COACH AND ROLE MODEL: ONE AND THE SAME

 I remember a cartoon in a coaching text book that illustrated a confident soccer coach taking large strides in a field and leaving his footprints after each step. A few steps behind him was a young soccer athlete, trying to walk in the footprints of the coach… this was not so much of a walk, but rather a leap from step to step. There was no caption necessary to this cartoon as it most effectively illustrated how a young athlete was modeling himself after his coach, trying to keep up in his footsteps.

 A young athlete’s sport can be a very big part of their lives: it can be an important part of their self-image and how they define themselves as an individual. As coaches and instructors we must not forget the impact we can have on our youth. Coaches help kids train and condition for their sport, help them understand how the sport is played and teach them the skills necessary to do well.

We prepare them for competitions, tests and battles; we celebrate in their wins and console them in their losses. We teach love and respect for their sport and encourage them to do their best. We are their guides and we are their role models. What we say and do can have a huge impact on their lives.

A coach will influence a participant’s physical skills as well as their ideas and values of the sport. Let us do our best, as coaches, to be deserving of such attention: let us be good role models and show professionalism, kindness and patience. Let us be a positive influence on our young athletes and hope that these future generations will keep our sports alive!