Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Every Youth Organization Should Have One of These

This piece is actually a spinoff from an article I wrote for, that explaining my little training center back in Massachusetts.  That place I dubbed The MOTION Lab.  And, while I might be talking here from a hockey perspective, I hope those involved in other youth sports can see how easy it would be to adapt my ideas to their local organization. 

I'd eventually shared the concept of my Lab with guys and gals in a LinkedIn hockey group, suggesting that every youth organization could build their own, to one degree or another.

If you can picture it, every team could supplement their usually-limited ice-time with plenty of off-ice training.  And, while some might be thinking about pushing older players with strenuous kinds of stuff, I'll suggest that little ones would benefit greatly from all sorts of athletic movements, and lots of things like stickhandling, shooting, passing and so forth.

Okay, so what happens in that LinkedIn stream?  A guy I talk with regularly there, Mike M, took off on the Lab idea, in a way that got me thinking about something very related.

What suddenly came back to me was an idea I'd suggested to a youth program back home.  Well, here ya go... I'd suggested to that organization that they could set up their own video and textbook library.

You're not buying my idea?  If that's so, I know why...

It was quite a few years ago when I suggested their coaching director amass that library to be filled with -- get this:  hardcopy books and VHS tapes.  LOL...  A lot has changed since then, huh?

Does that shoot down my idea, though?  Far from it.  In fact, I'd say that the advent of the Internet and digital materials makes such a venture all the easier, and a whole lot easier to house.  I mean, no real storage would be needed to offer a library full of "ebooks" and digital videos.  Yup, the whole thing could basically be "virtual"

Oh, I know...  I know...  Some guy fresh out of law school is going to tell me that there would be some legal issues involved in sharing a copyright protected book or video.  However, that's why your parents didn't send you to a Phys Ed college like mine, but instead paved your way through one that would teach you how to work around these kinds of challenges.

Needling aside, I think the right guy or gal could put something together to really educate or help member coaches, parents and players.  I'm talking about a really bright person needing to be in charge of this project, though, because two things seem to jump out at me right off the back...

First, he or she has to know the difference between good content and junk.  Ya, there's a lot of the latter out there, that's as likely to lead folks down the wrong path.  At the same time, there is some great stuff, too, that needs to be identified and acquired.

Secondly, I'm thinking that the person who oversees such a project has to be a pretty decent salesperson.  I mean, a huge collection of books and videos don't educate anyone, IF the books don't get opened and the videos aren't watched.

Man, I'm getting psyched thinking about this but, that's just me...

One more thing here...  Although everyone should be able to improve their game with lots of resources available, I'm thinking that an entire organization should improve -- probably in leaps and bounds -- as its coaches become more and more knowledgeable.  Think about that, huh?

Aaaah, but...  Back to reality.  I mean, the real fact of this matter is that a ton of organizations from around the entire hockey playing world will read this piece.  Only a handful of those will consider my idea.  Then, only a small percentage of those will be willing to put in the effort required to pull off something special.

I'm okay with that, however, because that's exactly the way things work -- in the hockey world, in the business world, and in real life.  Some folks "go for it", and some don't.  Some will "make it", and some won't.

I'm just sayin', I guess...  The MOTION Lab was one awesome idea, and so is a program-wide library or resource center.