“The role that a coach can have on a player’s life is significant in youth development. The sports field offers a place to develop both as an athlete and individual, and lessons learned on that field will be carried throughout life.”
– Angela Hucles, US Soccer Foundation
Coaches play a vital role in youth development. As coaches, you spend a lot of time working with your players on improving their skills. They are given the opportunity to learn the values of teamwork and perseverance. In order to learn these values, the team must be led by a coach that firmly believes in encouraging development through youth sports. As their coach, you play a key role in motivating your players to believe in themselves and work hard.
No matter the age of your players, they will look up to you as a leader. I have seen this first hand through my own experiences as a coach. They listen to every word we say and follow every one of our actions. Knowing this, I understood that my role as their coach was not only to lead them on the court, but also to help them develop as individuals.
As I began creating my identity as a coach, I looked back on some of my favorite coaches and the impressions they left on me. I found that my best experiences with past coaches were ones that helped me learn more than just the game we were playing. These coaches possessed the ability to inspire and motivate me to become a better individual. They helped me when I was struggling with a skill and taught me to persevere. They also taught me to trust my teammates and value the team as a whole. These are lessons that I have been able to take with me in life and as I make the transition from player to coach.
Your role as a youth sports coach involves much more than teaching them a skill in their sport. You help them develop values that will benefit them throughout life.
You are their teacher.
You are their leader.
You are their coach.