2 Simple Ways to Make a Positive Impact on Your Players' Lives

Coaching is more than X's and O's. It is more than winning and losing and getting into the newspaper. If you are a coach, in a youth or school situation, you are responsible for young people's lives. Charles Barkley once said "I am not a role model." Well, if you are a coach, like it or not, you are a role model. It is your responsibility to have a positive impact on your players' lives.

That responsibility should not be taken lightly or without thought. As a coach, you must think about the effect your actions have on your players' lives.

To make a positive impact on a player's life you have to be positive yourself. Be instructive, not destructive; build people up, don't tear them down. Remember at all times, you are a teacher. You have to be unyielding but flexible.

The second thing is to take an interest in your players as people. Your consistency of interest in the players should not be dependent on how well they are playing. Spend time with them off the court, discussing things other than basketball. Relate experience of how basketball is a vehicle to take you to places they never thought they would be. Off the court, teach them that if they can dream, they can accomplish. Relate basketball experience to life experience.

You also have to remember that they are not your kids. Do not overstep your bounds or responsibilities. In the best of cases, you might be in "loco parentis." Be careful not to intrude into family life.

Baseball great Jackie Robinson once said that the value of a man's life is measured by the effect he has on others. We all have that responsibility. Make it positive.

What do you think? How Do You Positively Impact Your Players' Lives? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...

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Christensen Servas says:
3/24/2010 at 11:43:45 AM

I am a basketball coach and an innovator for quite some time now, I have players who can not afford to buy shoes, I have players who have to earn a living at fifteen for their families, I have players who could not go to school because they are so poor, and if you tell them that basketball is like life, they may get the impression that this game entails suffering..................the important thing is that basketball is a game......a game that takes you away from the realities of life and brings you back ready for the realities of life.............coaching perhaps is affording your players freedom within the concept of seeking their maximum abilities.


3/4/2010 at 4:50:56 PM

I have coached a team for one season[so far] and enjoyed it. I make it a point to greet each player as they arrive for practice my name and thank them at the end of practice for coming. I try always to praise the positive and correct the regative.


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