Recruiting to Win is Easy, Building to Win Takes Talent

In the last 15 years I have watched the youth athletic field transform from playground to competitive cauldron. As college programs expanded, dangling the promise of scholarship dollars, and sports clubs upped the ante with paid coaches and select teams, … Continue reading

5 Potential Danger Zones in the Young Athlete

Kids need a challenge but they also need special handling. Most people think, why? My kids are flexible, resilient, and young. They bounce back from anything thrown at them. Let’s throw it all at them! They can handle it. Not … Continue reading

How to Say No to the Pressure Toward Early Specialization in Youth Sports

Focusing only on one sport, year-round, can increase kids’ risk of injury and burnout, according to the recent position paper on the dangers of sport specialization put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But the incidence of early specialization in so … Continue reading

Helping Kids Set Healthy Boundaries

No used to mean no. Nowadays it’s more of a suggestion or an invitation to negotiate just how hard you will work to change my mind. But what if the answer needs to be no? What if the right response is … Continue reading

The Pygmalion Effect: Believing in them can help them succeed

It’s not just myth. Expecting them to succeed can increase the chances they will. It’s called the Pygmalion effect and it’s real. Here’s how it played out for me. *** “Wish me luck! I’m headed out to play nine,” I … Continue reading

Facilitating the Mental Game with Athlete Journals

Have you ever noticed that girls like to ponder things? Me too. Have you ever wondered what they’re thinking about? Me too. Do you know the best way to find out? Ask them. But don’t expect it to be that … Continue reading

Raising Capable Kids in a Competitive Setting

So, if everyone in your class gets an A, what will you work on next semester? I asked of the PE teacher I addressed in the previous post Why All A’s is Failing Our Kids? “Integrity. Respect. Confidence. Protecting others,” he replied. How would … Continue reading

Can a US Soccer Girls Development Academy Prevent Overuse Injuries?

Did you know there is yet ANOTHER league to consider if you’re interested in high level girl’s soccer these days? Yep. US Soccer has announced that it will be launching a Girls Development Academy in the Fall of 2017. This … Continue reading

Taking the Fear out of Post-Concussion Syndrome

It seems like nearly every soccer-playing kid has had a concussion these days. And even if we’re lucky enough to have kids still in the clear, we’re set on edge by the looming fear that the succession of “sub-concussive hits” … Continue reading