I look forward to reading and learning from the fascinating and insightful blog posts by many of the World’s top youth coaches and am writing this article as a follow-up inspired by two of the very best. Brian Grasso and Lee Taft are people that rightfully deserve the utmost respect for the wisdom and practical learning opportunities they frequently present in their blogs, and two recent posts in particular have led me to put together this article to offer my thoughts on what is a critical but often overlooked aspect of youth development.
In this second part, we will explore some ways that we as coaches, PE teachers, and trainers can contribute to solving the problems of exclusion and bullying.
What IS the Solution?
The solution seems fairly obvious to me. Find ways to mix competition with cooperation. Instead of choosing your young athletes based on their perceived potential, be about the business of helping all kids enjoy sports. When you see these ego-driven, bullying / dominance situations – discuss this with kids. Ask the right questions to help them understand implications. Do I as a coach or trainer truly understand competition? Do I realize that if there is true competition, we want everyone else to have the same advantages? Otherwise, it seems there is never a true competition.