Coaches have much more to achieve than winning. Beyond the final score, they have a strong influence over the lives of the children they are working with. Their effectiveness can mean the difference between success and failure for young people. Anyone who coaches should take the job seriously, regardless of the sport and age group.
Why is coaching so critical to a young person’s development?
It Helps Them Understand They Aren’t The Best
Image via Flickr by by familymwr
The cliché “practice makes perfect” sounds good when attempting to motivate, but the phrase is false at its core. Achieving perfection at anything is rare, and is near impossible within competitive sports. For elementary-aged kids, allowing everyone to take part is a nice practice that develops camaraderie, teamwork, and self-improvement. By the time children reach middle school, however, there must be a shift to teaching them that they aren’t going to be the best at everything.
It Helps Them Understand They Are in Control of Themselves
If there is anything that should, without a doubt, be taught to young people participating in organized athletics, it’s that they are in control of themselves. A mark of a good coach is to see improvement among players, regardless of his or her role within the team as a whole. Working with kids one-on-one to set goals and then meet them transcends far beyond the world of sports into school and the workplace.
It Helps Them Understand They Are Not in Control of Others
Coping with what is out of our control is one of the more difficult life lessons to contend with. Unfair circumstances are plentiful within organized athletics, from a perfect performance or play being negated by a referee or judge or losing a game because of a teammate’s mistake. This creates countless opportunities for coaches — especially those with formal training through a sports management degree online — to work with athletes one-on-one or as a group to rise above disappointment.
It Helps Them Find Value in Their Role
As a coach, it’s easy to praise star players, but what about the player who isn’t talented enough to make it to the playing field? Allowing each child to understand that he or she is a necessary part of the whole is critical to life development. A high school football player may never play in a live game unless it is a blowout, but he may find fulfillment from being a part of the team’s practice squad because he is helping the starters improve. Generating value through preparing others to play is a conscious state of mind a coach can convey to a young athlete upset over lack of playing time.
Becoming a coach of young people means choosing to hold a heavy responsibility that the coach must not take lightly. From the star athlete to the practice squad kid, the lessons taught will ultimately transcend sports and set them up for success in all areas of life.