Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I found out this weekend it's not. My son now in Kindergarten began his first fundraiser with his school called the Fun Run. They each have to run around the track and donors can either donate per lap or just give a flat donation.
My son didn't know what to ask at first, but after asking a few people it became pretty simple. He said "grandma gave me $4 so I think you can give me $10."
As in perfecting any talent, the more repetitions the easier it becomes.
Friday, September 24, 2010
We aren't in the days of Little House in the Prairie. Technology, although having advanced our world tremendously, has made it difficult for our younger generation to stay focused on one task for a long duration of time.
Take #1 distraction, the cell phone. I remember having calling cards or spare change to use the pay phone if I needed to make a call. With the cell phone on our hip and instant communication, we are addicted to looking at it every second of the day. I am just as guilty as the next person. Just ask yourself the last time you turned your phone off.
Distraction #2, the internet especially Facebook. Now we have instant access to the world not just our next door neighboor. Does anyone have pen pals anymore? How many people do you know take the time to put deep thought into a letter, take it to the post office, and mail it? That's because it takes too long, apparently.
What about our entertainment? Growing up I used to play in the woods with my brother and neighboors swinging from tree to tree and doing "tick checks" at the end of the day. Now we bring the outside world indoors in the form of the Wii and other video games.
This generation is able to accomplish A LOT. They can do a million things at once, but is quanity better than quality?
Successful people and successful teams are very good at applying the details. They also have the ability to focus for a long period of time.
My challenge to this generation is to limit the distractions of the world as much as you can. Create an environment that allows you to focus for longer periods at once. The ones who can learn this skill, whether it's learning a shooting technique, footwork on closeouts, will be able to apply it to their game.
Now instead of putting in the "time" on your development you will start to see "RESULTS."
By the way, if a coach had to choose between "potential" and "results" they will choose results every time.
Time to Focus!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The challenge for all of us is how we mentally takes the sacrifices we make in order to benefit ourselves or someone else. If we are resentful about it or feel good about it will determine its value.
Take last night for example. It's the 2nd game of the WNBA Finals. I get home after my team's conditioning workout around 6:45, 15 minutes before the game starts. I fix some dinner, get a coloring book out for Brooklyn so she doesn't continue to steal Justin's, and sit on the couch for the game.
Todd clicks on the game and Justin says, "turn it to Wipeout!" What's a parent to do? I got to watch the game during the Wipeout commercials, folded some laundry, colored with my daughter, and then got the kids ready for bed.
Todd and I did watch the fourth quarter, and that was enough as the evenings with my family are far more rewarding.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I was talking with my sister last night about my niece who is in the sixth grade. She lives in a small town, is fast, fiesty, plays basketball with the boys, among whichever sport is in season. She is going to be good (not that I am biased), so we started talking about resources that are out there to develop her besides summer camps with Auntie.
Let me begin with some mistakes parents make:
1) Choose just one sport to focus on
2) Require her to train
3) Move to a bigger school
The best practices are
1) first ask your daughter what she wants. My mom and dad never asked me to go out in my driveway and shoot all night. That was what I was driven to do.
2) Ask if she wants some resources? If she wants to be trained or join a summer team then go for it. Some athletes want to go to the next level but they don't want to put the work into it. You'll waste your money if it's not what she wants.
3) Does my daughter enjoy playing the other sports or getting involved in other activities? I really believe multi sport athletes make for great basketball players at the next level because they have so much room for growth. They don't have as much concern for chronic injuries & may not get burned out as early. My senior year in high school I played three sports, was in a school play, and played on a summer team. That load prepared me well for college life.
4) Whether it's a bigger or smaller school may not matter. Sometimes players get to play on the varsity team earlier at the smaller school than they would at the bigger. Before I learned the value of nutrition when I was a freshman in high school I used to sit on the end of the bench during the J.V. game eating a hot dog before playing in the varsity game.
As parents our jobs are to offer, not force resources for our children to be successful. Finding what they are passionate about is the first step. My niece LOVES basketball and she is good at it. Step number two is to make sure she is a BOBCAT and all other college coaches-hands off!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I have seen at every level of competition, even the professional level that most athletes still do not compete or challenge themselves in every area that affects their performance. If you could choose to be faster, stronger, have better endurance, and stay healthy wouldn't you?
I think most people are naturally selective and work at the things that come easy to them. The athletes that separate themselves have three common components;
1) focus-they know how to simplify, put their time in the things that have positive impacts, remove the rest
2) they compete in everything, not just the areas they are good at. It's their habit
3) they aren't afraid to fail
Yeah, failure hurts, but at least you can feel that you're living! You have a weakness? Go attack it. Don't run from it.
I love the preseason because it is a great educational opportunity for us to teach our athletes how to take their game to the next level even if we only get 2 hours a week with a basketball. Just imagine once again if you could be faster, stronger, have better endurance, feel better.
Let me rephrase it. If you could crash the boards every possession rather than every other, be the first one down the floor on a consistent basis, defend for a longer period of time, have the legs to shoot the same way every shot, wouldn't you?
I guarantee the answer is yes. The question for everyone's preseason is are you willing to work hard enough, push yourself hard enough to get there.
Or better yet, can you answer yes to the three questions,
Friday, September 3, 2010
She lives in a condo with three roomates, has a television in Spanish (watching basketball and Animal Planet), and lives only minutes away from the gymnasium.
I asked her how the food was and the bright surprise for Erica was that cereal was the same but cheaper. Although she isn't used to seeing the pig's head or the entire fish, Erica loves new experiences and has always made herself at home whereever she is.
Those of you who want to follow Erica's professional career can follow her on the euro basketball world. She plays for the Pabellon Ourense in the Spanish pro league. Here are the links to Erica's team - Pabellon Ourense, and Rebecca Mercer's team in Australia - West Coast Waves .
Good luck this season to all three former Bobcats (Erica, Rebecca, Mara Hoefer) who are taking their basketball careers to the next level.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
This article was taken from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and was printed on September 1, 2010
The Grizzlies may have bragging rights in football, but the Bobcats are kicking it when it comes to recruiting Montana's best and brightest students.
The trend has been true for more than a decade, but was highlighted recently in a Missoulian report, headlined, "Most of Montana's brightest high-schoolers head to MSU, out of state."
Number-crunchers at the Montana State University and the state higher education office in Helena confirmed the latest statistics.
Of the Montana high school students who earned high scores (30 or better) on the ACT college-entry exam last year, 99 enrolled at Montana State University's Bozeman campus.
That was more than all other state campuses combined, and double the 40 who chose the University of Montana in Missoula.
A perfect ACT combined score is 36, and only four Montana high-school students did that well. Two of them enrolled at MSU.
The other perfect-scorers apparently went out of state for college, as did the majority of the 365 Montana high-school students who scored 30 or better on the ACT, which put them in the top 6 percent statewide. Just 165 of those top grads or 45 percent chose to attend Montana state colleges.
When it comes to students bright enough to receive free tuition through the Montana University System's Honors Scholarships, 122 chose MSU - again more than all other Montana colleges combined. Each year the system awards only 200 or so of those scholarships; 57 picked UM.
Joe Fedock, MSU's interim provost, wasn't surprised when he read the Missoulian report that more bright students choose MSU.
"This has been shown to be the case quite a few years," Fedock said. He attributed the trend to "our historic strengths in engineering and sciences."
"Montana State is really an outstanding undergraduate institution," said Ilse-Mari Lee, MSU Honors Program director.
This fall a record 312 students have applied for MSU's Honors Program - a big jump from last year's record of 238, Lee said. The honors freshmen arrive with an average ACT score of 29.4. The new arrivals will expand MSU's honors enrollment to 949, surpassing last year's record of 801.
Jim Rimpau, MSU vice president for planning and chief information officer, agreed that the Bozeman campus has historically attracted bright kids.
"A lot of really good test-takers go into engineering and sciences," Rimpau said.
The average ACT score for all MSU freshmen last year was 24 vs. 23 for UM.
Things haven't changed in 11 years. The Bozeman Chronicle reported in a 1999 article (headlined "Rivalry on the football field not the only way to decide who's Numero Uno") that the average ACT scores for all MSU freshmen was 23.1 vs. 21.9 at UM.
MSU's record in research and stress on undergraduate research also helps attract students. Fedock pointed out that MSU undergrads have won a large number of national Goldwater Scholarships to help them pursue science and math studies. Over the years, 51 MSU students have earned Goldwater awards, the 14th highest record in the nation, ahead of colleges like the University of Washington, Purdue and University of Minnesota, said Greg Young, vice provost for undergraduate education.
Young added that MSU being named by the Carnegie Foundation to its list of 96 top universities with "very high research activity" also has an impact.
"We've had parents from New England say, ‘I thought you were just a skiing college until I saw the Carnegie classification,'" Young said.
MSU scientists have also been featured in prestigious journals like Science and Nature, Young said.
Students know that at MSU they can do "neat things" like research in Yellowstone National Park, said Tyler Trevor, associate commissioner of higher education for planning and analysis, who put together the statistics on ACT scores.
Trevor said while more than half the Montana students with top ACT scores are heading out of state, university leaders aren't worried about a brain drain.
"They have opportunities around the nation," Trevor said. Attracting nearly half those students is good, he said, "particularly given their mobility and scholarships offered across the nation."
Gail Schontzler can be reached at email@example.com or 582-2633.