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Examples in Excellence: Most Inspiring Coaches of the Last Decade 5

Posted on July 24, 2015 by Brooke Chaplan
Jill Ellis has been successful building the U.S. Women's Soccer Team into a team of stars.

Jill Ellis has been successful building the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team into a team where everyone plays their role.

The greatest sports coaches have the power to inspire their athletes to be better than they’ve ever been and change the whole dynamic of a team. We’ve all seen what an amazing leader can do for an otherwise scrappy team, and here are just a few of the most remarkable examples of the last decade.

Build Teams with Great Players, Not One Great Player
Jill Ellis experienced incredible training as a young coach at UCLA when she was mentored by John Wooden. Now she is the manager of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team.

Ellis creates a clear team concept and teaches each player their role within it. At her father’s suggestion, she learned communication outside her sport. For a while, she was a technical writer. Now she can explain her team vision and help her players to be their best within it. Her background was able to prepare her for seeing a big picture and what each part needs to do to organize a working machine.

Leadership by Listening
Steve Kerr was the first rookie head coach in the NBA to win the championship since 1982. The Golden State Warriors were a team of current and future all-stars, but they needed someone who could pull all the pieces together.

Kerr created a system based on the strengths of his players to maximize the team’s performance. He also empowered his coaching staff to share their ideas and listened to everyone. Most significantly, in the NBA Finals, an assistant coach wanted to change the starting line-up to help them deal with the previously unstoppable LeBron James. Kerr accepted and implemented the idea. Not only did it work, Kerr publicly identified his assistant as the source of the idea. This is one example out of dozens of Kerr giving credit to others for the team’s success.
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US Still Fair Weather Football (Soccer) Fans 7

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Jeremy Biberdorf
American fans were locked in during the 2014 World Cup, but will they stay excited about soccer over the next four years?

American fans were locked in during the 2014 World Cup, but will they stay excited about soccer over the next four years?

To see the images that flooded American news and social media, one would think that the US lives and breathes football (well…”soccer”). It’s true, United States patriotic spirit was in full bloom during the Americans’ solid run in the most recent World Cup. So what does this mean for lasting nationwide interest in the beautiful game?

It would seem that sentiment is at an all-time high for the red, white, and blue. Never before have so many identified themselves as football fans. But when the rubber meets the road, most US football analytics have not increased within the past decade. The nation has spent more on football merchandise since the 2010 world cup, this much is true. But rabid fandom seems truly dilute nationwide. While some Americans know the names of their nation’s top players, and some could even tell you the latest UK football odds, only 1.2  tickets to this year’s Cup were sold for every 2000 residents. Read the rest of this entry →

Hosts Tipped for World Cup Success 20

Posted on April 02, 2014 by Pete South
Called by some the next Pele, Neymar will try to make Brazil the first host to win the World Cup since 1998.

Called by some the next Pele, Neymar will try to make Brazil the first host to win the World Cup since 1998.

With just three months before the start of the tournament, many soccer fans will have one eye on this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. While there is still plenty of twists and turns before the start of the tournament in June, the betting odds are beginning to give punters an idea on who could go on to lift the famous Jules Rimet trophy in Brazil. With the world’s gaze descending on the colorful South American country, the excitement is building ahead of a World Cup that looks set to be one of the most keenly-fought tournaments in recent memory.

While Spain will head into this World Cup as the defending champions and winner of the past two European Championships, the betting odds are tipping host nation Brazil to win the tournament for a sixth time. The hosts are considered to have the best chance to win the World Cup despite not winning the tournament since 2002. With the help of the home fans and a talented squad, Brazil have been given odds as short as 3/1 with some bookmakers.

Not since 2002 have Brazil boasted a squad packed with the same sort of talent that saw them win their fifth World Cup title, led by Ronaldo’s incredible goal scoring exploits in Japan and South Korea 12 years ago. While Ronaldo now spends much of his time as a Team PokerStars SportsStar -representing the brand who also took over Full Tilt Poker to make them the biggest online poker provider- the former striker will be hoping to watch on from the sidelines as the new Brazil side look to repeat the success achieved by himself and the rest of that 2002 side. Read the rest of this entry →

Summer 2014: 5 Reasons to Be Psyched About Sports 13

Posted on March 29, 2014 by Dixie Somers

The 2014 Soccer World Cup highlights a busy sports summer.

As if a cold and snowy winter isn’t enough reason to look forward to the summer, the months of June, July and August 2014 promise something for just about all sports fans.

There is never a bad time to be a sports fan because there are great events spread throughout the year, but this summer should be especially great for fans across the board. Some think that the world of sports slows down in the summer and there isn’t anything worth watching—how wrong they are! If you can’t get enough sports, prepare yourself for an awesome lineup and get psyched for sports this summer. Read ahead for the best events to keep an eye out for:

2014 Golf Men’s U.S Open
The U.S Open is one of the toughest and most prestigious golf tournaments played on the PGA Tour every year. This year’s edition of the tournament will take place June 12-15 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. It will be the third time the U.S Open was held at the No. 2 Course at Pinehurst.

2014 FIFA World Cup
The World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world, and the 20th tournament will begin on June 12. The entire tournament will last just over a month, and it will be played at 12 different arenas throughout Brazil. There is nothing quite like watching the national soccer teams of 32 country battle it out for one of the most prestigious prizes in professional sports. Read the rest of this entry →

A look back at the 2002 World Cup: Summer of Upsets 2

Posted on January 17, 2014 by Scott Huntington

USA TEAM

The FIFA World Cup is one of the world’s most exciting sporting events. Every country in the world has the opportunity to send their team to this elite competition, making it every professional player’s dream to represent their nation on the world stage.

This equal opportunity gives perennial favorites and little known squads an equal chance at glory and produces some of the most memorable moments in sporting history. The 2002 World Cup is only one example of an exciting moment in sports history. Let’s take a look at some of the unlikely upsets that took place during the 2002 World Cup.

Republic of Korea

Perhaps the most admirable performance of the competition was that of South Korea. The South Koreans found themselves pitted against Portugal, the United States and Poland in a group that led many people to immediately write them off. Despite their poor odds of advancing to the knockout stage, the South Korean team went undefeated and won their group in stunning fashion. This included an upset victory over Portugal that knocked the Portuguese out of the competition and sealed Korea’s place in the final 16.

The momentum continued for South Korea as they shocked Italy in the round of 16 and advanced to a quarterfinal match up with the Spanish giants. Their victory over Italy came in exciting fashion as the host nation won the game with a golden goal in extra time. Both the manner of the victory and the pedigree of the Italian team make this win one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, as cited by Bleacher Report.

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The World Cup Returns to its Roots 38

Posted on October 12, 2013 by Dennis Phoenix
The first World Cup was hosted by Uruguay, who also managed to win the 13 team tournament.

The first World Cup was hosted by Uruguay, who also managed to win the 13 team tournament.

Already the qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup are underway. Around the world avid fans are cheering on their team hoping that by the end of next July their team will hoist into the air the most coveted trophy in all of sports. This competition marks the 20th World Cup with an estimated 3.3 million tickets available.

The 2014 World Cup will take place in Brazil next June and July. It will be the first time the Cup has been held in South America since Argentina hosted the competition back in 1978. Since the World Cup originated in South America, it is only fitting to discuss its humble beginnings which started with the original tournament in Uruguay in 1930.

During the 1920’s the Olympic Football Tournament met with success and became quite popular. As a result, FIFA became determined to organize a championship tournament of its own. Since Uruguay had won two Olympic Gold medals in 1924 and 1928, it was chosen as the site for the competition. Also in Uruguay’s favor was the fact that it was celebrating its 100th anniversary of independence in 1930. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Original Patriot: Gino Cappelletti
      September 3, 2017 | 6:54 pm
      Gino Cappelletti

      Gino Cappelletti

      In recognition of the start of football season, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is one of the original stars for the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

      In many ways, Gino Cappelletti epitomized the early years of the American Football League. While the NFL was becoming more specialized and tougher to break into, the AFL provided former college stars with a new place to play and its “wild west” mentality allowed players to contribute in a wide variety of ways.

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