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Words for Parents as Kids Perform

kicking1When my kids were younger, I would volunteer to coach their teams. Like a lot of parents, I’ve coached YMCA basketball and soccer teams, “Paw Ball” basketball in Indiana, Upward basketball here in Ohio and was a “band parent” when my son was in marching band. I’ve also been through the transition of moving from primary coach to a cheering parent on the sidelines or in the stands.

I thought what Tim Elmore shared in a recent post was great advice for parents. He wrote about what parents should say as they watch their kids perform and it would be worth your time to read the whole post.

If you’ve been to sporting events, you probably have a long list of what parents shouldn’t say as they watch their kids. In the post, based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make as they perform are:

Before the Competition:
1. Have fun.
2. Play hard.
3. I love you.

After the competition:
1. Did you have fun?
2. I’m proud of you.
3. I love you.

Then he shared six simple words that parents should say based on what they heard from college athletes: “I love to watch you play.” If we could keep that as the primary part of our vocabulary, it would free the students to perform and the parents to cheer.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Here’s to Camp!

Bball Camp #2 2013It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything on the blog, but one of my reasons/excuses is that last week I was gone at camp. And it was a great week!

Turns out this was my 9th summer leading the Basketball 2 week of camp at Butler Springs. Our week is an interesting mix of basketball camp, cheer camp, science camp and Kids Cafe (cooking) camp. It sounds a bit different, but it works!

I had a great group of adults who served as faculty and we ended up the week with four baptisms in the camp pool and two more taking place at home. We had several campers from our home church as well as several faculty. My son and daughter served on faculty along with Joe’s girlfriend.

Here are some pics from the week:

Families discussing the theme for the day from the book of Ephesians:

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Some of the basketball skills stations

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One of the baptisms at the end of the week:

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Rise of Louisville Athletics

20130209-191303.jpgSince Syd made the decision to go to UL, we have paid more attention to what happens to the Cardinals. Obviously the men won the National Championship in basketball and the women went to the championship game, but they have also seen success in other sports.

I saw a link to the following article on Twitter today. I don’t know much about the history of the athletic department, but according to this article, it was in bad shape. The author talks about the improvements that have occurred in the program and the steps that were taken to bring that about. He refers to the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, which interested me as well. Thought it was worth sharing.

You can read the original article on the Forbes website.

Louisville athletics was a pariah. An organization so mis-aligned, so bloated in inefficiency that the very conference it helped form had sued to expunge the university from its ranks. A desperate attempt to prevent the department’s disease of non-compliance from spreading to the other members of the league. There was little hope for Louisville, its faith seemingly sealed as terminal.

In his influential work on organizational management, “Good To Great”, author Jim Collins refers to the circumstances Louisville had fallen into as the “Doom Loop”. The organization lacked internal accountability, failed to achieve credibility within its own community and had lost all authenticity with the college athletics community as a whole. It was not that the department did not want to change, but rather that it lacked the discipline to do so.

Those were the circumstances that faced Tom Jurich when he became the athletic director at the University of Louisville in 1997. Jurich understood that if there was any chance of salvation, he needed to reconstruct the athletic department to be built upon a foundation of accountability, integrity and honesty. Then, and only then, could a culture be born that would filter its way through the department and move it slowly out of a vicious cycle of disappointing results and stalled momentum.

“The department was out of control when it came to issues like compliance and Title IX,” says Jurich. “We were staring down the barrel of a gun and potentially facing the death penalty from the NCAA. Either we made a decision right then and there to change the culture once and for all or we would forever be mired in our own self-sabotage,” he adds.

For Jurich and his leadership team, part of that process involved confronting the hardest decision a manager must ever make – replacing individuals who did not fit within the cultural boundaries they set out for the department. In fact, within the first five years of tenure, there were more than 130 changes within the staff, or almost 50% of the entire department. Such high turnover is almost unheard of from any organization with the multi-million dollar revenues, and is testament to the dire situation Louisville found itself in.

According to Jurich, “The ride [Louisville] was embarking on wouldn’t be easy – we were going to need tough, self-motivated people who were selflessly driven by their passion for the department and the university as a whole. If they weren’t hungry and humble, they weren’t getting on the bus.”

Once the wrong people were off the bus, and the organization’s cultural foundation began to take shape, Jurich’s administration was only then able to begin to systematically address the issues that were plaguing the department. The most pressing of which was gender equity, or rather the total lack thereof.

“When it came to non-compliance with Title IX, Louisville was in dire straights,” says Jurich. “We had Lamar Daniel, a leading gender equity consultant, come to campus and tell us that we were the ‘worst program he had ever seen’. Here was someone who had spent over two decades conducting investigations for the Office of Civil Rights and who was practically at a loss for words on just how bad our situation was.”

While the problem Louisville faced was evident, the solution was less clear. At the time, the department’s budget was $14.8 million, or just 17% of the $85 million it had risen to today. Just about every area of the department needed improvement and additional resources. The problem was that not only did the Cardinals need to fundraise, but also that they needed to invest the majority of the money back into women’s sports, none of which would provide any financial return on investment.

“Our backs were against the wall, but we had no choice but to do what was right. I caught a great deal of criticism in those early days as we tried to pull ourselves out of the quicksand, but the reality is that without the tremendous support of the Louisville community and our boosters, we would have never made it out. ” Jurich explains.

In the words of Jim Collins, Louisville needed to confront the brutal facts of their current reality, while retaining resolute faith that they would prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulty. Breakthrough for organizations that face such adversity comes through making good decisions, each of which is meticulously implemented and accumulated one on top of the other. Yet more importantly, without the guidance of Jurich and his senior administration, whose keen leadership focused attention away from the disillusion of the circumstance and towards the delicious potential of the future, the Cardinals’ never would have made it.

Ever so slowly, Louisville began its slow climb out the college athletics basement and towards respectability. With a blue-collar like work ethic, the department inched towards ever-greater achievements, each victory built upon the last. Yet, while that work ethic Jurich had installed helped turn the tide for Louisville, many of its teams still failed to achieve their full potential. Like most organizations that make great strides in a short time, the greatest threat they face to continued progress is the stagnation of their culture.

His solution was the installation of a philosophy known as “Louisville First, Cards Forever” or “L1C4”. The concept was simple – the name on the front of the player’s jerseys was far more important than the one on the back. Pitino wanted his players to understand that they were playing not for themselves, not even for their teammates, but for the university community as a whole. It was no surprise then that the entire Louisville athletics department soon adopted the L1C4 philosophy as its own. After all, it was the perfect epitome of the cultural mindset Jurich began to implement within the organization when he arrived a decade earlier.

L1C4 came full circle for Louisville during the quarterfinal game of the 2013 NCAA tournament against the Blue Devils of Duke. Cardinals’ guard Kevin Ware landed awkwardly after attempting to block a basket, suffering a compound fracture to his leg live on national television. The gruesome injury sent a debilitating shockwave through the team, bringing to a grinding halt to the Cardinals’ seemingly unstoppable momentum. In a single moment, the dreams of the entire Louisville nation were brought to the brink extinction, resting precariously once again on the edge. Yet the Cardinals had been there before, had seen this void and in that very moment decided that this time was different, that they would not go quietly into the night again without a fight. The Cardinals rallied around Kevin Ware, his injury a profound reminder of just how far they had come and that they no longer had an opportunity, but rather an obligation to win. The rest of course was history.

Some 15 years after Jurich took over as athletic director, the Louisville Cardinals have made history. The university became the first to win a BCS football game, a national championship in men’s basketball, play for the national championship in women’s basketball, and make the College World Series all in one year. Even more significantly, the University received an invitation to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), a move that all but guarantees stability for many years to come in tumultuous college athletics landscape. For any other university, achieving even one of those feats would be cause for tremendous celebration, but for the University of Louisville, anything less would have been a disappointment.

By human nature, the majority of people do not want to hear that success comes from years of effort or discipline. They prefer to think that it emanates from some predetermined advantage or is just the luck of circumstance. The transformation that occurred at the University of Louisville was certainly not the inevitable, nor was it a function of circumstance. Rather, it is the culmination of years of calculated risk and exceptional hard work. More significantly, it serves as testament to the importance of visionary leadership, organizational buy-in, and the courage to carry on when everything seems against you.

Every morning, Tom Jurich asks his department to answer a simple question, “How are we going to wake up and become better as an athletic department next year?”

The University of Louisville stays humble and hungry.

This post was co-authored by Justin Vine.

Jason Belzer is Founder of GAME, Inc. and CSA, and a Professor of Organizational Behavior and Sports Law at Rutgers University. Follow him on Twitter @JasonBelzer.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Cincinnati Angels Harlem Shake

Last week the Cincinnati Angels did their own version of the Harlem Shake. I know not all the girls who play with the Angels were a part of it, but it is good to see them having fun together.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Sportsmanship Wins Yet Again

Saw this video posted today on Facebook and it’s a great story of sportsmanship and putting others first. It reminded me of Jason McElway’s story that was posted a couple of years ago. In a time when both athletes and parents can get so caught up in winning and losing, stories like these are refreshing. Great job to both the coach of the team and to the player on the opposing team for what they did.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Great ESPN Article on Indiana and Basketball

IU-Basketball-1600x1200With Indiana basketball back in the national spotlight, ESPN did a great article on the connection between the state of Indiana and the game of basketball. The stereotype that you can find a basketball hoop on just about any stationary item in the state is reflected in this article.

The feature covers cities in Indiana, including Martinsville where John Wooden played high school ball and Indianapolis. It highlights not only John Wooden, but Bob Knight, Cody Zeller, Brad Stevens, Damon Bailey and more.

It’s a lengthy article and you can check it out on the ESPN website.

Here’s a couple quotes to whet your appetite:

“When I was growing up, you had your ABC, NBC, CBS and then you had Channel 4, the independent channel. Every Friday night, they’d have Indiana games and then Purdue games. So when I was a kid, that’s what you did. You’d sit there and watch.” (ESPN analyst and former Indiana player and assistant coach Dan Dakich)

“High school was more intimidating. You’d play in front of 7,000 people and three-quarters of them you’d know personally. That was pressure.” (Cody Zeller)

My senior year of high school, we were playing and every seat was taken and they filled in the track. It’s overwhelming. It really is Hoosiers. That’s why that movie makes so much sense.” (Jordan Hulls)

Go check it out! Go IU!

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Joe Turns 21 Today!

Joe senior 59On this day, a mere 21 years ago, Joe showed up! He was born in Defiance (the name of the city, not his state of being) Ohio and much has transpired since then. We have lived in three different states (Ohio to Kentucky to Indiana and back to Ohio) and a sister joined the group a few years after his arrival.

Kind of hard to believe that he hits 21 years today. I was thinking this morning that I remember when I turned 21 and find it somewhat disconcerting that I now have a son that is 21.

He’s played football and basketball, performed in many band concerts, traveled numerous miles with Solid Rock, marched on many a football field, participated in several musicals, graduated high school and is making his way through college. A stroke darkened the picture for a little while in junior high, but he still managed to go visit Uruguay while in elementary school, take a trip to Southeast Asia with his grandfather and cousin and go to Ireland with a crew from college. Not a bad itinerary for the first 21 years of life.

I know God has good things in store for Joe and look forward to what He will do through him. So, Happy 21st Birthday!! Here’s a “cup of Joe” to help celebrate. (Hitting pf changs later in the day for a good birthday meal)

Cup of Joe (Brackemyre)

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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ACL Recovery Update

aclSeveral have asked how Syd is getting along with her recovery from surgery. She had a follow-up at her surgeon’s office today. They removed the stitches and checked on her progress. Overall everything looks good. He was pleased with the surgery itself and her progress to this point. Physical therapy has been going well and the team at Drayer are great.

She received one small piece of bad news today – she has to stay in the brace and on crutches for three more weeks. She was ready to be off the crutches, but Doc wants to protect the MCL as it heals. There was some damage to it when she tore the ACL, but nothing that required surgery.

Her surgeon is a pretty straight shooter and said that her knee looks good. She just needs to make sure she doesn’t screw it up (those were his words). He even gave her a shirt that says Beacon Orthopaedic on the front and this quote on the back: “Don’t be stupid.” Her job is to follow the therapy they have for her. I’m sure she will, but she was definitely ready to lose the crutches.

While at her appointment today, we ran into another young lady who plays high school ball and had ACL repair surgery yesterday. A Clinton-Massie boys player tore his ACL this weekend playing ball. Hate to see anyone go through that, but seems to be a pretty common injury anymore. Grateful for a good surgeon and therapy team to help them get better and back on the court.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Big Game, Tough Loss

massiefalcons Someone who saw yesterday’s post about the game against Bellbrook asked about the outcome. Unfortunately, Massie went down to Bellbrook, who shot well from the 3-point line. It was a good test for both schools and will (hopefully) help as they prepare for the tournament later in the season.

The Dayton Daily News did a nice write-up on the game. Perhaps Massie and Bellbrook will meet again later in the year. It would be a good rematch to see.

Bellbrook wins Division II showdown

The ability to hit 3-point shots was the main difference between Bellbrook and Clinton-Massie on Tuesday.

Home team Bellbrook got key points when needed from beyond the arc during a 58-47 win. It was a matchup between two of the area’s best Division II teams.

Both came in at 3-0 and loaded with returning talent from outstanding 2011-12 seasons. Bellbrook went 22-4 last season, losing in the D-II state semifinals to eventual champion Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown. Clinton-Massie went 19-4 with its season ending with a 44-42 loss in the sectional finals to Chamiande Julienne.

Bellbrook has four of its top six players back from the state tournament team. Seniors Erin Dorn and Gabrielle “G” Etter are the top returning scorers. They were the leaders Tuesday with Etter scoring 17 points and Dorn adding 16.

Both are shooting better off the dribble than last season. Dorn was 3-of-5 from 3-point range with two big shots early in the second quarter. A 6-0 run in the final 1:10 of the first quarter got C-M within 16-8.

Dorn took away the Falcons’ momentum burying back-to-back treys for a 22-8 Bellbrook lead. C-M could never get that margin below seven points the rest of the night. Every time it challenged, Bellbrook made a 3-pointer as part of 6-for-11 shooting night from long-range.
“This was a big win for us because they’re a really good team,” Dorn said. “We saw they could play last year in the tournament. So it was a good test for both of us. I think we stepped up and made big shots as a team, didn’t make many mistakes and had composure when they made runs at us.”

Clinton-Masse’s Sydney Brackemyre is one of the top juniors in the state. She has gotten a lot of recruiting attention from a host of NCAA Division I schools. The 6-foot-1 junior, who had 17 points and 14 rebounds, has her choices whittled down to Dayton, Michigan and Louisville.

“Good night all around for all of us,” said C-M coach Allen Wilkinson. “We’d like to have come away with a win, but we showed we can compete with a state tournament team like Bellbrook. Sydney showed she can play.

“Dorn hit those 3s in the second quarter to give them the cushion they needed. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see them again in the tournament.”

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Sportsmanship Wins Again

Several months ago there was a great story about a high school track athlete that quit running to help a fallen competitor finish the race. Listening to the radio this morning, I heard a similar story, this time on the football field.

A St. Clairsville, Ohio, football player was on his way to his 12th touchdown of the season, nearing the end zone after a 52 yard running play. He stepped out at the 1 yard line so a teammate could score a touchdown in honor of his father who just passed away from a stroke.

The player, who is a starter on the freshman team, plays sparingly at best on varsity and never lined up at running back. He followed his blocker and scored on the first play. It was his first touchdown and he said he knew his father was watching.

In a time where we hear of bad behavior from athletes – and parents, too! – it is refreshing to hear a story like this one.

You can read a more detailed account on the USA Today High School Sports website.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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