By Kasey Bowser
“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.”
Some of the greatest sports legends of all time aren’t players, they’re coaches. Why? Because they made a difference, they knew how to push and motivate their athletes and they were a strong leader who never gave up on the importance of the game. Any good coach will make individuals and teams feel like they’re a legend in their own way. Whether it is in cheerleading, football, soccer, gymnastics, tennis, track and field or any other sport.
After a survey from a large demographic of young people, the TrueSport Report found that coaches are the number one leading positive influencers in today’s youth. They help to maximize the positive value of a sport and enhance the intrinsic motivation to play the sport, which often leads to good sportsmanship and fair play.
Coaches can help players:
*Perform to their best ability
*Develop strong character
As much as coaches can be a positive influence, they can be a negative one too. If a leader concentrates too much on imposing their goals on his or her players, they can cause sport’s anxiety and turn their experience into a negative one.
The TrueSport Report stated, at a coach’s worst they can:
*Push the psychological, emotional, and physical limits of their players to the point of harm
*Create a hostile and unfair environment
*Turn young athletes away from sports forever
This can be more so of a problem at the elite and college levels, because coaches are under immense pressure to produce winning and moneymaking teams. And sometimes, the true meaning of the game is lost on the coach’s personal quest of winning.
According to TrueSport Report, student athletes generally want a better coach than they have or have had, yet surveys still point to coaches being the number one positive influence in their lives. Youth athletes depend on a coach to motivate, instruct and discipline them. An effective youth coach will also have the knowledge of the developmental stages of younger athletes, proper playing times, rules, skills and techniques in the specific sport they’re coaching.
Few states require coaches to have a certification to coach in the school system, meaning they haven’t received the right training to teach younger athletes in their sport. TrueSport Report states, “Research by the Michigan Youth Sports Institute has found that volunteer youth coaches have little knowledge of sports safety, training and conditioning, and child development, despite the fact that many surveyed coaches have asked for effective instruction.”
Studies have shown that youth athletes with low self-esteem, who start playing a sport with a trained coach, have a higher self-esteem by the end of the season than those who aren’t coached by a trained individual.
Bottom line? When looking for a team for your youngster athlete, be sure to check the coach’s credentials and make sure he or she has the experience and knowledge of how to properly coach your kid to make them become their own legend in the making.
For more information, visit truesport.org.
Watch this inspiring video between a coach and his athlete. “Catching Kayla”
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