Tag: jbmthinks.com

Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch – Part 5: O Captain My Captain

Part 5 – Captains
It’s easy for coaches to be control freaks. I am. It’s very hard for me to give up control of anything. I have trouble giving up control to assistant coaches, so it’s even harder for me to give up control to kids, i.e. captains.
But that is the old me, the one who often would get distracted by winning instead of developing young men. And ironically, the winning actually happens more for teams that have full buy-in. So this has become a huge learning point for me, developing captains that lead the team. Here is the breakdown:
Why are they important?
  • It’s your chance to develop the next generation of leaders! Teach them to be problem solvers, don’t do it all for them.
  • Buy-in. Work with the captains for establishing your team’s standards. Brainstorm with them on how to handle discipline – it starts with them!
  • Ask the captains what they are seeing in the game. Gametime should be minimal instruction – let the captains be your vocal leaders. Janis Meredith from Positive Sports Parenting teaches parents to use the acronym WAIT – Why Am I Talking – this often applies to coaches too. Listen more, talk less.
How do you pick ’em?
Your captains are held to a higher standard. If they are cutting corners when you are running laps then they probably aren’t good candidates to be a good captain.
There a tons of theories on how to pick them: do the coaches pick them, do the players vote, or a combination of these choices (coaches narrow it down to 5 then players vote, or visa versa.) I don’t know if there is an absolute wrong or right, but here’s what I have found works well:
  • Let the kids vote for 3 people
  • Tally the results, then look it over to see if there is a big gap between the totals. That can help you decide if there are 2, 3, or 4 captains.
  • You then pull aside each of them individually and let them know the responsibilities of being a captain. This is your chance as a coach to vet out anybody you have a concern over.
When do you pick em?
Waiting until the season starts is too late for a school team. Ideally at the end of a season, have all the non-seniors (returning players) vote for next year’s captains. That way you can be meeting in the offseason with the captains to plan for next year’s season.
How do I train them?
My friend Adam Bradley has developed a resource that is entirely dedicated to training captains how to lead teams. The cool thing is knows kids have short attention spans so he has made all the lessons in his 8 week character development series into games. It’s an awesome resource, go check it out:
What about non-recurring teams (travel teams, youth sports teams)?
All of the above applies, except for the timing. You probably will want to have several weeks of practice then have the team vote. Since you won’t have the benefit of an offseason to plan with the captains, the coaches will have to establish the standards and get buy in from the captains as early as possible.
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WYC 066 – Concussion – Emily Cohen and Janis Meredith talk the movie ‘Concussion’ and Roundtable on how it relates to youth football and other youth sports


What does the movie Concussion mean to youth sports coaches and parents? Listen in as youth sports’ thought leaders Emily Cohen from Teamsnap and Janis Meredith from JBMThinks.com join Craig in a roundtable discussion on the movie and its implications to youth sports.


Website: www.teamsnap.com/community/podcast

Twitter: @emilygcohen


Website: jbmthinks.com

Twitter: @jbmthinks

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link

Links mentioned:

The Knockout Project – theknockoutproject.org

Concussion App – Concussion Quick Check by the American Academy of Neurology

Other concussion links:

American Journal of Sports Medicine: Epidemiology of Sports-Related Concussion in NCAA Athletes From 2009-2010 to 2013-2014. Link to free abstract: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26330572

Concussion rate per 10,000 athletic exposures:

Boys’ wrestling 10.92
Boys’ ice hockey 7.91
Girls’ ice hockey 7.52
Boys’ football 6.71
Girl’s soccer 6.31
Girls’ basketball 5.95
Girls’ lacrosse 5.21
Girls’ field hockey 4.02
Boys’ basketball 3.89
Girls’ volleyball 3.57

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WYC 049 – Youth Softball – Stacie Mahoe talks leadership involving action not position

 Stacie Mahoe - 61296 - 01

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Stacie Mahoe shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Stacie Mahoe has been involved in the game of fastpitch softball since the age of 9 and is the Founded AllAboutFastpitch.com in 2004. Stacie also served as the Chief Marketing Officer at SoftballPerformance.com for a few years. Her perspectives on the game as a former player, current coach, and current softball parent provide unique insight on various softball issues.

While physical ability and athleticism are necessary to play the game, Stacie believes that the right mindset and attitude separate the good from the great and also help you succeed, not only on the diamond, but in life as well. While Stacie enjoys helping players improve their overall fitness and softball skill, far more rewarding is the opportunity to help young ladies become champions in life .

Website: Staciemahoe.com


twitter: @staciemahoe

youtube: /staciemahoe


Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link



‘Leadership is action not position’

Coaching your own kids

  • ‘She listened to other coaches much more than she listened to me’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Make sure you show the kids how you can help them – then they will buy-in and listen more

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Explaining the concept instead of just telling them increases buy-in
  • Fun game – Like red rover, but with nerf balls – trying to get the balls through the other line

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance


  • Try to get the athlete to see the small picture – don’t get overwhelmed by thinking of the big picture – ask the athlete to think of a small victory they can picture

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Coach present – If you are asking the kids to play present – you need to coach present.  Don’t be distracted by cell phones, thinking about other things.
  • Consistency – you have to consistently enforce things.


  • Individual punishment vs. team punishment – If it’s something the team can help an individual with – i.e. coming back late from a water break – if no one on the team is encouraging/yelling at a player who is running late – then the whole team can do the punishment
  • Celebrate a lot!  Kids will work harder when they are having fun!

Connecting with Kids

  • Sometimes the toughest players – just want to be listened to – and if you listen to them and value their input they become much more connected and valuable teammates


  • Help the players learn, develop, grow – the winning will take care of itself.
  • The winning is not the top priority as a coach – developing the kids is the top priority.

The One that Got Away

  • As a player – Stacie had a game where she felt like she could have played better – she didn’t like that feeling so it motivated her to prepare that much harder so it wouldn’t happen again

Best Stolen idea

  • Stacie learned from her father what being a great coach looked like – he was very organized and very prepared

Coaching/Leadership Quote or Book

  • Quote – ‘Leadership is action not position’, and ‘True leadership is serving the people you are leading’  It’s not about being the boss.


  • Blog – about softball skills, and sports parenting advice
  • Partnering with Janis Meredith from jbmthinks.com on webinars with parenting advice

Parting Advice

  • You are there for the kids – all decisions should be what’s best for the kids (NOT the kid’s parents!)


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