Letter to Parents: Last season the kids kept asking me if they got medals at the end of the season. Storm doesn't give medals in the Spring, so instead of getting some medals for the end of season, I did some research on awards that could be given throughout the season. I've heard good things about the "patch" motivational award system, but I'll need help. I want to make sure each boy gets at least one patch per game, so the practice patches will be primarily the Master Skills and Ranger patches. But there are a few things we should all be looking out for during practices as well as games. If you see or hear something that you feel should be recognized, please let me know. Specifically, I'm thinking of the General award for leadership. If you catch one of the boys helping another with a skill, organizing or encouraging his teammates, or helping clean up without being asked - these are the types of behavior that need to be positively reinforced. The Master Skills are supposed to be a form of homework. Zeeyn is constantly practicing punting the ball, which improves his coordination and form. The Master Skills badge encourages this - one of the skills is going to be to bounce kick the ball over a goal, and I'm guessing he'll be one of the first to earn it. But the skills should be practiced before and after practice or at home. I would like Zeeyn to be doing the drills with the rest of the kids rather than off punting during practice (although I'd rather him having fun punting than forcing him to participate in drills.) So the rule is that each boy can have two official attempts at a skill before or after practice (so they're not punting for 10 minutes while you sit and watch, waiting for them to get lucky. Either they've practiced and can do it on the spot, or they need to practice more.) If you're a judge, be sure they understand that they have two official attempts. If they don't earn it, they can always try again at next practice, and the following one, until they do. Not all of the boys will get all of the patches, but hopefully this will catch on, and motivate them to try to get one of each. And a final note - the boys should never be asking for patches. -Coach Dave
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