Coaches have a profound impact on many athletes, and in some cases, can be the biggest influence in a child’s life. Of course, a coach is there to build athletic skills as they pertain to that sport, but the benefits of coaching go well beyond the game. Youth sports coaches can influence and impact athletes in a variety of ways that can benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Athletes can be taught what leadership looks like, how to communicate, how to build relationships, how to focus on a goal, as well as how to conduct themselves and push forward during times of adversity and failure. All of which are important skills both on and off the court.
Strong communication, leadership skills and the ability to work as a team are fundamental for any team sport. In fact, some argue that without these skills athletes won’t progress in the sport and are less likely to be chosen for the team, regardless of their sport-specific skill. In other words, an athlete can have a 90% free throw percentage, but if they fail to play as a team, or communicate effectively with other players and coaches, they can be seen as an undesirable player and may be overlooked. The same set of skills is important for most jobs as well. When was the last time you saw a job description that didn’t list ‘interpersonal and team-building skills’ as an asset? All these life lessons can come from great coaching, and the sooner they are taught to young athletes, the stronger the benefit.
One of the other key life skills a coach can teach an athlete is the ability to lose. Overcoming failure is an important part of life and the road to success is riddled with it. While losing is never fun, and definitely not the desired goal, getting comfortable with failure is as valuable of a life skill as you can get.
A great coach teaches young athletes how to push beyond the loss or the missed shot, to learn from it and then do better next time. Failure is a part of life and learning how to keep emotions in check and learn from past mistakes are needed both on and off the court.
Great coaches are an invaluable resource to kids, and Burlington Basketball is honoured to have some of the best in the province. Teaching the importance of a positive attitude, respecting opponents and the game, and role modeling motivation, focus, and resiliency are just a few of the many amazing things coaches do for kids. Coaching can affect a young athlete's motivation, sense of self, and overall confidence that they carry with them for the rest of their life. Read more about just some of the Burlington Basketball coaches and their vision for motivating kids here.