Recently played in a baseball tournament in Arizona with our 10U LTP squad and battled against 110 degree heat and some of the best travel programs in the country…
There were 16 teams in the tourney and you literally could do some sort of sociology experiment with the eclectic mix of kids, parents and coaches.
Each squad came with their own culture that was exhibited and expressed by a wide range of factors including the coaching and playing style that tended to be a direct reflection of the team as a whole.
The parents offer an entirely different dynamic but are actually as much of a part of the team’s culture as anything or anybody else.
Because the overall judgment of a culture is very subjective, it’s difficult to say what is the right way and what is the wrong way to develop it…
That said, the underlying theme of any youth sports should be to facilitate a positive environment that teaches the game as well as the countless life lessons that accompany the on & off field experiences.
Look, I am still relatively new to this youth coaching thing but one thing that I have learned is when we are able to create an overwhelming positive environment, other people and other teams take notice.
After we lost in the championship game in AZ, the other team’s best player and his parents came up to me in the parking lot and basically said:
“If you guys ever need an extra player we would love to play with you guys… Sure looks like your team has a lot of fun!”
As much as I would like to take some of the credit, the truth is that the Let Them Play vibes are radiated through the other coaches on our staff, the players and of course the parents… Without the cohesion of all 3 there will inevitably be a breakdown, but when we do synergistically come together, win, lose or draw, the culture game victory was locked up before the game even started.
P.S. Have you hopped on a Team GoHard Foot Reflexology Board yet?