The successful coach is a man or woman that brings out the best in their student athletes. It can be performance on the football field, the baseball diamond or the basketball court. But it is about a coach’s influence and inspiration. It is about molding young athletes to become the best they can be in life and in the classroom. And promoting a healthy lifestyle goes a long way.
To be a successful coach involves a philosophy. But it also involves learning about proper fitness and nutrition, a proper mind set, proper communication. It is about instilling in students the notion that they can be the best. This can start by promoting health and fitness.
Sport coaches have paradoxical attitudes towards addressing health promotion as a part of their coaching practice. But health is recognized as an important factor, but not greatly invested in. Studies have shown that there is a need for youth sports coaches to invest more in health promotion activities.
A holistic approach
A holistic approach to coaching can encourage an attitude towards fitness that will help bring a lifetime of health and happiness to the athlete. Coaches need to develop fitness training programs that will help athletes on the playing field as well as in life’s arena. It also means learning how to encourage a lifelong mental and physical health focus.
Coaches and athletic directors must also know how to spot signs and use their knowledge about drugs and drug abuse to help the athlete if a problem is suspected. It means understanding nutrition and defining a philosophy and style that equates to success on and off the field and court.
How big a role does nutrition play in the performances of athletes? There are many facts and myths related to how nutrition helps or hinders how athletes perform. Information concerning nutrition should be presented so that it can help the student athlete perform at their natural ability.
It is important to develop a performance-based eating program for your specific sport. It is also up to anyone in a coaching position to examine a style of teaching/coaching that enables a coach to share with their student athletes what a young, growing person should eat.
Some ways to go about this include discussing eating disorders. Student athletes should be provided with knowledge on how to keep themselves hydrated and avoid heat illnesses.
What role do nutritional supplements play in the student athlete’s diet? Coaches should help young athletes understand how carbohydrates, fat and proteins nourish the body. They should provide information for how much a young person should eat for maintaining, losing and gaining weight.
Learn how to provide a guide to eating before, during and after participation in a strenuous activity.
Valuing student athletes
Great coaches understand how to value a student’s background, interests and needs. They also know how to promote social development and group responsibility as well as healthy choices.
The best coaches rely on and implement multiple sources of information to assess student health and fitness.