Participation in youth, high school and college athletics provide some of the most enduring and satisfying moments in the lives of all who are involved. For children, teens and young adults, athletic competition represents some of the earliest and most profound experiences with winning, losing, team building and discovering personal potential. For coaches, parents and other involved adults little can provide the true fulfillment that results from positively influencing, guiding, and teaching young athletes about the role of sport in an overall healthy lifestyle.
Yet, along with these positive outcomes, youth, high school and college sport also presents a host of unique challenges for all participants. In today’s world, the need for effective and respectful communication between coach, parents and athlete is at a premium. Student athletes are faced with a myriad of important decisions regarding alcohol/other drug use, other healthy lifestyle practices, as well as the role of sport itself in their lives. Parents and Coaches must meet the daunting task of helping their children and young adults learn how to balance all of the competing demands that are inherent in the life of a student athlete.
All Student-Athletes must balance the demands of their academic responsibilities, home life, and peer relationships with the rigorous athletic requirements that come with their chosen sport. This can indeed be a daunting challenge! Adding to this complex interplay of competing forces are the many conflicting messages from our general culture about the role of sport and competition. Teens and young adults often find themselves confronted by an array of significant and meaningful decisions that will strongly influence whether or not they will find their lives as student-athletes to be ultimately joyful, satisfying, and fulfilling. At some time, most student-athletes will need to address issues such as:
- What is expected of me as a student-athlete?
- Am I ready to make the commitment required to be successful and responsible student-athlete?
- How do I balance all of my responsibilities in school, sport and home?
- What skills do I need to be a leader on my team?
- What kind of leader do I want to be?
- Gender Differences in Leadership
- How do I develop these skills?
- What informs my decisions regarding alcohol/other drugs, performance enhancing drugs, and other behaviors that may impact my overall academic/athletic performance?
Sport Coaches are some of the most highly trained, knowledgeable and hard working professionals, who dedicate their time and energy toward the skill and personal development of their athletes. Coaches have the opportunity to be some of the most influential people in the lives of their athletes. For many individuals who coach youth, High School, and College athletics, the greatest obstacles to coaching success, effectiveness, and satisfaction do not take place on the athletic field or during the middle of a game or match. They appear in the day to day interaction with your athletes and their parents. As a coach, have you:
- Found yourself involved in challenging conversations with parents and athletes and felt unsure as to how to effectively respond?
- Wanted to increase the leadership potential of your athletes?
- Been confronted with alcohol/other drug use among your athletes?
- Wondered how you could be clearer with your specific behavioral/attitudinal expectations for your team/parents?
- Thought about wanting to become a more effective communicator?
- Been interested in improving the communication effectiveness of your coaching staff?
Most would agree that the most challenging job known to human kind is being a parent! Through the course of a child’s development, parents will play many roles including nurturer, teacher, counselor, coach, cheerleader, confidant, defender, disciplinarian, and mentor. A primary responsibility of parents is to help their child learn how to effectively function in, and negotiate with, large groups and systems. For many children, their initial introduction to large groups in through their participation in organized athletics. The opportunity for learning, growth and development as an individual as well as a member of a team is immense and parents play a primary role in assisting their child in this educational process. As a child launches into organized sport, parents must have a complete understanding of their child’s developmental needs, athletic abilities, emotional make-up and interpersonal/communication skills. By using their child’s athletic participation as a “real life classroom” parents can play a key role in supporting their child in the successful development of:
- Positive communication skills
- Effective self-advocacy skills
- Conflict resolution skills
- Realistic expectations about athletic skill and potential
- The ability to balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the team
Catalyst Personal Development can play an integral role in assisting your organization/school in working with your league officials, coaches, parents and student-athletes in addressing many of the interpersonal, communication and leadership challenges facing youth, high school, and college sports today. Catalyst will work directly with the adult and youth leadership of your organization toward the creation and implementation of training and coaching programs that will specifically address your needs. Catalyst focuses on skill development, clarity of communication and the achievement of specific goals.
Possible topics include:
- PeopleMap for Teams and Individuals
- Communicating Effectively with Coaches and Teammates
- Developing Leadership Skills
- Communicating Effectively with Parents and Grandparents
- Athlete/Parent Behavioral Contract – Your Best Friend and Best Defense!
- Alcohol and other Drug use among Teen/Young Adult Athletes
- Peak Performance
- Goal Setting
- Balancing School, Sports, and Home
- Parenting: A Coach Approach
- Captains are Created, Not Born
An extensive conversation with you is the first step in identifying training and coaching programs that will be directed toward your specific wants, needs, and populations.