The purpose of sports programs in Boys & Girls Clubs is the positive development of youth. The joy of coaching is in watching the positive growth and development of young athletes. Our goal is NOT to get your kid into the NFL or NBA. Our goal is to make your child want to play again next year.
Sports programs in Boys & Girls Clubs emphasize fun and use a positive approach to develop athletic skills and teach lessons for life. Every youth participates fully and feels he/she is an integral part of the team. Coaches show compassion and understanding for every player and utilize the Youth Development Strategy throughout the season.
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Where Does Winning Fit In?
In going about our jobs as volunteers in such a program [as the Boys & Girls Club], we must pause for a moment to reflect upon the long-term importance of our work. Victory recorded by a game score, as a short-term development learned on the gym floor, can serve as valuable guidelines for living - in the home, in the school and in the community. These are the long-term values.
It is obvious that winning games is not our primary job. But, this fact bears repeating every season, because we are all prone to forget the long-term objective by concentrating too much on the short-term prospects of a good season on the scoreboard. We are preparing young people for life. For this reason, Boys & Girls Clubs Athletic Programs frown upon big individual trophies that can swell a youngster's head. Winning a varsity letter will not seem like a significant achievement to a youngster if he/she has already collected a number of two-foot trophies because he/she was part of a pre-high school championship team.
Coaches shall not stress that "winning" is the only thing that matters in sports, but shall strive to teach long-term lessons that will be guidelines for living - in the home, church and school.
The Coach's Role
The coach is vital to the success of the program. As such, the coach much conform to the philosophy of the program or take the consequences of being removed from the program. The reason for this is solidarity between coaches as to goals, with emphasis as to the player's welfare, interest and attitudes which he/she will learn or imitate by observing the coach. We insist that our volunteer coaches remember these four things:
- Our goal is to instill a love of the game in our kids. The odds are that our coaching is not going to get you to the NFL. Our coaching should make the kids love the game enough to want to make it into the NFL.
- Winning and losing with dignity is more important than the numbers on the scoreboard.
- This is for the kids. As a coach, you are not living vicariously through your team. Definitely be excited and enthusiastic, but remember that you are the person the kids look up to.
- Teach skills. We want inclusion for all kids and we also want those kids to learn a little about the sport they are playing.