Tag: Keith Van Horn

WYC 038 Emily Cohen from TeamSnap talks sportsmanship and lessons learned from great coaches


What does it take to be part of a winning youth team? Listen in as Emily Cohen shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports team manager.

Emily has been a team manager for youth sports teams for over 10 years.  She also is a blogger for TeamSnap, and also hosts a podcast for TeamSnap.  As a youth sports podcast host and blogger, Emily is passionate about sportsmanship, injury prevention, and sideline etiquette. Emily is married and has 2 kids, ages 18 and 15.

Website: www.teamsnap.com/community/podcast

Twitter: @emilygcohen

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming’ – John Wooden

Coaching Your Own Kids

  • Always have an assistant to provide balance for being your own kid’s coach
  • The Team Manager can be a conduit to hear concerns/complaints from parents – embrace this!

Team Managing Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • If the coach you work with is a bad communicator – don’t be afraid to step up and take over the communication role
  • Delegate!  Have specific roles assigned to a bunch of the parents – and assign them right at the beginning of the season (even if it’s something that you don’t need until the end of the season – i.e. coaches’ gifts, team videos)

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Talk to the kids physically at their level – take a knee so you’re not talking down to them which can be very intimidating (this can be especially important when coaching girls)
  • Minimize lines – have multiple stations to keep the kids constantly moving
  • Free-play – 30 minutes of no adult involvement

Mental Peak Performance

  • As a parent – Have your child own the experience and stay out of the way, and don’t attend tryouts
  • As a coach – put each kid in the best position for them to succeed – which is different for each kid
  • Coaches – you have to format your communication to your athletes – so that they don’t freeze from the pressures you are putting on them

Coaching Resources

  • TeamSnap – Software program and app that allows you to enter team rosters, schedules, and tons of team info. You can send scheduling updates easily and it’s a lifesaver for team managers.


  • Corporate punishment for individual mistakes – You really need to think through your team chemistry and be careful if you are going to ever use this.
  • Community service can be another positive way to discipline kids.


  • HUGE IDEA #1 – Juggling competition – Each week you try to beat your previous record of how many times you can juggle the soccer ball.  Good reward because it encourages you to practice on your own outside of practice.  And you can set individual and team goals for each week and for the season.
  • When setting up teamwork goals – make sure you include the parents, not just the kids

Inspiring Story

  • Be on the lookout for a kid having off the field home problems – being late for practice, etc. – then seek to understand and see how you can help this kid out


  • Winning is a happy result – but there are so many more lessons to be learned from losing

The One that Got Away

  • Emily’s son’s final high school start as a baseball pitcher – they were up 5-1, and then one play rattled him and the team
  • HUGE IDEA #2 – Coaches – practice situations going wrong and momentum swinging against them – you have to practice it and be prepared for it
  • Teach your kids to be idiot-proof

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

  • Quote – ‘Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming’ – Coach John Wooden

Parting Advice

  • Forget about the win/loss record – and instead focus on making the experience fun

The TeamSnap Youth Sports Podcast


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WYC 036 Keith Van Horn, 10 year NBA veteran, talks youth basketball and the importance of free-play

 What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Keith Van Horn shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Keith was the ESPN NCAA Player of the Year in 1997, and went on be drafted with the 2nd pick in the NBA draft.  He spent 10 years in the NBA, averaged over 16 points per game, and went to NBA finals with the New Jersey Nets and the Dallas Mavericks.  He currently serves as the Founder and Executive Director for Colorado Premier Basketball Club which is the largest youth basketball club in the state of Colorado, and works with over 1,000 youth in the communities it serves.  He also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Positive Coaching Alliance.  Keith is married and has 4 kids, ages 11 to 19.

Website: keithvanhorn.com

Blog: layupsandrebounds.com

Twitter: @coach_keith44

Facebook: /keithvanhornofficial

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


Coaching my own kids

  • Keep the proper perspective – have fun, learn the sport, learn life lessons

My ‘Ah-Ha’ Moment

  • Youth basketball coaching is very unorganized (vs. other sports like youth soccer, which requires accreditation) – Coaches need to take a little time to get organized so they can teach well

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

HUGE IDEA #1 – 1st look at it from the kid’s performance – why are the kids playing? – To have fun, spend time with friends, run and jump a little bit?  This might be different based on their gender also.  When looking at the 4F’s for goals – Fun, Friendships, Fundamentals, Fight – You need to individualize these for each player – some kids just want to hang out with their friends, others want to improve a skill, others just want to win – so create motivation/goals for each individual based on where they are at.

Teaching skills


  • Spider – Ball handling game – 4 or 5 defenders, 3 or 4 offensive players – Players have to dribble to the other end of the court while the spiders are trying to knock their ball out of the court, if you get your ball knocked out you join the spiders.
  • Teaching shooting – Do form shooting in 2 player groups – Shooting the ball back and forth to each other (without a basket) to work on form

Mental Peak Performance

  • If you are coaching an organization with tryouts – have good options for everyone – give the parents/kids good
  • As a player – the key is to play present and stay focused on what you are doing – you have to block out the fans/other coaches, etc.
  • The biggest thing a parent can do is instill the right priorities- a basketball tryout is not the most important thing for your child or your family

Inspiring Story

  • Keith is working with youth to teach more than basketball but real life lessons – dealing with losses, working in a team environment, the discipline of practice.


  • Blog created to encourage parents and kids on lessons learned off and on the court
  • Keith encourages more free-play time with no coaches – just learn the game and have fun

Parting Advice


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