Being a coach certainly has its challenges. It can be tough to keep a dozen 5 year olds engaged and get them to focus on kicking the soccer ball. However, with those challenges comes a multitude of benefits, joys, and perks. Here are four benefits of volunteering as a youth sports coach.
1. Giving Back
Think back to your playing days. You didn’t just run around aimlessly, right? Of course not, you had a coach! That coach was there to keep you on task and, more than you may realize, corral you and your teammates. But your coach was also more than just a babysitter. Your coach not only helped teach you new skills but also helped you develop your character and values. By volunteering as a coach you are filling those same shoes your coaches once filled and giving back to your community like countless coaches before you.
2. Serving as a Role Model
Being a volunteer coach with the YMCA is much more than teaching X’s and O’s. You are somebody that the players look up to and try to emulate. They don’t see you as someone who will be responsible for one day leading them to the pros. What they see is somebody that they respect and admire. They don’t judge you on your in-depth knowledge of the sport, they judge you for your leadership and your ability to be a positive role model.
3. It’s Fulfilling
Try and remember the first time you picked up a basketball or kicked a soccer ball. You may not have been very confident in your skills. Truthfully, you had no idea what you were doing. Now think about the first basket you made or the first goal you scored. You were probably filled with excitement and joy at your accomplishment. Chances are, your coach was filled with pride over your success. Your coach was able to witness your evolution and development, from that very first shot to your very first goal. Your coach was able to share in that joy with you because they were responsible for getting you to that point. Being able to see players discover the joy for the game firsthand is a uniquely rewarding experience. Coaches have a front row seat to that kind of experience and fulfillment.
4. It’s FUN!
If you solely listen to professional coaches give post-game press conferences you may not think being a coach is all that enjoyable. But believe it or not, it’s an absolute blast! There’s nothing quite as entertaining as leading a group of players through a silly game or activity. In fact, the goofier you are as a coach the more fun you’ll have. As mentioned before, players aren’t expecting their 1st grade baseball coach to get them to the big leagues. What their concerned about is whether or not practice will be fun, and you as the coach get to be the one responsible for their joy.
You may think coaching can be a daunting task, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. But have no fear because coaching is far more enjoyable, rewarding, and fun than you can imagine. Someday your players will look back on their playing days and be grateful that you were their coach.
Written by: Drew Hill, Sports Director at the Chesterfield Family YMCA