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Archive for February, 2010

How Did America Get So Good?

Today the United States sets the record for most medals ever won at a Winter Olympics. Whether the men’s hockey team captures the gold or the silver against Canada, America will own 37 medals. By contrast, 30 years ago, when the 1980 U.S. hockey team pulled off the Miracle on Ice, the entire American squad […]

No-Cut Policy

Before you ever cut a player, take this quiz. I found it on John Kessel’s excellent blog for USA Volleyball. Making cuts always involves pain — both for the coach and the players. That alone should be incentive to cut as few kids as possible. But there’s a better reason not to cut than that […]

Fatal Distraction

Speedskating coach Gerard Kemkers made Olympic history Tuesday night — but not the kind anyone would want. Kemkers cost Sven Kramer a gold medal with a blunder so elementary you could compare it to a baseball manager forgetting how many outs there are. He sent Kramer into the wrong lane in the 10,000 meters Tuesday, […]

The First Dysfunction

A coach with whom I’ve been working says that there is something wrong with her team, and she’s not sure what it is. This happens a lot. Coaches get a vague feeling that things are slipping, and they don’t know what to do about it. We talked about herteam, and we agreed that the flaw […]

Can You Be Bored to Death?

Attitude is everything. You’ve heard the phrase, perhaps from a coach or from a motivational speaker. Now science is showing exactly how true that statement is. A recent Associated Press story asks the question, “Can You Really Be Bored to Death?” It cites the work of two researchers at University College London who tracked civil […]

Miracle Anniversary

Last night’s U.S. men’s Olympic hockey victory over Team Canada came nearly 30 years to the day after the “Miracle on Ice,” in which the Americans stunned the Soviet Union. If anything, the victory over Canada underlines exactly how unbelievable the “Miracle on Ice” was. At least this year’s American team is made up of […]

Tiger Woods and Shaun White

Here’s a snapshot in time: Two people who are in the best in the world at what they do. One is Shaun White, the toast of the town. The other is Tigers Woods, trying to work his way out of disgrace. And two days after White awed the world with his halfpipe gold medal and […]

The Power of Inspiration

Olympic ski champ Picabo Street can now claim two gold medals — her own and Lindsey Vonn’s. Street captured her own in the 1998 Super G Olympics, and served as the inspiration for Vonn’s gold in this year’s Olympic downhill. Victor Hugo said, “Inspiration and genius–one and the same.” Vonn got a dose of inspiration […]

Redefining Adversity

Nothing settles an argument the way the dictionary can. You look up a word, and that’s that. No one disputes what the dictionary says. Until now. In this link, Aimee Mullins, a model, actress and paralympic champion — as well as a double amputee — takes issue with the definition of the word “disabled.” In […]

Does Playing Sports Help Girls?

At a time when so many women are delivering such electrifying performances at the Winter Olympics, we can find this question especially useful: Does participation in sports make a long-term difference in a woman’s life? An article in the New York Times takes a look. It cites separate studies by two economists. One examines the […]