In Coaching: Good/Bad/Unfair, Problems in Youth Sports

I AM LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD COACHES! I talk a lot about what’s wrong with coaches today, about their over-focus on winning, over-sized egos and insensitivities. I talk about how this kind of coach can end up being emotionally abusive to his/her players and end up being totally clueless in the process. But I know that not all coaches are like this! I know that there are really good, caring, talented individuals out there who understand the bigger picture of their role, who realize that this isn’t just about teaching x’s and o’s or about the wins and losses. These really good coaches positively change kids’ lives forever by teaching them how to be good human beings. These coaches are mature, emotionally balanced individuals who are tuned into their athletes, and as a consequence, they consistently produce real winners!

Starting with this blog, I would like to publicly call these coaches out! I want to catch them doing things RIGHT! I am interested in telling their stories every month and I need your help to do this. One of my Facebook followers, Kelly, suggested that it would be a great idea to have a coach of the month section on my site! So, I would like you to send me stories of coaches who have positively impacted your life or your kids’ lives. What made them so effective? What did they do with young athletes that separated them from the the rest of the pack? What specifically made them such a great coach? If we’re going to change a broken system, if we’re really going to try to turn this youth sports thing around, then we need leaders who are good at what they’re doing. We need to know the specific qualities that make for good coaching.

For example, coach John Wooden, “the wizard of Westwood,” (he hated that nickname), legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach and winner of 10 straight NCAA D-I national championships was one such pioneer in the field of coaching. He understood that all good coaching was education and that it wasn’t about the wins and losses. In fact, with all of his success, Wooden NEVER COACHED WINNING! He knew that you didn’t have to in order to be successful. There were a lot of things that Wooden did which made him such a good coach. I would just like to highlight one here:

Wooden’s attitude towards his players’ success and failure was that if things went well and the team won, then his players should get all of the responsibility and credit for the win. They executed as directed. They worked hard and therefore, they deserved the limelight! Likewise, if his team failed, if his players struggled, he as the coach took responsibility! He looked at their “failing” as HIS FAULT! He felt that if he had done his job better, then the team would’ve performed better! Now there’s a novel concept and one you don’t see too often in today’s competitive world! Can you imagine what would happen in youth, high school and college sports if coaches actually took responsibility for their athletes’ failings instead of blaming them?

So help me out here please. Send me your GREAT COACHES STORIES!!!!


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