- Children look up to coaches and this makes coaches role models whether they want to be or not.
- Hard work and good sportsmanship are important lessons coaches can teach.
Coaches are an important part of many children’s lives. Whether or not he or she likes it, being a coach means being a role model. Your young charges look up to you and they look to you as their leader. The things you do as a coach, the things the children see and hear you say, will affect and shape their young lives.
It is very important that all coaches realize this when they start coaching. Knowing how their actions can influence children should make the coach understand the need for calmness and composure at all times. Once you see all of the things that quality soccer coaches can impart to a child, you will realize just how important a great coach is going to be.
Hard Work and Ethics
Hard work will get you places, but that is something that most children do not discover until they are much older. As an experienced coach, you know that there are ways to get the results you want from life and that hard work is a deciding factor. Showing the children that working hard and not taking shortcuts is the way to go will lead them along the right path in life. You will see fewer instances of cheating on the field and – even more importantly – off the field.
You cannot win every game and even when you do put in that hard work, someone else might have more talent or more luck on a given day. The way you handle losses is something that the children on your team will take into consideration when they are developing their own feelings toward a loss. If you tell and scream about the loss, the children are not going to be able to take disappointment well. They will not show sportsmanlike conduct toward the winning team. Unfortunately, being a bad loser is one of those things that many people take with them through life.
How do you interact with parents, other coaches, and officials? If you are confrontational and angry, and you yell at these people, imagine how that affects the kids watching you do it. Even if there was a bad call, or you believe that the other coach was somehow cheating, you have to approach these situations tactfully and respectfully. Kids absorb the things they see and hear, and you do not want the only taking your bad behaviour!
Activity for Coaches
- Take a step back and consider how you conduct yourself at practises and games.
- Talk with parents to get their feel for your coaching style.
- Listen to the children when they have questions or problems.