Be a Coach
So you want to be a coach. Middle school sports is an excellent arena to begin developing and refining your 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. If' you are ever in doubt about your approach, remind yourself that "fun and fundamentals" are most important.
What tools do I need as a C.O.A.C.H.?
Comprehension - You must know the rules, skills, and tactics of the sport. You must also implement proper training and safety methods so that young athletes can participate with little risk of injury.
Outlook - You must have a set of goals and a sense of perspective as a coach. The most common coaching objectives are:
a) to have fun
b) to help players develop their physical, mental, and social skills
c) to win
To work successfully with middle schooler use these objectives (in their order) as your priorities.
Affection - You must have a genuine concern for the young athletes you coach. It involves having a love for children, a desire to share with them your love and knowledge of the sport, and the patience and understanding that allow each athlete playing for you 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 on your team
- 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 your emotions
- Show your enthusiasm for being involved with your team
- Keep an upbeat and positive tone in all of your communications
Character - Kids learn by listening to what adults say. But they learn even more by watching the behavior of certain important individuals. As a coach, you are likely to be a significant figure 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 you say and what you do must match. Challenge, support, encourage, and reward every child, and your 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 that you were wrong. No one is perfect!
Humor - This means having the ability to laugh at yourself and with your 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.