Friday, January 30, 2015

5 Ways to Be a Good Teammate


5 Ways to Be a Good Teammate

01/27/2015, 11:00am CST
 
By Touchpoint Media
The essentials of being a good teammate have stood the test of time. What were ideal traits 50 years ago still remain embedded in all-around players’ DNA today. Eric Rud, head coach of the St. Cloud State University women's hockey team, shared his thoughts surrounding some of the core characteristics a good teammate can exhibit in 2015:
1.) Work Ethic: Success always follows those who work hard at their craft. There are never any shortcuts, both on and off the ice.
According to Rud, developing a strong work ethic begins at a young age. As a player progresses in his or her career, those habits will hopefully carry over into off-ice preparation, dry-land training and summer conditioning as well.
“I think talent within players emerges at different points in their life, but the one thing that shows up very early is the ability to be a great teammate, a winner and a good, hard-working player,” said Rud, a former Colorado College standout and product of Simley hockey. “Sometimes, it’s built by family values and factors outside of the hockey world.”
2.) Respect: For your teammates, coaches, opponents, the officials and even the game itself. Despite winning or losing, your character is what will be remembered. Make sure it’s a good one.
“Youth coaches can set the tone and let everyone know that no one person is bigger than the team,” said Rud, adding that exuding a heightened-level of sportsmanship is something that must be stressed at the Mite and Squirt levels.
Instituting the core trait of ‘respect’ in players and highlighting its importance – that character, honor and integrity mean much more than a win or loss – is a key responsibility for coaches.
3.) Enthusiasm: Take pride in what you do and always come with a high level of energy. Not only will it benefit your performance but will encourage others to do the same.
Rud explained that regardless of natural skill level and ability, it’s imperative for each player to consistently bring the same level of passion and energy to the rink on a nightly basis. Teammates and coaches notice very quickly which players have a love for the game and a deep-rooted desire to improve every day. Displaying those characteristics regularly creates an environment that everyone wants to be a part of.  
4.) Discipline: If you play sports, you will face adversity. There is no way around it. At some point, the game will not be going your way or your team’s way. How will you react in those stressful situations? The best teammates learn to control their emotions, figure out the solution and attack the problem as a team.
Some young players might learn this best when they take a bad penalty at a critical juncture in a game and let their teammates down, as Rud suggested. Only then will they understand the true value in keeping a level head on the ice.
“You do learn from going through tough situations,” said Rud of facing adversity head-on. “People aren’t born winners. Sometimes, it takes going through a situation where maybe you do hurt your team, what that feels like and how you respond from that. I think that’s where discipline really comes in, in terms of knowing how to be a great teammate. We see it every season. Either you learn from adversity and grow from it, or it sets you back another hundred years.”
5.) Selflessness: Always be willing to help others, and remember, “We always supersedes me.”
In other words, sometimes the best assists in hockey don't always show up on the stat sheet; they’re made through words, actions and ultimately, being a good teammate on the ice, the bench and in the locker room.
This can be a difficult concept for some youth players to learn because they are often encouraged by coaches to be selfish in certain areas and selfless in others.
“It’s a fine line when kids are really young,” Rud added. “In one regard, when you’re really young, you have to try and dominate a game and beat people 1-on-1. Some people look at that as being a selfish player. Other people look at it as a kid developing his skills.”
As players grow older, a sense of selflessness will become more and more important. Not only do details such as using give-and-go pass plays, keeping shifts short and avoiding retaliation penalties make teams more successful, they are key components of being a great teammate.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Check out Joe Yevoli's "Game Changer Lacrosse" Podcasts!



I have been really excited to listen to Joe Yevoli's podcasts on lacrosse over at the "Game Changer" website (and app).  Joe was an outstanding lacrosse player at UVA and Syracuse and has a deep and rich knowledge of the game, but he also has a wonderful ability to bring out wisdom in some of the greatest minds in lacrosse today.  He interviews a wide variety of coaches and players which includes UVA's Dom Starsia and Marc Van Arsdale, Denver University's Bill Tierney, as well as current and former players who are now still intimately involved with the game such as Max Siebold, Brett Hughes, Liam Banks, Tom Schreiber, Seth Tierney, Scott Urick, and many others.

Beyond the x's and o's, Joe Yevoli's podcasts go deeper into such questions as multi-sport vs. single-sport athletes and issues of how to find a great school that is a "fit" for a young person who is considering playing lacrosse and also issues such as how to make the transition from high school to college and also lacrosse parenting!

As a former player, current coach, current lacrosse parent and current educator, I would recommend his podcasts!

Find Joe Yevoli on Twitter at: @joeyevoli
Find Joe Yevoli's awesome podcasts at GameChangerLacrosse
https://soundcloud.com/gclaxpodcast

Check them out!

~Peter M. Carey
@careylax and @petermcarey

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Race to Nowhere in Youth Sports

An important read!

The Race to Nowhere in Youth Sports

“My 4th grader tried to play basketball and soccer last year,” a mom recently told me as we sat around the dinner table after one of my speaking engagements. “It was a nightmare. My son kept getting yelled at by both coaches as we left one game early to race to a game in the other sport. He hated it.”
“I know,” said another. “My 10 year old daughter’s soccer coach told her she had to pick one sport, and start doing additional private training on the side, or he would give away her spot on the team.”
So goes the all too common narrative for American youth these days, an adult driven, hyper competitive race to the top in both academics and athletics that serves the needs of the adults, but rarely the kids. As movies such as “The Race to Nowhere” and recent articles such as this one from the Washington Post point out, while the race has a few winners, the course is littered with the scarred psyches of its participants. We have a generation of children that have been pushed to achieve parental dreams instead of their own, and prodded to do more, more, more and better, better, better. The pressure and anxiety is stealing one thing our kids will never get back; their childhood.
The movie and article mentioned above, as well as the book The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids, highlight the dangerous path we have led our children down in academics. We are leading them down a similar path in sports as well.
Empty benchThe path is a race to nowhere, and it does not produce better athletes. It produces bitter athletes who get hurt, burnout, and quit sports altogether.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders


7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders
By Cathy Caprino in Forbes.com

Tim Elmore is a best-selling author of more than 25 books, includingGeneration iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their FutureArtificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenges of Becoming Authentic Adults, and theHabitudes® series. He is Founder and President of Growing Leaders, an organization dedicated to mentoring today’s young people to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Tim had this to share about the 7 damaging parenting behaviors that keep children from becoming leaders – of their own lives and of the world’s enterprises:
1. We don’t let our children experience risk
We live in a world that warns us of danger at every turn. The “safety first” preoccupation enforces our fear of losing our kids, so we do everything we can to protect them. It’s our job after all, but we have insulated them from healthy risk-taking behavior and it’s had an adverse effect. Psychologists in Europehave discovered that if a child doesn’t play outside and is never allowed to experience a skinned knee, they frequently have phobias as adults. Kids need to fall a few times to learn it’s normal; teens likely need to break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend to appreciate the emotional maturity that lasting relationships require. If parents remove risk from children’s lives, we will likely experience high arrogance and low self-esteem in our growing leaders.
2. We rescue too quickly
Today’s generation of young people has not developed some of the life skills kids did 30 years ago because adults swoop in and take care of problems for them. When we rescue too quickly and over-indulge our children with “assistance,” we remove the need for them to navigate hardships and solve problems on their own. It’s parenting for the short-term and it sorely misses the point of leadership—to equip our young people to do it without help. Sooner or later, kids get used to someone rescuing them: “If I fail or fall short, an adult will smooth things over and remove any consequences for my misconduct.” When in reality, this isn’t even remotely close to how the world works, and therefore it disables our kids from becoming competent adults.
3. We rave too easily
The self-esteem movement has been around since Baby Boomers were kids, but it took root in our school systems in the 1980s. Attend a little league baseball game and you’ll see that everyone is a winner. This “everyone gets a trophy” mentality might make our kids feel special, but research is now indicating this method has unintended consequences. Kids eventually observe that Mom and Dad are the only ones who think they’re awesome when no one else is saying it. They begin to doubt the objectivity of their parents; it feels good in the moment, but it’s not connected to reality. When we rave too easily and disregard poor behavior, children eventually learn to cheat, exaggerate and lie and to avoid difficult reality. They have not been conditioned to face it.
4. We let guilt get in the way of leading well
Your child does not have to love you every minute. Your kids will get over the disappointment, but they won’t get over the effects of being spoiled. So tell them “no” or “not now,” and let them fight for what they really value and need. . . . 
Read it all HERE at Forbes.com