Unheralded

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — The Neighborhood Pickup Baseball Game: Lessons from the Past

It’s a sunny afternoon at a local ball field. A bunch of kids have shown up to play baseball for hours, perhaps until dark or a mother’s voice is heard calling. Kids arrive with ball gloves hanging from handlebars and the sound of baseball cards in spokes. Some will have to leave early but usually others show up to take their …


Unheralded

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Pressure In Youth Sports: Protect Kids Or Teach Them To Deal With It?

“C’mon, Mason, you can do it! One more strike, put him in the books!” As these encouraging words resonate from the crowd, Mason receives the ball back from the catcher after throwing one in the dirt, allowing the runner to score from third — one ball, two strikes. He pauses to compose himself, taking a breath to relax his mind …


CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — The Inner And Outer Journey Of Youth Sports

“I want to be a Major League Baseball player.”  “I want to play in the NBA.”  “I want to make it to the NFL.” — Anonymous kids When one of my young students tells me his goal is to be a professional baseball player, my response is always the same: “Let’s get to work.” Instead of squashing a kid’s dream, …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Balance Is The Foundation Of Success

The 2017 World Series was balanced. The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers were neck and neck in every game, making for a very exciting series to watch and learn from. But if one team had totally outmatched the other, we wouldn’t be calling it one of the best World Series ever. It was as if both teams made each …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Replace Frustration With Knowledge

Is frustration dominating your child’s athletic experience? When young athletes can’t let go of frustration after failure, it’s a clear indication they have no clue how to make an adjustment, leaving them vulnerable to more of the same. And when adults get over-involved during the game, it usually makes things worse. A parent’s natural reaction is to come to the …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Managing Expectations

There is an old proverb that states, “You can’t put the cart before the horse.” But metaphorically speaking, this happens quite often in youth sports. Parents preoccupied with their kids getting scholarships or playing professionally is an obvious example. But when the primary focus is on these long-range goals instead of playing for the sheer joy of it, expectations of …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Making the Team: A Parent’s Role

Michael was a superstar in the rec league at age 10. Every time he pitched, it was an automatic win. Why? He had excellent velocity for a 10-year-old, and the players on the other team were afraid of being hit by his pitches. But it wasn’t just the speed they were afraid of. More so, it was because Michael’s control wasn’t …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Failure: The Secret to Success

Tyler walked back to the dugout, dragging his bat, his head low and tears welling up in his eyes. He had just experienced what all hitters hate the most: A strikeout. My assistant coach, his dad, exclaimed, “There’s no crying in baseball! If you don’t cut it out, were going home!” Tyler was 8 years old. Instead of teaching his son …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Teachable Moments In Youth Sports

“Guys, one thing you will notice about me is, I never yell at players. I may be one of the most easygoing coaches you will ever have, but I also may be one of the toughest because I will hold you accountable for your actions. I will never yell at you for making an error, but show me a bad …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — On the Road To Success, Not Taking The Shortcut Is The Shortcut

How long does it take to get a black belt in karate? Do you think my kid has a chance to play ball in high school or college? These are questions I’ve been asked numerous times throughout my teaching and coaching career, and the answer is always the same: It depends. As our kids take their journey in sports, there’s …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — The Purpose of Youth Sports: It’s All About Perspective

It’s for the kids. Youth sports are supposed to be fun. Life lessons are learned through youth sports. Everyone knows the right words. The problem is, you don’t always see these truths being applied. In fact, as each year passes and competition levels in youth sports rise, these words are becoming empty rhetoric. What was once a natural way for …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Self-Motivation: An Essential Tool For Success

Will had been taking batting lessons from me for about a year. He was a really nice 11-year-old kid with average athletic ability — and very respectable. We got along great! But he was progressing at a very slow pace, and it seemed like the instruction just wasn’t sinking in. Finally one day, I asked Will if he had any …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Martial Arts Philosophy: A Way of Mental Toughness

Many parents have told me that their child does well in the batting cage, but when playing in a game, it looks like they’ve never swung a bat. Pressure causes the mind to race, the muscles to tighten and the body to fall out of rhythm. Therefore, an understanding of how to keep emotions in check is crucial for the …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Confidence: How To Get It And Keep It

One day at my hitting school, during a class with 9-year-old boys, we were working on the technique of hitting the ball using a pitching machine. One boy, Jake, was struggling with this new skill. His dad finally decided to point out to me all the different things that he was doing wrong with his mechanics. I replied with, “He’s …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Self- Motivation: The Key To Sustaining Effort

You’ve decided to start a new exercise program to get in shape, or maybe you’re finally ready to commit to the study of martial arts you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps learning a musical instrument or a second language has been on your mind for the past several years. Great! You have to start with Day One, so if you have, …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — How To Get Good At Something

Recently, in a Saturday morning karate class, I had a great discussion with my young martial artists, their ages 8, 11 and 12. Before starting our routine of punches, kicks, blocks, jumping kicks, katas and self-defense techniques that make up the physical portion of our workout, we talked about how a person really gets good at something. Is it just knowing …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — The Neighborhood Pick-Up Baseball Game: Lessons from the Past

It’s a sunny afternoon at a local ballfield. A bunch of kids have shown up to play baseball for hours, perhaps until dark or a mother’s voice is heard calling. Kids arrive with ball gloves hanging from bicycle handlebars and the sound of baseball cards in spokes. Some will have to leave early, but usually others show up to take …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Training Young Athletes: Finding The Balance

A few years ago while I was teaching a karate class at my gym, a mother and her son arrived for the youngster’s first private karate lesson. As they sat down to wait for the lesson to begin, I noticed the boy was sitting on his mom’s lap — he was 12 years old. An hour later, another 12-year-old arrived …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — When Kids Pay The Price For Cheating Parents

Any parent involved in the youth sports world has probably witnessed cheating — by adults. It usually begins with parents and coaches stacking teams, even at the youngest age levels. Although it may not be illegal, when adults successfully stack teams, kids are cheated out of an honest, competitive experience where good effort and teamwork are emphasized and instead have one where adults …

CHUCK SCHUMACHER: Coach Chuck — Pressure In Youth Sports: Protect Kids Or Teach Them To Deal With It?

“C’mon, Mason, you can do it! One more strike, put him in the books!” As these encouraging words resonate from the crowd, Mason receives the ball back from the catcher after throwing one in the dirt, allowing the runner to score from third — one ball, two strikes. He pauses for a second to compose himself, taking a breath to …