Category Archives: Kids Sports

Is Coaching Your Own Child a Good Idea?


Coaching Sports to Your Children

Posted by Jodi Murphy
Some sports parents would jump at the chance to coach their own youth athletes. After all, they spend plenty of time playing catch or tossing balls for batting practice in the backyard and are at every game already, how much harder is it to be the actual coach? But before you dive headfirst into the world of parent-coaches here are four questions you should ask yourself.

Are you sure you won’t be biased?

A lot of parents decide to become parent-coaches because it’s a great way to spend more time with their youth athlete. Any sports parent can tell you that athletics takes up a huge chunk of their child’s free time so if you can’t beat ‘em, coach ‘em! But it’s important to remember that you aren’t just coaching your own child—you’ve got a dozen other kids to look out for as well. You need to make sure that every player is getting the attention they need to learn the fundamental skills of the sport and succeed as individuals and as a team. Just because you’re the coach that doesn’t automatically mean your child is the center of the team!

Is Coaching Your Own Child a Good Idea?

It’s also important to make sure that you don’t let your own player get away with behavior that their teammates would get called out for. If missing a practice means losing playing time that rule has to apply to everyone—including the coach’s kid.

Will you expect perfection?

On the other side of things—in an attempt to make sure they aren’t unduly favoring their own child, some parent-coaches put extra pressure on their own youth athlete to excel and be perfect on the field/court. While it’s important you don’t let your own player get preferential treatment, it’s easy to swing too far in the other direction as well. Some players might thrive as the “coach’s kid” because they want to be a leader on their team but others might feel like you are unfairly singling them out or expecting more from them than their teammates. Just because you’re the coach that doesn’t automatically mean you child is going to be a superstar athlete and it isn’t fair to expect them to turn into one overnight just because you decided to take over as coach.

Sports Coaching Your Kids

Can you “turn off” your coach mentality?

As a parent-coach it’s important to remember that you are equal parts parent and coach. When you go home after a disappointing game are you going to strategize like a coach and run a play-by-play of everything that went wrong or are you going to put your parent hat back on and let it go? Think about some of the crazy coaches you had in your own sports career—would you have wanted to live with them?! A good parent-coach needs to be able to switch back and forth between the two roles as needed.

Do you actually know the rules of the game?

Most youth sports organizations are always on the hunt for volunteers and while enthusiasm can take you a long way a little knowledge can’t hurt either! Typically the best youth sports coaches are going to be the ones that understand the rules and fundamentals of the game so they can actually coach their team! Remember, you aren’t just coaching your own child—you’re responsible for the athletic development of a dozen or so other kids! It’s a big responsibility and an important factor to consider.

Becoming a parent-coach can change the dynamics between you and your youth athlete dramatically, so before you sign up to coach your daughter’s soccer team or your son’s lacrosse team it’s probably worth talking to them about it. Are they going to be comfortable with you as their coach? Your 5 year old probably won’t care but as your kids get older and they start to take sports more seriously their opinion should count for something.

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As a full time soccer coach personally I would say no for one reason only.
Kids see the game differently to their coach. Accordingly, for what ever reason if ‘Little Jimmy‘ has a poor game but you decide to still select him for whatever reason for the next game then usually no problem.
However if the same scenario involves your own son then immediately the other playerds will view this simply as favoring ‘Teachers Pet‘ and it will be the lad who suffers.

Posted @ Friday, January 04, 2013 11:56 AM by dennis
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Filed under Baseball, Coach Reviews, Football, Kids Sports, Soccer, View All, Youth Sports

Holiday Gift Ideas for Athletes


Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Youth Athletes

Holiday Gifts for Athletes

Holiday Gifts for Athletes

LocalSportsReviews.com “high-fives” the sports gift ideas for the holidays to support and encourage your friends and family activities.  How about adding to the list activities/ gifts for you and your children, partner or friends to play together?   Maybe you both sign up for a 5K or yoga classes?  Way to go.  Play Forward!

What are your favorite sports gifts ideas?

Posted by Jodi Murphy

Christmas is just around the corner and unless you’re the kind of sports parent that likes to buy presents months in advance, chances are you’ve got some last minute shopping to do! If you’ve got a youth athlete (or two or three…) still on your to-buy list here are a few last minute stocking stuffer ideas:

Athletic Socks

Now most kids will moan and groan at the thought of getting socks for the holidays, but athletic sock are a totally different story! A great pair of athletic socks can help keep your athlete’s feet drier with moisture wicking fabric, add a little extra cushioning to help absorb hard impacts and even contain anti-microbial technology that helps prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria (making their gear bag and your car smell a lot better!) These aren’t just socks, they’re science!

Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Youth Athletes

New Sport Earbuds

If your son or daughter likes running (maybe they are thinking about joining their junior high cross country team!) or biking than a new pair of earbuds specifically designed for athletic use is a great stocking stuffer. Sport earbuds are designed to stay in place even when you’re really moving and are usually sweat and water resistant so they won’t get ruined easily.

A Personal Coaching Session

Okay, so maybe this one isn’t really a stocking stuffer per se, but if your youth athlete wants to get a little more serious about their game (maybe they are looking to join a high powered travel team) you might consider getting them a few one-on-one lessons with a personal coach. Maybe you can book a few hours with a batting instructor or sign your hockey player up for a one-day goalie camp. Spending some one-on-one time with a personal coach means your child gets all the attention and gets to work on their game without any distractions.

Tickets to a Professional Game

There is almost nothing cooler than being a youth athlete and getting to see the “real thing” live and in person, especially if you are die-hard fan. It’s also a great time to have some fun yourself! Tickets to professional sporting events can get expensive, but maybe you can snag tickets to a local college game for a lot less and still give your youth athlete the whole experience. Who knows—maybe they’ll be able to picture themselves playing under the same lights one day!

New Gear

We all know that sports gear can get very expensive very quickly. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to buy second hand gear if your child is just starting out in sports. A-they’ll grow out of it in a season and B-you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on new equipment for football only to have them decide they’d rather play hockey and skip football next year! But if your youth athlete has settled down and clearly has a favorite sport (or maybe even one for each season) than it might be worthwhile investing in a great piece of gear for the upcoming season.

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Winning is Great, But Youth Soccer Must be Fun


Coming together helps a team bond – (Photo: Article.wn.com)

Competitive sports are a very strange phenomenon in the modern world.  We love sports, especially soccer.  Here is a game where people of all ages can take the field, kick a ball around, and enjoy themselves.  But too often in sports, a massive emphasis is placed on winning, and soccer players and coaches lose site of the overall goal, which is to simply have fun.  Make sure that your soccer team enjoys playing the sport, regardless of the score, because in youth soccer that is by far the most important thing.

Refrain from berating children who have made mistakes in the game.  Yes, it can be painful to watch a three goal lead slip away, but don’t single out a player for blame.  Chances are they already feel miserable about what happened and pouring salt into the open wound will just ruin their day.  Instead, give the young player a pat on the back and tell them to keep their head up.  Soccer is about confidence, and in young players who are just beginning to play the game such confidence is often remarkably frail, so help them move on from their mistakes, laugh it off, and keep enjoying the game.  These things happen.

I think a big problem with coaches and parents is that they live vicariously through their children on the soccer field.  When little Johnny Jr. scores a goal, grown-up Johnny enjoys it even more, and when Jr. loses the ball and the other team scores, guess what.  Johnny suffers in the pain as well.  Sometimes parents let their kids know those feelings and hurt the kid’s pride after the game, but that is entirely the wrong thing to do. As a child, don’t you want pleasant memories of your soccer playing days?  If you constantly berate your kids, they will only remember the pains of mistakes and will start to resent not only soccer, but also you.

So keep it fun!  Focus on the good plays that your soccer players make, even if they are few and far between.  Not only does praise make people feel better inside, but it also helps boost esteem, and this will often lead to improvements on the field and a greater love for the game.  When players develop and age they can view their own game from a more levelheaded vantage point.  In older years, it can be more beneficial to point out errors, but when it comes to the children you need to make youth soccer as enjoyable as possible.

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Just like the NFL, Pop Warner Football Coach Pays Cash for Big Hits and Knocking Opponents (10 and 11 year olds players) Out of Games


Just like NFL, Pop Warner Football Coach Pays Cash for Big Hits and Knocking Opponents Out of Games80820000gph1aebvt.1.jpg

Seven Pop Warner Players Have Now Come Forward That They Got Paid for Football Hits

Football Head to Head Hit That Injured a Pop Warner Player
Football Head to Head Hit That Injured a Pop Warner Player

By KEITH SHARON and FRANK MICKADEIT / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

640AM Keith Sharon interview http://www.kfiam640.com/player/?station=KFI-AM&program_name=podcast&program_id=JohnandKen.xml&mid=22474893 – Sharon describes how he uncovered the story.  Seven families come forward.

Four months before the world heard about the New Orleans Saints‘ bounty scandal, two Pop Warner football coaches in Tustin began offering cash to their 10- and 11-year-old players for making big hits and knocking opponents out of games, according to an assistant coach, a parent, interviews with players and signed statements by two players.

Tustin Red Cobras head coach Darren Crawford and assistant coach Richard Bowman, whose powerhouse squad went undefeated during the 2011 regular season, told their team to target specific players on the youth football teams from Yorba Linda, Santa Margarita and San Bernardino, said then-assistant coach John Zanelli and three players interviewed by the Register.

This Santa Margarita boy, whose parents asked not to use his name, played for the Pop Warner Stallions last year and was targeted by the Tustin Red Cobras.

All the other coaches and Tustin Pop Warner league officials deny a bounty program took place. Crawford said they did target opposing players but never told their team to injure them and never offered any payment for hitting or injuring them.

One of the targeted players, an 11-year-old running back from the Santa Margarita Stallions, suffered a concussion after he was hit by a Red Cobras player in the Pop Warner Orange Bowl last November. The player who delivered the hit was paid by Crawford after the game, Zanelli said.

The Register is not naming any of the players because of their ages.

Tustin league president Pat Galentine, who was an assistant coach for the 2011 Red Cobras, emphatically denied any mention of money by Crawford or Bowman.

“At no time was a bounty program ever discussed or was there an exchange of money for anything,” Galentine said.

However, the parent of one of the Red Cobras players said money was paid to his son after the playoff game against Yorba Linda.

“My son said he had won the prize,” said the father, whose name is not being used to protect the identity of his son. “He had a good, clean hit. The kids voted his play as the play of the game. He showed me one $20 bill. He said the coaches, plural, gave it to him.”

That parent said he had told Galentine about his son receiving money in a phone call Friday morning. But when reached by The Register, Galentine said he was having difficulty with his phone and didn’t hear what the parent said.

Reached by phone this week, Crawford and Bowman denied the existence of a bounty program. Crawford, still a football coach in the Tustin Pop Warner program, said the parents who made the allegations are “disgruntled” and that they forced their children to lie. Bowman, who is taking a year off from coaching, said the parents and players are lying.

“It’s amazing what disgruntled parents will put their kids through,” Crawford said.

Late Friday, Crawford said he is having trouble remembering whether he gave any player money after the Yorba Linda game. He said, “Maybe I did give him money to go to the snack bar.” But he was sure he didn’t give any money as a part of a bounty program.

Crawford said he knows for sure he did not give any player money after the Santa Margarita or San Bernardino games.

Officials from the Orange Empire Conference, which oversees Pop Warner football in this region, investigated the allegations, interviewing coaches, parents and players from the Red Cobras and decided not to hand out any punishments or sanctions.

O.E.C. commissioner Robert T. “Bobby” Espinosa said he found “no evidence” of a bounty program after hearing and reading statements from six parents and four players that alleged Crawford and Bowman offered between $20 and $50 during three playoff games at the end of the 2011 Junior Pee Wee football season.

Two players who allegedly took money from the coaches did not agree to be interviewed by the O.E.C. The father of one of those players, the same father who told The Register his son had been paid, was among the parents interviewed by Espinosa. Zanelli said he was in the room when that father told Espinosa his son had been paid.

Coaches Allegedly Paid Pop Warner Football Players for Big Hits

Coaches Allegedly Paid Pop Warner Football Players for Big Hits

Some parents of the targeted players are outraged.

Tara Yocam, the mother of a targeted Santa Margarita player, said, “The (Tustin) coaches’ behavior is appalling. I wouldn’t allow my son to play for those Neanderthals. They’re low-lifes. I’m embarrassed for them. It’s immature parenting, trying to win at all cost. Where is the sense of right and wrong? It shows a complete lack of integrity.”

Bitterness, accusations and bad blood are not uncommon in Pop Warner football, or other youth sports. In Tustin, both Bowman and Zanelli (who are on opposite sides of the bounty allegations) acknowledge each of them was suspended by their league for confrontations they’ve had with other parents.

Allegations that coaches paid children to knock others out of the game make this case unique.

An official at Pop Warner’s national office in Pennsylvania said he was made aware of the Tustin allegations, but because the incidents occurred at Southern California games, it was the O.E.C.,’s responsibility to conduct a hearing and hand out punishment if necessary.

Josh Pruce, Pop Warner’s national director of scholastics and media relations, said he can’t remember a bounty scandal ever happening in their program.

“There shouldn’t be that issue in Pop Warner football,” Pruce said. “There is no place for it. The kids are out there to learn football. There is no place for a bounty system.”

Zanelli, three players and two parents met with The Register last Sunday and offered detailed descriptions of the Red Cobras’ bounty program.

They said Crawford was stung by his team’s loss to Saddleback Valley in the 2010 Pop Warner Orange Bowl, and was determined to win the Pop Warner Orange Bowl in the 2011 season, advance through the playoffs and win the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Florida.

Zanelli and two of the players said the first mention of money came during a team huddle near the end of football practice on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011.

When Crawford first mentioned he would pay money for big hits and knocking opponents out of games, many of the Tustin Red Cobras shouted excitedly, energized by the prospect of earning cash, the players said.

“We were like, ‘OK! We’re going to go hit them! Wow!'” one player said. A second player said, “When we were after practice, getting our gear off, we were guessing who was going to get the money.”

That week the Red Cobras were preparing for their second playoff game of 2011. They would be facing a good team from Yorba Linda. During that week’s practice, Crawford told the players to target particular players on the Yorba Linda team.

“Crawford was saying, basically, they were going to give kids cash for the biggest hits in the game, and Bowman said if they hit certain players, they would get more money,” Zanelli said. “One was No. 42, and there were a couple of others as well.”

“As the practices went on that week, Bowman in particular would reiterate (the bounty program) to the kids time and again,” Zanelli said.

During an Oct. 27 film session at Crawford’s house, Crawford explained how the winners of the cash would be determined, three players said. Crawford told the team that they could all vote, and the player with the most votes would get money. Crawford told them the most money could be won if the opponents’ best player had to leave the game, they said.

Galentine, who said he attended every film session, said the coaches made no mention of money or bounties.

On game day, Oct. 29, the Red Cobras were going through their pre-game tackling drills. If a player executed a good warm-up hit, Bowman would yell, “‘That will get you money,'” a player said.

After the game, which the Red Cobras won 28-6, Zanelli and the players said Crawford gathered the team on the sideline and asked for a show of hands to vote for the best and second-best hits of the game.

Then Crawford asked the assistant coaches to pitch in to pay the players who won. Zanelli said he and another assistant coach did not contribute to the bounty fund.

“It wasn’t right,” Zanelli said.

Zanelli and one of the players said they saw Crawford, who was standing near the Tustin sideline after the conclusion of the Yorba Linda game, give cash to the player who got the most votes.

The players said they were caught up in the competitive spirit and didn’t consider whether it was right or wrong to accept money for great hits or even hurting an opposing player. One player said: “I was so excited, I didn’t think that much about it.”

The next week, before the playoff game against Santa Margarita, the Tustin coaches targeted at least three opposing players, Zanelli and the players said. At the Oct. 31 practice, the numbers of the Santa Margarita targets were taped to a Tustin tackling sled.

“It was a matter of knocking them out of the game,” one of the players said. “Now that I look back, I know it was wrong.”

The players said there was now so much talk among the Red Cobras about the money that Crawford told them, “Don’t go bragging about this to anybody.”

On Nov. 4, the Red Cobras played Santa Margarita in the Pop Warner Orange Bowl at Laguna Hills High School. The winner would be one victory away from qualifying to go to Florida.

In the days leading up to the game, Zanelli said he told Crawford he didn’t think the bounty program was a good idea. He said Crawford told him, “I hear you. I’ll talk to Rich (Bowman).” After that, Zanelli said, Bowman was more subdued during practice drills.

Still, Zanelli and the players said, several Santa Margarita players were targeted, including the quarterback and the running backs. And on game day, during pre-game warm-ups, Bowman tried to get the players fired up by yelling, “Do you want that money?”

Tustin had a 32-6 lead in the fourth quarter, but some of its best players were still in the game. On an off-tackle play, a Santa Margarita running back and a Tustin defender collided. It was so violent, Zanelli recalled, “There was a gasp from the crowd.”

A videotape of the game shows a helmet-to-helmet collision and the 11-year-old Santa Margarita player goes down. The stadium announcer says, “A big hit” with emphasis on big. The Santa Margarita player is seen lying on the ground. The Tustin player who made the hit tries to help him up, but the Santa Margarita player wobbles and falls again.

According to witnesses and participants, a doctor ran onto the field along with Santa Margarita coaches, and the game was delayed several minutes until the player was helped off the field.

Reggie Scales, the father of the injured player, was one of the coaches who went on the field to help. Scales said the doctor diagnosed his son with a mild concussion, and the boy did not return to the game. Scales said his son had headaches for more than a month after the hit.

“This kid speared him. Hit him right in the head,” Scales said. “It was a helmet-to-helmet hit.”

After the game, the Tustin players didn’t vote for the best hit. As coaches and kids walked to the post game awards ceremony, Zanelli said he saw Crawford give money directly to the player who made the game’s big hit. Another player said he was told by Crawford that he also would be receiving money for a big hit, but the coach never gave him the money.

Tustin now had to beat a San Bernardino team in the Wescon Regional Finals to determine the Junior Pee Wee champion for the western United States and the right to go to Florida. The bounty program became “more subdued, covert,” in the week leading up to that game, Zanelli said.

Zanelli and some players said that the talk of money was only between Crawford, Bowman and a few of the star players on the team. “They started concealing the program,” Zanelli said.

On Nov. 11, Tustin beat San Bernardino 34-0. Zanelli and the players interviewed said they didn’t know whether money was handed out after that game, but Zanelli said Crawford told the coaches there would be no such program in Florida.

On Dec. 4, the Tustin Red Cobras beat the Worchester (Mass.) Vikings 40-6. Then, in the semifinal game on Dec. 7, the Red Cobras were beaten by the Beacon House (Washington, D.C.) Falcons 12-8. Tustin’s season was over.

In the aftermath, Zanelli and six other parents from the Tustin team left Pop Warner and, with parents of 15 other boys, formed a team that now plays in a rival league. But not without a fight. The Tustin board wouldn’t allow Zanelli’s new team to play under the Tustin umbrella.

Jeff Wright, a Tustin board member, said he believes Zanelli, parents and players made up the story of the bounty program to use as leverage in an effort to force the league to allow them to form their own team.

Zanelli also took to the league allegations about the coaches falsifying the weights of the players (players were required to weigh just under 100 pounds at the end of the season) and the coaches fighting during their trip to Florida.

The league investigated and agreed with some of Zanelli’s allegations and suspended Bowman for half a season and put Crawford on probation.

For almost six months of haggling between the league and Zanelli, “He never mentioned the bounty,” Wright said.

Zanelli acknowledged that initially he kept quiet about the bounties. He said he felt bad that he, as an assistant coach, hadn’t done more to stop it. And he had another motivation for staying silent for as long as he did.

“I was concerned the bounty would bring down the entire Tustin organization,” Zanelli said.

Another reason for local sports reviews….

Pop Warner ‘bounties’ split Tustin club | players, zanelli, crawford – Life – The Orange County Register.

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How Did Penn State Cover Up Sandusky’s Behavior ? – Need Online Coach Reviews


We trust our kids to our coaches.

Let’s give parents and students a service that allows them to post what they love and don’t like about their coaches. Unbiased reviews will help teachers and students.

What would you post about your coaches. Feel free to write a coach review. We know their are plenty of great coaches in your town.

Freeh report on Penn State related to Sandusky scandal released | Bill Handel – KFI AM 640 More Stimulating Talk Radio.

More Teacher and Pastor News – Need Reviews to Protect our Communities.
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Anaheim Teacher Arrest

KFI NEWS’s blog postings.

via KFI NEWS.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
OC Pastor Convicted

KFI NEWS’s blog postings.

via KFI NEWS.

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San Diego Kids Activities


Contact Us | San Diego Kids Activities.

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