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What Is The Role Of A Youth Coach?

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Recently a number of incidences have occurred with our football uniform clad youth (as well as our basketball uniform wearing young people and those of various other sports) that beg the question of what precisely is the role of a youth coach. Is it strictly to teach the fundamentals of a particular sport through whatever method he or she chooses and nothing more? Certainly, one must give credit to those individuals who step up and sacrifice their time and talents to teach our youth. Most youth coaches give of themselves without consideration of being paid and spend a fair amount of time trying to train their young teams. This is both admirable and worthy of appreciation. The problem seems to be that many of these young people are learning more than just the fundamentals of their sport and some of what they are learning can be a detriment to them. This can occur when a coach belittles one of his or her players or makes them feel the brunt of responsibility for the loss or success of games. This is a heavy load for a young person and is unfair to say the least. While it is undeniable that sports can be a tremendous benefit for anyone, especially young people, it is also true that unreasonable expectations can put a real damper on those benefits. Too many of our youth leave their sporting events feeling like losers, not only in the loss of their game, but personally. This sadly comes at a time in their lives when they are in already a challenging period of growth and change and venerability. In a perfect world, a young person could count on learning technique and skills along with proper conduct from their participation in sports. Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world and yet how great it would be if a little more effort could be put into the shaping of our young people. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the notion that they were worthy and appreciated as individuals could be conveyed along with the fundamentals of a sport.