A Coach’s True Responsibility to Young Athletes
The primary reason that anyone should want to coach youth athletes is to serve as positive role models for them. Sharing their passion for the sport should come second. Coaches are often looked to as second parental figures by child athletes. Some of those athletes come from broken homes. In those cases especially, the sport is often their only refuge.
Either way, coaches are expected to demonstrate the core values of compassion, integrity, respect and honor. They are also expected to value winning to some extent. However, some place an overemphasis on it and when they do, it usually only makes the athletes feel discouraged. When athletes feel discouraged, they don’t perform as well either individually or as a team. That’s why that one of the first priorities of being a coach should be to encourage and work with their athletes to their success individually as well as in teamwork.
Winning is about more than just the ability to play the game well. Winning is also about self-respect, being proactive, humility and courage from the heart. Athletes also do not need to feel dejected over losses. Losses also encourage growth and make good sportsmanship even stronger. In the end, it’s not the numbered scores that really matter. It is the way in which the game is played with integrity and good character that does.