About the Creator: Deborah Newkirk
Deborah Newkirk has over three decades of experience in youth coaching. She is a physical educator who has spent a professional lifetime bringing the worlds of coaching and teaching together. After 20 years of competitive coaching, she began focusing on training and created COACH ‘EM UP. Today, COACH ‘EM UP serves as a resource for nearly 3,000 families a year. Year round off-the-floor training programs have been a big part of the COACH ‘EM UP success, providing young athletes with motivation and an organized means of improving their game, both on the court and in their backyards. Learn more at www.coachemuptexas.com.
Message from Deborah Newkirk:
As a young professional, I couldn’t gather books quickly enough from the greats! Attending every clinic, scheduling meetings to learn from other coaches, going to college practices and matches, making many phone calls to discuss the difference between and the 5-1 and a 6-2 offense, understanding rotations and how to “get all my kids in” made me a true student of the game.
My story started with landing a job that threw me into a coaching position in a sport where I had very little experience and know-how. Volleyball was not my number one sport. There was only one thing to do in this situation: seek out knowledge and become the strongest teacher possible and let the game come to me, and it did. The one thing that holds true today (three decades later) as it did then, is to be professionally prepared, you should set goals for short-term progress and long-time learning, teach with confidence in your subject matter and deliver your message with a language that connects with your audience whether they are a big-time talented team or a room of eager first graders.
As a Physical Educator, I have loved writing this youth curriculum. Professionally speaking, it may be one of the greatest joys I’ve experienced in teaching. The curriculum is about a system. It offers an educator one lesson that feeds into the next to create a seamless introduction of skill sets with a series of matching muscle-memory based touches. It blends fun challenges on the court with age-appropriate homework that reinforces progress. With skill comes confidence, and with confidences comes… well, whatever they aspire to do and be. The games, drills, and skill progressions have years behind them, and many, many children have endorsed the product – if you consider smiling faces and a strong base of fundamentals an endorsement!
Enjoy and thank you,