Thursday, June 28, 2012

Be a Positive Role Model

Most children will say that their role model or idol is someone famous, but it is the people they see everyday that have the biggest influence.  A role model is a person whose behaviour or success can be emulated by others, especially young people.  This includes, parents, siblings, teachers and even coaches; each person plays a significant role in the development of that child.  


'Practice what you preach,' yes, it's an old saying but it still applies.  Children will notice your behaviour and there is nothing worse that being seen as a hypocrite.  As a coach, you are in a position of power and have the chance to teach social behaviours that will not only assist your athletes in play, but in everyday life. 


Sometimes your athletes will not feel like they can accomplish the task set before them, but with positive coaching there is a potential for them to go further than they ever dreamed possible.  Encouragement, coupled with goal setting will help them establish a commitment and mentality to achieve what they set out to do.


Trying to set a standard in sportsmanship and proper etiquette can make for a great sporting environment.  Showing respect for other athletes help children understand that you can still be a successful person without stepping on other people's toe's.
Most of the time, verbal and non-verbal behaviour is learned by observation and interaction. If a child looks up to you, they are more likely to follow your example, and as a coach, you are in a position to leave a lasting impression on your young athletes, so make it a great one!  
References from the SIRC Collection
1. Gilbert W, Trudel P. Role of the Coach: How Model Youth Team Sport Coaches Frame Their Roles. Sport Psychologist. March 2004;18(1):21-43.
2. Harwood C. Enhancing Coach-Parent Relationships in Youth Sports: Increasing Harmony and Minimizing Hassle. International Journal Of Sports Science & Coaching. March 2011;6(1):61-64.
3. Lubrano K. FIVE LESSONS for developing a good environment for youth players. Soccer Journal. September 2009;54(5):32.
4. Raph F. `Coaching is a privilege'. Coach & Athletic Director. September 1998;68(2):15.
What Makes a Good Coach?. ASCA Newsletter. May 2010;2010(5):1-3.

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