Developing Athletes

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It’s important for all coaches to be positive, safeguard players’ safety, and help athletes succeed.

Today’s parents can put their kids into leagues or sports camps at the age of three. The age was five when I was a kid.  So how do you coach kids at such an early age?

Courtesy: Momsteam

Kids are interested in friends and are distracted easily. So make it fun, relational, and basic. For example, in baseball teach kids how to hold a bat properly and how to swing it. Teach them where the bases are and how to run them. In football, teach kids how to do basic things, such as holding, catching, and throwing a ball properly. And it’s always important–no matter the sport–to teach kids the value of listening, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

Once kids get to middle and high school, they need to become students of the game. They should understand game statistics, including their own. They should also be asked to develop personal goals. It’s the coach’s responsibility to help each player achieve the goals they set.

Embedded in all of this is helping teenage athletes understand the importance of developing a work ethic. Help kids design and stick with a workout regimen, including cardio and lifting weights.

It’s also time for coaches to help players who have collegiate aspirations. One coaching role is to position players so that it’s possible for college recruiters to take notice. Many high school players don’t understand what colleges are looking for and at what schools they might best fit in. To manage disappointment, coaches should help players understand that there’s always a second option if the first option doesn’t come through.

It’s important for all coaches to be positive, safeguard players’ safety, and help athletes succeed.


About Matthew Paris

I grew up an avid Houston sports fan. After graduating from Texas Tech University in Theater and English Literature I worked as a marketing rep and coach for I9 Sports, coaching baseball, flag football, soccer, and basketball. I’m currently with Austin Sports Academy as a marketing coordinator, baseball and football coach, and coordinator of middle school and high school open play nights. I’ve written three short films for Looknow Productions and have also written articles on film marketing, producing, and directing. I really enjoy writing about sports and being an active contributor to The Sports Column.

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