Good Coaches Win in Other Ways

Jasmina Parazic, teaching at a 2004 clinic, is among the coaches who find more in youth sports than wins and losses.
Jasmina Parazic, teaching at a 2004 clinic, is among the coaches who find more in youth sports than wins and losses. (By Ricky Carioti -- The Washington Post)
Friday, November 24, 2006

Sports news is always filled with stories about coaches.

The Washington Nationals have a new manager -- Manny Acta. Brenda Frese is getting her Maryland women's basketball team ready to defend its national championship. And Redskins fans are wondering if Coach Joe Gibbs still has what it takes to make the team a winner again.

Being a pro or big-time college coach is tough. Coaches have to know the game and all its strategies. They have to get their teams ready to play hard every game. And, most of all, they have to win. Coaches with more losses than wins frequently are out of work.

Kids have coaches, too, but they are different from pro or college coaches. Or should be. Most 10-year-olds would not like to play for screaming coaches such as Bill Parcells of the Dallas Cowboys or Bob Knight, the men's basketball coach at Texas Tech.

The folks at Positive Coaching Alliance think that too many kids' coaches act as if they're in the pro or college ranks. Some coaches care too much about winning and not enough about the other lessons that kids learn from sports.

PCA has signed up 180,000 youth and high school coaches for Double-Goal Coach Certification. The coaches in this program promise to reward players for their effort, and not just if they win. They also promise to teach their players to respect the officials, their teammates, their opponents and, most of all, the game itself.

I think PCA and its Double-Goal Coach program are great ideas. I have coached more than 30 recreational soccer, basketball, baseball and softball teams. Here are some things I think a good kids coach needs to do:

ยท Know enough about the game to help kids improve their skills. (Kids want to get better.)


CONTINUED     1        >

© 2006 The Washington Post Company