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Leadership Development at @IMGAcademy. Developing tomorrow's athlete, today.

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Be Bigger on the Inside than on the Outside

“Are you sure you can handle all that?” On a sunny day in August, a father takes his 6-year-old daughter to the carnival, a place that she has been begging to go since the beginning of the summer. That morning, anticipating some father-daughter time, she breaks open her piggy bank counts her money. She earned […]

The Whisper of Inspiration

“You are better than that. Do not let me see you do that again.” I played American football in high school. Though I played many different positions, my main positions were QB on offense and Strong Safety on defense. One game my senior year, I learned a very valuable lesson in the art of inspiration. […]

Kids are not mini-adults

“Get the rebound!” I scream at these athletes to be more aggressive under the basket, but it seems to fall on deaf ears. I have three of the tallest girls in the league and we are getting outrebounded! I slap my clipboard to get their attention, but it seems nothing is working. Then, the plastic […]

You Hit Like a Girl

You hit like a girl! I was sitting in the bleachers at my school enjoying a youth football game when I heard those words come from a coach directed at his running back. Apparently, the running back was not being aggressive enough and as a way to motivate, the coach decided to use that sentence. […]

Are You Brave? Empowering a Child to Find Courage

With juice and a donut in hand, Cameron and I are sitting on a park bench outside the gym where we just finished playing our second basketball game of the season. “Cameron, why don’t you shoot the ball during the game?” I ask. “Last year, my coach told me I wasn’t allowed to shoot.” “Hmmm.” I […]

A Coach’s Voice

Billy Graham once said, “A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.” Like most older brothers, I was a bit of a bully to my little brother. I remember once in 7th grade my coach pulled me aside before practice to speak life into me […]

Yelling vs Coaching

I stand in front of seven 6th-grade basketball players as I try to teach them a lesson in communication. <Opening Scene> “Imagine you are on the playground 100 feet away from your best friend and you want to know if they want to join your game.” “Like jump rope?” asks Taylor. “Sure, like jump rope. […]

Confidence beats Complexity

In 2009 I was in my third year as the head coach of a very successful youth football team. In the eyes of the fans, they would say we were successful because we won a lot, but winning a game says nothing about the character of the team— the true measure of success. Those boys […]

Increase Emotional Intelligence with Intentional Interruptions

“…after that, we’ll break up into defensive groups and work on technique.” An athlete walks into the room—three minutes late—while I go over the day’s practice plan. I pause, we make eye contact. He nods, I nod back, and then he quietly sits down with his team. A few minutes later, everyone knows what is […]

You, Me, We: An Exercise in Building Team Culture

In my senior year of high school, I decided to see if my athleticism could transfer to the volleyball court. I had been a two-way starter on the football team all four years and had spent time on the wrestling team, baseball team, track team, and the competition cheerleading team. How hard could it be? […]

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