Expectations of a Coach
High school sports are an excellent arena to begin developing and refining coaching experiences. Many educators, student teachers, and some parents will serve as coaches. A coach asumes the responsibility of doing everything possible to ensure that the young athletes will have a safe and enjoyable sporting experience while they learn sport skills. In the event that an approach is doubted, remember that "enjoyment and fundamentals" are most important.
What tools do I need as a C.O.A.C.H.?
Comprehension - Coaches must know the rules, skills, and tactics of the sport. Coaches must also implement proper training and safety methods so that young athletes can participate with little risk of injury.
Outlook - Coaches must have a set of goals and a sense of perspective as a coach. The most common coaching objectives are:
a) to create an enjoyable experience for athletes
b) to help players develop their athletic ability
c) to win
Affection - Coaches must have a genuine concern for young athletes. This involves having a love for children, a desire to share with them love and knowledge of the sport, and the patience and understanding that allow each athlete playing to grow from his or her involvement in the particular sport. There are many ways to demonstrate affection:
- Make an effort to get to know each player
- Treat each player as an individual
- Empathize with players trying to learn new and difficult skills
- Treat players as you would like to be treated under similar circumstances
- Be in control of emotions
- Show enthusiasm for being involved with the team
- Keep an upbeat and positive tone in all communications
Character - Kids learn by listening to what adults say. But they learn even more by watching the behavior of certain important individuals. Coaches are likely to be significant figures in the lives of young athletes. Having a good character means modeling appropriate behaviors for sport and life. That means more than just saying the right things. What is said must match what is done. Challenge, support, encourage, and reward every child, and players will be more likely to accept, even celebrate, their differences. Be in control before, during, and after all games and practices. And don't be afraid to admit wrongs. No one is perfect!
Humor - This means having the ability to laugh at with players during practices and games. Nothing helps balance the tone of a serious, skill-learning session like a chuckle or two. And a sense of humor puts in perspective the many mistakes young athletes will make.