Trash Talking in Youth Sports

There is one aspect in ALL sports that has just become a regular part of the game at all levels: Trash talking! Here in Canada, some might call it ‘chirping’ and it is used for the sole purpose of ‘getting in your opponents’ head. In my days of coaching, I have seen this theme increase from year to year and my personal opinion is that the young athletes are just emulating the professionals they see on television. But does that make it okay?

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Practical Mindsets to Play Your Best

Alex Foster Headshot (Small)Alex Foster is a professional basketball player and founder of Sense Basketball, a youth basketball initiative. His youth programs include purposeful skills training and mindfulness exercise, to promote athletes’ self-confidence and general well-being.

Imagine two players: identically tall, equal in strength, with matching basketball skills. Despite their similarities, they likely perform differently after the game tips off. Talent itself does not always translate to on-court performance. The missing part of the equation is the mental process of applying your abilities in the moment.

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Using Mindfulness to Revolutionize Youth Coaching

Alex Foster Headshot (Small)Alex Foster is a professional basketball player and founder of Sense Basketball, a youth basketball initiative. His youth programs include purposeful skills training and mindfulness exercise, to promote athletes’ self-confidence and general well-being.

By prioritizing talent evaluation over personal development, the existing approach to youth basketball continuously fails young athletes. At the beginning of every season, kids are evaluated based on their existing abilities (or performance that day) and slotted into roles by their coaches. These player roles are unlikely to change, either through the course of the season or even through their career.

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Why & How to Practice Mindfulness

Alex Foster Headshot (Small)Alex Foster is a professional basketball player and founder of Sense Basketball, a youth basketball initiative. His youth programs include purposeful skills training and mindfulness exercise, to promote athletes’ self-confidence and general well-being.

On the surface, it’s hard to see any similarities between the seemingly lavish lives of professional basketball players and the humble existence that Buddhist monks seek. Beneath the surface, however, their minds might operate closer than we think.

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