My Blog Has Moved

Image of Coach Ron Usher

My new pic taken from my wedding

Thanks for coming and reading my blog. You may have noticed that I don’t update this one.

That’s because I have two other blogs that I’ve been working on. And on those I’m writing all the time. Here are the links

www.athleticskillsforkids.com

www.coachRonUsher.com

Athletic Skills is for parents and coaches of kids that play youth sports, including high school. It’s not just for elite athletes. I love helping the kids who aren’t as skilled and getting them faster, stronger and be better athletes.

Some of the posts are about:

  • Agility drills for various sports
  • Training ideas
  • How to set up your practice
  • Sport specific training
  • Coach interviews
  • Goal setting for youth athletes
  • The three P’s of sport; psychology, physiology, philosophy.

Coach Ron Usher is for parents and teachers. I try to stay away from youth sports. In this blog, I cover issues dealing with:

  • Homeschool PE,
  • Special Needs Physical Education
  • Adapted PE
  • Brain Based Fitness in the classroom
  • Overweight Fitness for kids (and running)
  • Early Elementary fitness
  • Physical Education
  • News about kids health and fitness.

I’d love for you to drop by and say hi at either or both of these sites.

To Fit and Healthy Kids,

Coach Ron Usher

PS: I’m also on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

CoachRonUsher.com

AthleticSkillsforKids.com

Watching TV

Parents should look at this new study

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080709/hl_nm/tv_kids_fat_dc;_ylt=AumcntaGagqd.HkBWWuJ2ebgcbYF

It seems that TV may be even worse for us than I thought.

And on a personal note, I’ve gotten lazy about watching TV while
eatting. (My mom would be FURIOUS!)

So after this article, no more eatting with the TV on.

Unless it’s the superbowl. That doesn’t count.

Karate Exercise Video for Kids

This is kind of funny. But a good demonstration of why karate
is not always the best exercise for kids…

It is VERY dependent on the teaching skills and philosophy of
the instructor.

Usually, they instructor has no background in teaching, exercise
physiology, children or sometimes common sense.

Watch this video and let me know what you think…

Running Technique Analyzed #2

This one is a little bit better.

1. It’s nice to have some sound. And the music is ok, too.
2. I like the visual of the string to keep your eyes level. Too many kids run like bunny rabbits; bouncing up and down.
3. I’m not sure what “heel roll, push” means. And I don’t like kids thinking about “pushing” themselves forward. Pushing takes energy and tightens up the body. Runners and soccer players need to be relaxed.
4. He talks about arm movement being forward and backward. I like giving a visual or kinesthetic cue: pockets to pits, or shoulders to hips.
5. In one seen it looks like his hips are bouncing. In most he doesn’t and shows pretty good form.
6. I like the visual of the circle for the path of his foot. I also like the cue of “cycling” the foot.

I give this one three stars.

Running Technique Analyzed #1


I thought I’d look at some Youtube videos that teach running and do some analysis of them. Hopefully, there will be some good stuff.  A quick search and this was the first one I came across. It’s put out by Physical Education Teachers so it should be good…

Comments:  It’s not bad. I like that it shows progressions.  As an instructional video it really needs more information and details.  For instance:
1. What is the focus on foot plant? Toes, balls of the foot…it isn’t clear.
2.  What does she need to do to increase the speed?
3. What are her arms and legs doing?  What is she trying to accomplish? What does “lift heels” mean?
4.  Specific details on how fast and how far should she be running each rep.

I give it two stars.  I’m disappointed by it, since I’m a PE teacher too. Of course, from the ability of the PE teachers I see, teaching running isn’t something that’s covered in their curriculum.

Your Own Customized Fitness Report

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably a parent or coach
of a young athlete.

I’ve written a new fitness quiz which gives you your
very own customized report.

It takes only a few seconds to take and your
results are available in less than four seconds.

There’s a lot of practical information and it’s fun
to take.

Click here: Fitness Quiz and take it now!

Why Do We Cut Kids From Teams?

I was talking to a friend of mine Thursday morning.  She
told me about her son, who had gone out for his high school
water polo team.

He wasn’t a good enough swimmer and the coach had
cut him from the team.  He was discouraged and never
went out for a school sport again.

First, I was surprised because usually water polo is
aching for athletes.  And it’s such a tough sport that
a lot of kids will quit after the first year.

But then I got mad.

With obesity rates in our schools soaring, with sitting
on your duff and playing video games becoming the
new form of recreation, why punish a kid by telling him
he’s not good enough to play?

Schools are there for the kids.  They aren’t there
for just the athletes, or even the best athletes.

My solution…hire more coaches.  Have recreational
leagues for the kids.  Make cutting from sports teams
a thing of the past. 

Like the inquisition.

The Last Lecture and Sports I

I was watching “The Last Lecture” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo)
the other night.  It’s one of the most viewed videos on youtube.  There’s
also a book too.

Briefly, it’s a speech by a university professor who has terminal cancer. 
It’s about having dreams and achieving them.  Something right up
almost everyone’s alley.

One of stories is of his football coach who came to practice
without footballs.

Huh, you ask?

Well, there’s 22 players on the field at a time, and only one
person can touch the ball at any given time, so he decided
to work on the fundamentals that the whole team needed.

This is almost directly from my philosophy of teaching
athletic skills. 

Indeed, there’s a section in the my Build An Athlete  program
for soccer about it.  I explain why it’s critical, even more
important than ball control skills.

I recommend you watch the video.  It’s fairly long (almost two
hours) and a bit of a tear jerker, but there’s a lot there.

My next blog will deal with another coaching issue that
came up.

And maybe later, I’ll mention a dream he had that I
had too.  Maybe…

Steroids and Eating Disorders

There is a dark side to sports that many parents and coaches
are unaware of.

And this dark side can lead to dangerous consequences.

There are more and more kids that are taking lessons from the pros
and seeking easier and quicker ways to the top.

Boys tend to go to steroids.  Girls tend to have eatting disorders.

Be aware that this is only tendencies.  I know that neither abuse is
limited to one sex.

The best defense is education, communication, and observation.

Be sure to talk to your child about the dangers of steroids and eatting
disorders.

Encourage them to play by the rules and to cherish hard work and effort.

Sports and athletics are great activities to challenge and learn about
yourself.

They shouldn’t be about winning, or putting your life in danger for
any reason.

Any reason at all.

“Why we should explain why…”

The other night, I was watching my son’s water polo practice.

The coach was doing a real good job of having them work on
fundamentals.

His instructions were clear. His demonstrations good.  And his
advice was insightful. As a matter of fact, I learned a lot listening
to him.

When we got into the car, my son (not the easiest kid to coach),
complained about doing what he was asked.

It didn’t make sense to him.  It seemed to be harder and more
difficult (it was).  He thought the coach was being nit-picky.

So I explained to him why the techniques were important, and
why they needed to be done the way Coach explained.

Instantly, he understood.  It made sense to him and now he’s
ready to go out and master those skills.

Everyone is the same way.  We need to know why we are doing
something.
* Why should we go to practice?
* Why should I work hard?
* Why do I need to move this way?

Once we understand why, we are more motivated to perform.

We are motivated because we know HOW it will help us
get better.

The next time your child asks why, don’t give them the
usual “because I said so”.  Take some time to explain
to them.

I think you’ll have much better results.

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