Playbook

Garland Allen

Garland Allen is an educator who served as Athletic Director, coach of Basketball, Football and Track & Field, for more than 35 years in public education. Garland spent more than 20 years as a Director of Athletics in Greenwich, CT and Ridgewood, NJ. He also spent eight years as the Director of Wellness for the Ridgewood Public School District. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the NYU School of Professional Studies Sports and Society program, where he is actively engaged in research and programming on issues related to youth sports.

Recent Posts

What Kind of Coach Are You?

Oct 11, 2019 1:23:52 PM / by Garland Allen posted in Insider, coaches, athletic directors, athletes, parents, youth sports

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When my friend Howard checked the box on his son’s soccer registration form to volunteer as a coach, he’d never coached a sport at any level. He played soccer through elementary and high school, but was hardly an expert on the Xs and Os. So he figured he’d sign up as an assistant and learn the ropes under a more experienced head coach. But ready or not, here it came -- an email from the commissioner letting him know the recreation league was low on volunteers. 

They needed him to be a head coach on his own.

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Cyberbullying Is a Real and Present Danger. The Solutions Are Real, Too.

Oct 1, 2019 10:53:00 AM / by Garland Allen posted in coaches, athletic directors, athletes, parents

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Bullying and hazing are serious, some say epidemic issues, year round. October is National Bullying Prevention Month; our opportunity to pause and focus on bullying and bullying prevention awareness. It's an opportunity to focus our attention to both the problems that cause so much harm -- and also the solutions that offer protection from trauma as well as opportunities to build resilience for individuals, families and communities.

Cyberbullying is more than a buzzword in the discussion about bullying. It's a serious and growing problem, and, to our horror, a major cause of suicide in young people who are victims of online harassment and intimidation. 

Though the threat and dangers of online harassment is very real, so are the solutions. And these solutions are practical and simple to implement. 

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You Can Do It. Spot and Stop Bullying and Hazing.

Sep 26, 2019 9:24:00 AM / by Garland Allen posted in coaches, athletes, parents, personal coach

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Highlight Reel:

Kids see and experience bullying and, too often, never mention it to the adults in their life for many reasons. To create a culture that does not tolerate bullying, you need to teach your team members how to identify this toxic behavior and know how to stop it.

Whether you’re a coach or a parent, you should be prepared to recognize and respond to one of the most common forms of negative behavior associated with sports teams: bullying. Bullying is an issue in every part of our kids’ lives — from the locker rooms to home rooms to social media. And statistics show that more than half the time, kids don’t tell adults about bullying situations. 

So, how can we help stop something when we don’t even know is happening?

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How to Lead a Positive Coaching Culture in Youth Sports

Aug 15, 2019 7:49:16 AM / by Garland Allen posted in coaches, athletic directors, athletes, parents

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Highlight reel:  Kids play sports to learn skills and have fun. It’s important for coaches and ADs to lead with a positive mindset because too many teams are permeated with negativity, driven by unhealthy attitudes toward competition and overrun with internal conflict.

The solution is in your hands

One of the biggest opportunities  to make a lasting change to our youth sports culture lies in the hands of the coaches and ADs. Your program’s and team’s culture is the expression of your shared values, attitudes, and goals. It determines whether your team members focus on:

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Coaches, Set Yourself Up For the Best Season Ever With a Winning, Pre-season Meeting Plan

Jul 29, 2019 1:51:13 PM / by Garland Allen posted in coaches, athletic directors, athletes, parents

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Preparing for the start of the fall sports season is exciting, hectic and demanding. It seems that no matter how well you plan, loose ends seem to occur every year. In addition to your administrative duties, welcoming your coaching staff and introducing hundreds of student athletes and their parents to your program is a major undertaking.

Can we make this transition from summer break to the new school sports year, easier?

We think so.  Here's how.

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