volunteer coaches

Coaching Socially Challenged Athletes

    Posted in Coaching, Youth Sports    |    No Comments

An interesting phenomenon of today’s youth is that they are more immature than past generations. This is not a knock on today’s young people; it is a fact that has been confirmed by research from psychologists and sociologists. This phenomenon increases the probability of having socially challenged players on sports teams. As a coach, it is important to be prepared to coach athletes who are socially challenged. Socially challenged athletes often have difficulties “fitting in” on the team, often shy away from volunteering for drills and appear happy to sit out during games (often sitting on the far end of the bench). Moreover, socially challenged athletes may exhibit the following behavior:

  • Not talk with other players.
  • Not cooperate in small group drills.
  • Have tantrums (At any age).
  • Act aggressively towards other players.
  • Quit playing.
  • Not show up for games or practices.
  • Talk back to you or otherwise be disruptive.

Here are some tips on how to encourage active participation amongst all your players including those that may be struggling with socialization problems. Please note, these tips are not meant to treat serious social problems; if you believe that a player has a serious problem seek the advice of a professional trained to handle adolescent developmental issues (e.g. psychologist).

  • Avoid cliques on your team by encouraging players to interact with different players during drills.
  • Don’t tease, make fun of, haze, or otherwise belittle ANY player.
  • Remember, coaching is teaching. Take every opportunity to teach your players social skills. Examples: Extend a hand to help a fallen player. Require players to say, please and thank you when appropriate. Require players to share-whatever. Require and teach togetherness and cooperation.
  • Team meetings, team banquets, meetings are all great opportunities to teach the players the above social skills.
  • Communicate with parents. If you observe a particular social problem in a player, mention it to the parents—they will want the player to improve because you pointed this out and they value the sport participation.
  • Don’t overemphasize winning.
  • Focus on how players can improve when they make mistakes, not on yelling or belittling players.
  • Smile and be a MODEL OF SOCIAL SKILLS. Treat players with respect, politeness, and good social skills.
  • Emphasize how much fun sports are to play.
  • Encourage players to offer their opinion.
  • Make yourself available before and after practice.

CEYC’s Dr. John E. Mayer on “The Changing Behavior Network” w/ Dr. James Sutton!

    Posted in Abuse, Coaching, Reporting, Youth Sports    |    No Comments

Follow the link below to check out CEYC VP Dr. John E. Mayer and Dr. James Sutton discuss today’s crisis in youth sports on The Changing Behavior Network! This is a fantastic segment that touches on some sensitive topis with a number of excellent suggestions. Tune in:

(The Changing Behavior Network website) http://www.thechangingbehaviornetwork.com/
(Direct link to Dr. Mayer’s interview) http://www.thechangingbehaviornetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/JmayerMX.mp3

Dr. Mayer On The Need For Coach Training & Certification (CBS News)

    Posted in Abuse, Coaching, Youth Sports    |    No Comments

CEYC Vice President, Dr. John Mayer, appeared on a CBS Chicago local news segment by Dorthy Tucker regarding the need for and importance of coach training and certification. Take a look at the video clip and story at the link below!


The Role of Volunteer Youth Sport Coaches in Reporting Abuse

    Posted in Abuse, Coaching, Reporting, Youth Sports    |    No Comments

Check out this interesting article from the Hartford Courant on the role of volunteer coaches in reporting abuse in youth sports.

If liability in reporting abuse would deter a volunteer coach from coaching youth sports teams, then as a parent, I wouldn’t want that individual coming in contact with my child in the first place.

This is a prime example of what the Center for Ethical Youth Coaching seeks to establish. Accountability across the board for adults that are in contact with children via youth sports. Is it too much to ask that these coaches take some time to learn proper reporting and further their knowledge of how to effectively coach youth? In any other position, a professional would go out of their way to further his/her knowledge base or increase their credentials. Why should it be any different for adults working with children in a volunteer/professional capacity. The simple answer is: IT SHOULDN’T.


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