This is my eighth year as head coach of Palmyra Jr. Wrestling. We have a great group of people who coach, administer, and care for the club. It’s a youth sport for 40 or so wrestlers, but it’s also a community of parents and friends. This position has been a big part of my life for nearly a decade. As I’ve written in this very space, much of youth coaching involves working with parents (and working with yourself). I take that seriously. Below is the 2015-16 version — slightly edited — of a letter I’ve sent out each year to our parents before our first match. It’s my effort to talk about what youth sports mean to me and how wrestling parents can help their young athletes. [Read more →]
For the holidays, a lot of us nowadays give gift cards, those serious plastic rectangles, packed with possibility. We give cash, which flutters out of the shaken, ignored greeting card, all beautiful and real. We Internet shop, where you never see and touch the thing itself. It just appears (soon, by drone!) on your step. [Read more →]
Before I get into this, I want to re-assert that you could only describe me as being avidly involved with youth sports. This is my eighth year as head coach of Palmyra Jr. Wrestling, and I have been coaching Pal-Riv soccer for 12 years. Each year, I spend hundreds of hours planning practices, attending meetings, conducting practices/training, coaching matches and games, and communicating with parents. [Read more →]
Students out there, if you are slogging away in preparation for yet another standardized test, yet another battle against the machines of education, hoping some caped crusader would fight for you, would champion your cause, you need look no further than former MIT writing professor Les Perelman. [Read more →]
So what kind of magical thing will happen to you at college? What mysterious formula will make it all worthwhile? [Read more →]
Okay youth coaches, it’s game time. You have a choice to make: Are you a coach or are you a fan?
In August, the Inquirer ran a front-page story titled “A tearful ‘How could a father allow this?’” A man gave his 15-year-old daughter the keys to his SUV. She picked up some friends, lost control of the car, and three of the friends were killed. Families were destroyed and people’s lives were ruined. A mother of one of the dead children said to the man, “Your decision to be the ‘cool dad’ devastated our community.” [Read more →]
We now have a puppy: Little Prue joined the Warnocks last Monday. Those who know me might exclaim, “I didn’t know you were interested in getting a dog!” I wasn’t. Yet we now have a puppy: Little Prue. [Read more →]
There are rough days when you’re raising kids, starting when they’re wee with worries about what will be and extending through months (or, in our case, years) of sleeplessness and intensifying when you have teenager aliens skulking about. People with kids in their 40s and even 50s confirm to me that you never do stop worrying. [Read more →]
Part 11 (of 874) in an occasional series about how standardized tests are destroying education.
If I were a college student now, I know exactly what I’d write to the admissions committee: [Read more →]
When we decided to go to Costa Rica for vacation this year, it was like learning a new word: All of a sudden, it was everywhere. Many friends, it turns out, had spent time in Costa Rica, and they all recommended it for a family trip. They were right. Our 12-day journey featured jungle treks, ziplining, superb beaches, and lots of interesting animals (including a few roommates). Here are few things we learned, some the hard way, which may help those thinking of Costa Rica for a vacation. [Read more →]
Last weekend, my eighth-grade son’s soccer team, The Inferno, played their last game together.* Eh, maybe it’s really not that momentous in the grand scheme of the great world, but this is their sixth year playing travel soccer, and it’s been one heck of an enjoyable ride. [Read more →]
Adults lament it all the time and I have lamented it here: Kids watch too much TV and generally look at screens too much. Researchers have quantified their screen-viewing in all kinds of worrisome ways: Too much screen time may even inhibit their ability to read emotions. It’s bad, people. But what is perhaps really bad is that the behavior, as with most behaviors of the youth, is so unself-aware, so mindless. Does it have to be that way? [Read more →]
As I wrote recently, I’m fascinated by what influences people to be who/what they are. Perhaps in the same vein, I’m also curious about how what we learn transfers to other situations. There is a robust body of research studying learning transfer; it’s elusive to pin down how what we learn in one situation can be applied to another.
You know that old equation that goes something like this: hard work + dedication + dreams = success. An updated version has emerged: hard work + dedication + dreams + parents = success. Really, that version is hard work + dedication + dreams + parents = success + parents. Parents have gotten into this thing on both sides! You don’t have to be Poincaré to notice, though, that if you minus [parents] from both sides of the equation, you still get the original formulation. [Read more →]