Articles matching tag: Coaching
- Column: The Dangers of Specialization in Youth SportsJanuary 12, 2017
In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell suggested that 10,000 hours of quality training in a specific discipline could, in most cases, turn anyone into an expert, even an elite level athlete. Unfortunately, a number of coaches and parents too eagerly embrace Gladwell’s theory when it comes to youth sports. Most of us recognize the many potential benefits of participating in sports at a young age. Sports give kids the opportunity to enhance self-esteem, socialize with their peers, learn discipline and improve their health and fitness. The latter benefit is more important today than it’s ever been, given the sedate nature of today’s lifestyle.
- Column: In College Football The Right Coach MattersDecember 8, 2016
This is the time of year when college football games really matter. Many teams played their top rivals two weeks ago and conference championship games were held on Saturday, with the results determining the composition for the College Football Playoff. It’s also the most important time of the season for coaches, where game results seal their future. A number of coaches were on the hot seat even before the season began and to no one’s surprise, changes on the coaching carousel have already been made. Early in the season Les Miles was fired after 11-plus seasons at LSU. Miles led the Tigers to a 114-34 record, compiling more wins than any other program in the SEC during his tenure in Baton Rouge. But sometimes familiarity breeds dissatisfaction, especially when the bar has been set unreasonably high.
- Column: PC World or Repeating Mistakes?August 4, 2016
In this PC (politically correct) world, it’s difficult to say anything that won’t offend someone. Those who rail against the PC police often make a valid case that too many of us are overly sensitive and need to lighten up. But sometimes we feed the beast. Jim Turner, the offensive line coach for the Texas A & M University football team, was suspended last week after giving a presentation entitled “Chalk Talk 2016” to a gathering of approximately 700 Aggie women. The presentation was intended to enlighten the group on the rules of football, specifically, playing the offensive line. But unfortunately for Turner and co-presenter Jeff Banks, the Aggies’ tight ends coach, the talk made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
- Column: Sex Scandal at University of LouisvilleOctober 28, 2015
The University of Louisville (U of L) is clearly prioritizing winning basketball games over honesty, integrity and ethics. In June, the U of L signed its men’s basketball coach, Rick Pitino, to a 10-year contract extension that kicks in next season. The 62-year old Pitino will be paid an average of $5 million per year in guaranteed salary plus $7.5 million in retention bonuses if he stays through the 2015-16 season. Pitino could also earn $250,000 per year in academic bonuses and an additional $500,000 in any year his team wins a national championship.
- Column: A New Day for College CoachesAugust 31, 2015
“The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan. For college coaches, Bob Dylan’s title track to his 1964 album could just as easily apply today. Examples of the changing tide in collegiate athletics abound, the most recent being the termination of Illinois football coach Tim Beckman on the eve of the 2015 season. At first glance, Beckman’s firing could be attributed to his 12-25 record over three non-descript seasons at Illinois. But the decision to fire Beckman had nothing to do with wins and losses. Earlier this year the University commissioned an investigation after allegations surfaced that Beckman and his staff had influenced medical decisions and mistreated players. The coach was let go even before a final report was issued.
- Column: Coaches vs. Medical Personnel - Who Rules?July 19, 2015
With colleges on the cusp of pre-season football practice, there’s an off-field battle worth keeping an eye on: Coaches vs. medical personnel. Head coaches at a majority of the big-time college football programs insist on hiring, supervising and firing the doctors and athletic trainers that attend to their student-athletes. Not surprisingly, medical practitioners don’t believe the practice is in the best interest of the student-athletes. Two years ago, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, joined by five other medical groups including the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, issued a public statement along with a set of recommendations against the practice. In their words, “Freedom in their professional practice is ensured when neither the team physician nor the athletic trainer has a coach as his or her primary supervisor, and no coach has authority over the appointment or employment of sports medicine providers.”
- Column: No Longer a Man's WorldAugust 15, 2014
“This is a man’s world; this is a man’s world…” It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, by James Brown That may have been the case in 1966, the year James Brown recorded his hit single that reached No. 1 on the Billboard R & B chart. But two recent female hires in the sports world suggest that, almost fifty years later, the world has changed. On July 28 the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) elected Washington, D.C, attorney Michele Roberts as its new executive director, marking the first time a women has headed up a Major League sports union. A week later the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs named Becky Hammon, a 16-year veteran of the WNBA, as an assistant coach. The moves were unrelated, except that combined they served to place an exclamation point on the concept of competence over sexual persuasion.
- Column: Ethical Conduct Trumps WinningDecember 9, 2013
“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing!” Former UCLA football coach Henry Russell “Red” Sanders The origin of the Sanders quote has been incorrectly attributed to Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. But regardless of the source, the message behind the words was recently embraced by Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Kidd asked one of his players to bump into him late in a game, whereupon he intentionally spilled the cup of water in his hand onto the court. The Nets had no timeouts remaining and the move was designed to delay the game while attendants mopped up the mess. Brooklyn was losing at the time of the incident and Kidd took advantage of the interlude to draw up a last second play. Fortunately, the charade didn’t affect the outcome of the game. The NBA wasn’t amused and levied a $50,000 fine against Kidd.
- Column: Miami Bullying IncidentNovember 11, 2013
Although the NFL’s investigation of the relationship between former Miami Dolphins’ teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin is yet to be completed, here’s something upon which we can all agree: Racial slurs, physical threats and extortion are always inappropriate and unacceptable regardless of the setting, including among teammates on a sports team. Team hazing is a tradition as old as sports itself. Rookies are required to engage in such time- honored traditions as carrying bags for the veterans, dressing up as members of the opposite sex, singing their college fight song and picking up the check for a lavish team dinner. The overarching goal is to lighten the mood in the locker room and reduce the omnipresent pressure of winning, while building camaraderie and team solidarity in the process.
- Column: Reasons Behind College Sports ScandalsApril 15, 2013
The complete bumbling of the Mike Rice scandal by Rutgers University officials is being compared with the Penn State fiasco - not the severity of the incidents or injuries certainly, but rather the reaction to them – leaving some observers to wonder how this could happen, again and again, at our colleges and universities. The answer shouldn’t come as a surprise. The institution of higher education is poorly equipped to monitor and manage what is in fact a professional sports enterprise, artificially wrapped in the veil of education and amateurism. A college president, frequently a Ph.D. trained as a scientist or researcher in English, history, or philosophy, is tasked with overseeing an operation, i.e., an athletic department, that bears little resemblance to any other activity on campus. In what other organization is someone who is so unprepared and ill-equipped for the role forced to oversee an operation that in some cases generates in excess of $100 million in annual revenue, has employees who earn multiples of their own salary, fills 100,000-seat stadiums, and is the public face of the entity, albeit far removed from the main purpose of its existence?