Coach Wisdom Might be the Biggest Takeaway for Student Athletes
Wisdom is defined as having ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, common sense, and insight. For coaches, wisdom develops over time and through experiences with student athletes both on and off the field. In some cases coach wisdom is witnessed through successful play-calling on the field, and in other instances it occurs when the coach seems to know exactly what to say or do when it comes to helping student athletes — not only in sports, but in all aspects of their lives.
Psychologists talk about wisdom as being something that only develops over time and through experience, making coach wisdom an incredibly valuable asset for kids. Coaches who have been around awhile often have amazing amounts of knowledge with the following:
- Athletic preparation, and what it takes to play your best (physically and mentally)
- The most efficient/proper techniques to execute sport skills
- How to motivate players, as well as help with focus, discipline, and resiliency
- Solving off-field issues, including difficulties with grades, relationships, and family
- Dealing with parents, including those who live vicariously through their child’s sport success
- Rehabilitating from injury, including the mental challenges that often accompany injuries
- Displaying sportsmanship and integrity toward sport competition
- Role modeling, and making healthy, positive choices
Coaches are not perfect, and some coaches even with a wealth of wisdom still make mistakes (just like the rest of us). On the other hand, coaches often have a tacit knowledge of sport/life situations that allows them to provide student athletes advice and expertise that might be otherwise difficult to find. Coaches can make a huge difference in the lives of kids they, but it’s our job to support and empower them in their role as “coach.”
Young coaches might gain confidence picking up specific pointers at coach clinics, but getting a feel for how to develop athletes while strategically putting out fires along the way happens as a product of time and experience. It is important for coaches to think about the countless ways to pass along their wisdom to student athletes, fellow coaches, and parents. Don’t underestimate the power of coaches, and the countless ways in which they help kids grow and develop through sports.