Coaching kids can mean much — for all


By Al Trch, Staff Writer

Youth sports coaching is one of the most rewarding jobs in the industry. Great coaches produce great athletes, which in turn produces great human beings. If you love kids, are looking to build your skill set, and have a passion for helping others, here are some reasons why you should consider youth sports coaching.

The need for more sports coaches partly comes from the need to get more children to participate in sports at a young age. Getting children involved in a sport early on can help prevent childhood obesity.

According to the CDC, in the years 2017-2020 childhood obesity affected 14.7 million adolescents, aged 2-19 years. Being a coach enables you to help teach young children about the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle, while showing them that being active can be fun, competitive, and rewarding.

In an article written by Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program, participation in sports helps build and maintain strong bones, muscles, and joints, as well as prevents the onset of high blood pressure. Sports participation at a young age is a good predictor of sports participation at an adult age. As a coach, part of your job is to share your love of the sport with your athletes. Getting kids to fall in love with a sport from a young age will increase their likelihood of continuing it in the future, or continuing any other form of physical activity as they get older.

While coaching an entire team by yourself can seem intimidating at first, being able to look back on your work and take pride in what you’ve created is very self fulfilling. Youth coaching is no easy task as it will push you to your limits and sometimes beyond, however, through it all you are able to learn a lot about yourself and your own capabilities.

Coaching takes an incredible amount of patience, on-the-go thinking, and problem solving skills. The great thing about coaching is that you will build and expand your skill set throughout your experience and time on the job. You don’t need to have all the necessary skills to begin with, however, you will need to have an open mind and be willing to step outside your comfort zone in order to learn new skills and perfect pre-existing ones.

According to the International Olympic Committee, here are some qualities of a great coach: communication, discipline, commitment and passion, listening skills, and leading by example. Throughout your time as a coach, you are not just building upon skills that will only help you become a better coach. You are building life skills that will help you succeed in any career path beyond coaching, as well as help you become the best possible version of yourself.

When asked about what it is like to be a coach, you will often hear many people call it a “rewarding” job, but what exactly does that mean? As a coach, you should expect to dedicate a majority of your time to the job. This includes the actual coaching aspect, like being present at all practices, games, matches, etc., but great coaches don’t just show up when they are needed. What you don’t see is all the organizing, planning, preparation, and brainstorming that goes on outside of practice hours. Having to plan out practices ahead of time and organize a consistent schedule can be time consuming, and it’s probably not the first thing you will want to do after coaching for 3-4 hours. However, knowing that your practices are running smoothly and effectively, as well as seeing your athletes benefit from an organized practice is a very rewarding feeling. Coaching is a huge personal commitment and time commitment, but being able to look back on a successful season makes it all worth it.

Lastly, there is no better feeling than knowing you are making a positive impact on someone else’s life. One of the best parts of being a coach is you get to experience many “firsts” with your athletes. Not only do you get to watch it happen firsthand, you get to take pride in knowing that you helped that athlete get to where they are now. On the other hand, you will also experience many of your athlete’s first losses, failures, and mistakes. As hard as it can be to see their disappointment, your job as a coach is to help your athletes understand why failure is necessary to succeed, and encourage them to get up and try again. Coaching an athlete through both mental and physical challenges will empower them in the future, and teach them that they are capable of hard things. Knowing that you played a significant role in your athlete’s lives by teaching them life lessons they will carry with them forever is something many coaches take incredible pride in.

There is no question that coaching a youth sports team can be intimidating and straight up difficult. With that, there is no doubt that coaching can also be both fun and rewarding. If you are passionate, dedicated, and willing to learn, you should consider coaching. Even as just a summer job or something to fill your time, coaching will provide you with many benefits and skills that you will be able to carry on with you for the rest of your life. Coaches change lives, and at the end of the day, your athletes will be able to look up to you as both a mentor and someone they will remember for the rest of their lives.