People involved in youth basketball games are forgetting their role

There are 4 roles in youth basketball: Players, Coaches, Referees, and Parents/Spectators. …and there is a problem. We are forgetting our roles.

  • Parents yell at refs. Parents are coaching from sidelines.
  • Coaches complain and yell at the refs.
  • Players are arguing with the refs.

What’s your role?  Continue reading “People involved in youth basketball games are forgetting their role”

Ready to call a college coach?

If the thought of calling a college coach freaks you out. Here is a full article from the NCSA, but we’ve condensed the key tips below. At some point you will need to call a college coach… you may as well be prepared. Fortunately, they all aren’t as intimidating as the guy pictured here!

Continue reading “Ready to call a college coach?”

Transformational Coaching or just coaching

We’ve known Coach David Dickson for many years and he recently mentioned the book InSideOut Coaching & the idea of transformational coaching. Youth basketball is struggling in many ways & at times we lose sight of “the why” of sports. So we asked Coach Dickson:

When in your career did you discover transformational coaching?
And why do you think it resonated with you?

Continue reading “Transformational Coaching or just coaching”

Create a Tailwind on your Team – Gratefulness

We all tend to think we are experiencing a tougher road in life than others. Whether it is a sibling that seems to have had an easier upbringing, other coaches that always get the calls or another kid that is getting all the game time. We all feel like we are running into a headwind and the deck is stacked against our success sometimes. As coaches and parents it is critical for us not to feed this resentment within our aspiring athletes.

Good coaches find ways to encourage gratitude within the team.

Gratitude is good for us and research has shown that those people that notice the tailwind in their life are more satisfied, sleep better and see the doctor less. Maybe thanking mom after the big game isn’t a cliche but an important step that recognizes the gift that even playing the game is, no matter the role.

So rather than seeing the obstacles and complaining about the referees, the other team, or a lack of playing time encourage your athlete to notice the tailwind in their life. It might just add to their enjoyment of the process and the success of your team.

Nine uncommon recruiting mistakes

High school students communicating with college coaches with hopes of being recruited can easily make simple mistakes … and usually without even noticing. It is a great character development moment for students.

Continue reading “Nine uncommon recruiting mistakes”

Why use TourneyBuddy in 2018

If I tell you what TourneyBuddy can do. And I can tell you how you can use it…. I’ve not explained the WHY.  The WHY of TourneyBuddy parallels the reasons you are a coach or the reasons your children are involved in youth basketball.

Why are you a coach? 

  • You love basketball
  • You want to help kids
  • You want to challenge players to be their best
  • … or you <enter your why here>

So WHY use TourneyBuddy?

  • It will save you time so you can focus on coaching
  • It will improve communication with families and players

What > How > WHY by Simon Sinek

Religion And Its Effects On Sport

“I play for fun” sounds pretty weak in comparison to the phrases, “I am a serious player” or “I play to win”! Whenever a “serious” sports family hears about a team that is JUST playing for fun, they overlook the players/team/league/tournament all together as though it is not up to their standards. Humanity has always been plagued with a comparative mindset, a mindset that allows for the determined, hardworking, superior to climb upon the shoulders of the best of the rest. Isn’t this what makes America great!? Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness! This mantra is powerful and has put us in charge of our own destiny. This place of freedom can be abused, especially when it trickles down to youth sports.

Play for Fun? Or Play to Win?

It isn’t just youth sports, it is part of everyone’s day in the whole world! Let’s talk about religion and irreligion. Think about it, there are three ways of looking at life: RELIGIOUS people who believe in a higher being who they try to appease through obedience, IRRELIGIOUS people who don’t believe in a higher power and believe themselves to be in control of their own destiny and finally people who believe that God stooped down and became flesh in order to serve those who He loved, ultimately to die for them in order to reconcile them back to himself. This is called the Gospel, the good news of Jesus. Youth sports simply reveals what is going on in the depths of our hearts. We want CONTROL and since sport has “time and score” we try to control it.

What do I mean by control? Well, it is that feeling when you win. Everyone knows that sense of accomplishment when you finish the dishes, make 10 jumpers in a row, save enough to take your family on vacation or lose another 5 pounds. These are tiny wins and stacking enough of them together makes us a WINNER! The opposite is also true: dishes piled up, utter failure as an athlete, loads of debt and no family vacation, obesity because of lack of self-control etc. all these tiny losses stacked together would in theory make you a LOSER. We tell ourselves every day that we can control whether we are winners or losers at life based on tons of tiny decisions and we spiritualize it. The religious person might think, if I am a winner, God will love me and if I am a loser, God will be sad at me while the irreligious person may operate here, If I am a “winner” then I will have better control over my life, health and finances then no one can tell me what I can and cannot do.

The Gospel states that Jesus’ perfection is the only perfection that satisfies God’s demand and that those who trust in Him alone will receive that gift of right standing before Him, unmerited favor. This gift is called Grace and it really does create a third camp entirely. When a person understands that they are pleasing (right now) to God because of someone else’s goodness, they can experience FREEDOM. Freedom comes when you don’t have to hide anything knowing that you are accepted by the one who matters most. This is a place where sport can be played, FOR FUN!

I know this is a MASSIVE stretch to go from serious vs fun to religion, irreligion and gospel, but I think it is worth our consideration. If you are someone who believes that you have to “do” in order to “get” and you live life in an “if then” paradigm, you probably live in religion, it may not be formal religion but all religion is the same and there is a good chance that you are a comparative thinker. If you are a comparative thinker, sport may be something you try to control, therefore taking it out of the “FOR FUN” category. If you have experienced God’s grace in your life and don’t have to live with a comparative mindset, sport may just be able to be played “FOR FUN”.

In conclusion, whether you are religious or irreligious, you live your life with a comparative mindset. This comparative thinking becomes a place of bondage because everything is categorized into a good, better, best system or a set of tiny wins and losses. This DOES affect your view of youth sports. Ultimately, God’s view of you matters, but He doesn’t want you living as comparative thinkers where winning or losing in sport or the status of your team (serious vs recreational) matters, instead He actually wants you to live in freedom and to be able to “play for fun”.

I think there is a way for it to be “seriously fun”, but that is for another post.



John Wooden – Be-more-concerned-with-your-character

 “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Explore for more information and inspiration from John Wooden.

13 Steps to Be a Winning Parent

Don’t be that parent that everyone avoids sitting next to at your kids events. Even in the stands the way you compose yourself as a parent can effect an entire teams moral and your kids performance. See these 13 steps for parents and how to you should conduct yourself throughout your child’s sports career. Step “Nine” is a must read!

13-Steps to be a winning parent