The Via Negative approach to talent development

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, Fall 2017. My earliest sports memory is playing the Cosmos, another team from my soccer club in a downpour on a field that would make Tough Mudder competitors proud during my first season of youth soccer then I was in kindergarten. I played for a club linked Read more about The Via Negative approach to talent development[…]

Getting to know why children play sports

Originally published by Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, January/February 2013.

The Golden Circle, codified by author Simon Sinek, explains the ability of some to inspire or succeed despite the same access or talent as their less inspirational or successful peers. The Golden Circle is three circles: The largest circle is labeled “What”, the middle circle is labeled “How” and the innermost circle is labeled “Why”. […]

Importance of play: Learning from kindergarten and Bonobo apes

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, October 2012.

In Robert Fulghum’s poem, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten,” he writes, “Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday school.” In our attempts to make sure that no child is left behind or to qualify our child for the right pre-school to ensure eventual college and professional success, have we created a society where these lessons from the sandpile are no longer learned?

Later in the poem, he writes, “Live a balanced life – Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.” Of those qualities of a balanced life, how many are emphasized in our society, whether with children or adults? How many children draw, paint, sing, dance, and play on a daily basis? How much do we emphasize work over the other qualities of the balanced life?  […]

Developing Talent in Young Players

A New York Times article by by Rob Hughes titled “Recipe for Soccer Success: Let Young Talent Blossoms” juxtaposes the efforts of China and the United States to develop its next generation of footballing stars with the development of the world’s best footballer, Lionel Messi. “He wasn’t trained, he was born like this,” Ernesto Vecchio, Read more about Developing Talent in Young Players[…]

Free Play

Play: activity, motion, fun, sport, freedom. Everyone loves to play, to move, to have fun, to be active. Sports are a form of play. Before children join organized sports teams, they play unstructured, informal games. They chase each other around the school yard, play keep away or shoot hoops at a park. Nobody tells the Read more about Free Play[…]