The Playmaker Project

Greatness is Consistency on the Fundamentals | Youth Sports Training

Greatness is Consistency on the Fundamentals | Youth Sports Training

Mission: The goal of this article is to challenge parents/coaches/ and leaders of young athletes (ages 6 to 16) to prioritize breath, hydration, sleep, nutrition, focus, and training with their junior playmakers.


Right now we are in a World filled with uncertainty. Stress and success during volatile times are defined by choice, and it is the small choices, not the big ones, that determine how well are young athletes improve and respond.

How do we keep building momentum with our younger athletes no matter what environment we are in? How do we make sure that they are using this time to move away from stress and toward success?

I believe 100% that it is all about the fundamentals.

For athletes, the body is the vehicle for success.

What are the fundamentals for younger athletes?

The fundamentals are the basics of the human body. Breathing, Hydration, Nutrition, Sleeping, and Training.


Most of the younger generation is not familiar with Coach John Wooden but he was voted by ESPN as the greatest coach of the 20th century. Wooden’s UCLA basketball teams won 10 NCAA championships in 12 years, including an 88-game winning streak.

ESPN says that Wooden was the greatest coach of the 20th century. That makes him, arguably, the greatest coach ever.

Couple things to note here:

You know how many years Wooden coached before he won his first championship?

Answer: He was at UCLA for 16 seasons before he won his first title. And, he coached for a number of years before even showing up at UCLA. That is a long time before he was able to get the program rolling. Most definitely not an overnight success.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carrol (Another one of my favorite leaders) points this out in his great book Win Forever. It took Wooden a LONG TIME to figure it out but, once he did, he could “win forever.”

Keep that in mind when you think about Wooden become so extraordinary.

He wasn’t born a great coach.

He MADE himself a great coach, one incrementally improved Day aggregated and compounded over an extended period of time. He was crazy consistent about his improvement.

We are going to talk about consistency more in a sec.

Second, another quick question: You know what Wooden did in the very first practice before he’d even let his players take the court?

He’d teach them how to put on their socks.

Imagine the absolute (!) best players in the country (Think Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Walton) coming to the absolute (!) best program in the country and their coach won’t even let them touch a basketball until they learned how to properly roll a sock over their foot and pull it up all tight-like.


Because he knew that championships are built on a solid foundation.

And there’s nothing more fundamental for a basketball player than putting on your socks right. If you can’t slow down long enough to do that right, you’re in trouble.

Gotta make sure those wrinkles were out of the socks lest we might get a blister in practice.

Get a blister and our performance in games will suffer. Therefore, you need to take the time to put those socks on right!”

As a basketball player, I know this. If the shoes and socks don’t fit right or are not on correctly then the feet get messed up real quick! Side Note: I took my younger son to a Nike outlet a few weeks ago. I found some beautiful looking  Jordan’s (My size☺) at a super lower price. I thought I was getting a crazy good deal, but when I wear them, they tear my feet up!

Unusable on the basketball court!

… All that to arrive here: What are the “socks” for our younger athletes?
You know, those super simple, mundane, boring, things that need to be done every day to create lasting improvement no matter the situation.

Training + Breathing + Hydration + Sleep + Focus = Young Athlete Fundamentals


Question: If you wanted to see how tall a building is going to be and you couldn’t look at the architect’s plans or ask anyone about it, what’s the best way to find out in the first phase of construction?

Answer: Look at how deeply they’re digging the foundation.

A single-story house? No big deal. A shallow foundation will do.

A skyscraper with a hundred plus floors? They’re digging very, very deep.

How about YOU?

How high do you want to rise?

How high do you want your Junior Playmakers to Rise?

You digging deep?

Greatness is about consistency on the fundamentals.


The fundamentals that we are talking about here are easy to do. They are also easy not to do. It’s the difference between thriving in any environment and failing to thrive in any environment. It’s a key formula. A few fundamental disciplines practiced every day. A few simple fundamentals can change your future with you, your family, and the athletic potential of your young athletes.

Extraordinary is a few simple habits—good habits—repeated every day. …

You’ve got the choice right now of one of two ‘easies.’ Easy to do, or easy not to do.


For our younger athletes to improve no matter the situation it is up to us as leaders to set the example. It is up to us as leaders to be disciplined enough to prioritize our own fundamentals. This requires discipline. Discipline is the spark that ignites the fire of habit. Those fires must be lit daily, and discipline provides the original source energy.

The word discipline literally means to be a disciple to a higher purpose.

For most of us, we feel a powerful purpose to lead, inspire, and teach our younger athletes.

“Who are you working for besides yourself? Who are you reading this for?

Who is depending on you?

Who will benefit if you discipline yourself to eat right, train right, sleep right and hydrate well?

Developing the discipline to prioritize your fundamentals every day means you become a disciple— not to the fundamentals themselves, but to the higher purpose of developing yourself fully as a human being and as a leader. … Remember, when extraordinary efforts become commonplace, extraordinary results follow.


  • * No Blue Light 2 Hours before Bed: This means no tech, no tablets, no tv. Blue Light has a dramatic impact on sleep quality. Becoming a Champion means having a Ton of Improvement Days!
  • * Focus their training on improving and optimizing the fascia network. Doing this optimizes Speed, Coordination, and Athleticism.
  • * Minimize Processed Carbaged: A large study recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that eating processed foods, such as refined carbohydrates, sweets, and processed meats, increased the risk of depression by about 60%. Eating a whole-food diet, on the other hand, decreased the risk of the disease by about 26%. It is going to be difficult to optimize our younger athletes’ improvement and resiliency if they don’t feel very good.
  • * Prioritize Hydration: Our bodies are made up from anywhere from 60 to 80 percent water, and our muscles alone are 75 percent water. Water aids in brain function ensures a healthy metabolism, digestion, kidney function and helps circulate oxygen in the bloodstream; lubricates joints, and ensures proper muscle function. Have your junior playmakers’ drink at least 75% of their body weight in ounces every day.
  • * Teach them Breath Awareness: In uncertain times it is important that our junior playmakers understand that by collapsing their concentration to their breathing while maintaining relaxed awareness of the surroundings. Breathing deeply greatly reduces stress, slows the heart rate, and bring the nervous system back into balance. The mind will remain focused as the body comes back into balance. Then our junior playmakers can make better decisions in the midst of the chaos, danger, or the debilitating effect of fear.


As we navigate through this volatile World our young athletes will be somewhere in the next twelve months; the question we must ask ourselves is where?

I want my junior playmakers’ to be healthy, energized, and resilient. Ready to conquer any challenge that comes their way.

I want the same thing for your junior playmakers’ and it all starts with digging a deep foundation with a big focus on the fundamentals.

My challenge to you is to create a system to help your junior playmakers track, improve, and optimize their physiology. I have created a system in our 6 Week Champions School. As a leader, it is your responsibility to help your younger athletes thrive no matter the situation. It all starts with the fundamentals.

You can schedule a Champions Admission call here.

Let’s get better today,


  • What is one thing you can do today to improve your Junior Playmakers’ training?
  • What is one thing you can do today to improve your Junior Playmakers’ hydration?
  • What is one thing you can do today to improve your Junior Playmakers’ nutrition?
  • What is one thing you can do today to improve your Junior Playmakers’ sleep?
  • What is one thing you can do today to improve your Junior Playmakers’ breath awareness?
Coach Jackson
Coach Jackson
Master’s Degrees in Education (Specializing in the Work of Abraham Maslow and Human Potential) and an MBA in International Leadership and Coaching. He is a N.A.S.E certified Speed and Explosion Specialist and Optimize Coach.
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