In the past couple days, an interesting trend occurred on Twitter and Instagram. It revolved around the question of WHY? Why do you play sports and why do you coach? I couldn’t help but ponder this question and discuss what motivates me everyday to strap on several hats to develop kids and athletes.
I believe as a coach that we have an infinitely unique opportunity to sculpt and mold athletes to be outstanding individuals regardless of their subsequent athletic career. It’s about supplying them with individual tools that they may or may not decide to carry in their tool-box. Are these all tangible athletic skills? Absolutely not. You may instill a culture that is driven by compassion, encouragement and confidence which in turn, gave the athlete the tools to handle a difficult job interview, or presentation in front of the CEO years down the road.
As an S&C Coach, we have another unique trait that we can pass off to our athletes. The love and enjoyment for maintaining good physical health. Think about that one for a second. We have the potential to impact a generation and the healthcare system by making strength & conditioning a positive experience. Something they want to continue past their athletic careers.
Are all coaching interactions going to be positive? Hell no. We will have moments where we slip, show frustration, and have to be somewhat of a dictator in sessions. It’s in these moments that we have to remember one simple piece of advice. These are kids. They are not professional athletes. They are not a financial asset. They are evolving, budding youth that could very well one day change the world. The experience that you give these athletes can influence future decisions and how they decide to integrate into society.
Many of the kids you coach will lose parents, grandparents, retire due to injury, drop out of school, get in trouble with the law, etc. It’s in these moments that we as coaches need to forget about the sport, and become a mentor, a leader, and a confidant that they can rely on to get through these situations. This is where relationships are tested, built, and ultimately can last a lifetime once they get through it. That is priceless. That is coaching.
I hope we can all have a moment in our lives to reflect on coaches that have positively impacted our experiences and ultimately got us into this industry. I can’t help but think of a couple who have previously impacted me or currently still help me fuel the passion for this unique opportunity. Always remember these kids are the future. Can we positively impact this for the better? Hell ya.