All over the nation kids have taken over the in all sorts of sports. In most countries, youth sports have really taken off over the past twenty years or so. More kids are playing more sports, on more fields, all over this nation; and thousands of men and women are being called upon to lead these efforts. So… why do we do it? Why should we volunteer our time, our sweat, our tears, and our hearts to coaching these young players?
Maybe you drew the short straw at the parents meeting. Maybe you want your children to have a chance to win something for a change. Something you wanted to do while you were a kid. Who knows, maybe all of us just want to be a part of something that we missed out on when we were younger. I know that there are dozens of good reasons, but I’m certain that the best reason of all is this: we coach so we can give something back to our community and to give something back to our children.
With the way most of our lives work these days, we lead an increasingly isolated lifestyle. We sprint from our homes to our jobs, and then to shop things, or to our children’s schools… and then if we’re lucky, from there to a quick dinner before collapsing into a heap so we can get some sleep before the next day’s race. There is never time to become part of our community, never really time to do more than survive.
Coaching our young players allows us to be part of the answer. Study after study has shown that when children are involved in organized activities, they do better in school and within their families. So the real question isn’t how can we make time for this, it’s more like, how can we not make time for this?
I think we’ve all met the bad coach, the unreasonable guy who treats eight year olds like they are adult men from the NFL. But we’ve also met the guy who motivates his players to try new things in life, and to learn about self confidence and team-work. You know… he’s the guy that we aspire to be, the one who generates respect from his players and their families. It really isn’t that hard… if you are coaching for the right reasons.
Always, always… coach for the right reasons. You are not involved with children in order to make them better players; you are coaching them into being better people!