206: Beyond Mere Coaching
Seattle offers a unique medium for community interactions with its public school system and one of its most important functions for education, socialization, and leadership development: its interscholastic sports programs. In fact, many coaches are outsiders to the school district, which offers a variety of unique perspectives from an eclectic group of working people; machinists, engineers, social workers, personal trainers, etc. All of these people work with teachers, school administrators, and the community. Although it's unique in nature, Seattle Public School's coaching system could be taken to a whole new level.
In recognition of Seattle's coaching setup, I am forming this group to challenge current and prospective coaches to do more with this opportunity. In addition, it's my pleasure to alert you to this opportunity if you have not yet heard about it.
The purpose of the group is to expand the role of coaching into a "life coach," to take advantage of the coach's extraordinary position to influence and improve the lives of her/his players.
I will attempt to post some of my initiatives as a coach that have worked in year's past to display my thoughts for this group and to get conversations started. For starters, I can tell you that a formalized study hall, complete with student volunteer tutors from local colleges, allow for small subgroups of exercise in mathematics and science, which is where our youth struggle the most. The more tutors, the better. This activity must be coordinated with a supportive community and its parents and teachers, but is highly effective.
I would like to remind you of the young athlete's mind. According to virtually every academic study I've researched regarding the importance of interscholastic activities shows that parents, students, and teachers alike hold these activities in the highest regards. Most students who continue to participate in these activities are more likely to attend college or make a living wage. However, by recognizing the importance of sport and reforming our roles, we can take away the important, systemic aspects of interscholastic sports as applied to youth development and greatly increase our impact.
Lastly, I invite you to attend a football game this Fall in the Seattle Public School District. You will not be alarmed to find teams armed with 30-40 players, or roughly 50-67% capacity. Of course, this is indicative of another area coaches can improve: general attendance in sport or other activities.