Free-Range Athletes
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
“I trained 3-4 hours a week at Ajax (Ajax Amsterdam Football Club) when I was little but I played 3-4 hours a day on the street. So where do you think I learnt to play football?” — Johan Cruyff The parallels between coaching and parenting are striking and both of these elements naturally come together with youth sports. The concept of free-range kids popularised by author (and parent) Lenore Skenazy thus readily applies to how we coach young athletes (as well as sport parenting). In each case, free play and participating in unsupervised games are essential parts of how children and young athle ..read more
Visit website
Teach an Athlete to Fish...
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
“Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will feed himself the rest of his life” — Proverb (variously attributed) When we do something for a performer that they could do for themselves we deprive them of an opportunity to progress towards becoming self-sufficient. Whilst this might seem like a small thing, if we extrapolate this out, these small things compound over time into a major issue. All of which becomes apparent when the occasion arises that the performer is on their own and facing a situation that requires them to act independently, only to find themsel ..read more
Visit website
Helping Young Performers Find Their Aim
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
Having an end in mind is pretty important. Not only does aspiring towards a future outcome provide impetus and help us to act but it also shapes how we feel about things in the moment. Deciding upon an ultimate aim is thus a central theme of the youth sports journey. As we will explore to some extent the performer settles upon their ultimate aspiration through a process of elimination and will often try out a few before they find their true north star to guide the journey. These formative experiences and the lessons they entail are part of what makes participating in youth sports so valuable i ..read more
Visit website
What Performers Need to Hear
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
What we want to hear and what we need to hear do not always match up. Indeed in some instances they are distinctly different things! On the youth sports journey the performer will encounter numerous trials and situations that offer abundant lessons. The conversations with those around them are an integral part of how the performer makes sense of events, puzzles things through and elucidates what lessons to take. As the grown ups, it follows that coaches and parents alike have a duty to help performers be objective and uncover the insights to make the best use of these experiences. To that end ..read more
Visit website
Feeling Privileged
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
The idea of advantage has taken on strange and somewhat dark connotations in recent times, as has the idea of feeling privileged. This strikes me as a little odd. As a coach I feel privileged to work with performers who are committed to their craft. I am quick to acknowledge that it is a privilege to coach these individuals and to have them place their faith in my expertise. I feel grateful for my good fortune. I also feel a profound sense of responsibility to hold such a privileged position and a duty to do great work in return. Perhaps we should foster a more healthy attitude towards advanta ..read more
Visit website
Dealing with Distraction
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
Distraction is a constant feature of modern life. Current generations are growing up as digital natives and the allure of technology is ever-present in most environments. Clearly the genie is not going back in the bottle so it follows we should take steps to equip young performers to manage their own mental traffic to take back control of their actions and better deal with distractions of technological and other origin. The ability to marshal one’s own attention and resist becoming sidetracked is arguably the new superpower. Developing these capabilities to harness and direct our attention ami ..read more
Visit website
Judging What to Prioritise and When for a Young Performer
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
Getting a handle on a young performer’s present status from a developmental perspective is crucial. After all, without this information we have no real frame of reference for making judgements or deciding on the best way forward. The reason that talent identification policy and development pathways at junior level frequently go awry in practice (as we noted in a previous post) is in large part due to a failure to account for maturation and relative age effects. Young performers at age-grade level are far from a homogenous group. Kids in the same age group may be at very different points in the ..read more
Visit website
Bringing a Performance Mindset to Dealing with Sports Injuries
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
Sports injuries pose arguably the biggest trials for aspiring performers, challenging not only the body but also the mind. How the performer and those around them approach and handle the process that follows an injury can prove to be pivotal, especially with more severe injuries. What mindset those involved bring to the task of dealing with injury is hugely influential in shaping the route this takes. A performance mindset goes a long way when contemplating the path forward following an injury. Indeed belief alone plays a role in shaping the eventual outcome. There is evidence that those who e ..read more
Visit website
The Merits of Becoming an Athletic Virtuoso
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
Raw physical attributes and performance in junior competition are not good predictors of future success (at least until late adolescence once growth curves even out). Technical skills, tactical awareness and character traits are generally more reflective of future potential in young performers. Beyond the specialist skills of the sport, more evolved talent ID and development systems are also starting to recognise the value of general movement proficiency or athleticism. As with skills and character, these qualities are less biased by the transient influence of growth and maturation, making the ..read more
Visit website
Practicing Resilience
Prepared Athletes
by Paul Gamble
1y ago
Grit and resilience are increasingly identified as crucial factors for the long-term success of young performers. Some people have even started to speak about practicing resilience. But what does this mean? How might we practically go about fostering resilience in aspiring young performers? If resilience is a practice or discipline then what does this look like in reality? DEFINING RESILIENCE… We should first define resilience: what we are specifically talking about is the ability to respond positively and bounce back following setbacks. A great perspective shared by Justin Langer (head coach ..read more
Visit website

Follow Prepared Athletes on Feedspot

Continue with Google
OR