- Beginning a lifetime of fitness and physical activity.
- Developing the mental and physical skills of future competitive athletes.
While college and professional coaches grab the headlines and get the publicity, youth coaches work with players during the most important years of the players’ development.
We need coach education programs because we enlist and trust volunteer coaches – often with little to no supervision or training – with our children at their most vulnerable and formative periods.
During these years (8-14 years old), two things occur:
- A child falls in love with sports or a sport and loves to play the game, compete, improve and work hard or the child has a negative experience and quits the sport or sports.
- Children pass through the “skill hungry years” when they are prepared to learn and develop the important motor and sports-specific skills that make-up any game or sport.
Therefore, to enhance the experience of all players, coaches must understand their athletes’ needs and motivations to keep each child active and understand and be able to instruct the basic skills that prepare players for higher levels of competition.