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                June 2011

Positive Coaching


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Positive Coaching is a nonprofit, whose mission is to educate and encourage positive attitudes and behavior in all athletic endeavors by coaches, parents, administrators, media, and players.
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In The News

Golf's Big Problem: No Kids

Still intimidating for beginners, the game isn't attracting young people. Tennis, anyone?


The scariest number for the golf business has nothing to do with how many days Tiger Woods will miss from the bulging disk in his neck or exactly how many mistresses he may or may not have taken up with.

It's this: According to the National Golf Foundation's most recent participation report, the number of golfers age 6-17 dropped 24% to 2.9 million from 3.8 million between 2005 and 2008. Here's a reason: Want to make an eight-year-old cry? Tee up a ball for him on a 450-yard hole with a green surrounded by bunkers and tell him to hole out before the group waiting to tee off starts complaining to the course superintendent. All the testosterone-induced courses constructed over the past decade just make it worse. Kids need to start on family-friendly facilities where they can be provided with some good old-fashioned self-esteem.  

Tip of the Month 
When you introduce young athletes to a new game, golf, tennis, lacrosse, etc., it is important to begin with simple, easily understood, and easy to stick with principles of the game.  The better the athlete understands and practices the basics, the more they will want to continue in the sport.  Please do not leave out making it fun for them!

My Children in Sports:

 When, Where, Why & How



      It is important to introduce your children to sports.  It will help them have a lifelong advantage to stay fit and healthy.

We at Positive Coaching believe that organized sports teach life long lessons.  How to work/play fair, how to work/play hard, how to work/play with others, how to communicate and much more.

      Be careful not to force a sport on a child that has no interest in that sport.  Try taking them to sporting events and observe their interest.  Talk to them about the sports you played and your passion for them.  Don't force you sport on them.  I have made that mistake as a parent.

      At what age should you introduce them to a sport?  I have no concrete answer for that.  Try taking them to a local recreation center and see what's available.  Sign them up for a few that peek their interest.  Make sure that it doesn't add stress to the family unit and can be enjoyed by all involved.  Do not get too involved in competitive clubs until you are sure you and your child feel comfortable with the fit.

        I prefer that children play a variety of sports thought out the year.  The Mayo clinic has this same philosophy when it comes to the prevention of sport injury.  Different sports use different muscles and joints in the body, keeping the body well balanced.  This also prevents burn out before they reach High School.  Don't rule out the arts, they definitely enhance a child's development as a member of society.

      Be safe with your child's coaches.  Does the organization provide training for their coaches like Positive Coaching's online certification programs?  

      Observe the coach, does he or she teach proper fundamentals to avoid injuries?  Is the coach interested in the whole team and not just a few members?  Does the coach have a proper attitude when it comes to officials, language, and habits?  Remember they are teaching those life lessons as stated above.  Does the coach have the necessary communication (verbal and non-verbal) skills? Does the organization have a practice of background checks including the history and training of their coaches?  Does the organization have a good sports behavior policy for the parents and fans?

    The bottom line to make sure that your child continues to play sports is that they need to have fun.  After a practice or game the first thing you should ask your child is "did you have fun", then let them tell you why. We are all building the foundation of the future though our children.  Let's keep them in the game!



"Quote of the Month" 
"It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit" 

                     -- Author Unknown

Tom Van Buskirk
Positive Coaching
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Life Dimensions

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In This Issue
In The News
Tip of the Month
My Children in Sports, When, Where, Why and How
A Word from the Coach
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A Word from the Coach 

  After coaching for about ten years, I was still learning how to coach.  I think one of the most significant lessons I learned after those first ten years was understanding my coaching style.

     A famous coach taught me a style that made me a more effective coach.  He said I needed to be observant.  He said, "that we as coaches do too much talking and not enough observing".  He said as a coach you should be observing your athletes, other coaches, parents and fans from day one.  It will speak volumes to you.

    Since then I have added the observant coaching style to my game bag.  Let me give you a real life coaching experience that was out of the gym but helped me to better understand my athletes.  After practice we were walking out of the gym to our cars.  A senior starting point guard was walking out ahead of me with a few other players.  She had a piece of candy that she was unwrapping and threw the wrapper on the ground a few feet from a trash bin that read "Keep our school clean".  Behind her and a few feet in front of me a sophomore was walking and said to the 

senior "hey Ginny, that's not right, littering."  The senior said to the sophomore, "that's what we have sophomores for".  The sophomore picked up the wrapper and threw it into the trash while looking at me and rolling her eyes.

    Guess who I knew was going to be my leader and team captain the following year.   Since then I have always been an observant coach.  I guarantee it will make you a better schooled coach in touch with your sport.



                --Coach V