Sports are exciting, engaging, and entertaining. Most athletes spend hours training, practicing, and honing their skills so they can perform to the best of their ability. And it’s no secret that watching a live team sport event can bring out the competitive nature in even the most passive of people. This is especially true when it comes to parents watching their children play on their school sports teams.
Coaches spend a good portion of their week with your kids (maybe even more hours than you do). So when it’s time to hand your child over to a new coach, what should you know about that new influence in your child’s life? Here are some important points to consider:
- Will the coach respect my child, and equally important, will my child respect the coach? Mutual respect between the coach and player is a key to forward progression and improvement for the individual and the team as a whole.
- Is the coach a good role model? Are the attitudes, behaviors, and words the coach exhibits worth repeating and imitating? Remember, your child will be spending a lot of time around this individual, and no amount of expertise in a sport is worth sacrificing character and integrity.
- Does this coach consider their position a privilege? Coaches need to understand how they are impacting the youth—mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. The coach that does not see their responsibility as a privilege could harm a child’s growth by coaching from a selfish perspective.
The Bible speaks to the issue of harming a child or causing a child to stumble.
“Whoever receives a little child in My name receives Me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck, and that he be thrown and sunk in the depth of the sea!”
A leader who understands that coaching children is a privilege must also have the skill set to impact, refine, and build-up others. A coach’s impact on players should always be positive, while improving upon the skill level of the child and instilling confidence.