Sports Parents- it is over before you know it- Senior Night

Check out my episode “Episode 7 – How quickly it ends- HS Senior Night ” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-7—How-quickly-it-ends–HS-Senior-Night-e2cgjf

Brief unplanned and unscripted Podcast Episode about Senior Night and the Realization with how quickly it all goes. Parent note: take time 3 -4 times each year to reflect on where you are, your worries, your kids concerns and then ask yourself if they are legit. Use that same time to reflect on the experience and the success and the enjoyment. Take that time at each season transition. Otherwise it may all be a blur and you will wonder where the time went.

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Podcast Episode 6 – Soccer Tournaments

Check out my episode “Episode 6 – Soccer Tournaments” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-6—Soccer-Tournaments-e2bcpe

Soccer Tournaments have always been a big part of the club soccer experience and something that most players, parents and coaches look forward to. Within the last 5 or so years, the entire tournament process from selection, to travel to team placement and prestige have completely changed. It has become more of a necessity to stay relevant as a club and while the intentions are always good and for the right reasons, the reality of the challenges posed in these events on both the parents and the coaches have become a bit of a double edged sword. Have a listen if you want to hear my take on some of the challenges posed both to the families and to the clubs and their administrators.

Thanks for reading and/or listening.

Podcast Episode 5 – My Take on 10 Signs your Child’s Coach May Be a Bully.

Check out my episode “Episode 5 – Review of 10 Signs your kids Coach is a bully” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-5—Review-of-10-Signs-your-kids-Coach-is-a-bully-e2arnc

This podcast reviews my take on an article that I saw this weekend on social media. The article was written by the author of a book that recounts a situation that shouldn’t happen in youth sports. The author is an educator who took up to support 14 students who were not being treated fairly by the coaches to the point of abuse. This blog article What is her own recount of the book and signs that she warns are evidence of abuse or bullying. Based on some of the feedback I saw on the social media post, I felt as if multiple perspectives should be evaluated before jumping to or drawing some conclusions based on some of what she outlines as signs. While some of these very well could be signs, I sense that a lot of people see them as blanket statements against coaches and teachers which I’m sure is not her intent. I am not at all intended to brush things under the rug, or support coaches blindly, I agree with a lot of what she says and I also think that some of what she highlighted should be up for discussion. I will warn you that this is a bit long and somewhat of a ramble because I am not interested right now in production value as much as I am in sharing my perspective. This is a low-budget affair driven by my love for the sport and passion for youth athletics.

Enjoy

Double Jaw – Nasal Reconstruction Update-19 Months – Keto for Inflammation

I have been asked on my YouTube channel for updates on the progress of my Nasal Reconstruction with Rib Graft. For those following along at home, I had a complication during extubation following Double Jaw Advancement Surgery to correct Sleep Apnea. The result led to a septal collapse and nasal deformity.  I was in a position to have to wait for it to heal before getting Surgery.  The update below is on my youtube channel.  Be sure to check it out, like and subscribe and feel free to ask questions.

Giving Keto a try for inflammation.

Podcast 4 – “Episode 4 – this is club soccer why are we losing 10-0”

Check out my episode “Episode 4 – this is club soccer why are we losing 10-0” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-4—this-is-club-soccer-why-are-we-losing-10-0-e29nqc

This is a topic that comes up at the beginning of every club season. There is struggle for coaches and parents alike in creating the balance between development and winning. Feel free to comment if you have thoughts to share.

The problem with youth soccer – Pay to Play invades specialty training.

As a long time coach and specialty skills trainer, I have used my passion for the sport to be a disrupter in my local market. I have trained thousands of players from 3 years old through college as a coach at every level from volunteer to paid professional. I have been a volunteer, sat on several boards, a club founder, a club trainer, club director, club Executive and coach. I have obtained multiple licenses and certifications and have coached from the grassroots to the top regional leagues. The purpose of the quick resume is not to thump my chest but to provide a background of the unique perspective that I bring to the table. Perhaps the most important perspective that I will mention is that I am also a Soccer Parent of a player who has played Rec, Club, Regional ODP, Trained Internationally, and is currently in the USSDA System.

I was not only compelled to write about this topic but also to act, at least within my sphere of influence. I am taking a stand on something that which I can control.

As I sat in the stands at a local high school soccer game, I saw a notification on my phone of a tweet. I checked it out and saw an announcement for upcoming winter skills training programs from a local soccer club. Curious, I read further because my company Runfast Jumphigh Soccer is in the same business. What I could not believe when I looked into the details was how out of touch this Organization seems to be with the local market and the needs of the players. The structure of the age groups, the number of training sessions per program, and the age groups that the different levels of the programs offer seem to be in alignment. What is not in alignment (in my opinion) is the cost for the players to participate. While I absolutely take issue with the fee structure for the older players, I just can’t accept the fees that they are trying to charge the youngest players.

So I was compelled to respond but rather than respond to the organization, I thought that I would lead by example. I will be offering an 8-week winter training program this winter for 4 and 5-year-olds for $25. I had previously decided to reduce the fees for our fall programs because players are paying club fees or league fees. Even after researching several other organizations’ fee structures for similar programs, I have decided not to raise fees and in several cases will reduce fees on all programs for the foreseeable future.

Having trained more than 3000 players in our programs, we have received continuous feedback that players have really enjoyed our programs and parents have said that the quality of programming is among the best in the area. While we were typically on the lower end of the pricing scale, we will ensure that we will now remain the lowest cost option for players for the most unique training programs in our market.  We could justify a premium for what we offer, but that would not be very disruptive, and it would not encourage change.

Here is a table resulting from research on other Local Training offers for the fall/winter.  Some are certainly in alignment with the market, but not all, at least in my opinion.

Runfast JumpHigh Soccer 8 $25 – $125
Program 2 8-10 $295-$385
Program 3 8 $150
Program 4 6 $225
Program 5 7 $180
Program 6 8 $175
Program 7 8 $225

If you are a parent, I encourage you to take a stand, before registering for specialty skills training, consider the quality and the value that you will receive for the investment.

If you are a coach who offers this training, reconsider the model to ensure that you are covering your costs and receiving compensation for what you offer that is unique, but consider how much of a premium you are charging and ask yourself the tough questions that justify your opinion of premium.

If you are a coach who is looking to recommend a program to your players or to validate a program for your players when asked, consider having an understanding of what is being offered before you respond.

I hope that others are compelled to do their part in their community to continue to provide solutions to solve some of the issues that youth sports are currently facing while at the same time, providing solutions that move the game of soccer forward.

Feel Free to share this article with others that may find this to be of interest.

If you are interested in learning more or registering, check out http://www.runfastjumphighsocccer.com

In soccer, in sport, and in life.

CoachRich8 aka RFH8

Hope is Not a Strategy – If You (or your child) Expect to Make the Team or the Top11, You (they) Have to Put in the Work!

And after 25 years as an enterprise software sales executive, I have heard the phrase “Hope is Not a Strategy” on numerous occasions from various sales managers and leaders. The commentary around hope is not a strategy typically refers to reviewing a large opportunity or looking at a large business challenge and asking about the plan. In order to be successful, you have to have a plan. Plan the Work, Work the Plan. There is a common phrase that is attributed to Henry Ford that says “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.  Saying hope is not a strategy really means that you hope that you’re going to win the business or solve that business problem but may struggle to articulate the plan to turn that challenge into an expected outcome. The same is true of all areas of life and especially youth sports.

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In a very short period of time over the next couple of weeks, several schools are going to start their tryout cycle for fall sports including Soccer. At the same time, club sports will begin. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard players say “I hope that I make the team” or “I hope that I start this year or play that position”. I hear similar comments from parents except that it is “I Hope that my Son/Daughter…He/She better make the team/start”, etc.

What I find surprising is how when I ask questions about how they have prepared or how they plan to approach the Tryout or Beginning of the Season, there is seemingly no clear path to contribute to their desired outcome. Put another way, there is excitement, anticipation, and Hope, but no real strategy. Sometimes I get blank stares or a shoulder shrug. There are are also players/parents who rattle off the list of camps/clinics/private training or even a resume of past performances and experiences.

Depending on the situation and the size of the school, the makeup of the team, etc. some players have an easier time than others. I typically hear either complete confidence or rationalization and defense in the event that they don’t make the desired team trying out for.  The comments range from, “well I/He/She made it last year or have played with that group of players for years” to “The Coach Always” or “The Coach Never” yadda, yadda.

There are multiple ways to prepare to increase the likelihood or provide the best chance of success. The real intent of this article is not to suggest what has to happen to put an athlete in a position to be prepared to have a successful tryout or result when team selections are made at the beginning of the season; but more a reminder that preparation in general, will provide a higher likelihood for success.

It is not too late to start and even a basic approach is better than hoping for a result. Here are some super simple things an athlete can get tighter on:

  • Nutrition – check the diet to ensure that the body is properly nourished from the perspective of fuel for the training as well as recovery.
  • Hydration – proper hydration will also support the tryout process but is important for all athletes, all the time.
  • Sleep/Rest – being an adolescent or teenager takes a tremendous amount of energy just to grow, say goodnight to the friends playing Fortnight and go to bed earlier.
  • Touches – get touches on the ball, alone or with friends. Get the rust off now instead of waiting for the first few sessions.
  • Move – just move the body and sweat. Going into the tryout fit is a much better option than trying to play into shape the first few weeks of the season and will also help to prevent injury that results from the sudden increase in heavy-duty activity.

As implied above, there is no magic bullet or secret sauce although there are plenty of coaches and trainers that will take a player’s money to help them prepare. Starting something now will not only help but may also put an athlete in the right frame of mind and provide the motivation to work even harder. The key is to do something and create some type of plan to be prepared.

Just as in business, if you want to be successful, if you want to solve a problem or win a big deal, you have to be smart about your plans. So parents, If your child wants to make the team, play the position that they desire, etc. you can and should encourage them to start now. Whether that’s participating in camps or clinics, getting private training alone or with teammates, put them in position to have a strong tryout and/or beginning of the season. Hoping that they will make the team and use the beginning of the season to get fit and shake the rust off will limit the ability to achieve the desired outcome.  If you are a player, get out there and Do The Work!

So, as we get closer to the tryout time or beginning of the season over these next couple of weeks, ask yourself or your son/daughter what has been done to prepare? If the answer is not much, there is still time to start working to give yourself or your son/daughter a better chance of success. Just waiting to see what happens and hoping to make the team, is not a strategy for the long term.

Good luck and have fun, and try to remember that after all, this is still in fact, a game.

In Soccer, In Sport, and In Life!

Coach Rich!