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The Soccer Sidelines

David Dejewski

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Followers
43
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The Soccer Sidelines

The Soccer Sidelines

David Dejewski

4
Followers
43
Plays
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About Us

Bringing Parents, Players, and Coaches Together Around the Stuff That Matters in Youth Sports

Latest Episodes

At United Soccer Coaches

3 MIN2 d ago
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At United Soccer Coaches

Fixed vs Growth Mindset

I'm trying to find way to deliver perhaps one of the most important life lessons that youth sports can teach. I want to help people transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.In this episode, I'll explain the differences between the two, how they each manifest on the pitch and in real life, and share some ideas I have so far. I want your input here, so if something I say strikes a chord with you, please use one of the many avenues I've given you to connect with me at https://thesoccersidelines.com/connect/.Let's talk about fixed vs growth mindset and how each of these can have profound consequences on our own and our children's ability to succeed in youth sports and in life.Why Two Mindsets?Very simply, I'm referring to a body of work done by a Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, Ph.D in a book titled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. If you have not read her book and you find what we're talking about today interesting, I welcome you to use the link I put in my show notes to pick up a copy and read it. That link is my Amazon Affiliate link, so you'll contribute like five cents to the show, but every penny counts.Dr. Dweck's work really resonated with me because after being exposed to the concept, I was immediately able to see the two mindsets in my own two kids at home, and in the kids I was coaching on the field. I tagged myself as a growth mindset kinda guy, and found her work provided me a very useful mental framework that I could use to categorize just about everyone in a few short minutes of getting to know them.Understanding fixed vs growth mindset is really about understanding how people view themselves. Do they see the world as a fixed immovable object that they need to navigate, or do they view themselves as in control over creating the world they live in? Once you know how people view themselves and the world around them, you have a vital piece of information in hand regarding how they are going to respond to challenges.As a parent or as a coach (or as a manager), it's important to know where people are so we can get a better sense of what we need to work on in order to help them realize their full potential. From there, we can tailor our own behavior, tone, what we talk about, how we talk about it, etc in such a way that appeals to the people we're trying to connect with. It also helps with patience if we understand where certain behaviors are coming from. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageWhat is a Fixed Mindset?The first mindset she calls a "fixed" mindset. She will go into much more detail in her book, but at a high level, those with a fixed mindset are likely to believe that they are who they are. They came into this world with a set of skills, personality, character, and intelligence, and they need to discover it. The key here is a focus on discovering what is already there.If people with a fixed mindset discover that they are good at something, they run with it. It's great! If, on the other hand, they discover that they are not good at something, they "know" to avoid it. They wonder with every new experience: "Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?..."If you've coached kids with this mindset, you'll know that it takes a lot of effort to convince them to get on the ball at home if they need improvement. They assume they're not good, so there isn't a lot of point in working at it. Many with a fixed mindset would rather move on and try something new - to see if they'...

38 MIN1 w ago
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Fixed vs Growth Mindset

Crisis of Trust

It's impossible to produce this show and not hear over and over again how parents are bringing terrible sideline behavior to games. While I can't deny that this terrible behavior exists, or that it has a negative effect on so much of what youth sports is supposed to do for us, I can offer a potential alternative explanation for why we're seeing so much of it. All the usual reasons: paying unreasonable amounts of money; chasing labels like "elite," "select," and "travel;" the professionalization of youth sports (treating kids like professional athletes), and living vicariously all still apply. But lately, I've been thinking that something even bigger is going on here. In fact, given context, this kind of behavior may actually be understandable. I won't say I think it's right, but it is perhaps more understandable when we consider what else is going on. Let's talk about it. The Bad Behavior It's always important to set the table before we dig in to a topic like this. If you're joining us for the first time, you might not be indoctrinated yet to the problems we're trying to solve or to the way we use words to describe them. One need only type "Bad Sideline Behavior" into a browser search tool and more than a million results will pop up. I wrote and recorded a lot more detail on this subject in episode #36 titled Bad Sideline Behavior (https://thesoccersidelines.com/36-bad-sideline-behavior/). I wrote and recorded that episode in early July 2018, so if you want to take a deeper dive into what I see with respect to bad sideline behavior, I'll simply link you to that episode and you can read or listen to my thoughts on the subject. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon page Preamble to Political Potpuri What I'm about to say is going to make some people mad. Not because I'm promoting one thing or another, but because I'm walking up to a third rail issue. Actually, I'm walking up to and calling out a whole bunch of third rail issues, but understand... I'm doing this to point them out - not to convince you or anyone else of anything. I'm going to ask you to trust my motives for two reasons: * I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, nor anything else, for that matter. I don't care what your (or anyone else's) politics are. I'm a registered independent - always have been and probably always will be. I value ideas from both sides of the isle and a few that come in trough the windows. I do vote, but I do so based on the issues that are important to me, the merit of the arguments posed from whatever candidates are on the ballot, and I feel no loyalty or aversion to any of the parties. I have friends in every political camp and I frankly don't care what anyone else thinks my opinion should be about most of the stuff that finds it's way into the public debate. I consider most of it none of my business. I welcome informed discussion, and reject all unsupported arguments that "should" on me - as in: I should think this way or I should vote that way. I understand that I am considered unusual by many & I don't care. People have made assumptions - usually incorrect - about my belief system for most of my life. It is simply a phenomenon I have no control over. * My personality type has been established and confirmed often through testing over the years. I'm a confident, intuitive, thinking type who takes queues from an internal compass. All arguments and discussions are welcome,

38 MIN2 w ago
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Crisis of Trust

Happy Holidays!

I don't think I could have anticipated in 2017, that three years later, you and I would be celebrating our third holiday season together. Whatever your favorite way to celebrate the holidays are, I'm hoping that for you it's full of family, good health, giving, and gratitude.There are a lot of ways to celebrate the holiday season, but I think they all serve to recharge our batteries for the Winter season ahead. Let's come together with our loved ones, bask in the warmth of a fire, warm food, good company, and memories I hope are positive for you. If you have memories that are not so good, let's do something to make one good memory this year we can build on next year.Parents doing piggyback to their children in countrysideFor me, I'm grateful for all the stories, tweets, emails, phone calls, and sponsorships that bring us together around the stuff that really matters for our kids and our families. As a listener of this show , you reaffirm your commitment and inspire me every week to spend the 5-8 hours it takes to produce a show and deliver it to your mobile phone, home listening device, or computer.I'm in this more than 110 episodes now. I'm finally starting to get comfortable. I'm making more and more contacts with you, and I'm starting to see some momentum build up around the things that we talk about every week.I'm not alone. There are great people trying to make a difference all around. Just check out my followers on Twitter. I've seen some really great stuff there, and I never thought I would be on Twitter or or like the kind of interactions I see among my Twitter followers.We're going to take a break for now and spend time with family. I'm hoping that you're doing the same. Please enjoy the holidays! This is the stuff that really matters! Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageTalk with you again when we return!

2 MIN2019 DEC 23
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Happy Holidays!

Culture of Swimming vs Soccer

Search Support the Show: https://thesoccersidelines.com/go/Connect with me: https://thesoccersidelines.com/connect/I grew up participating in many different youth sports. Each has it own culture. Now, as a parent of two kids who also do multiple sports, a soccer coach, and a Club President, I get to revisit the cultures of various youth sports and see things with slightly different (more seasoned) eyes - as well as a different seat. What I've noticed is worthy of an episode. Assuming culture really matters and assuming we are capable of being great in each of them, then what I've seen these last few years is worth talking about. If we can behave one way in one sport and a different way in a different sport, then maybe we can bring the best of ourselves to each and make the whole experience better.Support for Struggling CompetitorsManaging kids who are struggling is the feature I want to talk about in this episode. All kids struggle. All parents, players, and coaches have a choice how to support struggling players. I see kids supported one way in swimming and a whole different way in soccer. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageIndividual SportsIn the sound clips I play in this episode, you will hear first hand what a crowd of parents, players, and athletes sound like when a competitor is struggling. The noise, the clapping, the yelling... all for the player who is in last place is full of positive energy. As an individual sport athlete, I can attest to the fact that struggle is real. The fact that everyone in the environment is so willing to support the struggling athlete means that athletes are free to play in whatever manner fits them best. They know, they are still loved and supported. They also know what they need to do if they want to beat their own times or to place in a meet to put points on the board for their team.Team SportsIn the team sport context, the environment is more like a battle. Team A vs Team B. Parents, players, and athletes yell support for their own team, but not their opponent. Noticing kids who are struggling is harder in a group setting. Parents and many coaches are much more likely to notice the score board than they are individual development objectives.Without clarity around who is struggling and how we can best support individual players, how do we do that? Our community has come up with some good ideas.Contact Me!First NameEmail AddressMessageSend messageBe Specific About Individual Development ObjectivesAndy FoxAll of the Stoke City Potters youth Academy says in a development environment "every kid has their own key outcomes (KO), if they reach their KO’s then (they earn a) reward. One kid I know, his KO was to encourage team mates more, it had a big impact on the whole team outcome."Andy shares some wisdom here. Getting specific about development objectives and key outcomes with each player, allows both the coach and the player to understand what they are striving for on an individual basis.I asked Andy how we then bring parents into the discussion as well. Ideally, we want parents to know what their kid is working on - AND the fact that other kids are all working on similar key outcomes.Andy FoxAll, Stoke City AcademyHis answer was again pretty simple: regular reviews with the players + the parents of key objectives. This simple act of creating key objectives and reviewing them with parents and players gives eve...

24 MIN2019 DEC 16
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Culture of Swimming vs Soccer

Crafting Your Soccer Experience

Imagine youth sports as a buffet as opposed to a take-it-leave-it proposition. Here's the situation today: our pricing is our pricing. The experience is the one we decide we will deliver. I believe we can make a dent in the pay-to-play environment if we do a little bit extra and tailor the youth soccer experiences we offer to the kids who want them. Search Imagine gathering a groups of your friends together and deciding you just want to knock the ball around in low-pressure games close to home, but hit the road a couple of times per year for tournaments just to make life exciting. Can you find that in the market today? Can you select the experience you want? Most likely, you can't. Most people are overpaying in my experience - with much of the cost going to things we have no visibility over. Changing this paradigm requires some creative thinking, but we love creative thinking, don't we? Let's do some now.There are roughly eight (8) options that need to be configured in order to cons...

29 MIN2019 DEC 9
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Crafting Your Soccer Experience

Alphabet Soup in US Soccer

How do you get from wherever you are in the youth soccer ecosystem to the Olympics, a National team, or a professional team? How do you make the most of your experience and come away happy that you participated? As simple as this question should be to answer, it is anything but simple. The array of options and thousands of spin offs that exist today are confusing even to those in the business of youth soccer full time.In this episode, I am going to confuse you temporarily while I lay out the scope of the Alphabet Soup problem, then Im going to try to simplify some things so you can sleep tonight. I apologize in advance for the spaghetti network of nonsense I'm going to throw at you, but if you can tough it out, my hope is that you'll have a better picture of the US soccer landscape and maybe make some more informed decisions about the future for your kids as they(and you) explore this awesome sport.Let's Back Up and Take it From the TopAt the top of the soccer pyramid is the Fédér...

54 MIN2019 DEC 3
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Alphabet Soup in US Soccer

Burn Out in Youth Sports

Flame out or burn on for a lifetime of passion for movement, teamwork, and healthy living? This seems to be an essential question facing young families today - even though most hardly think about it.Personally, I think sports (and support of sport) has a place in our lives from early age on through geriatrics. Let's be real... It's more fun at any age to do something physical in the context of games or group fun than it is to grind away at the treadmill day after day. Given what we know today about the statistics of youth sports, it seems we can do better at keeping kids interest in sport. Let's talk about some numbers, some conclusions, and some recommendations that you can put into play today.Photo by: Jarek Tuszyński / CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]The Youth PictureThere are a lot of sports to choose from. Cheerleading is up 18.2% from 2008 with 775,000 kids playing. Track and Field is down 10% from 2008 with 307,000 kids participating. Soccer is down 3.3% from 2008 with 2,200,000 kids playing. While many sports are down from 2008 participation levels, many others are up - with a huge exception: kids are leaving at earlier ages.The average age of last regular participation for the game of soccer is 9.1 years old. 9.1 years old!! Kids turning 9 are just starting to get introduced to the real game. Why are these kids leaving before they ever really get started?!Across all sports, kids are leaving by average age of 11. Just a few years ago, it was reported that 70% of kids in the US were leaving youth sports by age 14. Now it's 11?! What the heck is going on? Are these kids not having fun anymore? According to the latest Aspen Institute's Utah parent survey - reportedly not. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageWhat is Going On?!The top reasons cited in the reading I've done include the following:* Specialization too early. Kids just want to play and have fun. Even if they're good at a sport, most kids want a chance to play other games. Multi-sport kids last longer in youth sports than single sport kids. Something to think about as we pull another few thousand bucks out of our pockets for super clubs and sexy uniforms.* Too expensive. Cost is a factor. When mom and dad are always talking about how much youth sports costs (cause it costs a lot!), it puts pressure on kids. Youth sports becomes a job with expectations. They get plenty of that from schools. They don't want more from their play activities.* Pressure from the sidelines. Speaking of pressure, let's face it... our sidelines are becoming a nightmare. Parents and coaches yelling like they're going to have a stroke if their kid doesn't win, or pass, or stop the ball, or make perfect set plays, or get's knocked down in the run of play. We all want our kids to be successful, but making mistakes and learning is a huge part of the youth game. Unforgiving sidelines make that impossible. Kid's don't want that.* Professionalization of youth sports. When youth sports become more about winning games and entertaining the sidelines, well... you've heard me talk about this a lot in the past. The game ceases to be about the kids. This is their time. Sidelines need to leave them alone to enjoy their time.And It's Not Just the KidsI'm a coach, an administrator, a 501(c)3 board chairman, a parent, a business owner, and a podcaster. I can speak from experience. Sometimes, I've had enough and need a break. Everything except for my business revolves around youth sports - from January to December. I'm sure you can relate! When we're running every weekend to get kids to games and swim meets. When we're working in the off season to secure perm...

24 MIN2019 NOV 25
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Burn Out in Youth Sports

Rewarding Development and Suing Coaches

In this episode, we continue the dialog about bad apple officials, introduce some practical ways we can be intentional about coaching character, and share a warning story about a lawsuit against a JV baseball coach that dragged on for 7 years and cost $75,000 for telling a player to slide into third base.More Bad ApplesA continuation fro last week's discussion, a listener writes in about his experience as a coach with a bad referee, an assistant coach's bad behavior, and parents that ultimately threatened the refs in the parking lot. This story serves to highlight the need for higher quality communication between parents, coaches, and players. When communication breaks down, assumptions get made, and feelings get hurt.Let's keep the dialog going! Share these shows with your community and help the rest of us keep the dialog going. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageRewarding DevelopmentHere are a couple of ideas you can use to help make coaching character intentional:* 3x5 cards with development goals written on them. In this case, we pass out cards to parents on the sidelines and ask them to help us track stuff that actually matters (beyond the scoreboard). Listen to the show to see where I got the idea from and how we might use it. Ages 3-18* Have-a-Ball. In this idea, we purchase game balls for every game in the season. We segment the season into weekly themes. Each week, we publish the theme of the week to coaches and parents. At the end of each game, we bring coaches and players together and give the game ball to the player(s) who best represent the character subject for the week: respect week, sportsmanship week, teamwork week, empathy week, etc. Ages 9 and above.Suing Coaches for CoachingThe article in the resources section below is a must read. Imagine coaching as every other coach does. A player gets hurt during a game, and you spend the next 5 years + $75,000 in legal fees to ultimately secure an innocent verdict. Your crime? As a 3rd-base coach, you told a player to slide into 3rd base. The player took a bad slide and broke their ankle. That break turned bad so parents sued.What might this mean for youth sports in general? What might it have meant if the coach was found guilty? How manny more lawsuits would end up in court - tying up coaches and clubs for years - simply for making a call as a coach that parents didn't agree with?What can we do to improve communication and discourse around youth sports?Resources* Politi, Steve. “He Told a Kid to Slide. Then He Got Sued.”He Told a Kid to Slide. Then He Got Sued., 12 Nov. 2019, https://www.nj.com/slide-trial/.

27 MIN2019 NOV 18
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Rewarding Development and Suing Coaches

Good Eggs and Bad Apples

We have good eggs in every community and bad apples that ruin it for everyone. In this episode, we talk about listener-provided examples - one of each.We have stories like this going on all over the world. I would love it if you sent me one or two that I can use on the show. This stories inspire people or serve as warnings, and they keep the focus on the stuff that really matters in youth sports!A positive example of a coach strengthening 5-year-old players with encouragementBad ApplesOur first story came from a tweet earlier this week. A listener of this show wrote me:"I’d love your thoughts on this. Today, I experienced a broken child because a referee was saying negative things about him during the game; one statement in particular that he was trash. What would be your response? How should this be handled?Dr. Timeka Cline​​-Principal of an Elementary School in GeorgiaHow ridiculous is it for a referee to call a player "trash" in a game. I know many referees who would find this...

17 MIN2019 NOV 11
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Good Eggs and Bad Apples

Latest Episodes

At United Soccer Coaches

3 MIN2 d ago
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At United Soccer Coaches

Fixed vs Growth Mindset

I'm trying to find way to deliver perhaps one of the most important life lessons that youth sports can teach. I want to help people transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.In this episode, I'll explain the differences between the two, how they each manifest on the pitch and in real life, and share some ideas I have so far. I want your input here, so if something I say strikes a chord with you, please use one of the many avenues I've given you to connect with me at https://thesoccersidelines.com/connect/.Let's talk about fixed vs growth mindset and how each of these can have profound consequences on our own and our children's ability to succeed in youth sports and in life.Why Two Mindsets?Very simply, I'm referring to a body of work done by a Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, Ph.D in a book titled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. If you have not read her book and you find what we're talking about today interesting, I welcome you to use the link I put in my show notes to pick up a copy and read it. That link is my Amazon Affiliate link, so you'll contribute like five cents to the show, but every penny counts.Dr. Dweck's work really resonated with me because after being exposed to the concept, I was immediately able to see the two mindsets in my own two kids at home, and in the kids I was coaching on the field. I tagged myself as a growth mindset kinda guy, and found her work provided me a very useful mental framework that I could use to categorize just about everyone in a few short minutes of getting to know them.Understanding fixed vs growth mindset is really about understanding how people view themselves. Do they see the world as a fixed immovable object that they need to navigate, or do they view themselves as in control over creating the world they live in? Once you know how people view themselves and the world around them, you have a vital piece of information in hand regarding how they are going to respond to challenges.As a parent or as a coach (or as a manager), it's important to know where people are so we can get a better sense of what we need to work on in order to help them realize their full potential. From there, we can tailor our own behavior, tone, what we talk about, how we talk about it, etc in such a way that appeals to the people we're trying to connect with. It also helps with patience if we understand where certain behaviors are coming from. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageWhat is a Fixed Mindset?The first mindset she calls a "fixed" mindset. She will go into much more detail in her book, but at a high level, those with a fixed mindset are likely to believe that they are who they are. They came into this world with a set of skills, personality, character, and intelligence, and they need to discover it. The key here is a focus on discovering what is already there.If people with a fixed mindset discover that they are good at something, they run with it. It's great! If, on the other hand, they discover that they are not good at something, they "know" to avoid it. They wonder with every new experience: "Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?..."If you've coached kids with this mindset, you'll know that it takes a lot of effort to convince them to get on the ball at home if they need improvement. They assume they're not good, so there isn't a lot of point in working at it. Many with a fixed mindset would rather move on and try something new - to see if they'...

38 MIN1 w ago
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Fixed vs Growth Mindset

Crisis of Trust

It's impossible to produce this show and not hear over and over again how parents are bringing terrible sideline behavior to games. While I can't deny that this terrible behavior exists, or that it has a negative effect on so much of what youth sports is supposed to do for us, I can offer a potential alternative explanation for why we're seeing so much of it. All the usual reasons: paying unreasonable amounts of money; chasing labels like "elite," "select," and "travel;" the professionalization of youth sports (treating kids like professional athletes), and living vicariously all still apply. But lately, I've been thinking that something even bigger is going on here. In fact, given context, this kind of behavior may actually be understandable. I won't say I think it's right, but it is perhaps more understandable when we consider what else is going on. Let's talk about it. The Bad Behavior It's always important to set the table before we dig in to a topic like this. If you're joining us for the first time, you might not be indoctrinated yet to the problems we're trying to solve or to the way we use words to describe them. One need only type "Bad Sideline Behavior" into a browser search tool and more than a million results will pop up. I wrote and recorded a lot more detail on this subject in episode #36 titled Bad Sideline Behavior (https://thesoccersidelines.com/36-bad-sideline-behavior/). I wrote and recorded that episode in early July 2018, so if you want to take a deeper dive into what I see with respect to bad sideline behavior, I'll simply link you to that episode and you can read or listen to my thoughts on the subject. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon page Preamble to Political Potpuri What I'm about to say is going to make some people mad. Not because I'm promoting one thing or another, but because I'm walking up to a third rail issue. Actually, I'm walking up to and calling out a whole bunch of third rail issues, but understand... I'm doing this to point them out - not to convince you or anyone else of anything. I'm going to ask you to trust my motives for two reasons: * I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, nor anything else, for that matter. I don't care what your (or anyone else's) politics are. I'm a registered independent - always have been and probably always will be. I value ideas from both sides of the isle and a few that come in trough the windows. I do vote, but I do so based on the issues that are important to me, the merit of the arguments posed from whatever candidates are on the ballot, and I feel no loyalty or aversion to any of the parties. I have friends in every political camp and I frankly don't care what anyone else thinks my opinion should be about most of the stuff that finds it's way into the public debate. I consider most of it none of my business. I welcome informed discussion, and reject all unsupported arguments that "should" on me - as in: I should think this way or I should vote that way. I understand that I am considered unusual by many & I don't care. People have made assumptions - usually incorrect - about my belief system for most of my life. It is simply a phenomenon I have no control over. * My personality type has been established and confirmed often through testing over the years. I'm a confident, intuitive, thinking type who takes queues from an internal compass. All arguments and discussions are welcome,

38 MIN2 w ago
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Crisis of Trust

Happy Holidays!

I don't think I could have anticipated in 2017, that three years later, you and I would be celebrating our third holiday season together. Whatever your favorite way to celebrate the holidays are, I'm hoping that for you it's full of family, good health, giving, and gratitude.There are a lot of ways to celebrate the holiday season, but I think they all serve to recharge our batteries for the Winter season ahead. Let's come together with our loved ones, bask in the warmth of a fire, warm food, good company, and memories I hope are positive for you. If you have memories that are not so good, let's do something to make one good memory this year we can build on next year.Parents doing piggyback to their children in countrysideFor me, I'm grateful for all the stories, tweets, emails, phone calls, and sponsorships that bring us together around the stuff that really matters for our kids and our families. As a listener of this show , you reaffirm your commitment and inspire me every week to spend the 5-8 hours it takes to produce a show and deliver it to your mobile phone, home listening device, or computer.I'm in this more than 110 episodes now. I'm finally starting to get comfortable. I'm making more and more contacts with you, and I'm starting to see some momentum build up around the things that we talk about every week.I'm not alone. There are great people trying to make a difference all around. Just check out my followers on Twitter. I've seen some really great stuff there, and I never thought I would be on Twitter or or like the kind of interactions I see among my Twitter followers.We're going to take a break for now and spend time with family. I'm hoping that you're doing the same. Please enjoy the holidays! This is the stuff that really matters! Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageTalk with you again when we return!

2 MIN2019 DEC 23
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Happy Holidays!

Culture of Swimming vs Soccer

Search Support the Show: https://thesoccersidelines.com/go/Connect with me: https://thesoccersidelines.com/connect/I grew up participating in many different youth sports. Each has it own culture. Now, as a parent of two kids who also do multiple sports, a soccer coach, and a Club President, I get to revisit the cultures of various youth sports and see things with slightly different (more seasoned) eyes - as well as a different seat. What I've noticed is worthy of an episode. Assuming culture really matters and assuming we are capable of being great in each of them, then what I've seen these last few years is worth talking about. If we can behave one way in one sport and a different way in a different sport, then maybe we can bring the best of ourselves to each and make the whole experience better.Support for Struggling CompetitorsManaging kids who are struggling is the feature I want to talk about in this episode. All kids struggle. All parents, players, and coaches have a choice how to support struggling players. I see kids supported one way in swimming and a whole different way in soccer. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageIndividual SportsIn the sound clips I play in this episode, you will hear first hand what a crowd of parents, players, and athletes sound like when a competitor is struggling. The noise, the clapping, the yelling... all for the player who is in last place is full of positive energy. As an individual sport athlete, I can attest to the fact that struggle is real. The fact that everyone in the environment is so willing to support the struggling athlete means that athletes are free to play in whatever manner fits them best. They know, they are still loved and supported. They also know what they need to do if they want to beat their own times or to place in a meet to put points on the board for their team.Team SportsIn the team sport context, the environment is more like a battle. Team A vs Team B. Parents, players, and athletes yell support for their own team, but not their opponent. Noticing kids who are struggling is harder in a group setting. Parents and many coaches are much more likely to notice the score board than they are individual development objectives.Without clarity around who is struggling and how we can best support individual players, how do we do that? Our community has come up with some good ideas.Contact Me!First NameEmail AddressMessageSend messageBe Specific About Individual Development ObjectivesAndy FoxAll of the Stoke City Potters youth Academy says in a development environment "every kid has their own key outcomes (KO), if they reach their KO’s then (they earn a) reward. One kid I know, his KO was to encourage team mates more, it had a big impact on the whole team outcome."Andy shares some wisdom here. Getting specific about development objectives and key outcomes with each player, allows both the coach and the player to understand what they are striving for on an individual basis.I asked Andy how we then bring parents into the discussion as well. Ideally, we want parents to know what their kid is working on - AND the fact that other kids are all working on similar key outcomes.Andy FoxAll, Stoke City AcademyHis answer was again pretty simple: regular reviews with the players + the parents of key objectives. This simple act of creating key objectives and reviewing them with parents and players gives eve...

24 MIN2019 DEC 16
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Culture of Swimming vs Soccer

Crafting Your Soccer Experience

Imagine youth sports as a buffet as opposed to a take-it-leave-it proposition. Here's the situation today: our pricing is our pricing. The experience is the one we decide we will deliver. I believe we can make a dent in the pay-to-play environment if we do a little bit extra and tailor the youth soccer experiences we offer to the kids who want them. Search Imagine gathering a groups of your friends together and deciding you just want to knock the ball around in low-pressure games close to home, but hit the road a couple of times per year for tournaments just to make life exciting. Can you find that in the market today? Can you select the experience you want? Most likely, you can't. Most people are overpaying in my experience - with much of the cost going to things we have no visibility over. Changing this paradigm requires some creative thinking, but we love creative thinking, don't we? Let's do some now.There are roughly eight (8) options that need to be configured in order to cons...

29 MIN2019 DEC 9
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Crafting Your Soccer Experience

Alphabet Soup in US Soccer

How do you get from wherever you are in the youth soccer ecosystem to the Olympics, a National team, or a professional team? How do you make the most of your experience and come away happy that you participated? As simple as this question should be to answer, it is anything but simple. The array of options and thousands of spin offs that exist today are confusing even to those in the business of youth soccer full time.In this episode, I am going to confuse you temporarily while I lay out the scope of the Alphabet Soup problem, then Im going to try to simplify some things so you can sleep tonight. I apologize in advance for the spaghetti network of nonsense I'm going to throw at you, but if you can tough it out, my hope is that you'll have a better picture of the US soccer landscape and maybe make some more informed decisions about the future for your kids as they(and you) explore this awesome sport.Let's Back Up and Take it From the TopAt the top of the soccer pyramid is the Fédér...

54 MIN2019 DEC 3
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Alphabet Soup in US Soccer

Burn Out in Youth Sports

Flame out or burn on for a lifetime of passion for movement, teamwork, and healthy living? This seems to be an essential question facing young families today - even though most hardly think about it.Personally, I think sports (and support of sport) has a place in our lives from early age on through geriatrics. Let's be real... It's more fun at any age to do something physical in the context of games or group fun than it is to grind away at the treadmill day after day. Given what we know today about the statistics of youth sports, it seems we can do better at keeping kids interest in sport. Let's talk about some numbers, some conclusions, and some recommendations that you can put into play today.Photo by: Jarek Tuszyński / CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]The Youth PictureThere are a lot of sports to choose from. Cheerleading is up 18.2% from 2008 with 775,000 kids playing. Track and Field is down 10% from 2008 with 307,000 kids participating. Soccer is down 3.3% from 2008 with 2,200,000 kids playing. While many sports are down from 2008 participation levels, many others are up - with a huge exception: kids are leaving at earlier ages.The average age of last regular participation for the game of soccer is 9.1 years old. 9.1 years old!! Kids turning 9 are just starting to get introduced to the real game. Why are these kids leaving before they ever really get started?!Across all sports, kids are leaving by average age of 11. Just a few years ago, it was reported that 70% of kids in the US were leaving youth sports by age 14. Now it's 11?! What the heck is going on? Are these kids not having fun anymore? According to the latest Aspen Institute's Utah parent survey - reportedly not. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageWhat is Going On?!The top reasons cited in the reading I've done include the following:* Specialization too early. Kids just want to play and have fun. Even if they're good at a sport, most kids want a chance to play other games. Multi-sport kids last longer in youth sports than single sport kids. Something to think about as we pull another few thousand bucks out of our pockets for super clubs and sexy uniforms.* Too expensive. Cost is a factor. When mom and dad are always talking about how much youth sports costs (cause it costs a lot!), it puts pressure on kids. Youth sports becomes a job with expectations. They get plenty of that from schools. They don't want more from their play activities.* Pressure from the sidelines. Speaking of pressure, let's face it... our sidelines are becoming a nightmare. Parents and coaches yelling like they're going to have a stroke if their kid doesn't win, or pass, or stop the ball, or make perfect set plays, or get's knocked down in the run of play. We all want our kids to be successful, but making mistakes and learning is a huge part of the youth game. Unforgiving sidelines make that impossible. Kid's don't want that.* Professionalization of youth sports. When youth sports become more about winning games and entertaining the sidelines, well... you've heard me talk about this a lot in the past. The game ceases to be about the kids. This is their time. Sidelines need to leave them alone to enjoy their time.And It's Not Just the KidsI'm a coach, an administrator, a 501(c)3 board chairman, a parent, a business owner, and a podcaster. I can speak from experience. Sometimes, I've had enough and need a break. Everything except for my business revolves around youth sports - from January to December. I'm sure you can relate! When we're running every weekend to get kids to games and swim meets. When we're working in the off season to secure perm...

24 MIN2019 NOV 25
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Burn Out in Youth Sports

Rewarding Development and Suing Coaches

In this episode, we continue the dialog about bad apple officials, introduce some practical ways we can be intentional about coaching character, and share a warning story about a lawsuit against a JV baseball coach that dragged on for 7 years and cost $75,000 for telling a player to slide into third base.More Bad ApplesA continuation fro last week's discussion, a listener writes in about his experience as a coach with a bad referee, an assistant coach's bad behavior, and parents that ultimately threatened the refs in the parking lot. This story serves to highlight the need for higher quality communication between parents, coaches, and players. When communication breaks down, assumptions get made, and feelings get hurt.Let's keep the dialog going! Share these shows with your community and help the rest of us keep the dialog going. Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageRewarding DevelopmentHere are a couple of ideas you can use to help make coaching character intentional:* 3x5 cards with development goals written on them. In this case, we pass out cards to parents on the sidelines and ask them to help us track stuff that actually matters (beyond the scoreboard). Listen to the show to see where I got the idea from and how we might use it. Ages 3-18* Have-a-Ball. In this idea, we purchase game balls for every game in the season. We segment the season into weekly themes. Each week, we publish the theme of the week to coaches and parents. At the end of each game, we bring coaches and players together and give the game ball to the player(s) who best represent the character subject for the week: respect week, sportsmanship week, teamwork week, empathy week, etc. Ages 9 and above.Suing Coaches for CoachingThe article in the resources section below is a must read. Imagine coaching as every other coach does. A player gets hurt during a game, and you spend the next 5 years + $75,000 in legal fees to ultimately secure an innocent verdict. Your crime? As a 3rd-base coach, you told a player to slide into 3rd base. The player took a bad slide and broke their ankle. That break turned bad so parents sued.What might this mean for youth sports in general? What might it have meant if the coach was found guilty? How manny more lawsuits would end up in court - tying up coaches and clubs for years - simply for making a call as a coach that parents didn't agree with?What can we do to improve communication and discourse around youth sports?Resources* Politi, Steve. “He Told a Kid to Slide. Then He Got Sued.”He Told a Kid to Slide. Then He Got Sued., 12 Nov. 2019, https://www.nj.com/slide-trial/.

27 MIN2019 NOV 18
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Rewarding Development and Suing Coaches

Good Eggs and Bad Apples

We have good eggs in every community and bad apples that ruin it for everyone. In this episode, we talk about listener-provided examples - one of each.We have stories like this going on all over the world. I would love it if you sent me one or two that I can use on the show. This stories inspire people or serve as warnings, and they keep the focus on the stuff that really matters in youth sports!A positive example of a coach strengthening 5-year-old players with encouragementBad ApplesOur first story came from a tweet earlier this week. A listener of this show wrote me:"I’d love your thoughts on this. Today, I experienced a broken child because a referee was saying negative things about him during the game; one statement in particular that he was trash. What would be your response? How should this be handled?Dr. Timeka Cline​​-Principal of an Elementary School in GeorgiaHow ridiculous is it for a referee to call a player "trash" in a game. I know many referees who would find this...

17 MIN2019 NOV 11
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Good Eggs and Bad Apples
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himalayaプレミアムへようこそ聴き放題のオーディオブックをお楽しみください。