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SPORTS FOR ALL: Coaches Are Teachers in Sports and Life

  Some people have said coaches in sports are teachers in sports and in life.

  A coach, regardless of what age level, can have a positive or negative influence on team members that include players, managers, stat crew and more. A local school district gave its coaches about $50 per year increase in pay and thought that was good. Even the union members in the same contract, who many make thousands more in comparison to coaches, were happy because they got more than a $1,000 a year raise.Coaches are teachers in sport. One coach said they were getting paid a few dollars an hour if you divided their stipend into hours put in coaching. Many coaches know their "job" includes not only teaching specific skills for that sport, it also reinforces the life skills the parents are teaching their children at home.

  If you ask most coaches they will say they are paid for teaching sports skills, although coaches really are happy when a player continues to a good life journey whether they play in college or pros or at a younger age level only as they develop their sports and life skills. Coaches also are a little bit a psychologist, mentor, and guidance counselor. Not many people recognize coaches for what they do for young people. The fundraisers, keeping accurate required paperwork and emergency cards and more are part of the job.

  Actually teaching the sport and relating good life skills is what most coaches enjoy the most, win or lose. And that is despite working with a few parents who think their child is the greatest ever instead of realizing their child simply wants to be part of a team and understands the team concept way better than a few parents because those teamwork skills will come in handy in life's journey.

  Many coaches also use sports for motivation to do better in the classrooms. One local high school team has no practice one day a month so students can keep caught up on their schoolwork. That same coach allows players to miss some practice time if they need to go to school tutoring. And, the team still wins championships. The best championship in a graduating student who looks back on graduation night and thinks their high school experience, including the classroom and sports, was the best as they learned a lot about teamwork, appreciating skills of other people,  time management and balancing schoolwork, sports and clubs, all of which will help them in their life journey. 

  Coaches are, in reality, information providers and what information and the manner in which that information is given is very important. Coaches have accomplished their goal if they provide great experiences, memories and a safe environment for the team members, who probably won't remember the coach's name or years later what the coach looked like. That's Ok. Most coaches are not in coaching to get paid much or be recognized.

  Players and parents though have an opportunity to thank coaches for their generous work.  It's not necessary, it's not expected, and it can do a lot of good for everyone.  There was a Liberty Mutual Insurance commercial on TV where a person stopped a person using a cell phone from stepping off the curb into traffic, then a person on the bus going by saw it and helped an older person off the bus, a person saw that and the rest of the commercial people saw good things happen and then were nice to other people.

  Another example of being nice or saying thank you, I was reporting on Rosemead July 4th parade and walking the parade route I noticed when I said Happy July 4th to people they responded with a smile! Some people greeted me before I could wish them a Happy Holiday! So something positive like the Rosemead Parade, where city workers do a great job on putting on many events throughout the day, and they all are cheerful despite working on a holiday instead at home enjoying a barbecue with family and friends, makes a positive difference. Then the visitors to the events are happier because people are nice.

  Unfortunately a few coaches are in it for the stipend pay, authority or don't make a good effort or extra effort that many others do that make a positive influence on young people. Remember, some day these young people could be coaching your grandson or granddaughter. So, as Woody says in Toy Story to the group of toys, "Play Nice!"

  So, the next time you see a coach, whether it's your team or an opponent, thank them for their efforts for providing some guidance to young people and helping enhance the player's skill so those players can progress to their next level.  A very inexpensive piece of paper folded twice to make a greeting card with a drawing and thoughtful words to a coach or opponent's coach or team parents volunteering their time can be a great energy boost to the person reading it, and it makes you feel good giving some person a smile!    By Chuck Lyons

 

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