The most important job you have as a coach is to be a positive role model to your players. In addition to providing an outlet to work towards physical fitness, the true value in sport is the opportunity to teach life lessons through the games we play.
As a parent, you understand that kids are smart, and they pick up on things happening around them. They will certainly notice if you try to bend the rules to win, or if you constantly harass the official to try and shape circumstances to your advantage. While these behaviors may provide a short term benefit, in the long run, the life lesson that the child will take away is that it is okay to break rules and disrespect those who enforce them. The Joseph Institute recently published a study showing a strong link between teen cheating in sports and adult dishonesty.
The goals of our program, in order, are:
1) For the children participating to have fun. We want them to have a positive experience and
continue playing in sports programs, whether it’s flag football or something else.
2) To teach the children about competing with honor. We want our participants to:
- show respect to their opponents and opposing coaches
- show respect to the officials
- respect and play within the rules
3) To teach the children the fundamentals of football.
To teach the children the benefit of competing to the best of their ability. Maximum effort, mental toughness, and focus. We want to our children to be motivated to try to be the very best they are capable of being.
The word teach appears in 3 of the 4 program goals. As a coach, think of yourself primarily as a teacher.