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5 Time Management Tips for Student Athletes

5 Time Management Tips for Student Athletes

We can all use a few time management tips, right?

As a student athlete, time management can be very difficult.

Sports continue to become more and more demanding on your kids time.

It’s critical for your athlete to keep perspective on what’s important and not get burned out.

That is, however, easier said than done.

In today’s video I discuss 4 time management tips that can help your athlete perform better and stay on top of all their activities.

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5 Time Management Tips for Student Athletes

1. Use some form of calendar or organizer.Time Management Tips Google Calendar

If you right something down or place something in a calendar it makes it real.

There’s something about planning and scheduling events that puts a sense of urgency on those items.

Try scheduling your time in blocks every day.

Stick to that schedule and you’ll be amazed at how efficient you can become.

If you are looking for a digital tool, Google calendar is a great and it works on any smartphone or computer.

2. Eliminate distractions.

In today’s world we are bombarded with constant distractions.

Studies have shown that it takes, on average, 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption.

That means that just 2 distractions can cost you nearly an hour of lost time.

You have to turn off your phone when studying.time management tips distractions

This will maximize your study time and ensure your phone doesn’t cause you to lose time.

Social media is an absolute time killer.

Spend less time on social media by scheduling time for it.

Choose 3 or 4 times a day but limit yourself to 15 minutes for each block.

3. Spread out the work.

When you get to the middle school and high school level, most teachers will give you a schedule for assignments over the course of the semester.

If not for every assignment, certainly the bigger projects.

Take advantage of knowing these schedules.

Break the work into smaller blocks until it’s due.

How many times have you had a big assignment that you knew about for weeks but didn’t start until the week before.

Then it becomes a fire drill and you have to throw everything else aside while you finish it.

Schedule regular blocks of time to work on these projects so you don’t go nuts and lose tons of time before it’s due.

4. Learn to say no.

It’s Wednesday night and there’s great new movie in the theater.

Your best friend is asking you to go but you have time scheduled to work on a project due in 3 weeks.

This is a huge project and you have created regular blocks to work on it (Great job!)

You can probably miss this one time, right?time management tips no

Unfortunately, one time turns into two.

Two times turns into three.

And then you’ll just decide to do it all the week it’s due.

You have to learn to say no.

If you don’t say know to those types of things you are going to really struggle with your schedule.

It’s tough to say know but so many times it will make the difference between success and failure.

5. Use your weekend wisely.

The weekends can’t just be your time to unwind and sleep the day away.

Make your weekends count.

Now, I’m not saying you should relax on the weekends.

You should.

But make sure you schedule the time on your weekends too.

Don’t waste all of this time vegging out in front of the TV.

I hope you found value with these time management tips.

If you did please like, comment and share.

Play Big!

biopic

Coach Steve

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Do You Know Your Role?

Do You Know Your Role?

How important is it to know your role on a team?

Everyone on a team has a role. Regardless of the sport.

In football, with 11 players on the field, knowing your role and understanding the roles of others is essential.

My college football coach said it well…

“Know your role. Know where you fit in, know how your contribution contributes to the greater whole. More importantly, know and appreciate the roles of those around you.” – Barry Alvarez

Everyone wants to be a star and that’s okay.

As a coach, you want players that have the mindset to be the best.

However, not everyone will be a star and that’s okay too.

In today’s video, I discuss two things that coaches and players can do to ensure you know your role.

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2 Steps to Know Your Role

1. Defining your role.

Sometimes the most difficult part of being on a team is figuring out where you fit in.

When you get to the high school level not everyone will play in every game.

Understanding your role is crucial to the success of the team.

As a player, you need to understand what is expected of you on your team.

There are MANY roles on a football team.

Stars, vocal leader, leaders by example, special situational players, and even the goofball to lighten the mood.

All are critical to the success of a team.

Some coaches are great at explaining roles and others are not.

As a player, if you are not clear about your role on a team then you MUST speak with your coach.

A good coach will be able to explain how you are expected to contribute to the team.

Understanding your role and what is expected relieves pressure and allows you to focus on your job.

I was chosen as a team captain in both high school and in college.

It was an incredible honor both times.

It was also a bit scary.

Not being a vocal leader at all, I had to figure out what this role as a captain meant.

In both high school and college I had coaches that helped me to figure out my role.

I thought a captain had to be vocal but that wasn’t the case.

My coaches helped define my role as a captain.I realized that I didn’t have to be a vocal leader.

I realized that I didn’t have to be a vocal leader and I could focus on leading by example.

The funny thing is, when I did speak up, it was far more effective.

If I had continued to worry about that it would have affected my play and the way I interacted with my teammates.

2. Appreciating roles of others.

We’ve all heard about team chemistry.

Chemistry comes from players meshing and appreciating one another.

All the great teams that I can think of had great role players and not just superstars.

The Chicago Bulls teams of the 90s had superstars like Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen.

They also had incredible role players like Steve Kurr (outside sharpshooter), Dennis Rodman (the rebounding machine), and Ron Harper (the perimeter defensive expert).

Without those guys, the Bulls don’t win 6 NBA championships.

Think about current teams with superstars that don’t have enough good role players around them.

Adrian Peterson in Minnesota, Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City (now flush with role players in Golden State), and Mike Trout with the Angels are all superstars in their sports.

What these players have lacked is the right combination of players around them to win championships.

Not only do you have to have the right role players you also have to make sure all of those roles feel appreciated.

This is not only the responsibility of the coaches but the players too.

No matter how good a running back, quarterback or receiver is, without the guys up front they go nowhere.

The same thing is true on defense.

If you don’t have good defensive tackles that take on double teams and use up blockers, the linebackers won’t be able to clean up behind them.

Everyone has a role on a team and they all need to know they are essential to the team.

I hope you found some value learning how to know your role.

If you did please like, comment and share.

Play Big!

biopic

Coach Steve

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5 Types of Coaches that Make Us Crazy

5 Types of Coaches that Make Us Crazy

If you are around sports long enough you get to meet many different types of coaches.

Some good, some bad, some crazy. Some that make us crazy.

Before we get into discussing the types of coaches that drive us crazy I want to say that I admire every coach.

Being a coach is a very special job.

It’s not always an easy job and it’s not for everyone.

But anyone who really tries and has the kids best interest at heart should be applauded.

No matter how “good” of a coach they are.

In today’s video, I discuss a few types of coaches that are difficult to deal with and some tips to make the best of each situation.

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5 Types of Coaches that Make Us Crazy

Screaming Steve

We’ve all had a yeller for a coach. Screaming Steve has to hear his voice over everyone and everything.

In fact, you probably wonder if Steve is trying to be heard 3 towns over.

First off, not all coaches that yell are bad. Some of the best coaches I have had were loud and obnoxious at times.

The reason they were good, however, was that they were instructing not just yelling.

Screaming Steve yells things like “BLOCK!”, “TACKLE!”, or “PLAY BETTER!’

That’s not coaching. Those things don’t make anyone better.

A coach instructs a player on how to block, how to tackle and how to play better.

They don’t just yell.

How to deal with Screaming Steve:

I once got a great piece of advice about yelling coaches.

Most coaches yell because they care and they are trying to make you better.

If they stop yelling… that is when you worry.

Try to explain to your athlete that yelling doesn’t mean a coach doesn’t like you.

It’s often that they just want to make you a better player.

Negative Ned

Praise loudly, criticize softly.

That’s the best coaching advice I have ever been given.

Humans respond better to praise than criticism. Period.

Yet there are many coaches who focus on telling players what they are doing wrong.

Of all the types of coaches, Negative Ned is the most difficult for me to accept.

Now you might say, “Well isn’t that what a coach is supposed to do?’

Not really. A coaches job is to teach.

Again, what we are talking about here is the style of the coach.

Leading with criticism automatically puts a player, especially a young player, on the defensive.

Negativity will always breed this reaction.

Even if the coach teaches the proper technique incredibly well, if they led with negativity all time, the player will not absorb the teaching as well as if they had led with positivity.

“Well it can’t all be rainbows and sunshine, right?”

Maybe not. But If a coach leads with a positive comment they will get better results.

Let’s look at two different scenarios…

Negative Ned stops the drive blocking drill by yelling, “Stark! Are you kidding me? That was a terrible block! You have to get your helmet across on this play. Do your job!”

What’s wrong with the statement by Ned?

First, the sarcasm with “Are you kidding me?” is worthless. It serves no purpose other than to belittle the player.

Second, after your athlete hears “That was a terrible block.” They are going to tune out the rest.

Your athlete gets defensive and shuts down.

Here’s the second scenario from another coach named Positive Pat.

Positive Pat stops the drive block drill and says. “Stark! Great job with your feet and I really like how you used your hands there. The only thing I want you to do better on this play is to get your head across. That’s going to get your head in the hole and help you sustain your block.”

Pat reinforces what the player did right in the drill and then made a correction and told him how he could do it better next time.

Another key point here is to explain WHY the player needs to make the correction.

Can you see the difference here? It’s night and day. Great job Pat!

How to deal with Negative Ned:

Tell your athlete to focus on the instruction.

The negative comments are often that coaches way of trying to get a players attention.

As an athlete, you have to build up a thick skin because there will always be negativity.

Unfortunately, negativity is everywhere and not just in sports.

Loophole Larry

There’s always that guy that know ever by-law of every rule set out in the rec league handbook.

And Loophole Larry enforces then every chance he gets.

Even if it means holding up a game to argue with a referee and look the rules up.

(Larry keeps a copy of the league handbook in his back pocket at all times. He probably sleeps with it.)

Larry is very much concerned with the 5th-grade league championship.

He plays all the kids, but the best players play 90% of the time.

Don’t be Larry.

How to deal with Loophole Larry:

This is a great time to teach your athlete the importance of patience.

Patience is the key.

The problem with Larry is that he is often correct about the rules.

Especially the more odd and obscure ones.

Know-It-All Norman

Norman was an Honorable Mention All-Region defensive tackle back in the day.

He knows the game inside and out… just ask him.

His way is the ONLY way that is acceptable.

Norman is very defensive about his coaching and thinks all the parents are idiots.

Even the ones that had a cup of coffee in the NFL.

Mr. Know-It-All also generally fits into one the first two types of coaches with Screaming Steve and Negative Ned.

How to deal with Know-It-All Norman:

Offer to help with the team.

Even if it’s just occasionally helping with a drill.

Know-It-All Normans tend to tone it down when there are other confident adults in the vicinity.

Casual Carl

Carl’s a real laid back dude.

He’s never really played any sports but he wanted to volunteer for his kid. (Which is great by the way.)

But Carl just lets the kids kind of coach themselves.

Freedom and having fun are all Carl is about.

Now, kids should have fun when they play any sport but a coach must also maintain control of a team.

Too much freedom and flexibility can lead to unmotivated players.

That’s when the team goes sideways and that’s never good.

How to deal with Casual Carl:

This is another opportunity to step in and help.

Offer to organize team activities.

Adding a little structure to the team may be enough to keep it from becoming a free-for-all.

The Best Coach I Ever Had

In college, I definitely had a Screaming Steve for a coach.

At first, I was terrified of him.

This coach was so intense that there were times I didn’t think I was going to make it at college.

Eventually, I figured out that it was just his style of coaching.

He was mad at the players.

He just used yelling as his way to teach.

The thing that really made me realize this was his attention to detail.

He was the most technically demanding coach I have ever met.

That paid off for me as I was not always the biggest or strongest guy on the line.

However, I was a great technician of the game and my coach made me that way.

There are many types of coaching styles.

We certainly can’t list them all here.

Did you ever experience a difficult coach as a player or parent of a player?

Have you experienced any of these types of coaches?How did you handle it?

How did you handle it?

We’d love to hear your comments.

I hope you found some value with today’s post.

If you did please like, comment and share.

Play Big!

biopic

Coach Steve

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Photo credits:
Marianne O’Leary – Edited

4 Questions to Distiguish Muscle Soreness from Injury

4 Questions to Distiguish Muscle Soreness from Injury

The start of football practice brings so many exciting things.

Getting your helmet & pads, putting on your practice jersey for the first time, seeing all your friends that you haven’t seen much over the summer, meeting new coaches…

There’s also the not so exciting things like gassers, cross fields, sprint ladders, sit-ups, pushups, and the dreaded muscle soreness.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you child has muscle soreness or if they have an injury.

In today’s post, we are going to discuss the difference between being sore and being injured/hurt.

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Have you ever heard someone say that they are getting in “football shape”?

What does it mean to be in football shape?

No matter how fit a player is heading into a football season it’s not the same as football practice and games.

A football player uses muscles every day in practice in a way that they are not simulating in training.

That alone will create a lot of muscle soreness in that first week of practice.

Just about the time a player starts to feel better… we add pads.

Wearing pads and participating in contact drills adds a whole other level of soreness.

This is VERY normal.

What is difficult to tell, at times, is the difference between being sore and being hurt or injured.

Let’s be clear we are NOT doctors and we didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but we have a little experience with soreness and injury.

Here are 4 questions to help you determine what’s happening with your athlete.

4 Questions to Distinguish Muscle Soreness from Pain

How does your athlete describe the pain?

Is it a dull ache when they move?

More times than not this is muscle soreness.

If the pain is sharp or acute then that could be the sign of an injury.

Body language tells a lot.

When you first put the pads on for fall football camp it feels like you got hit by a dump truck.

This is completely normal.

Sharp or acute pain is not normal and that’s the number one thing you want to listen for from your athlete.

Where on the body is the pain?

Is the pain is in the joint or in the muscle?

If the pain is in the joint then you should definitely be concerned that there may be some form of injury.

Soreness will mostly occur in the muscle however muscles can certainly sustain injury as well.

Joint pain is often a sign of a strain or a tear in a ligament.

Be sure to get that looked at immediately.

How long does the pain persist?

Muscle soreness doesn’t generally last more than 2-3 days.

That said… your athlete will likely be sore after the first day of practice and then again after the first day of practice in pads.

Those are a given every year.here are just days when your athlete does something new

There are also just days when your athlete does something new that have not done before.

Any time you use muscles in a different way you are like to get sore.

Scrimmages and games are also going to cause some soreness.

Because games move at a different speed, athletes push their muscles past normal limits.

Some of the worst days of muscle pain for me were the day after games.

I remember those days in some cases more than playing in the games.

All of these times when an athlete gets sore lasts only a day or two.

A good guideline to consider for your athlete is if the pain that persists for more than a week, then get it checked out by a doctor.

Is there pain at rest? Without moving.

With muscle soreness, there usually isn’t  a lot of pain when you’re not moving.

Muscle soreness gets better after you are up and moving and warm the muscles up.

If you are getting pain without moving then you likely have an injury.

That is a sign of inflammation.

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury.

Here’s a good explanation from SportsInjuryClinic.net…

[feature_box style=”16″ title=”Inflammation” alignment=”center”]

When the body is injured a sequence of events is initiated that leads to the eventual repair of the injury site. The first stage in this process is inflammation which is followed by tissue healing and repair.

[/feature_box]

Check out the full article at SportsInjuryClinic.net.

Most often, you’ll notice swelling with a muscle strain or joint injury.

However, an athlete can have inflammation without obvious swelling.

Again, if your athlete is having pain without moving, get it checked out.

Muscle Soreness Recovery Tips

1. Get more sleep.

Sleep is when the body makes it’s repairs.

The body takes protein and repairs muscles.

Depriving the body of sleep will decrease it’s repair time.

Get sleep!

2. Stay hydrated.

Water is an essential ingredient to repairing the body.

It lubricates the joints and helps with blood flow.

Not only does hydration help during activity it’s ultra-important for repair.

Therefore, be sure your athlete is drinking water thorughout the day and not just at practice.

3. Eat more protein.

Protein is another essential ingredient for repairing the body.

Not only is protein needed to properly fuel the body, it’s a must for repair.

Athletes require more protein because they are constantly using it for fuel and repair.

Start your day with high protein meal and try to get a light protein snack in before going to sleep.

4. Drink chocolate milk.

Chocolate milk is a great post-workout snack.

The protein combined with the carbohydrates in chocolate milk make it a perfect way to get your body’s repairs kickstarted.

5. Foam roller.

Using a foam roller on a daily basis can have a huge impact on muscle soreness.

Most soreness from exercise is related to knotting in the fascia.muscle soreness - foam roller

The fascia is connective tissue that runs throughout the body over the muscles.

Knots (also called hotspots) form in the fascia with normal damage from exercise.

Using a semi-rigid foam roller to knead out the hotspots will do wonders to alleviate muscle soreness.

6. Cold bath.

Ice baths, while not pleasant, have been shown to be very effective.

A full-body plunge after a heavy workout can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation for up to 24 hours.

There are a lot of other home remedies out there for soreness.

Every athlete is different and has different needs when it comes to recovery.

Be sure to listen to your athlete and find out what they need.

Maintaining a healthy body is the key to success in any sport.

I hope you found some value with today’s post.

If you did please like, comment and share.

Play Big!

biopic

Coach Steve

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Photo credits:
Ron Cogswell – altered