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Archive for July, 2009

Editor’s note: While the following article, written by Tonya at Breakthrough Basketball, is written with the sport of basketball in mind, all of the steps can be adapted for developing your coaching strategy for any sport.

Any winning coach will tell you that in order to achieve success both on and off the court, it’s important to establish your own coaching philosophy.

Having a sound set of values not only keeps you focused and helps you to emphasize the right skills and techniques throughout the season, but it also gives your players, parents and colleagues a sense of what kind of program you intend to run, and who you are as a coach and mentor. Because, let’s face it, as a coach you have the unique opportunity to make a huge impact on the lives of your players. And that’s nothing to take lightly.

So here’s a quick look at how you can develop your own winning basketball coaching philosophy and start your season off right.

Step 1: Decide on your personal coaching goals. What is it that you hope to achieve as a coach? Are you in it to make a difference in the players’ lives? To satisfy a personal desire to win? Take the time to really think about why you’re doing this and what you want to get out of it. It’ll be quite helpful on those drives home after suffering a tough loss.

Step 2: Determine what life lessons you want your players to learn throughout the season. We’ve all had a coach or mentor that taught us something about the human experience that we can still apply in our lives today. What lesson will you pass on to your players? The importance of teamwork? That honesty is always the best policy? Decide now and make an effort to “impart your wisdom” in various ways throughout the season.

Step 3: Decide what you want your players to gain from their basketball experience. In addition to the life lessons that they will learn, what else will your players take away from their time on your team? Will they forge new friendships with people that they otherwise wouldn’t interact with? Improve their level of play? What will the overall experience be for your players?

Step 4: Define the meaning of success for your team. What does success mean to your team? Is it winning a certain number of games? Is it making it to a certain level of tournament play? Or are you more concerned about working effectively as a team? Create a set of attainable goals for your team and strive to achieve them.

Step 5: Determine what skills your team needs to learn or improve upon in order to achieve that success. Once you have defined “success” for your team, decide how you’re going to get there by evaluating your players and determining what skills they will need to work on. If your team’s idea of success is to keep your opponents from scoring above a specific amount of points each game, then you will most likely focus the players’ efforts on basketball defense strategies and proper basketball rebounding techniques. Be sure that for every goal that you’ve set, there is a distinct and reasonable means of attaining it.

Once you develop your coaching philosophy, write it down for your own reference; and more importantly, make it clear to players and parents alike from Day 1. By establishing and effectively communicating your principles, you’re laying the groundwork for a dynamic winning strategy that’s second to none.

Categories : Basketball, Coaching
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Kickboxing – Fun and Fitness Combined

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By Alyssa Dietris

kickboxing for cross trainingIf you are looking for a power packed workout that works on cardio and toning at the same time, kickboxing may be for you. A study released by the ACE, American Council on Exercise, stated that kickboxing can burn anywhere from 350 to 450 calories in an hour. It has also been proven to relieve stress, and help build confidence. It also helps to improve balance, flexibility, endurance, and coordination.

One form of kickboxing that has recently become popular is Cardio Kickboxing. This is usually taught in a class. This type of kickboxing does not involve physical contact with others. It is a combination of controlled punches and kicks usually performed to upbeat music. Some of the popular moves used in these classes are; the side kick, the front kick, and the roundhouse kick. Most of these classes start with a 10-15 minute warm-up, followed by a 30 minute kickboxing session, and ending with a 5 minute cool down and 10 minutes of stretching.

Things to Remember

Know your fitness level. This class may be a little challenging for a beginner, so do not try to rush. When you are starting out, concentrate on learning to perform all of the moves properly. You may also need to work on building your endurance; these classes are power packed and require a lot of energy. Do not be afraid to stop for a moment if you feel the need.

Do not overdo it.

If you push yourself too far too fast, you may end up with an injury. Allow yourself to be a beginner until you feel comfortable enough to move up.

Dress comfortably.

Loose, comfortable clothes that allow your arms and legs to move, work best. You want to avoid being too constricted because you will be moving in all directions very quickly.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after class.

The great thing about kickboxing is that once you learn the moves, you can do them at home to your favorite music, and still have an amazing workout.

About the Author:
Alyssa is passionate about combining the aspects of sports and fitness into one. She feels that if you keep your workouts fresh and fun you will continue to work out. If you are looking for an intense home work out that has been used to train professional athletes she suggests trying out the Insanity Workout by Shaun T, or the P90X Workout

Categories : Everyday Fitness
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Surf and swim apparel designer Girls4Sport will honor inspiring women with its “Ordinary Heroes” essay contest. Girls4Sport invites participants to nominate the women in their lives—mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends—who have accomplished extraordinary things or inspired others dream bigger and better.  The contest entry deadline is August 30, 2009.

“We all have people who’ve helped us laugh harder, run faster, live better, be stronger and just smile more,” says Kim Ruby, president of Girls4Sport.  “We want to pay tribute to the unsung heroes in women’s lives and give them the credit they deserve.”

Girls4Sport will select three hero stories as grand prize winners.  The grand prize winners and their heroes will each receive a $100 gift certificate for Girls4Sport’s online store,, plus an autographed copy of Dara Torres’ new book, Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams At Any Stage In Your Life.  Ten runners up will each receive a free t-shirt and grab bag from the online store.

Winners and their winning stories will appear on the Girls4Sport website in September 2009.  The deadline for nomination is August 30, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. PST.   All participants in the contest will receive a 35% off coupon code good towards any purchase at  Participants may nominate as many heroes as they want.  To nominate a hero, visit:

Categories : Life Lessons
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