As coaches we are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity and ability to work with and positively influence young people. That is why I suggest following this rule of thumb: Be the kind of coach that you would want your sons and daughters to play for. All of us should be determined to be that kind of coach.
Never lose sight of the tremendous impact you are having on young people’s lives. We are with people at their emotional heights and their emotional depths, the times when they are most impressionable. Teachers of other subjects would love to have the classroom situation that we do, for we have a class that young people are pleading to get into and be a part of. It is our moral responsibility to use this unique opportunity in a positive manner to help prepare our young people for life.
As a coach, you must always be aware of the influence you have on your players. Because of their keen interest and emotional involvement in sports, your athletes will be hanging on every word you say. Many times, you may think you’re not reaching them, but what you say to them in practice can determine how good their dinner will taste an how well they will sleep that night. An incidental cutting remark, which you forgot about as soon as you said it, can stay with that young person and be a source of pain for a longer time than you may ever know.