Coaching youth sports is a gift. Coaches have many reasons why they mentor athletes, the top reason is simply athletes inspire coaches. Someone came into their life at a young age that made him/her feel the need to pay-it-forward.
We asked one of our coaches why she coached. Here are her responses:
Why do you coach?
I am passionate about field hockey and I want to share that passion and love of the game with my players. Playing field hockey is not just about learning stick skills and strategy, but it teaches kids about working together towards a common goal. Often times, teams are made up of players who wouldn’t normally have been friends and therefore you get to meet people who you wouldn’t have crossed paths with in your everyday life. I love being able to bring a group of players together to work as a team both on and off the field.
Why do you feel your role is important?
As a coach, you are able to be both a friend and mentor. You have the unique position of getting to know each player on a personal level, while at the same time making sure that you are respected as the adult in charge. We teach life lessons that kids may not have the opportunity of receiving in school or at home. Such as, learning how to communicate and speak the same language on the field so that everyone is working with each other and not against each other or realizing that the whole is bigger and better than the individual or that you may not get to play as much as you want, but that’s OK because maybe next time you will.
What do you hope parents and athletes understand about the position you are in?
Being a coach is not about playing favorites. It’s about building the best team possible. I want every child to succeed. In a perfect world, every player would make the team and get the same amount of playing time, but that’s not always possible. It’s important that parents trust in the coaches’ decisions and support the coach even if they disagree. As coaches we prepare your children for tough situations. Whether its problem solving, working as a team, and life’s biggest winning and losing battle, we have a job to do. That is to challenge your kid and help them to grab life by the horns and succeed no matter the circumstances.
The above responses reflect the challenges and joys of coaching young athletes. We are here not only to teach you how to perfect your craft, but also to push you past your limits! We respect your dedication to this sport, and hope that we can be an influence in your life to continue playing or to pay-it-forward to someone else who wants to!