Learning to relax to improve sports performance

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, May/June 2016

Coaches constantly encourage athletes to relax (often by yelling, which seems contradictory), but rarely does a coach explain or demonstrate relaxation or a process to relax. Encouraging players to relax becomes a throw away; something that everyone says, and everyone assumes the other person understands, but which has virtually no practical meaning.  […]

Searching for elite athletic talent

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, January/February 2016.

During a recent u14 girls soccer game, I watched the younger brothers play 3v3 tackle football between the fields. The parents were invested in the soccer game, and they never bothered the boys who ranged from 8 to 12 years old. The pickup football game was more interesting. There were no parents shouting directions or intervening when there was an argument or an injury. The boys figured it out on their own.  […]

When part practice goes wrong

Over the last few weekends, I refereed the end of the season tournaments for youth soccer; most teams were club teams, whatever that means, and some have professional (i.e. paid) coaches. These teams dutifully performed the FIBA11+ warmup or something similar prior to their first game of the day (rarely do they perform the same warmup prior to their second game, as they typically warmed up with passing or dribbling drills between fields). […]

Every day P.E. activities for 4th-6th graders

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletters, Volume 6.

A physical education teacher asked for help in designing his curriculum. He asked for the three to five exercises that I would do in every class with 4th-6th graders. Without knowing about available equipment, class size, teacher experience, and other important programing variables, I would play tag, crawl, sprint, and do some form of dexterity/coordination exercise such as juggling in every class. […]