Once they have a Youth Sports Coach certification, what does a Youth Sports Coach actually do? I can’t tell you what other coaches do, but I can tell you what I do. My work with young athletes encompasses so much more than strength and conditioning coaching.
Being a Generalist vs. Specialist
In his book Range, David Epstein writes about the differences between specialization and generalization. He argues that in a world where people are rushing to specialize as young as possible, it is actually the generalist who succeeds. Epstein explains the ‘how’ of the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” But ARE we? And does specializing at a super young age (like Tiger Woods beginning golf at age two) make us the best athletes?
I have the privilege to work with so many young athletes. And for sure we seem to be in an age of specialization as the model for achieving success. But what really leads to success? Is it specialization, generalization, role models, coaching, strength, talent, grit?
De-Coding Success Means Knowing What You Want
In an ever-more competitive world, everyone seems to be trying to de-code success. Maybe there isn’t one way to do things ‘right.’ Maybe it’s not about being two years old and working tirelessly until you master the game, and maybe it is not about doing a hundred different things and then choosing.
Perhaps success is about the process of learning to know yourself, in your own unique way. Laila Ali (Muhammad Ali’s amazing daughter) states that her success in life was due to two things: her will to win, and being locked up in juvenile detention at age 15. She got scared straight. So de-coding success? It’s really so individual if you ask me—but the thread that holds it all together is knowing what you want.
I certainly try to help people get to the heart of what they really, really want. I frequently remind teens of some object they just wanted so badly, didn’t have the money to buy, and somehow managed to get the object anyway. Remember that? That is called resourcefulness. You may not have the resources, but by golly you ARE resourceful enough to get the things you really want.
How I Use My Youth Sports Coach Certification
Young athletes must get clear on what they really want, which can change. Everything changes in life. Setting goals at the start of working with a youth sports coach and never revisiting those goals is ridiculous. You are growing and changing in ways you could never anticipate, and your goals will too. Unfortunately, there is so little room to change your mind in our culture of specialization.
What if you committed to baseball at age eight when you actually had a great coach, a great team, and everything was wonderful—then three years later you have a coach who calls you names, makes you feel insignificant or your teammates are bullies and consequently you hate baseball? Everything changes.
What about in college? So many colleges force kids to pick their program before they even begin college. How much room is there for learning about yourself in life? Not a lot.
Changing sports can be frightening, but I like to encourage young athletes to get curious and stay curious.
What does it mean if you change? What does growth mean to you? What can you know to be absolutely true? The meaning we assign to a thing is the only value it has. Your superpower lies in understanding that statement as it pertains to you. The value of anything lies only in the meaning that you assign to it.
Using Youth Sports Coach Certification to Inspire
This is the kind of work I do with young athletes with my Youth Sports Coach certification. No matter what they are in the midst of, they can learn who they are. Taking time to dream is so important. Revisiting goals and dreams is how we become the architects of our own lives.
Can there be a higher goal than designing the life you’ve always dreamed of living?
I start individualized fitness training and coaching for children at 10 years of age. The work I do with each athlete is complex and comprehensive, regardless of the key to success.
If you or a teen athlete that you know could benefit from the knowledge and experience that comes with a Youth Sports Coach Certification, please contact us for a free personalized fitness training consultation.