Tag Archives: coaches

How Has Elite Club and Travel Sports Affected the Family?

A few weeks ago, my friend Rich Trujillo asked me what has travel ball done to the family?  Rich just retired this last year as the head softball coach at La Mirada High School, where he had been at the helm for seventeen years.

I think back to when my daughter played travel ball.  I remember that there were times where I questioned our schedule as we were missing Sunday after Sunday from our church.  Part of me didn’t worry too much as my daughter still was active in the youth group. But I still wondered if there wasn’t a better way.  A few teams we were on tried to give the team off one weekend per month.

This week I’ve talked to two other travel coaches who said they give their teams one weekend off each month.  This is not just a religion thing either.  The coaches on my daughter’s first team were Catholic. Catholics usually have many more options as far as attending mass.  As Lutherans we were primarily a Sunday option.  But even if you do not attend church at all, there can still be time for your families.  For us it wasn’t a big deal there since we only have the one daughter.  But for families who have three or four children, especially if their ages are close together, this can be a challenge too.

I spoke with one coach this last week who said his one daughter had been invited to join a travel team.  They declined at this time because he has another younger daughter and a son who plays a different sport.  I’ve seen families where Mom is taking one of the kids to one tournament, Dad taking another kid to their sport, etc.

Lastly there is another reason to have some time off.  Our bodies need healing.  Any sport can take a toll on our bodies.  So much more so with our kids who’s joints may not be fully developed yet.  The body needs time to rest.  Studies have shown that not giving our athletes time to rest and recover leads to more overuse injuries.  And if you ignore those, you are going down the path to more severe injuries, even career ending injuries.

So let me issue a challenge to all travel and club coaches, regardless of sport.  I challenge you, if you are not already doing so, set your schedules so that your team can take a weekend off each month.  I know that, for example, with softball July-August can be tough to take that weekend off because you have all the national tournaments and showcases happening.  But even there, one weekend off might just keep your players healthy enough to make a difference when it really counts.

Parents, this also goes out to you.  It’s also up to you to let your child’s coaches know that your son or daughter needs a little r & r too.  The kids work hard.  Some travel teams practice or play long hours.  They need some rest.  Perhaps you’ve been one of those parents who are seeing your kids having a chance to play in college.  It’s easy to worry that if you aren’t there another player will take your spot on the team.  It’s your call.  I think, however, that more and more people are seeing how important this is.

Coaches:  If you are a team that gives your players a weekend per month off, or at least a Sunday each month, send me an email to coachmike@kidznsports.com.  If you haven’t been doing this and you’re willing to try to make that change, send me an email.  In a few weeks, I’ll write another post on this subject and I’ll list any team that tells me that they are putting their player’s health and families first by giving them that weekend off each month.  If you just do this at least 9 out of 12 months out of the year, I bet it will make a difference.

Tell me your team name, you city that you hail from, and the head coach’s name, and your sport of course.  We all love our sports.  Our kids love to play.  Let’s help them play longer and stronger.

Please share this post with other parents and coaches that you know.

Calling all coaches! I want to hear from you.

I’m currently writing a book about what it takes to become a successful coach.  One of the chapters will be about having a purpose or motivation to coach.  I would like to get your feedback about what your purpose, your motivation was that led you to be a coach.  Whether it is because you started coaching your own children, or because you loved sports so much, or whatever.  What is your purpose to be a coach?  What keeps you going?

Please click this link to take the survey.  When you’re finished, you will be returned to the Kidz “n” Sports HOME Page.  Thank you for your contribution.



Good Coach, Bad Coach!

What do you do when your child (or you) doesn’t like a coach?

If you have been involved with youth sports at all, you know that there are many different coaches.  Some coaches are good; some are not so good.  Some coaches are better than others.  Some that may seem bad or good may just be the opposite.  So what do you do when your son or daughter comes home and complains about the coach?

When it comes to recreational sports, like little league, ponytail, pop warner football, etc., coaches are volunteers and you may have little say about who coaches your child.  Most states and organizations require that the coaches, even volunteers are checked out.  Many have to go through a background check and be fingerprinted.  For high school sports, that is a requirement.  For travel ball or club ball, while I believe better steps are being implemented to check out coaches, but there you have more say so in choosing what team your son or daughter plays for.  Perhaps your son or daughter is on that bubble where you may only have one or two teams who invite them to join.

So once your child has joined a team, it is a good opportunity to teach your child about commitment.  You all might be excited about being selected for a team only to find out later that it wasn’t quite what you thought it would be.  Or perhaps, there was a conflict along the way and now you feel some tension with team members or the coach.  Too many parents allow their sons or daughters to quit teams too easily in my opinion.  It is sort of a “grass is greener on the other side” scenario.  If you don’t water any grass it soon turns brown, regardless of what side of the fence you’re on.

It is a frustrating thing for a coach when a player is quick to chime in, usually during some instruction, “well, that’s now how my last coach said to do it.”  With a club or travel team, or even some high school teams, you might be invited to go back and play for that “last coach.”  Young athletes need to learn how to play for different coaches.  Just because you don’t like a coach doesn’t mean they aren’t a good coach.  Players respond differently to different coaches so while you might not like the coach, three other players on your team might think he or she is the greatest coach they’ve ever had.  Change your focus to trying to learn everything you can from that coach.  If you quit too many teams, you are not doing your child any favors and you will soon earn a reputation which might make it more difficult for your child later.

In my daughter’s travel ball career, which lasted seven years, we left three teams.  On one, they had a huge recruiting bonus because they made the championship game in a national tournament.  They suddenly had seven pitchers.  As you can imagine, my daughter got very little pitching or playing time.  At the Christmas break, we found another team.  Jessica said she would prefer to stay with the first team, and the manager said they were going to use her more.  We would have liked that too because their practice was 5 minutes away where the other team was 30 minutes away.  So Jessica was going to both practices.  After the first friendly, Jessica got to pitch to two batters.  When we got home there was an email from the new team saying they had a uniform with Jessica’s number on it.  That was one we left.  But we didn’t leave on bad terms and we didn’t leave in the crucial part of the season.

One team we left because they could never get enough players to play.  The third team we left we did so after the assistant coach, who liked Jessica a lot, told us the head coach wasn’t going to use her.  He had brought in a superstar pitcher, who I found out later was overused and had to lay off a year.  Other than those examples we completed our commitment to every team Jessica played on.

Parents, one of the benefits of sports is that it can teach your child how to deal with adversity.  That means even playing for a coach that you may not like very much.  Unless there is a situation that is totally unbearable, such as inappropriate behavior taking place, abusive language or actions by coaches or teammates, or something extreme where you son or daughter could be physically or emotionally harmed (I’m not just talking about being bent out of shape a little), help them deal with the negatives and look for the positives.  Help them learn to take something positive, to learn something new, out of every situation.

Have a great week.

Coach Mike






Upcoming Shows include GOLF and SOFTBALL

Just a quick heads up.

I’ve been busy lining up some great shows for you.  This week it’s open conversation as I’ll be discussing a number of youth sports issues.  I hope you’ll join me by calling the show.  Do you have any pet peeves?  This is your chance to bring them to light on Kidz “n” Sports.

On August 13th I have a special guest on who teaches golf to young kids…at no charge.  On August 20th I’ll have a representative of ASA coming in which means we’ll be talking softball.  Who are these guests you might ask?  Sign up for my newsletter (see the button on the right), or you can wait until closer to showtime.

Teach first, win later….


Poll: Who’s responsible for our children’s success?

Who do you think is most responsible for our children’s success in the classroom or on the athletic field?  Do you take responsibility as the parent or is it the coaches and teachers who are responsible?  Or is there another answer?

Take this week’s poll and let me know what you think?


I’m looking for a guest who would like to discuss Responsibility this week on Kidz “n” Sports.  You can be a coach, a player, an umpire, an administrator…or even just a parent of a player.  Call me at (877)554-5952 extension 2.  Or you can send me email.

I try to teach my players to take responsibility for their success.  Whether it’s about a batting lesson, a strategy, or your grades….it’s the player’s responsibility to learn and grow.  Like I tell my players about hitting, if you can learn what you did wrong before I tell you then at some point you don’t need me to be your hitting coach because you can be your own hitting coach.  It’s about paying attention and ownership of your success.

I hope everyone is having a safe holiday weekend.  Remember don’t drink OR TEXT and drive.

Coach Mike