Murrieta Surf Soccer Club Monthly Newsletter – November 2015

We trust you will enjoy the second edition of our newsletter “OFF THE POST”.

The fall season is flying by and for many of our teams the end of the regular season is rapidly approaching.

Some teams have a congested last few weeks due to the untimely rain-outs and the ants that surfaced because of that rain.

We hope that the season so far has been an enjoyable experience and that your child/children are better for their experiences.

The planning and preparation for the New Year is already well underway, and we expect to be even better and bigger next year.

In expectation of this anticipated club growth Steve Myles is looking for coaches to add to his staff. If you are aware of qualified coaches that would want to join us please have them contact Steve Myles.

The Board of Directors, Coaches and Team Managers would like to wish all our players and families a safe a joyous Thanksgiving.

Once again your feedback to any topics in this newsletter will be gratefully received as it was last month. Please recommend subjects that you would like to hear more about.

If you do nothing else please click the “YouTube” link below and watch this short video.

Let Dr. Alan Goldberg from “Competitivedge” give you outstanding advise that goes hand – in - hand with the article by Gwynne Williams on “Playing Time.”

Playing Time- Parents: Dealing With The Painful Issue Of Your Child's Playing Time

Thank you,

Gwynne Williams—MSSC Director of Business Development

(email: gwynne528@gmail.com)

 

This months offerings for you are as follows:


Director of Soccer Operations, Steve Myles

Many of you will have heard that US Soccer is mandating changes throughout the country for youth soccer. These changes are recommended in 2016 and will be mandatory by 2017. Steve gives you direct links to explain the changes, which will affect every club in the country.

Hi Parents, Players and Coaches,

Welcome to the November issue of "OFF THE POST".

One of the hot topics doing the rounds of youth soccer is in regard to ALL the changes being implemented by US Soccer to totally transform how young players are developed throughout the USA.

By August 2017 ALL youth soccer clubs and state organizations are required by US Soccer to have implemented the new development rules.

Calsouth has already approved the implementation of age group registration by calendar year as mandated by the US soccer federation.

The Calsouth board also approved a two-year phase in for the small-sides games mandate.

The 2016-17 soccer year will serve as a transition year to the US Youth Soccer programs and small sided game requirements which will be fully implemented for the 2017-18 season.

These US Soccer coaching initiatives, which will be mandated by August 2017 are focused on advancing youth players individual skills and intelligence and providing players with the best opportunity to improve.

We as a club will be working diligently and subject to more directives from Calsouth and SCDSL. We will be implementing the changes as mandated.

Please see below Links for more info from US Soccer Federation and FAQ from Calsouth .

Regards to all,

Steve Myles

http://www.calsouth.com/en/news-detail/254-id.209717520.html#.VjEYY2fDR4g.email


Gwynne Williams has contributed two articles this month that he hopes will be of interest.

1. “Playing Time. It’s not a lottery there is method to the madness”. Gives some good advise on how best to understand his oft-confused aspect of team sport. 

Playing Time

It’s not a lottery - there’s method to the madness.

By Gwynne Williams

 

This month I thought it would be good to touch on the subject of “playing time”.

This subject often leads to discord for parents, more so than players.

If your child is in the “Micro” or “Recreation” program this is really simple. The coaches in these programs are asked to play all players at least fifty percent of the time. The exceptions to this would be in the event that a player is sick or injured or in rare circumstances being disciplined by the coach.

Fortunately this does not happen very often and rarely with the younger players.

Just as in society there are acceptable behaviors and unacceptable behaviors. When an unacceptable behavior is exhibited it is an opportunity for a coach and parents to assist the player become aware that there are consequences to actions.

Children will rise to our level of expectancy or stoop to our level of tolerance!

If parents support the coach, (even though they might not agree), they will better aid the child turn a soccer-negative into a positive. I understand from personal experience that this is not always easy to do. However, there are serious life lessons to be taught by being united with the coach over what is in reality a small event in life. This should not be seen as “tough love.” However, as I said it is not always easy. The same could be said in supporting their teachers at school.

You cannot fool children and they know that if you support the coach there will be consistency and boundaries in their life and they need to know that these boundaries are there. They need structure in their life. They will be better people for this structure.

Allow them to divide you and the coach and it’s a slippery slope, and the consequences' become more serious the older they get.

In recreation soccer as long as your child is getting at least fifty percent of the playing time the coach is meeting the guidelines. Some coaches find ways of playing their stronger players even more than fifty percent. But unless your child is not getting the fifty percent there is nothing to discuss.

A sure sign that your child has out-grown recreation soccer and is seeking a greater challenge is when they feel that only playing fifty percent of the game is not enough.

When children move away from recreation soccer into the more competitive arena of travel soccer, parents must realize that this is a different arena. It is nothing to be frightened of, embrace it, because your child is ready for a greater challenge. However be cognoscente that their desire may just be that they want to be with friends whom are more ready than they are and as a result they may struggle at first.

Regardless your child still needs your support.

Competitive soccer is an arena that requires greater commitment of time, energy, focus and sadly more money.

In competitive soccer there are tryouts and not everyone makes the team. Some do not make the A-team and have to settle for the B, C or D teams. That’s ok! Its not where you start, it’s where you finish that counts. Professional soccer is filled with players that were told at one time or another that they were not good enough. They refused to believe that and kept working at the game and became better players for overcoming the difficulties and disappointments.

In the world of competitive soccer there are different guidelines. Here, whether fair or unfair it is the coach’s prerogative as to who plays and how much time they play. My mother used to say to me, “No one ever said life was going to be fair”. And when things did not go my way. She would say, “What do you want to do about it?”

Coaches base their decisions on their own philosophy of the game, the child’s ability as they see it, the competition within the team and the opposition and the hugely subjective area of assessing the player’s effort and commitment. And yes children are inconsistent on top of it all. They confuse effort with ability and it is not so.

No player wants to be unsuccessful. They do not set out to make mistakes. Even the good players make mistakes- they just make less of them.

It is worth mentioning that the whole process is about preparing players to be prepared for real competition, which starts between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. Until then you would hope that the coach and parents would still place development above winning.

So the best advise that any soccer parent can be given in competitive soccer is to leave your emotions at home. Let the coach make the decisions they have to make and to enjoy the game.

Understand we all know that there is no fun for a player sitting on the bench. They are there to play. There would be something wrong if they enjoyed sitting on the bench.

Sometimes coaches have to protect less-developed players against strong opposition and not play them as much. This is because the coach knows they are not ready for the level of opposition and to play them might risk affecting the confidence of both the player and the team.

Remember you cannot fool children and they know why they are on the bench.

It is a good thing that they do not like sitting on the bench. They may do something about this in a positive way. They will not benefit from you trying to solve their problems.

It is vital that when dealing with your child your emotions do not get in the way.

Your coach will have his/her philosophy on how they want the game to be played and how your child fits into that philosophy. Their philosophy is seldom fixed and will change as they mature as a coach. Wisdom is not wasted on the young, even is coaching. They see your child in a certain role or multiple roles. You may have a different outlook but you are not the coach.

As the old saying goes, “It is not what happens to you in life. Its how you react to what happens to you in life.” That is the important thing in life.

So encourage your child to channel any disappointment from a lack of playing time in a positive manner. Let them use their disappointment as the catalyst to strive to be better through good attitude and endeavor.

To be the “star” of the team you have to earn it. Genetics play a part too.

To be on the team you have to earn it the old fashioned way.

Sitting on the bench is the hardest thing in soccer and there is no disgrace in being on the bench as long as the attitude is positive and you do all you can to get off the bench. They (your child) should want to get better and see someone else sitting on the bench. All aspects of sport should be played with class and dignity.

All too often the frustrations of sitting on the bench and gaining limited playing time are channeled negatively which distracts from everything. This negativity leads to frustration for the parents and the player, and reduces the quality of their output. It’s draining for the player, team and the coach.

Parents in this position often add to the negativity without realizing it. Your child will be stronger for overcoming this adversity. They will not become stronger if you try to do it for them.  

Winners find a way to win and losers make excuses. Never allow your child to make excuses why they are not getting the playing time. Have them find out what they need to do to earn more playing time. There is nothing wrong with them asking the coach what they have to do to earn more playing time as long as they are prepared to do something about the answers they are given. (The coach needs to be honest and constructive here as well.)

Parents like it or not players have to play the roles that the coach designates. When a player comes off the bench the coach expects them to know their role and make an immediate impact. This is their chance to convince the coach that they deserve more playing time. They cannot do this if they are not focused and positive.

Unfortunately some cannot see the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. I have seen many that want to play the role of a victim and find excuses. All to often this leads to early drop out from the team, club or sport.  Players in this position are not having a good experience. Moving clubs is not the answer. The answer is found within the player. All they need to be successful is contained within them. As parents it is your job to assist them discover that it is there and encourage them to develop their desires positively. Latter in life it may be a boss that they do not see eye to eye with. Who asks them to play a role that they would rather not .

In closing please know that even if your child is not a starter today they can be provided they keep positive and are prepared to work at improving their weaknesses. That means working harder and smarter than the starters not just now and again but all the time.

When I was a coach with the New England Revolution I coached Matt Reis, now the goalkeeper coach for the LA Galaxy. In my opinion he was the best goalkeeper in Major League Soccer at the time. He has played for the National Team, won championships and was selected to the MLS All-Star Team on three occasions.

What most people do not know is that Matt spent seven years on the bench as a back up. Five years at the LA Galaxy and two at New England before he was given his chance to play. He got his chance when the first choice goalkeeper was injured. He had spent seven years working hard for this opportunity every day, year after year. When the chance came he grabbed it with both hands. He played so well that he could not be replaced. He made sure he was the undisputed first choice goalkeeper for the next ten years. He was able to do this because he backed up his talent with a positive attitude and self-belief in his own ability. Even though there were days where he was frustrated at being overlooked and sitting on a bench watching another goalkeeper playing.  Story endings like this one do not happen if you do not have the right attitude.

He never gave up. He decided that even though life might not be fair, he was going to do something about it. That something was a determination that he brought to work every day for seventeen years.

This true story is a measure of who Matt was as a player and is as a person. He could have made excuses but he didn’t.

My intention here has been to make you think about supporting your soccer-playing child. If you and the coach play your part it will help your child develop as a player and a person and stay in the game. They will enjoy the game more and you will enjoy watching them enjoy themselves. They will be better prepared for whatever life throws at them in the years to come.

Keep the ball rolling,

Gwynne Williams

 

2. “The Complex Role Of Being A Soccer Parent “

(With the best of intentions, it can still go wrong.) Learn how to avoid the 3C’s of being a soccer parent. 

John O’Sullivan from “Changing the Game” gives players sound advice on “The one great quality that all good team mates have in common.” 

The Doctor’s Corner- Dr. Steele MD, MBA, FACEP from I-Care Urgent Care in Murrieta sheds light on the topic of sheds light on hydration. What’s good to drink and what is not? Player’s preparation and recovery are aided by appropriate hydration. Correct hydration is more than attaining performance levels.   

Extra fun was had at “Skills Night” on October 27th & October 28th.

The ever-popular skills nights enjoyed by weekly by at least a hundred players, got a head start on the Halloween celebrations by attending practice in costume.

The Complex Role Of Being A Soccer Parent

(With the best of intentions, it can still go wrong)

 

I’ll go out on a limb and make the assumption - that you want the best for your child……..

The hard fact is that more than 70% of young athletes (soccer included) will quit playing sport by the age of thirteen. An amazing statistic that would lead us to believe, that if correct, (and unfortunately it is,) some things must be very wrong in youth sports. Most players never experience playing competitively beyond middle school.

The vast majority of those players quit youth sport because it is no longer fun and they are tired of being critiqued by their parents and coach.

Some realize they have reached their plateau, others discover different activities, some healthy some not.

Unfortunately too many young players turn away from sport because they have suffered their parents and coaches for too long.

While it is fair to say that no parent sets out to be insufferable and overbearing. Most parents unwittingly reach this point without realizing it and their child has a worse experience for this.

Children are judged and evaluated all day long every day. They are judged by their teachers in school, judged by their peers for their clothing or their hair, by coaches for performance, and then you as parents want to add your judgment.

Admittedly you do this out of a desire to help your child, but if your not careful you can turn them off.

Without realizing it is easy to go off on the 3 C’s – complaining, condemning and criticizing.

Parents have a responsibility to educate, guide, redirect, set-boundaries and to correct. However, the surest way to ruin your relationship with your child is to spend your quality time together expressing the 3c’s about their sport of choice. Your soccer-playing child wants your love and acceptance and approval. Sports psychologists believe that it takes eleven positive feedbacks to balance out one single negative comment. That’s hard to do.

When professional and college athletes were asked the question,

“What was their worst memory of playing youth sports? ” The answer that topped the list was – “The ride home from games with parents”.

Those same athletes when asked to state what made them feel best about playing youth sports?

The top answer was, “Hearing parents say, I love watching you play.”

There you have it from the ones that stayed the course in sport and reached the peaks that others only dream of reaching.

No matter whether your child is in the under-six recreation program or on a state championship soccer team, take heed and listen to those two responses.

Mothers and fathers, of course do not set out to make the journey home from the game a tortuous affair. They often do so inadvertently.

I am not indicating that these parents are the ones that lose control on the sideline and berate the officials or even their own child. Nor are they the ones that second-guess the coaches every move and bark their own instructions that never seem to be the same as the coach’s instructions.

Unfortunately we see too many of them as well. They are a different story for another time.

I am referring to well-intentioned parents who initiate conversation about the game that just finished before their child has stopped panting and the sweat on the forehead has dried.

What those parents fail to understand is that after a competitive performance, no matter what the score, children desire distance. They need time to transition from competitive player back to being a child. They need to assess what happened, good bad or indifferent in their own terms.

They would prefer that you transitioned from spectator or coach back to being just mom or dad.

Players also stated in that survey that they enjoyed having their grandparents watch them play even more than their parents. Why? Because, grandparents were more apt to just watch them play the game without making judgment.

They (grandparents) are more likely to watch their grandchildren be who they really are in the moment. Children recognize that a grandparent is more likely to just smile and say, “ I love watching you play” and leave it at that - no pressure, no paralysis by analysis.

All too often parents want to go over details and reinforce things that seem so important to them, thinking they are helping their child. They do not give their child time to distance themselves from the game. All to often the conversation is about what they did not or cannot do. Rather than about what they did and can do.

If you say things like:

Stay focused even when you are on the bench.”

“You need to hustle more.”

“You blew it again,”

“You are not trying as hard as you can.”

“You need to work on your weaker foot.”

“I thought you could have done better when……..”

“You would have won if it were not for the ref.”

“Your coach would have won if he’d played you more.”

“ You’re a better player than this one or that one.”

“We need to find a better team than this.”

The list goes on and on.

And there may be some truth in every statement listed above. But a young player does not want or need your version immediately after the game.

Such comments undermine their performance, their teammates, the coach or the officials and run counter to everything a young player is taught in sport.

Players understand their niche in the game and are working from that point.

Let your child bring the game to you when they are ready. They will do that when and if they want to.

Parents, soccer is one of the few places that you can say to your child, “This is your world.”  

The game of soccer, above all games, is truly for the players. Soccer is one of the few places that that your child can take risks and deal with failure. Here the consequences are not fatal or even life threatening. This is a game and in an arena that can give them wonderful life lessons. Failure in sport is an opportunity that they need to embrace and not shy away from or feel that they have transgressed and therefore should be banished or feel less self worth.

Once you as the parent know that your child is in a safe environment please release your child to the game, the coach and their teammates. In this way their success or failures will be theirs.

Discussion on the way home should be about anything other than the game or practice.

Only when your child brings their game forward should you engage in the discussion. Even then ask what they think, or what they saw. It is their game and they will know that you genuinely care if you listen to their version. They have a different perspective than you and they will speak from their heart once they know you really want to hear what they have to say, and not just having them give answers that they suspect you want to hear.

Parents, I know you want your child to succeed. Your child wants to be first and foremost a child with supportive parents. Don’t allow the situation to become one where they rationalize that if they quit playing they will get their parent back instead of the over critical, opinionated analyst that you may have become.

That’s how the media portrays every play on TV so it must be right.

If it’s good for Landon Donovan and Abby Wambach it must be good for our child - wrong!

Soccer is a game of motion and emotion. The best parents, players, coaches and officials are able to keep their emotions in check. Showing displeasure to an action on the field whether in a game or practice only sends the wrong message. Encouragement is crucial especially when things do not go well.

Are you and your child on the same page? Do you want the same results from their soccer experience?

Have you asked your child what they want to get out of the experience?

Most players just want to have fun, enjoy time with friends, work on and improve their skills and win any competitive game that is placed before them.

All too often parents are looking beyond the present moment to a perceived higher expectation.

Will my child make the All Star Team? Will they win the league or State Cup? Will they get an athletic scholarship in the future? Will they play professionally?

If those are your expectations, chances are you are not putting all your efforts into the “now” of soccer. You are more concerned with the destination than the journey. If that is the case, then you are probably talking soccer derailment here and not just a delay on the soccer train journey.

One situation that you really need to pay attention to is avoiding treating your child differently when they loose the game. This trap is all too easy to fall into.

Obviously you love your child regardless of the result.

Yet many parents do not realize that they treat their child differently when they lose a game. Most parents unwittingly convey a different message when a loss occurs. Your child picks up on this immediately and the end result is that they know that you treat them differently if they have lost. They are smart enough to know that your valuation of them through your behavior is tied to the result. They question their self worth based on a result that in reality is not life and death. I honestly cannot remember how many games I won and lost in my youth. All I know is that I had fun, tried my best on most occasions and learned a lot about the game and life.

Another important consideration is unknowingly undermining the coach.

When I am instructing soccer coaches’ on a coaching course. Especially volunteer coaches of young players. I point out to them that most parents fear to tread where they have volunteered. Many parents will say that they never played and do not know enough about the game to take charge. Or they do not have the time. Some of these parents never miss a practice or game and within two weeks are telling other parents what the coach is doing wrong.

Young players need a single instructional voice at most. The ideal world would have young players solve all the soccer problems for themselves.

Yet many parents convey messages that are different from the message that the coach is giving. This is confusing to players. Children are conscious that they are expected to follow their parent’s instructions and often you will see young players glancing to see if they have met their parent’s approval while the game is in flow. Players that are distracted cannot perform to their best and unknowingly you are distracting from your child’s level of performance by doing this. This leads to underperforming and understandably the coach wants to give more playing time to players that will play without distractions. Hence you are accelerating the demise of the child you are wishing to succeed.

Any talk regarding the coach or their coaching decisions without the coach being present is counter-productive and undermines the coach.  Coaches have to make decisions that are in the best interest of the team first and foremost. Sometimes those decisions may not be to your liking or your child’s liking. (Life lessons here I think.)

Please do not take credit for what your child has achieved on the field. It is their soccer world and their achievement. If you are saying things like:

“You did it just like I showed you.”

Or

“ We worked on that shot in the back yard.”

Or

“Keep working and you will be as good as I was”

Or

“When I played……………………………………”

You are interjecting yourself into their game. They play not you.

I have talked with parents a week after a game and they have told me that they have not got over loosing the big game last week.  They say it as though they themselves played in the game. This is a sure sign that the game is out of perspective for them. If you as a parent are depressed because of your child’s result, or the result is still on your mind five minutes after the game, you have the game out of context.

Life moves on, and life moves on after loosing a soccer game, and it moves on quickly.

 

I have lost a few games in my time and can speak from experience of loosing World Cup qualifiers, MLS Cup Finals and even a College National Championship game as a coach.

Loosing is an opportunity to take stock and get better. How your child reacts to the loss is the important thing. Success is getting up one more time than you have been knocked down.

As the parent of a player I hope that I have given you cause to think about your support of your child.

We must all work together to improve the experience your child gains from the game every day of the week.

Many of you get it right most of the time. However, we can all be better parents (me included) and we should strive to improve as parents, for the sake of our children.

I hope you can enjoy watching and supporting your child more effectively after thinking about what has been stated in this article.

Where they take their involvement in this game should be their decision supported by you. Not your decision supported by them playing.

They are more likely to continue to play and enjoy the game if you are playing your role to the best of your ability.

Players that feel supported especially when they make a mistake will have a greater tendency to apply themselves mentally and physically to improving.

The good players are the ones that found their own solutions to the problems they faced in the game.

Attend as many games as possible and let the players find their own solutions to the game. It is their game after all.

Model appropriate behavior at all times, contrary to the old saying, children do as you do, and not as you say. So whatever example you provide is the example they will follow.

Know what is suitable to discuss with the coach. It is never appropriate to discuss other players other than your own.

Know your role as a supportive parent, be a good listener and above all else tell your child what pleasure you receive from watching them play their game.

If you can do that, both you and your child will have a better quality, longer lasting and more successful affiliation with the game of soccer.

 

Keep the ball rolling,

Gwynne Williams


The One Quality Great Teammates Have in Common

By John O’Sullivan

 

“Coach, can I talk to you?”

“Sure,” I said. “What’s on your mind today Michael?”

“Well, I just want to know what I can do so I get to start more games and get more playing time as a center midfielder. I don’t think I am showing my best as a winger, and my parents tell me I am not going to get noticed by the college scouts unless something changes.”

Well Michael,” I said, “there is something that all coaches are looking for from the players they recruit. In fact, it is exactly what I am looking for from you as well. If you approach every practice, every fitness session, and every match with this one thing, I think you will see a huge improvement in your play, regardless of where you play.

Interested?”

“Of course, coach. What is it?”

I waited a moment before I answered to make sure he was listening.

“You have to stop asking what you can get, and start asking what you can give. You must serve.”

Michael furrowed his brow as he tried to process what I told him.

“You want me to serve the team, like with food?”

I smiled, “No Michael, serving others is the one thing that unites successful people, from friends to employees to athletes to business owners. The great ones know that to be more they must become more, and to become more they must serve others.”

“So, you are saying that instead of asking what I can get from the team, I should be asking what I can give to the team?”

I wanted to leap out of my chair and hug him.

Michael got it. It’s not about him. It’s not about me. It’s about service. The tool that would eventually earn him more playing time and increase his chances of playing in college serving others by focusing upon what he could give, instead of what he could get.

My great friend and coaching mentor Dr. Jerry Lynch is the founder of Way of Champions is the winner of 34 NCAA titles and one NBA World Championship as a sport psychologist and consultant. He calls this paradigm-shifting question the most effective question an athlete can ask, and an attitude that every coach must try and instill in his or her team.

We live in a world these days where self-centeredness and a ‘what’s in it for me” attitude of entitlement is far too prevalent. In the age of the selfie, Instagram, Facebook and a million other ways to say “look at me,” the concept of teamwork and the importance of service to others has gotten lost in the shuffle.

This is very sad, because service to others is the exact thing that athletes need to not only become elite performers, but the type of athlete that coaches look for, celebrate, and fight over at the next level. Do you want to stand out from the crowd?

Start by serving everyone in that crowd.

Far too many athletes bring the attitude of “what do I get” to practice and games. They want to know how they can:

  • Get to start

  • Get more playing time

  • Get to play my favorite position

  • Get to score all the goals

  • Get to work hard when I want to

  • Get to show up (physically and mentally) when I feel like it

  • Get to give less than my best because I am an upperclassman

  • Get attention as the star player

Sadly, this is the path to short-term satisfaction, at the expense of long-term development and high-level performance. This attitude does not promote success; it inhibits growth on and off the field.

If you want your athletes to perform at their very best, whether you are a parent or coach, then you must get them the right question.

What can I give?

Athletes who ask themselves what they can give bring “I can give/I can do” attitudes and actions to the table for their teams. The can actually “get” everything they are looking for simply by starting with the following service oriented ideas:

  • I can give my best effort in practice and games

  • I can give my team a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances

  • I can give my team a boost no matter how many minutes I play

  • I can give my team a better chance to win no matter what position I play

  • I can do the dirty work so my teammate can score the goal and get the glory

  • I can sacrifice my personal ambitions for the betterment of the group

  • I can lead by example

  • I can be an example of our core values in action

As a coach, I used to think that the most important thing was to have my best players be my hardest workers. But now I realize that isn’t enough. Being a hard worker can still be a selfish pursuit.

No, the most important thing as a coach is to have a team that all ask “what can I give?” especially when it comes to your captains, your upperclassmen, and your most talented athletes. You must teach them that the selfish attitude may once in a while lead to success, but the selfless attitude leads to excellence, celebrates the success of others, and makes you the type of athlete that EVERY COACH wants on his or her team.

The most successful sports team in the professional era is not the NY Yankees, or the Boston Celtics, or Real Madrid, but a team from a far less known sport. It is the New Zealand All Blacks in rugby, who have an astonishing 86% winning percentage and numerous championships to their name. In the outstanding book about the All Blacks called Legacy, author James Kerr discusses one of their core values that epitomizes the selfless attitude.

It’s called “Sweep the Shed.”

You see the goal of every All Blacks player is to leave the national team shirt in a better place than when he got it. His goal is to contribute to the legacy by doing his part to grow the game and keep the team progressing every single day.

In order to do so, the players realize that you must remain humble, and that no one is too big or too famous to do the little things required each and every day to get better. You must eat right. You must sleep well. You must take care of yourself on and off the field. You must train hard. You must sacrifice your own goals for the greater good and a higher purpose.

You must sweep the shed.

After each match, played in front of 60,000 plus fans, in front of millions on TV, after the camera crews have left, and the coaches are done speaking, when the eyes of the world have turned elsewhere, there is still a locker room to be cleaned.

By the players!

That’s right, after each and every game the All Blacks leading players take turns sweeping the locker room of every last piece of grass, tape, and mud. In the words of Kerr: “Sweeping the sheds. Doing it properly. So no one else has to. Because no one looks after the All Blacks. The All Blacks look after themselves.”

They leave the locker room in a better place than they got it. They leave the shirt in a better place than they got it. They are not there to get. They are there to give.

If you are a coach, recognize that by intentionally creating a culture where players seek to give instead if get, you will have a team that not only develops excellence on and off the field but is a team that is much more enjoyable to coach. Create a culture that rewards the 95% who are willing to give, and weeds out the 5% who are trying to get. When you do, the “getters” will stick out like a player who is vomiting: he feels better and everyone else feels sick. Eventually, he will get on board, or be thrown off the ship.

Parents, teach your children to be teammates who give. It will not only serve them well in athletics; it will serve them well in life.

For as former NY Yankee great Don Mattingly so eloquently stated:

“Then at one point in my career, something wonderful happened. I don’t know why or how . . . but I came to understand what “team” meant. It meant that although I didn’t get a hit or make a great defensive play, I could impact the team in an incredible and consistent way. I learned I could impact my team by caring first and foremost about the team’s success and not my own. I don’t mean by rooting for us like a typical fan. Fans are fickle. I mean CARE, really care about the team . . . about “US.”

Mattingly continued: “I became less selfish, less lazy, less sensitive to negative comments. When I gave up me, I became more. I became a captain, a leader, a better person and I came to understand that life is a team game. And you know what? I’ve found most people aren’t team players. They don’t realize that life is the only game in town. Someone should tell them. It has made all the difference in the world to me.”

Please share this article with an athlete or a team that matters to you. Encourage, no implore them to take Don Mattingly’s advice, to take the All Blacks advice. Come prepared to compete, and to be a “giver” and not a “getter.”

You will stand out.

You will be a difference maker.

And you will get everything you want by giving full of yourself, and helping everyone else get what they want.

It changes everything.

Dr. Robert Steele MD, MBA, FACEP from I-Care Urgent Care in Murrieta sheds light on the topic of Sports Drinks.

While Gatorade was invented in 1965 by the medical team for the University of Florida Gators, it wasn't until 1991 when the company instructed America to "Be Like Mike" that sports drinks really launched in popularity.

Today, Gatorade has plenty of competition, but do you really need any of them to enhance your workout?

Depends-

Sports Dinks are for re-hydration and replenishment from intense exercise not intense thirst from eating salty French fries.  Thirst is for water,   

If you're doing an easy jog, or playing a relaxed lunch hour game of pick-up basketball, you might not need one.

If you're working out hard, maximum intensity with a heart rate >120 for over 60 minutes then water might not cut it and you need a sports drink to replenish sodium and glucose.

To find out which sports drinks are the best on the market, let’s review…

Here are five picks the intense athlete may want to pack in their workout bag.

"For training over an hour at medium to high intensity, look for a drink that provides approximately…

13-19 grams of carbohydrate per 8 oz serving

80-110 mg sodium

Gatorade original [now called Gatorade G]

 

Per 8 ounce serving: 50 calories, 14 g carb; 110 mg sodium

"The original is still a good bet. The formula is designed so that you'll absorb the fluid and energy quickly, and continue to want to drink," says Chernus.

 

Powerade Ion 4

Per 8 ounce serving: 50 calories, 14 g carb; 100 mg sodium

"This is another well designed hydration beverage with adequate sodium," says Chernus.

 

Powerbar Endurance

Per 8 ounce serving: 70 calories, 17 g carb; 190 mg sodium

"This powder is best for longer workouts or athletes who lose a lot of sodium in their sweat," says Chernus.

 

Gatorade Endurance

Per 8 ounce serving: 50 calories; 13 g carb; 170 mg sodium

"This is another good one for longer workouts or those needing more sodium," says Chernus.

 

Accelerade Hydro

Per 8 ounce serving: 80 calories, 15 g carb, 120 mg sodium

"In addition to regular sugar, this drink contains trehalose, a slow digesting sugar, which may help athletes who experience low-blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during or after training," says Chernus.