Since starting on the journey of making our upcoming documentary film Where Our Children Play: The Challenge of Youth Sports, I have been blessed by connecting with some incredible people who have not only opened my eyes to the world of youth sports, but who have also helped me on my path of becoming a better coach, and a better person.
I have been inspired by so many to push the boundaries of what I thought were the problems of youth sports and have challenged me to realize what the problems actually are and what the solutions could be.
One of these people is Coach Reed Maltbie.
When he first reached out to me to ask more information about this project, he sent me a long and detailed email as he wanted to know everything about it. Even how I was planning on filming it.
I had never even heard of Reed yet, and he was already challenging me.
It took me a minute to reply to him, as I wanted to make sure I was as accurate as I could in my reply. I didn’t have a clear vision yet, and there he was already mentoring by pushing me into realizing what I was actually trying to say with our documentary.
Reed’s passion for Youth Sports was palpable. He lives, breathes and eats Youth Sports, child development and understanding how children learn. He is not only in possession of two Masters, coached for years, and a million other accolades, he actually LOVES doing what he does.
A lot of people in all sorts of businesses are good at what they do.
Very few, love what they do.
One of the things I noticed the most in the Youth Sports world is the lack of understanding of the mental aspect of the game. Both for coaches AND children. I always get the impression that coaches think that by yelling at their players they will instill the magic in them. At the same time I don’t think coaches realize how stressful being a coach really is on their body. They work so hard, and do not realize how much damage they are doing.
I needed more. I wanted more. Something that would make sense of what I could only prove anecdotally.
I decided to check out Reed’s The Coaching REALM program. A program that provides resources, experts, accountability, learning and mastery to coaches.
As my kids would say, this thing is legit!
I have been a coach for now almost three years. I have read as much I can, watched YouTube videos, looked at ‘coaching programs’, taken my USSF licenses (soon might take another one), and nothing compares to Coach’s program.
None of them bring to the plate what REALM does.
To begin, this is a coach’s centric program. It is tailor made to each coach, not a one size fits all. It is constructed in such a way that accountability, education, and so much more are the heart of everything you do.
If you want Xs and Os this is not a program for you. This is not what this does. If you want someone to tell you how brilliant you are, this is not what this is.
As coaches, we are too often stuck in a vicious circle…practice/games/practice/games/…Many coaches are volunteers and while they do the best they can, and give all they can, they have full time jobs, families, etc.
We need someone that can take what we do well and expand on it, as well as take what we know we are lacking, and build on it.
This is what this program does.
It takes our core values, competencies and builds a program for you. For me for example, I had a hard time expressing what my vision for my program would be. I knew what I did not want it to be, but I was not able to put into words what the plan was and how I would achieve it. Reed set me up with specific research that matched what I was trying to say, and allowed me to focus. He forced me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to look at things from a different angle. All of the sudden things began to make sense. I was uber focused. So much so it would bother me when others would speak to me, especially at home when trying to work it all out.
Reed does not tell you what to do, he guides you. He lets you discover your truth, and your path. He does not judge. He does not try to instill his vision into yours, he wants to develop yours.
Accountability. Too often we wait for someone to tell us to do something.
Vision. Too often we wait for someone to tell us what we need to strive for.
Reed pushes you to achieve what YOU want out of your career. He helps you balance your life, by taking some time for yourself, by shifting your focus, by planning better.
Is this easy to do? Nope.
Is this hard? Yep.
Is this worth it? No question.
He makes you question everything and realize new ways to teach and coach your players.
To top it all he makes you record yourself on the field (both practice and games)…oh my! The simple realization of what we do, how we behave, what our body language says during a game or practice is phenomenal. I never realized how much I pace during a game for example. Or how much I shift body position or move my hands all over the place (I tried to explain to Reed it’s my Italian-ness but he would not hear of it!). It is a powerful tool to have yourself recorded, and then have someone else look at it with you as well.
If you want to push yourself. If you want to learn more about how children actually learn. If you want to be a better and more balance person overall, not simply a better coach, this is the program for you.
In the end what you will have is not only a better understanding on why things work while we coach, but you will have found something special for yourself.
And what’s more important than that?