth sports can become an all encompassing component of childhood, and for that matter, parenthood.  As we shuttle kids to practices, games and tournaments, we can easily forget about the big picture. We can lose sight of the main reasons we put kids in sports in the first place.  If we want our children to be high performers – and most importantly, happy young athletes – then we cannot lose perspective. We need to take the time to reinforce 5 core messages for our children.  Whether they are 6 or 16, if you remind your athlete about these 5 things, it will help them keep everything in perspective. “Have Fun!” Our kids play because it is fun.  Our kids train because it is fun.  When it stops being fun, then our kids lose interest and quit.  You can still push your kids, and they can still be great performers while…

As I read through my social media feeds waiting for my morning coffee to be ready, I begin to wonder, have we lost the human element? In a generation that thrives on instant gratification, bling, and popularity for popularity’s sake, we can not forget the human element. I recently saw a post on LinkedIn requesting a striker for the lower leagues in Germany, “Must be over 180cm, excellent goal scoring record and recently played in Europe.” I think if you are a coach or director at a football club you tend to see these posts a lot and I am still waiting for the request asking for a striker with a bad goal scoring record or the inept defender. So what is the human element in football? Sir. Alex Ferguson once stated “You must smell a player to buy a player.” We won’t talk about Bebe then, but I digress.…

We’re often so busy trying to win and help our players that we forget that we shouldn’t control them. We work for them, it’s not their job to work for us. We think we have to give non-stop advice to our players and help them with every situation they encounter. This is mostly done with all the best intentions but is not now development works in my opinion. For example, how often do you ask the question: ‘’What do you think we should do?’’. Or do you have a conversation without judgements, assumptions or advises? How often do you really listen to an athlete instead of speaking to him? Step in to a dialogue instead of being the advisor. Advising someone has to do with what you believe is the right thing to do regarding a situation. However, the trick is to let the other person speak and listen to…

Lately, I discovered once more how important communication actually is. As a coach it is important to transfer information in order to help players. However, I primarily transfer information with language and it is possible to transfer information in many ways. I’m currently living in Barcelona. During one of my walks around the city I managed to get myself in a game of ‘futbol’ with some local players. The language of ‘futbol’ is a language many people speak. After the game, the players and I had a conversation with very little understanding because I lacked the Spanish vocabulary. However, it was nice to share words with them. A couple of players I met on the street took me to a local football club. There I was asked if I wanted to help. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me to improve my Spanish and I learn more…

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