• August 13th, 2020

My Weekly take away - Don’t be a coach that breaks down athletes

First and foremost, I would like to salute every Namibian that had a dream to succeed in their sport talent but never manifested due to various reasons, and hence decided to pursue a career in coaching. 

I salute you all because, regardless of the fact that you’re either volunteers or getting paid below the minimum wages, you still do it passionately. Today’s deposit focuses on how coaches impact athletes’ careers.
Coaches can change a life for the better, or for the worst. I can firmly state that, the constant yelling and pressure from some coaches are unreasonably extreme. The constant threats and belittling can add up to the point an athletes’ stomach pain from the thought of going to practice or game. 

Coaches need to understand that is not motivation, it’s demoralising and putting pressure on athletes. In fact, some are at school level and not professional athletes. They don’t get paid to play. They are there simply because they once fell in love with the sport.

Some may argue that the athletes are overreacting and no single person can ruin a sport, hence they must leave. I say that’s absolute nonsense. Sport is a form of therapy. Players take their anger and frustration out on something they enjoy. On the other hand, if their escape becomes the very demon that they are trying to avoid, it’s devastating.
Some coaches believe that being tough is building character for an athlete, however, that’s the point where being tough on a kid turns into bullying. They are not a good coach if they cause kids to cry out of sheer disrespect. 

They’re not a good coach if they call someone out and allow teammates to demean each other. Coaches should reflect coaching methods for a second. What could you do better as a coach? Do your athletes think this about you, and if they do, why? What can you do to change the situation? 

If athletes can recall the abusive remarks and how the coach made them feel over a long period, that’s questionable. For the athletes that have discontinued playing a sport for this particular reasons, they are stronger than what people may think. 
I’m glad they did what they had to do for their wellbeing, and that they finally put themselves first. The bottom line is, a good coach can change a game, but a great coach can change a life.

*Stefan Ngolo is a sports enthusiast and sports education scholar. He can be reached at ngoloset@gmail.com

Staff Reporter
2020-04-15 09:16:39 | 3 months ago

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