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Sports coaching and mentoring a key for success:
if you have the right tools.


Sports coaching, teaching, and mentoring have proven to be invaluable in the development of young men and women. Those students who have competed in athletics during their youth and college years tend to, on average, become more successful than those who do not participate in any activity.

Sports, coaching and teaching about sports, are really an ancient tradition. When young people learn proper outlets for competition and learn how to compete and win they become prepared to deal with life. Many adults look back at their school experiences and remember that some of the most valuable lessons they learned were from their coaches, who often acted as mentors as well.

Building Relationships

Coaching, above all else involves building relationships. You, the coach, is building relationships not only with the young people you work with, but inevitably you have to have a relationship with the athlete's parents. Parents can be a unique challenge.

The simple answer in dealing with any person, but especially parents, is to check your ego at home and work from an area of agreement. You should try to recognize that difficult parents still want to be heard and to believe they have control over their child's future. Often the older the child the more problems you can have.

Playing time is often a source of conflict. We have found one of the better ways to handle that is regular communication with the player on what they need to do to get more playing time. That communication to player is the bridge to the communication with the parent. There is probably no greater stress in sports coaching than dealing with difficult parents, and some will be difficult no matter what you do.

Developing Leadership

Leadership is one of the great by products of being involved in sports. It is true that not all athletes will develop into leaders, but it is equally true that being on a team, especially a winning team, means learning how to either lead or be lead.

Sports coaching, regardless of the sport, must instill a sense of purpose for the group. Even individual sports, such as track and field, is operated as a team sport. In high school and college all those individuals work to achieve a team goal. That means some will lead and others must follow that lead.

A good leader will do several things. They will

  • lead by example

  • exude self-confidence

  • take responsibility for mistakes, theirs or not

  • be eternally positive

  • be humble

  • serve others.

While these characteristics can be more naturally occurring in some people they most definitely can be taught and reinforced. You as the sports coach needs to give your players opportunities to lead, evaluate that leadership with them, reinforce the positive, and allow for the team performance to reflect the job.

There is a great line in the movie Remember the Titans when one of the lead characters tells the captain of the football team that

"attitude reflects leadership."

Very true and one of the best ways to judge how your leaders are doing.

Teaching Competiveness

In this day and age we have become so concerned about having the proverbial win at all costs coach working with our children that too many youth leagues have begun to ignore the idea of competition and having winners and losers.

Teaching children how to compete to the very end and to lose and win graciously is extremely important and valuable. The younger the child the more we need to nurture and teach, but we must not shy away from teaching discipline and competition.

In the process of teaching the athleticism involved in the sport competition needs to be stressed. Probably the simplest way to do this is simply keep expectations high, keep the focus on the most immediate task, and remain positive even when you have to discipline.

If you have to bench a player who has violated team codes or for some other reason you do not have to be an in your face type of coach. A simple, straight-forward explanation of the reasons and steps to "get out of the dog house" will be good enough.

Establish Policies in Writing

Coaches need to set policies for attendance, proper attire, hustle, team work, communications with teammates, and behavior when teams win and lose. These expectations need to be in writing and shared with parents before hand. The consequences if these rules are violated also need to be clearly laid out and then as a coach you need to be consistent. Coaches should not have low expectations for their athletes.

When you have young athletes you inevitably have a broad range of skill levels. As someone involved in sports coaching you should want to work with all those athletes to help them improve. You do that in your practices.

Sports Coaching: Skills Training

To be an effective coach you need to teach. The skills of the sport must be mastered by the athlete if they are to perform well and ultimately if your team is going to perform well.

Sports coaching involves breaking down the skill and demonstrating it. Fortunately, today we have the ability to video tape and analyze an athlete performing a specific skill.

On our site we will try to provide some simple videos for the athletes out there to watch and learn from. Our hope is that these simple basic videos can help to teach the specific skill needed.

Coaching Associations

Coaches should be involved in associations and forums within their sport(s) so they can regularly improve. Too often coaches don't believe a child is developmentally ready to learn a specific aspect of their sport, but we have found that these coaches have often underestimated what the young athletes can learn about the sport they are participating in.

Many coaches involved in youth sports are simply mothers or fathers who have volunteered their time. It is very important for those coaches to get involved and learn about children and coaching. Associations can be invaluable for them.

We hope that our page will become a valuable resource as coaches begin to offer their success tips. Strategies to help novice and experienced coaches alike deal with a host of issues will be very important. So if you are a coach please offer up your own advice. We can even begin to add sports to our list as we begin to get more submissions over time.

Teaching the whole athlete

Sports, coaching and teaching, provide and opportunity for athletes to learn about the benefits of exercise, nutrition, teamwork, and discipline. When properly coached and taught young athletes learn how to care for their bodies through exercise and nutrition. They learn how to achieve natural strength and conditioning.

They will also learn what and when to eat and drink. That means you, the coach, need to be informed. High school coaches have that extra responsibility because they will have many athletes who are looking to play in college. They will need the extra edge.

Sports coaching and teaching, requires us to teach these young people how play by the rules, set goals, create a plan to achieve the goals, and work with others to reach their common objectives. Coaches need strategies and information on sport specific skill development, managing time, workouts, preventing and caring for injuries, and the role good nutrition plays.

You, as a sports coach, should become informed about what is being offered in terms of supplements and performance enhancing products. Your athletes will be exposed to such products and a sports coach has the responsibility of making sure they are properly educated.

Asea

ASEA is one such product that is completely safe and is proving to be very beneficial for athletes. You can learn even more about this and other important health products on our site.

You can also learn more by listening to the interviews of these athletes.

If you are excited about what you hear as a coach or athlete you should go to this ASEA link.

Get a Free Report: The Dynamics of Holistic Health

If you join our institute we will send you our free report, The Dynamics of Holistic Health. As a coach, an athlete, or parent of an athlete you will want to have the information available in this report.

You will get our free e-journal and will become a valuable participant in our work to help educate yourself and others regarding physical education, sports coaching, and health and physical education among other areas.

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Add Your Own Pages to our Site

We hope to provide information in these pages to help you, the sports coach, and you can help us by adding pages, and provide information for others involved in sports coaching. This site is for you.

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