By Dr. Michael J. Hahesy |
Having been a coach for many years I have learned many things, some good and some bad. I have coached kindergarten girls, up to and including college men. Each experience has had many rewards and many wonderful memories. The rewards and memories are awesome but a couple of aspects of coaching that stick out to me are: it keeps you young, it allows for the chance to be successful in the sport, the ability to share in the joys of winning, build second families, and the chance to gain friends for life.
As a coach, you get to pass on the wisdom you’ve gained over the years. You’ll also gain the benefits younger generations have to offer. You may learn new things, stay up to date with what’s important to young people. Staying involved with younger generations will not only help you feel younger, you’ll gain new perspectives with each new generation you have the pleasure of coaching. It is very exciting to remain current not only in sport but in life. Remember that things are constantly changing, are you?
Successful coaches share a common emphasis on the importance of fundamental coaching skills: communication, motivation, practice planning, teamwork, and developing athletes. In my opinion successful coaching doesn’t always equate to winning, many other variables are just as important.
The joys of winning are important and depending on the age-level it can become paramount. The higher the level of competition generally the more the emphasis is placed on winning. A winning athlete can know the quiet satisfaction of being the best (if only for a moment in time). Winning is the ultimate in many people’s eye, but in the eyes of the coach it is the reward for things done well.
By being around your players you start to develop a “family”. This comes from the many hours that you spend with your athletes and, of course, their families. Rarely will you have a chance to have a job at a place where you can regard the people you’re with as a family. But, when you become a coach, it can almost feel like adopting a second family. You become used to being around people when they’re the happiest, most comfortable and most at ease. That creates the type of intimate bond you can only liken to a family.
Being a coach of so many athletes over so many years I have developed a very good relationship with many of my former athletes and many of my former coaches as well. Because I was able to spend so much time with these individuals I got to know them quite well. As you can see the rewards of coaching are many- ENJOY!
Dr. Michael J. Hahesy is an Assistant Professor at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and the head wrestling coach at Erie Cathedral Preparatory High School. He is also a member of the United States Sports Academy’s national faculty, credentialed to teach the institution’s post-seconary, non-degree programs overseas.