Coats Performance Sports Performance Blog

Recent Sports Performance Posts

5 tips on becoming a better coach (continued)

Jun 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

In the last blog post I mentioned how the 5 tips on becoming a better coach are endless.  The tips of my fingers and mind wanted me to continue! Here are tips 6-10 to go along with the last post Click here to read.  For most, this list should change and evolve year by year. This isn’t an end all be all list, but should bring about discussion within your sports program or individual practice.  Please share this and comment on if you disagree or agree with any of the tips. It’s a great way to see what methods others use that have been positive or negative.  The only way we can continue growing our community and service those we work with is by engaging in thoughtful and respectful dialogue.   6) The top athlete on your team isn’t who you should spend most of your time with.  In order to build a solid program, you have to build from the bottom up I observe everything. I could probably make it a full-time job if I wanted to.  Over the years of observing how coaches approach instructing teams and individuals, this is something that has always stuck out like a sore thumb; coaches putting all of their time and effort only into their number one player.  I get it. Your number one player is often the captain, the leader, the glue that holds your team together, but in my opinion, they don’t need 100% of the attention.  Delegate duties to those who can handle them and work on your team from the ground up. One of the most common complaints parents have with athletics is their son or daughter not getting the attention needed to improve as an athlete.  Word of advice to coaches:  Spend more time with the athletes that need a little...

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5 tips on Becoming a Better Coach

May 6, 2018 | 1 Comment

 5 Tips on Becoming a Better Coach Coaching is fun, stressful, and extremely rewarding if you’re in it for the right reasons. I often find myself critiquing my coaching style and approach daily. If you’ve been around me or have talked coaching with me you will find that this is not something I take lightly. Why? Have you ever had an opportunity to positively impact an athletes experience and potentially life? This is why I work my hardest on ways to improve as a coach and teacher.   Here I have compiled five tips to help coaches that are continually looking for material that will help them along their coaching journey. By no means is this an end all be all list, but rather, thought provoking concepts and ideas that create deeper thinking than just x’s and o’s. Could the list go on forever? Certainly, but most that coach don’t have an unlimited amount of time for a novel, so I’ll keep it short. I hope these tips get you thinking and create discussion on various aspects of becoming a better coach.   1) Let them have a voice Is it risky? Yes, but only if your group doesn’t respect you. Over the years I have backed away from taking control of every situation. With many of the teams and athletes I work with, I always encourage them to respectfully ask questions on what I teach and to speak up/voice their opinion if something doesn’t seem right. I’ve always had the approach that allows athletes to voice how they feel or if they dislike something in their training. One rule- they must have a thought out explanation on why they dislike something. Why do I allow this? It’s a great way to get feedback on what we do during training and...

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Why I stopped yelling and started coaching

Apr 22, 2018 | 1 Comment

  Why I stopped yelling and started coaching In today’s world you can walk the streets of a major city and ask people what their definition of a coach is. Chances are you will get answers ranging from “someone who coaches a team” to “ someone who teaches athletes how to play their sport.” These examples are fine, but I believe we have limited and stereotyped the real meaning of being a coach. In the next few paragraphs I hope to shed some light on what I believe coaching is and why I stopped yelling.   [Picture taken at the 2017 Illinois girls state track and field meet.]It was 2013 when I started exploring coaching or what I thought was coaching. I can remember watching YouTube videos, going to my little brother’s sporting events, and observing how other coaches lead their teams. I was fortunate enough to see many different styles and approaches to coaching, but there was a problem; none of these styles fit me. I witnessed a lot of yelling, especially after athletes made a mistake during their competitions. I can remember in college when I was an athlete how certain coaches would yell more than others. To someone, on the outside looking in, that may have looked and sounded like coaching. What they don’t know is that many of the coaches I had on the college level never took the time to connect with many of my teammates. I believe the foundation of coaching is having the ability to connect with the athletes. Anyone can yell and sound like a coach, but there’s more to coaching than reading a practice schedule and barking orders.   So what is coaching? My definition of coaching is rather short. In its simplest form, my belief is that a coach is a...

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The Eye Holds No Vision

Sep 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

                                                 “The eye holds no vision” —By: Coach Sean Light As I write this article, I’m sitting in a Starbucks on East 84th Street in Manhattan. A taxi cab is stopped outside the window to my left, the pedestrian crosswalk signal is flashing, there’s an older lady and a tall man with a white cap crossing the street. Buildings are tall, really tall, scraping the sky. And yet, my eye sees nothing. Nothing but light that is. Eyes are incredible. They are these super fancy light detectors. They take that light and send it to the brain and your brain does the rest. Everything you see is a projection of how your brain perceives the world. Some may argue we have a few more (myself included) but traditionally speaking, we have five senses. Touch, taste, hearing, smell and vision. Vision is BY FAR the most developed and most efficient of them all. Because of this, it becomes extremely easy to become reliant on vision to navigate the world. The problem with this is that in order to function properly, we need all of our senses to be firing on all cylinders. Here is a simple test to see if you are relying too much on vision. Stand on one leg, eyes open, and bend down and touch your toe with your opposite hand (so if you are standing on your left foot, touch the left foot with your right hand). How was that? Probably a little wobble. Maybe a loss of balance but all in all, you probably can do it. Now do the same move with your eyes closed. Wayyyyy harder right? If you were wobbling all...

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Early Sports Specialization

Aug 25, 2017 | 3 Comments

Early Sports Specialization Early sports specialization seems to be the moneymaker these days, and why not? As numbers increase in youth development and travel leagues, surely someone has to take advantage of the naivety of many parents of athletes at this age group that think early specialization is “a must.”  Forking over hundreds of dollars just to play on travel leagues that commonly allow for little rest, cause over-exertion, and in some cases allow little time for actual development, which is lacking for many young athletes. We define development as working on fundamental skills that every athlete should know or have a firm understanding of by the end of a beginner’s season.  Over the years, we have seen an increasing number of athletes (mainly ages 10-20) who lack basic fundamental skills and body awareness.  We hope that this short article will give parents and young athletes insight on how sports specialization can hinder athletic growth and development. Early Specialization Early specialization amongst young athletes is one of the more talked about topics in athletics.  Many place such an importance on specializing that early development physically and psychologically is ignored.  We all know the travel league coach that recommends parents keep their son or daughter in the same sports year around to get as much exposure (for recruiting purposes) as possible.  Others have read and are influenced by stories on how some of the elites (1% of athletes) specialized to become successful.  Let’s give a definition of what sports specialization is.  We define sports specialization as participating or training in the same sports three quarters of a year with little rest or opportunity to enjoy being a kid and/or desire to compete in other sports.  We have seen a number of kids go down the path of specialization, and two things...

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Ten Sprint Facts I Wish Everyone Understood

Jul 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

I consider myself a coach, a veteran of 36 years of coaching football, basketball, and track. Stuart McMillan recently tweeted, “A good coach knows a lot about a little and a little about a lot.” I know a lot about sprinting. I was tempted to title this article “Shining Light into the Darkness”. My goal is to share ten facts with three groups of people: athletes, parents, and coaches. Despite the fact that speed (moving fast) is central to athleticism, too many people live in the dark.    1.  Running is not sprinting. If you stop reading here, you’ve learned something most people don’t understand. Sprinting is something you can do for a short period of time and requires full recovery to repeat. Anything lasting for more than five seconds is working on something other than speed. I took this picture at the NCAA Track & Field Championships. Deajah Stevens is sprinting, not running.    2.  Running does not improve speed. When football coaches encourage their players to run at full-speed over a three-hour practice, they are confused. No one can run at full-speed for three hours. Yes you can try to do your best over a three-hour period but it won’t be “full-speed”. Running is sub-max. Full speed is max-speed. Max-speed is sprinting. Running makes you good at sub-max running. Sprinting improves speed.    3.  Weight lifting does not improve speed. Lifting weights will improve strength. That strength may transfer to athleticism but won’t directly improve speed. The strongest kids on the team are seldom the fastest. The typical weight room celebrates indiscriminant hypertrophy (bodybuilding). In my opinion, kids who lift weights get better at lifting weights. Beware of muscle-bound poster boys who live in a weight room. Strength coaches will tell you that great teams are made in...

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Blue Light; Sleep, Cancer, and Sports Performance

Jul 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

Sleep: there aren’t enough hours in the day for this insignificant phenomenon that many bypass to get one last job done before the end of the day.  Some claim that sleep isn’t necessary for success, but do we have it wrong?  Are we missing out on opportunities to become successful or has the influx of social media via the technological advances made sleep a thing of the past?  How many have stayed up late at night just to scroll the news feed of your favorite social media platform to catch up on irrelevant news content that floods our brains?  Lets not forget your favorite television series that you must stay up for otherwise you might die if you have to wait until the next evening to see if your favorite male character proposes to his crush, right? Many may raise the question of, “why is it important to sleep?”  According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, truly understanding sleep is still a process that many scientists are continually researching to better understanding.1  Research has also found that sleep is an important process for not only repairing and rejuvenating the brain, but also for the development and plasticity of the human brain.  So why is sleep an overlooked aspect of overall health and sport performance? In the paragraphs to come, I hope to shed some light on some of the research done regarding blue light and sleep.  We will be looking at what has caused some of the issues with improper sleep hygiene, negative health implications it can pose, how it can be a hindrance to athletic performance, and helpful suggestions that may improve sleep for those who find it near impossible getting quality sleep. Blue Light I am sure that many have become accustomed to nightly...

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Issues with Youth Athletics

Jul 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

“Jimmy get ready, we have four games to play this afternoon!” “But dad, I just….” “What did I say,  Jimmy?!  The team needs you. I need you. How bad do you think it would look if your own dad is coaching the team and you are home racing bikes with friends?  Come on, don’t let me down!” Yet again, another forceful parent pushing their kid to do something to fulfill their own ego.  More than ever we are dealing with a growing number of athletes opting out of sports because of the intense pressure put on them by their parents and the fully stacked weekend schedules, as if they are competing for the Olympics.  When do we draw the line and let kids be kids?   The motto of keeping them busy or keeping them tired is a thing of the past.  Moreover, parents running teams as if they are preparing to compete against the  95-96 Chicago Bulls is rubbish. It has become a fulltime job for kids We all know the parents that have taken matters into their own hands to ensure that their little baller gets his/her scholarships.  Often times, putting them on multiple travel teams that require expensive fees and nightly practices after their school practices.  Is this really necessary?  What happened to one practice an evening, finishing up homework at a decent time, and a little playtime?  These days, eight year olds have two full-time jobs, sports, and school. Don’t get me wrong I think there are benefits to being part of travel teams: 1) If athletes are actually being coached instead of scrimmaging all practice. 2) If coaches are instilling in them life long lessons instead of making it about JUST winning. 3) If the local team has an incompetent coach that does not possess leadership...

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A Different Perspective On Retirement

Jul 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

Many people ponder the idea of retirement as something that will bring them more joy than ever before! More time for activities, personal time, and a time to enjoy things that have been forgotten. Sounds like it’s the life, right? Phyllis had all those intention as well as getting her body/muscle working like before, but she had no idea how or where to start. Growing up moving and enjoying life has always been a goal, but it has been a struggle at the same time. The activities during childhood seemed simple, but they just weren’t the same as she entered the next chapter of her life-retirement. Phyllis Myers struggled and she needed help getting her muscles working like they use to. After having two knee replacements, being limited to certain activities she could do, and also being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, she realized it was time to do something for herself. Phyllis made the jump by calling to set up an appointment for personal training, which would ultimately change the second chapter of her life forever back in January of this year. I could see that she was hurting physically and mentally. How she talked about retirement and life was all I needed to know. She looked like an individual that was not enjoying the oh-so-joyful retirement life. Deep down, she knew she had one of two choices: get help or slowly fade into society as many retirees do. During our initial session, she would always mention how she wanted to make the most out of this new chapter in her life as well increasing her energy levels to do more activities throughout the day. In addition, she did not want to depend on others to help her complete basic tasks around the house. Some of these are concerns that many...

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A Controversial Topic

Jul 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

Many of us have been ruined and many have been fooled to believe the things we see are good.  Example:  The number of women who post selfies speaking about how wonderful their lives are.  The guy that posts an infinite amount of mirror selfies at the gym to show everyone his six pack or how good his “bro pump” was. Although I would not put everyone in this category of insecurity and the need for attention or instant gratification from the same or opposite sex, I call it how I see it. What happened to turning to a close friend or family for the gratification one is seeking, instead of turning to virtual friends that merely see nothing more than a front or, better yet, a ball of insecurity?  Now, before anyone says “who are you to say these things,” as if I’m the greatest thing to walk the earth since Steve Erkle, I was there before.  I have been in the position of seeking out others that really did not care what I was doing with my life.  I was in the position where I thought I always had to have a significant other or people around me to make me feel like I was worthy.  It wasn’t until I looked within myself to find the true answers of being comfortable and not needing gratification for the things I was doing. Looking within myself made me answer the tough reality that I had always dreaded, but it was for the better.  It is amazing how much you can learn about yourself when you take a deeper look within yourself and answer what has been ignored. Moreover, these times have created a false image of ones’ true self, which is missing as a society. We never seem to meet that...

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Many young athletes struggle with finding optimal ways to improve their speed and agility. With Coats Performance, we take an individualized and practical approach when helping young athletes develop their speed and agility skills. Through training, athletes not only elevate their athleticism but also establish a high level of confidence necessary for attacking their goals and competing against quality competition.

 

In the Frisco, Plano, Southlake, or Dallas areas? Contact Coats Performance today to learn how we can assist your youth athlete with their speed and sports performance, so they aren't placed on the bench because of their lack of speed.

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