February 2005

Coach’s Corner  |  SportsKids Special Offer!  |  What’s New at SportsKids?
Featured Product  |  Monthly Poll  |  Monthly Trivia





The Concept of Perfection

The Dodgers had a breakfast a couple of weeks ago to tell their story about off-season moves and the team they’ll put on the field for 2005. I was there to listen to the new owner, Frank McCourt, the general manager, Paul DePodesta, Hall of Famer, Tommy Lasorda, and the Dodgers’ manager, Jim Tracy. They told a good story about the Dodgers and what their plans are, but the most interesting aspect to me was something that was said and its application to teaching kids about sports and ultimately, life.


After the presentation was finished, people from the crowd were allowed to ask questions. One guy asked about Milton Bradley and the Dodgers’ thoughts on the negative example that he sets as a role model for high school and younger ballplayers. You may remember, Mr. Bradley has not always been a shining example of good sportsmanship and is currently undergoing anger management counseling as a result. To a person, each of the four Dodgers representatives, while acknowledging that there had been problems, defended Milton Bradley as a great guy who is often misunderstood; as a member of the Dodgers family, he deserves a second chance and that everybody really does like him as a person.


The Concept of Perfection

To me the most interesting comments came from Jim Tracy. Not only did the Dodgers’ manager say that Bradley is somebody he loves working with, he said he is an ever better player to manage because he is a “perfectionist”. I’m paraphrasing, but Tracy basically said that he loves Milton’s attitude because he never thinks he should make an out when he’s at the plate and he doesn’t feel like there is ever a ball he can’t catch in the outfield. He expects and demands that he will be “perfect” every pitch, every out, every inning, of every game. After the meeting, I talked to Jim Tracy about this idea of “perfect” as it applies to kids.

Click Here To Continue…



This Sport Buck Coupon is good for a 10% discount with any order over $50.00 in the
SportsKids.com Superstore.


 When you check out just type in this coupon code  6F05CPN051702210 (Expires 2/28/05)


Free Shipping!

On all orders over $100. This offer expires February 28, 2005

Click here for details...


Take advantage of all these special offers from SportsKids today. In the SportsKids.com Superstore, we sell most everything for kids and their families. We have nearly 150,000 products, including sporting goods, clothing, video games, books, videos, licensed goods, furnishings, room decorations, and tons of fan gear.


Apparel | Baseball | Basketball | Bedding | Boxing

Cheerleading | Coaching | Decorations | Fan Gear

Field Hockey | Figure Skating | Football | Golf

Hockey | Instructional Books | Instructional Videos

Lacrosse | Martial Arts | Memorabilia | Outdoor

Racquetball | Rugby | Soccer | Softball | Swimming

Table Tennis | Team Gear | Tennis | Track/Field

Volleyball | Watches/Clocks



Sportskids Coaching Tips

We’re always adding new tips to help you become a great youth coach for all the kids!

I’m sure you won’t be surprised, but we’re really big believers in coaching. Not just positive coaching, but correct coaching. Ask any kid: “What does practice make” and they’ll tell you it makes “perfect”. All the coaches with SportsKids.com training know better; practice makes PERMANENT. Before you try to instruct kids, please make sure that you’ve read some tips from the pros. We even have a special feature that allows you to add your own Top Tips to help other coaches in the SportsKids.com community!

Click here to get started!


Super Bowl Watch - $24.94

A unique NFL 2005 SuperBowl XXXIX watch for yourself or someone special! They make a great gift item for Birthday's or any other special occasion for both Men & Women and Kids - A SuperBowl watch for everyone!


Patriots Commemorative Coin Set - $19.95

The Front of the minted Champs coin features the Champs Helmet with the Super Bowl XXXIX commemoration listed on the perimeter. The backside lists the Super Bowl Champs regular season game scores as well as the post season and ultimately the Super Bowl Victory! This Super Bowl XXXIX Champions 24kt Gold Overlay Coin and Card set is limited to just 10,000 pieces. It is officially licensed by the NFL.


 Super Bowl Championship Pillow - $19.99

A 18” x 18” square pillow for any room or situation. Perfect for supporting the Patriot Dynasty go for three in a row.


Sonic Speed Radar Gun - $299

The Jugs Sonic Speed Radar Guns are the only radar guns using sound wave technology. That means no outside interference. With a maximum range of 55 feet, these Jugs radar guns are perfect of on-field training or clocking pitchers from the grandstands.



Championship Baseball Video Series - $199.90

The Championship Baseball video series contains the following 6 tapes: “The Details of Baserunning” (59 minutes); “Coaching Successful Hitters” (33 minutes); “High Percentage Infield Play” (36 minutes); “Pitching Mechanics Made Easy” (38 minutes); “The Complete Guide to the Curve Ball” (30 minutes); and, “The Double Play and Special Infield Skills” (46 minutes).


All Star Bat Bag - $48.00

A great bag to have for any team. This is heavy nylon, holds 12 bags, carrying handles, metal clips for hanging easily on any fence. Available Color Black only.


Field General 12” Glove Model 05 - $58.99

Field General gloves feature premium workmanship and full grain leather. Our gloves' adjustable control rods connect your fingers with the glove tip to optimize the "feel" and control of the ball. The removable Heel pocket will help you stop "bad hops". Six Finger size 12". Patented removable Heel Pocket and internal Control Rods.

Coach’s Corner, Continued


What we talked about was perfection: how is it good for a ballplayer, especially a child, to expect to be perfect? More so in baseball, where failure is the expected norm; failing 7 out of 10 times makes you a star. Everybody swings and misses. The best players in the world regularly walk in runs, and errors are made almost every game. Why is perfect the right goal? Jim Tracy had to leave before we had a chance to finish the conversation, but it did get me thinking about the goals and attitude we should teach our SportsKids.


The Right Attitude – It’s about Control

Why would anybody ever tell there kids to be perfect? Michael Jordan once said: “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Babe Ruth had the record for strike outs in a career until his record was broken by another Hall of Fame member of the 500 HR club, Reggie Jackson. Nobody is perfect!


If you can’t be perfect, what is the right goal? In his fantastic book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about being “response-able” for your actions. In sports and in life there are so many things that are completely out of our control, but we individually have the ability to choose our responses to each situation – positive and negative. In essence, you can’t control the actions of anybody else or the results; only yourself. Consequently, the focus has to be on what you can control.


Surprisingly, my 5 and 6 year old basketball team that I coach had the answers. Since I was thinking about Milton Bradley and perfection, I decided to ask some of the kids their thoughts on the subject. First, each of them is afraid of different things playing sports. Some didn’t want to miss a shot, get a rebound off their head, make a bad pass or lose the game. So we talked about Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Kobe Bryant and others and how they made mistakes too. It became very liberating for them to realize that they didn’t need to do everything perfect to be a good basketball player.

Click Here To Continue…

Coach’s Corner, Continued

The more we talked, the better the kids started to feel about themselves. Realizing that you don’t have to be perfect is a good thing, but does that conflict with what Jim Tracy said was so great about Milton Bradley: expecting to get a hit every time at bat and to catch every fly ball? Not necessarily if the focus shifts from being perfect to doing what you can control. While my older teams that I coach focused on the “results” of actions, it was again the 5 and 6 year old kids who did a great job in helping me understand what elements of a game can be controlled:


1.      Fundamentals – there is no reason that every kid can’t learn to do things the right way. If the coach can teach a kid to perform with proper fundamentals the results will follow. The emphasis here has to be on first, the coach learning the right things to teach, and then, insisting that the kids do it correctly. Remember: Practice makes Permanent!

2.      Focus – Every kid can think and have their head in the game. Even the kid who can’t make a basket can be in the right place all the time.

3.      Hustle – Do your best and put out the most effort that you can on every play. Every coach should be working on kids to hustle, play hard and put out effort – not on results.

4.      Teamwork – This plays into focus as well, but working with your teammates is something that every player can do, control, and excel at.

5.      Sportsmanship – There is never any reason to not be a good sport. This year, I’ve seen far too many kids saying “bad game” instead of congratulating the other team on their effort. Be a good sport – always!


Measuring Your Results

At the end of each game, ask the kids to evaluate their individual and team performance. You’d be surprised at their own understanding of how they did. Don’t spend time on performance measurement, but on the non scorebook things that the kids can control. We can’t control the results of our actions, but if we work on everything we can control, we won’t be perfect, but we will be the best we can be.

Jump to top of article…


February Trivia Test


1) Truly amazing because it was before a college 3 point shot, who is the player whose 44.2 ppg scoring average is nearly 10 points higher than the next closest person?

A)      Calvin Murphy

B)      Pete Maravich

C)      Larry Bird

D)      Wilt Chamberlain


2) What is Pele’s Real Name

A)      Jose Martinez

B)      Felipe Sanchez

C)      Arantes Do Nascimento

D)      Miquel Sindovaul


There are trivia games in general sports, baseball, football, hockey and basketball in three different skill levels. Test your sports skills against kids around the world in the SportsKids Game Section.

Answers: 1) B    2) C



February Sports pollS


Will Major League Baseball Change its Drug Policy?

A)                  Yes

B)                  No

C)                  Doesn’t Matter 


Last month’s Poll results: 

1)      Who will win Super Bowl XXXIX

-          Patriots – 31.18%

-          Vikings – 2.8%

-          Steelers – 20.11%

-          Eagles – 17.18%

-          Colts – 11.12%

-          Rams – 5.17%

-          Jets – 3.2%

-          Falcons – 9.24%


Cast your vote on these and other sports polls at