Participation awards – what’s the point?

“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.” – Morpheus


Recently, I came across a Facebook post from a friend of mine, lamenting their child’s school sports day and the lack of traditional competitive events. It’s no secret that our educational systems and sporting events are leaning more and more towards the trend of handing out “participation” awards to all children involved. Our schools have moved away from traditional grade classifications and less harshly worded feedback – But is this a positive or negative thing?
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Warming Up and the Youth Athlete (Video)

Here’s the latest in our “Youth Athlete” video series aimed at informing coaches and parents of youth athletes.

As always, please like, share and comment as you see fit! You can like us on Facebook too.


Here is a great example of a RAMP style warm up, applied at Barcelona FC:

Nutrition and the Youth Athlete (Video)

The latest in the “Youth Athlete” animated video series…

The latest animated informative video for coaches and parents in the “Youth Athlete” series.

Please feel free to like, comment and share. Stay up to date with the latest content by likings us on Facebook.

The Genius in all of us – Book Review

This month I review a book discussing the numerous factors that contribute to the development of talent.

This month I decided to read a book that is more broadly related to talent development and general coaching etc.

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Ask the Expert – Dr Emma Kavanagh (Bournemouth University)

Dr Kavanagh is a lecturer and researcher at Bournemouth University, as well as chartered sport scientist specializing in performance psychology…

1. Give us a bit of background on yourself… (sporting career, qualifications, coaching experience)

I played hockey to an international level but that was a long time ago now – that experience led me to coaching and my love of psychology. My degree was sport science and my Masters in Sport Psychology, I also have a PhD and am a chartered sport scientist specializing in performance psychology.
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Relative Age Effect in Youth Sport (Video)

An animated video for coaches and parents, describing Relative Age Effect in Youth Sports…

I decided take the time to produce a short, animated video aimed at technical coaches and parents, in order to highlight the phenomenon of Relative Age Effect.

If this format proves to be helpful, useful or popular then I will continue to use it to highlight other areas of concern in youth athletic development!

As always, please like, comment and share as you see fit! To stay up to date with the latest content please like our Facebook page.

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Ask the Expert – Andrew Pichardo (St John’s College)

Originally hailing from the USA, Andrew Pichardo is currently the Director of Athletic Development at St John’s College in Hamilton, New Zealand, as well as a PhD candidate in Youth Athlete Development.

Thanks for your time today Andrew, would you mind giving us a bit of background about yourself?

I grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas. I played football, baseball, basketball, ran track, and got into powerlifting in high school. I qualified for regionals in powerlifting my senior year in the 90 kg class. After high school, I went to Midwestern State for my BS in Exercise Physiology and minor in psychology. I did a few bodybuilding shows then got back into raw powerlifting through some fellow lifters at MSU. I did an S&C internship with our football team in spring of 2012 before graduating in December. I interned with the University of Florida S&C program from January until July 2013 before starting my MS in Exercise Science at Appalachian State. I ran the men’s and women’s golf S&C my first year before interning with the Milwaukee Brewers during the summer of 2014. When I returned to App for my second year, I volunteered with a local high school’s S&C program and taught undergraduate biomechanics labs.
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