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Messages - jknezek

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1
This isn't a good look. Be interesting to see how it plays out...

https://sports.yahoo.com/lawsuit-alleges-diii-louisiana-school-didnt-hire-coach-jewish-blood-152503851.html

Not a "good look," indeed. If the allegations are true, something really smells at this venue.

Which is a big and hard to prove "IF". I'm guessing this gets settled out of court. LC isn't going to want the publicity...

3
South Region football / Re: FB: Presidents' Athletic Conference
« on: Yesterday at 04:18:39 pm »
Just got non-conference schedule details for W&J for the next five years:

W&J will open 2018 AT St. John Fisher, 2nd year of this current home & home.

The Presidents will then play home & home with Wittenberg (2019-2020) and John Carroll (2021-2022).
All are early September games.

Still a chance for 2023 with W&L but I never did get a response.

4
North Region football / Re: FB: Ohio Athletic Conference
« on: February 20, 2018, 11:33:24 am »
children's soccer?  we are deep in the middle of the offseason huh?

Well... the midpoint hasn't passed yet, but yeah. Past what counts as signing day for DIII and long before the rosters come out and anyone reports. There is still some coaching musical chairs going on. Maybe there is a rumor about who is going to Carleton?

5
North Region football / Re: FB: Ohio Athletic Conference
« on: February 20, 2018, 11:09:01 am »
Jk, I agree entirely that coaches and parents should avoid the ďwin as many games as possibleĒ attitude and approach.
I know weíve all heard this from the better coaches, but itís true and itís true for all aspects of life. Winning the game or winning the enrollment at a prestigious college or winning the sale or winning the battle with an illness is all about accepting the fact that we have to win as many of the little challenges as possible. Itís a challenge and requires uncomfortable effort to retain good form every play, itís a challenge and requires effort to study every day and itís a major challenge and requires uncomfortable effort to fight an illness.

We as parents and coaches should relish the opportunity to teach kids the importance of winning the little challenges because we know it will help them in the long run.

In my soccer teams I can win more games by playing fewer kids. Frankly I avoid this at the level of play they are involved in. If they come to practice and try hard, they get time in the games. Mostly equal when possible. If they want to play at a more competitive level, I'm happy to recommend it. This isn't that level.

Where I coach is neither the time nor the place. I'm teaching them to play soccer, and at 6-8 or 8-10, it's simply not important if they win. It's important that they have fun, learn to play, get some exercise, be good teammates, and learn sportsmanship. Winning is a nice byproduct, but far from an important one.

I think we just have to agree to disagree. Winning has its place, just not at the level of sports that most kids play before reaching high school, let alone leaving elementary school. 

6
North Region football / Re: FB: Ohio Athletic Conference
« on: February 19, 2018, 06:17:24 pm »
So the posting trend on this board for youth sports is:
Kids and parents make the rules.
Donít require practice.
No matter what, make sure itís ďfunĒ. 

The most fun I saw any teams have were the teams that won. Sure itís progressive. T-Ballers have fun picking dandelions. But the older they got, Iím convinced the kids had more fun when they were successful.
Like I told several youth football parents that wanted things a bit easier and fun: Trust me, there is nothing fun for your son when heís getting burried every play by the kid across the line of scrimmage.
Life is competitive, from start to finish.

It depends on a lot of factors. The one thing about soccer is you can really choose your level of play. There is town ball, travel ball, select ball, and then the academies. Each level can provide a different mix of intensity, focus, practice, and play. Though oddly enough at the highest levels of youth soccer in the academies there is very little emphasis on winning. It's all about technique because these kids are the cream of the crop that the local pro teams can lure. They don't need to win at that level, they need to be groomed to play in the pro system, and the high level games and tournaments are showcases for how they fit in systems more than whether the system works.

Football, with the exception of some of the 7 on 7 stuff, just doesn't have these levels. The teams have to be too big, the positions too specialized. You can't get enough kids from a single area to make it work on those multiple levels. And you can't have kids taking a beating playing multiple levels at the same time or multiple seasons a year. So it is about winning. Frankly, football is a nightmare as a youth sport. And I get the irony of posting that on a football board, and I certainly enjoy watching football, but youth football is a bloody disaster.

Baseball, basketball, and hockey where it is popular, is run somewhat along the same lines as soccer, though I've found town ball baseball to have more than its share of idiots in a way that town soccer doesn't. Probably because town soccer has parents that still don't know the game, whereas baseball is full of dads living vicariously. The less said about the AAU basketball system the better, but that's as much a failure of the college programs as the youth programs.

Regardless, if the child is competitive enough to play travel and be considered for select, the soccer parents start to get a little crazy. Same everywhere. But kids can always downshift to the club levels or town ball, where the practices should be light and the emphasis on winning minimized, and that's just not an option for football.

So yeah, Emma, life is about competition, but just because a 12 year old is playing a sport doesn't mean that the coach and parents have to drive them to the limit. Every team should be tailored to the purpose of the kids playing it, not just to the concept of winning as many games as possible.

7
South Region / Re: Gennies
« on: February 19, 2018, 01:58:14 pm »
Are there any other W&L fans hanging around the D3 forum. We have great expectations for the ODAC Tournament. The Coach McHugh has done very well so far with a nice group of players. The key is what type of recruits will he he get to really set the table for the future. NESCAC prospects should consider a southern alternative for their hoops and academics.

I'm a W&L fan. Just not much of a basketball fan. But the Generals this year have been a very solid surprise. Best winning percentage in conference play in 30 years. Best start in conference play in 30 years. First time they have a bye to the quarters since it was instituted 10 years ago. Highest ODAC playoff seed in 30 years. By any measure of the last 3 decades, this is quite the season to be proud of. I hope they match or better the '08/'09 team's ODAC run to the finals. I have a feeling they are going to need to avoid Roanoke somehow, as Roanoke really seemed to have their number in both games this year.

Still, a great start for Coach McHugh. Replacing Murtha will be a very big ask but if he can recruit as well as he's schemed this year, men's basketball may join most of the rest of the W&L teams in the top tier of the ODAC.

8
South Region / Re: MBB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: February 17, 2018, 05:57:55 pm »
I'm too lazy to look up the ODAC tiebreaker for seeding, but I know Roanoke stomped W&L twice, the only team to do so, whereas W&L stomped VA Wes and beat E&H (if they win their last game).  I believe W&L only faced those teams once. Roanoke, besides 2-0 against the Gennies,  was 1-1 against both VWU and E&H. Seems like it should go 2-5 Maroons, Generals, Wasps (they beat VWU in only match up and are ahead vs EMU right now), Marlins. But I'm not sure if this is how the tie breakers go. 

9
North Region football / Re: FB: Ohio Athletic Conference
« on: February 16, 2018, 04:08:43 pm »
Interestingly, I had several parents speak rather sharply to me after the presentation. Somehow I think the point was lost on more than I'd hoped for. There is no helping youth sports parents...

+K for the entire post.  Good stuff.

On this bolded part...I was floored.  Last summer was my first time coaching since 2002.  Things are much different than I remember.  I recall specifically being appalled at a tournament down in Cincy watching parents (several sets) screaming at the umpire from right behind the backstop.  Not like "Cmon blue you missed that one" I'm talking vicious stuff.  It was a 10U game.  10 year olds!!  I couldn't believe that people would act like that period, let alone in front of your kids and in public.  It's 10 year old baseball for crying out loud.

This was the kind of stuff we were trying to cut out. I don't think my speech worked all that well. I'm not sure any speech will. People are absolutely insane. And it's not just team sports or popular sports. My daughter beat a boy at a taekwondo tournament last year and his father was screaming at the judges the whole match. I couldn't tell you if the judges were doing something wrong since I barely understand the rules even after 2 years of watching, but I do know his attitude was despicable.

10
South Region / Re: MBB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:53:04 pm »
I suspect the ODAC might be a one-bid conference this season.

You would know better than me, but an RMC team that runs the table before losing in the ODAC finals would be a reasonable at large. They sit second in the latest South Regional Rankings, would likely end up something like 4-4 or so in RRO, and a pretty decent SOS. Not a slam dunk, but I suspect they'd be in the running.

11
North Region football / Re: FB: Ohio Athletic Conference
« on: February 16, 2018, 12:51:02 pm »
Very nice analysis jknezek.  That is about the reaction I would expect.  Everyone thinks their kid is the exception.

That's where I feel like I excelled as a parent.   I had no grand illusions of my 3 kids being anything more than me athletically.   Just your average white kid that couldn't run/jump/shoot nor could I hit a curve ball.   But I did have a pissy attitude to go along with being a strong as an ox farm boy.   Which explains why I was a center/D-tackle in football and wrestled.   My physical attributes, or more accurately my LACK of physical attributes, eliminated any real opportunity but my attitude made me perfect for the line of scrimmage and the wrestling mat.

Unfortunately neither of my boys would even consider football or wrestling so I was stuck watching them play soccer without the physical traits needed to be competitive.  At least my daughter was a swimmer so I did bet to experience the wrestling-like joy of sitting in a hot, smelly arena for 6 hours to watch your kid compete for 6 minutes.....

This is great. I have no illusions about my kids. One of my boys might be a bit more athletic than I was, the other one a bit less. Keep in mind W&L's soccer coach basically sat me down after I practiced for a year and told me that it most likely wasn't going to happen. So despite playing for an elite h.s. team and club team and some select teams, I couldn't make a decent at the time (better now) DIII team.

Taekwondo sounds a lot like swimming and wrestling, except it's 99% practice and about 3 competitions per year that take 6 minutes a piece. On the upside, there are lots of belt ceremonies to reward the practice and my daughter can kick above her head and punch through a 1 inch thick board at 8 years old. She's also well coached on practical defense. I won't even have to give a Dad speech when she starts dating (though it probably won't stop me). There's piece of mind in knowing she'll be able to take care of herself.

12
North Region football / Re: FB: Ohio Athletic Conference
« on: February 16, 2018, 12:09:32 pm »
Very nice analysis jknezek.  That is about the reaction I would expect.  Everyone thinks their kid is the exception.

Yes. I'm lucky my boys are still littles and I enjoy coaching them, just like my dad coached me. I hope they keep playing, even thought it means I'll eventually have to hand them off to someone else, but my eldest, my daughter, has already given up soccer for Taekwondo. Even knowing what I know, I was sad when she gave up my favorite childhood sport and when I called my dad he laughed and said he felt the same when I gave up baseball, but that it wasn't about me now or him then. Sometimes perspective is helpful. I hope I gave those parents some. It seems like too many youth sports parents are desperately in need of perspective...

13
North Region football / Re: FB: Ohio Athletic Conference
« on: February 16, 2018, 11:45:19 am »
I coach soccer at early youth levels but I had to do a presentation to some 13 and 14 year old parents for the area wide Birmingham United Soccer Association. The presentation was nominally about getting parents to behave better, but to do it in a way that didn't feel like we were yelling at them. So I couched it as an introduction to college soccer. I started talking all about the differences between D1, D2, D3, where some of the area schools fall (you wouldn't believe how many parents don't know the SEC doesn't sponsor Men's Soccer), and so on. I talked about the elite camps and the sponsored soccer academies and select teams. And then we got to the fun part.

I explained there are about 3MM registered youth soccer players with U.S. Soccer (there are about 2x that number on unregistered teams, but these are primarily rec and church league clubs for young kids). Of those 3MM registered, about 85% are between 8 and 15. Assuming that 2.55 million players is spread evenly among those ages, that is about 318,750 players per age year. There are 205 D1 men's programs and 335 women's. Each has about 25 players. That is 13,500 D1 college players. Spread over 4 years (let's assume very little red-shirting for simplicity), and you get about 3375 D1 players per year. Now we know you get about twice as many first years as seniors, though probably not on scholarship, so maybe 6000 full or partial scholarship or walk on spots for first years in D1.

About 1.8% of the registered 13/14 year olds stand a chance at being on a D1 team as a first year. Generously speaking.

I went through all the math and then I stood up there and looked out at them and asked them, after doing the numbers, how many thought their kids would be part of that 1.8%. About half raised their hands. In that room of about 500 parents, representing about 300 kids, I told them they'd be lucky to have 6 kids play D1. And that maybe 1 or 2 would get a full, 4 year ride.

I looked out at a rather subdued group of parents at that point and told them that I didn't do this to change their expectations, we all hope for the best for our kids, but to change their attitudes. Their kids playing in BUSA wasn't about them getting scholarships or money for college. It was for fun, for exercise, to learn the game, to learn to work with a team, and to learn how to win and lose properly, just like any other team sport. And the more they yell and scream at their kids, the coaches, the refs, all because they think it will help their kids to get to that elusive 1.8%, the more they ruin the lessons that are much more important for their kids to take away from the game.

Interestingly, I had several parents speak rather sharply to me after the presentation. Somehow I think the point was lost on more than I'd hoped for. There is no helping youth sports parents...

14
South Region / Re: MBB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: February 16, 2018, 10:09:05 am »
I'll stop short of making a prediction, but I think an RMC win tomorrow might be hard to come by. I haven't checked out the actual results, but my memory tells me that the Jackets don't always fare too well in Lexington. Also, it is probably senior day for W&L and since RMC already has the #1 seed there isn't the same sense of urgency as there might be if the seeding depended on them winning.

This is what I was pondering last night as well. The Generals have it all to play for. RMC has very little. That doesn't always work out, but in this case I think it might.

15
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: February 15, 2018, 01:14:15 pm »
JK

Congrats on the new hire. It will be fun to watch what happens. My guess is W&L will not miss a beat.

Nice to have it settled. From the article in the Roanoke Times yesterday I think that is the hope.

"Athletic director Jan Hathorn said hiring a coach who would keep the option scheme was her preference but that it was not a requirement for the job."

Way back when this started I pondered whether you go with a guy that will most closely give you what has brought the recent success, or you go with the best available coach regardless of what he might do to the current system. I think this hire answered that question from W&L's POV. Coach LeRose is probably the best option to sustain the current option offense system. With no head coaching experience, and no experience outside W&L, he probably wasn't the best looking coach on paper so his precise experience had to outweigh the vast general experience of the other candidates.

Now don't take that as a criticism about Coach LeRose or the process. I've sat in enough hiring situations to know that the decision is always predicated on what the hiring party values the most and how it lines up with the personal performance of the candidate. And certainly Coach LeRose could have crushed the interview from AD Hathorn's POV. In fact she said something similar in the same article.

"He wore it as if he was the head football coach throughout the interviews,Ē Hathorn said. ďIn every way he was putting himself in the head coachís hat.Ē

But... from a pure coaching experience POV, out of the 96 candidates AD Hathorn mentions and the rumors I heard, there were certainly more than a few with head coaching experience, DIII head coaching experience, and even DIII playoff head coaching experience.

AD Hathorn clearly valued Coach LeRose's system experience at an extremely high level versus more general coaching experience. I'm excited, and interested, to see how it all plays out.

Roanoke Times article: http://www.roanoke.com/sports/colleges/washington-and-lee-promotes-garrett-lerose-to-head-coach/article_be9ef6a3-3e2a-5f9b-af5c-21ac2c899684.html

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