What Inspires You To Work With Young Athletes?

 

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Young Athletes Give Back

The fact that you read my random thoughts every day means a great
deal to me.

 

No joke.

 

This has never been a "static" message medium for me.

 

I take great care in drafting the kind of information I think you need in
becoming the very best Youth Fitness Coach you can be.

 

And I don’t take the fact you read my daily ramblings for granted.

 

Over the past several days, I’ve recounted some memories I have from
the days when I spent all my waking hours in the trenches working with
kids.

 

Fond memories all.

 

And through them, you’ve gotten to learn a bit more about me.

 

But now I want something from you.

 

I want to know something that I know I have never asked before.

 

What inspires you to work with young athletes and youth fitness

participants?

 

Why is it so important to you?

 

How does it fulfill you?

 

I want to know.

 

Sincerely.

 

Leave your comments below…

40 Responses

  1. Doug Garner says:

    I work with young athletes with disabilities because I truly believe in the benefits that sports and recreation provide for anyone. The physical, social, psychological and health benefits from sport participation are an important part of individual growth, and can not be achieved through other mediums. Simply put – sport and fitness changes lives – and it is an honor to be a part of that process.

  2. ken says:

    Brian,

    Thank you for this question, I wish more coaches, trainers and anybody that works with the youth would set down and answer this question before they head out to teach. In my coaching days I have seen a number of coaches that I think do it for the wrong reasons, you can read stories about it every day. You can also go to a number of ball games and experience it first hand.

    The reason I got involved with kids sports was really pretty easy, I looked at the way they were taught in school. I was fortanute and my oldest son who is now 15 had what I believe to be the best teachers a kid could have when he was in K, 1st and 2nd grade, it built a great foundation that has helped him all through his acadimic years. So I said to myself why isn’t sports that way.

    I was seeing that the younger kids would get coaches that were just fill in’s or where ego driven to push the kids to far. So instead of setting back I took it upon myself to do something about it. I knew baseball so that’s where I started, then I took to reading and watching video’s and doing everything in my power to learn even more. I wanted to be one of those teachers that could build a strong foundation.

    Our teams lost some games those first few years, in fact we last a bunch of games. Winning was always second, getting the kids to play the sport right, with enthusiasm, pride, heart and sportmanship was always first. We would work on the fundamentals until they became second nature. We didn’t try trick plays or anything it was always the basics. The other thing I tried to bring to the practices was fitness. I wanted my players to still be going as strong in the last inning as they were in the first. I didn’t run them to death or anything like that, we worked on lateral movement, jumping, sprints and the basic body developement. In fact way back I believe I sent you an email to help me out.

    I set out with basicly two goals, one was that when my players got to high school and tried out for a team they would make the team. The second one was that they would love the game. I had talked to a high school coach and he told me a shocking fact, he told me that out of 24 kids on his freshman team that by the time they got to be seniors he would only have 3 of them left. He had been coaching for awhile and he told me the most he’d ever seen was 6.

    Well my first goal was met. All of the players that I have coached that tried out for baseball made the team. The second one I’ll see in about 2 more years. The other aspect is that a number of them play multiply sports and have made the teams.

    Why do I do it? Starting out I really don’t know. But to have other coaches come up and say your boys know how to play, they are dicsiplined and I really enjoy teaching them. Or going to a Friday night football game and watching a kid you coached break through the line and tackle the quarterback, or sweep around the end for a touchdown. Those are things that can’t be replaced. Or having them come up to you after the big game, with a smile on their face and say, “Hey coach, thanks.”

    My enjoyment comes from watching the kids grow, become better players, but more important it is watching them grow into better people that take pride in themselves and what they do.

    Brian, thanks for a wonderful question.

  3. Mike Messer says:

    I enjoy the life time friends I have player from 20 years ago call at all hours of the night and want to talk about how good they were I had a dog named after me I been to a lot of marriages have a lot of Young coaches who call for info a life time of football

  4. Rob says:

    What inspires me is the opportunity to change the culture of how youth are treated in sports. My goal has always been to teach and allow them to have fun and figure things out for themselves rather than force feed them and yell at them when they don’t do it right.

  5. Rick Allison says:

    I teach basketball skills (along with functional movement skills) to young athletes, because God has blessed me with specific gifts and talents (e.g., patience, kindness, attention to detail, and a deep love of the sport) that allow me to be effective in doing so. I choose to use these gifts to serve Jesus Christ in offering my time and gifts as an act of love toward others. It has become a living-purpose and personal ministry in my life.

    I charge a minimal amount for training sessions to make it affordable to young families. It’s all about transferring the knowledge I have attained in this area to the next generation of athletes. Revenue gained gets donated to youth mission work at my church or re-invested in equipment and attainment of more knowledge. I thank God for the opportunity to be able to do this.

  6. ken davis says:

    I’ve been inspired to work with the youth population for two primary reasons. First, so many youth have been injured or going to be injured and I want to do whatever I can to reduce the possibility of that happening. Second, I want to help each child I come in contact with to reach their athletic potential. I am so proud and blessed to be a part of the IYCA, because I believe this organization will continue to provide me with the education and skills necessary to address these concerns.

  7. Joe says:

    I want to do my part to perserve the childhood experence for today’s youth by introducing elements of physical play into their lives which, I believe will enhance their athletic prowess and enjoyment of competitve sports. It is my contention that “childhood” is on the way to extinction due to the fast pace society in which we live. There simply is no time for kids today to get together among themselves and play the games that many of us “older kids” used to play.

  8. ken says:

    I like what Joe says about loosing the element of childhood. It is so true today with organized sports. You go from one activety to another and it is so high paced.

    What I took to doing a few years ago was once a week at practice I would tell the kids they were on their own, pick two captains and play baseball. I would just set back under a true and watch them. No coaching nothing, if a good play was made I would yell words of encourgament but other than that nothing.

    If they thought someone was safe or out and the other team thought otherwise, they had to work it out. It was just like when I was a kid playing pick up ball. Those boys so looked forward to that day of practice, sometimes we would go from the baseball field to the basketball court…just to get their mind on something else.

    To some of the parents it might have looked like I was slacking off as a coach, but trust me, those kids learned so much more on those practices than at any other time.

  9. Julio Anta says:

    I can answer this in two words “Changing Lives”

  10. Jamie Smith says:

    Wow, what an all emcompassing question! Watching my son grow up and go through youth sports, we have had our share of “good” and “bad” coaches. It is interesting to hear what coaches he remembers the most and why. He doesn’t remember the wins/losses. He remembers what coaches were fun and he felt a connection with. Ironically, these were the “good” coaches. So why do I work with youth? I want to make a positive difference in a child’s life. Whether that be that I help a child to feel like he/she can “play” with the other kids and enjoy themselves/have fun or make a high school/college team(just had a high school tennis player that I have been working with text me to tell me she got a full ride) or just to call/text me about something in their life that was going on(that same tennis player let me know that she was going to Tennessee to make a demo tape). And honestly that meant more to me than the full ride scholarship, because she thought enough to share that part of her life with me. That is why is why I have and want to cont working with our youth-how much more rewarding could life be? Thank you Brian for helping us get there!

  11. Paul says:

    Proverbs 22:6
    Their God’s children, I am a delighted steward.
    Our youth are to be provided proper dedication,instruction and motivation.
    At the end of each stage of development “I let go and let God”
    To answer your question; “I have been blessed to be an athlete,therefore I am being consciously obedient to provide our youth with tangible knowledge of my blessings through coaching.”

  12. Raul Sosa says:

    I work with young athletes, because I believe in developing the future is a lot of work and an important one.

    Where Im from people dont have the proper education about life and sports to significantly be good persons in the future. I like what I read here. Im a basketball coach as well. Here in Puerto Rico we face a cultural challenge. SInce our island is so small and everything is near we are having a tough challenge to develop great athletes.

    My mission is to develop great people with outstanding athletic skills.

    Thats my motivation! To make a difference in our hectic world!

    Myself and my company are working hard everyday to make a better PR.

  13. stuart says:

    I know that when i was a younger athlete that I never had a coach who really helped me achieve to my full potential, so I do not want this happening to other young athletes knowing how disappointing it was for me.

  14. Jon Garro says:

    At some point everybody’s athletic career ends. Hopefully in that span of a career the athlete learns skills that can translate to real life situations. Working with young athletes allows me to help shape their views on exercise, their confidence and their love of activity. Young athletes are very impressionable and what they learn at a young age, whether good or bad, will ultimately shape their adult life.
    My expericence as a participant in sports from a young age has led to an adult life still filled with activity. Not as a means to an end, but just because I love it. I have trained adults who first experience with exercise is the initial assesment I do with them. They often view exercise and activity with an end point in mind. “Lose 15 lbs” or “Knee feels better”. Not with the view that exercise is a life long journey. Instilling that notion in young athletes is what inspires me to help create a future population that values activity and exercise as a part of their life.

  15. Mr. Anang Suparlan says:

    I teach Physical Education Program in Junior High School. You give me a lot of inspiration for my teaching and coaching. I hope that I have done to my student can make a better live for them.
    I wait your next article.
    Thanks Mr. Brian.

  16. Al Roth says:

    God inspires me to work with younger children. He gives me the passion to go above and beyond the child’s training (whether it be an outstanding athlete or a child with Down’s Syndrome.) That is what fuels my fire.

  17. Bernadette says:

    I have a motto that I created and try to always live by in regards to my involvement with teaching/coaching children. “In the heart of every child…is a treasure chest for the future.” It is my goal that within my sphere of influence I endeavor to fill a child’s heart with as much positive treasures (encouragement, positive feedback, praise etc.) I can that they may pull it out and use it in their future. I feel strongly that through health and fitness and specifically the arena of youth sports a child can learn so many life skill treasures that will help them be ever so wonderful in their future.

  18. Lori says:

    this is a simple answer; but, I want to make a difference in even one child’s life

  19. Joyce says:

    What Doug Garner says in No. 1, Ditto that! Well said Doug! It’s exactly the way I feel!

  20. jennifer says:

    At first it was so that I could make a name for myself, I’ll be honest. Now, after my own kids, and 15 years in education, it is so that I can make a difference in their lives…. ok, not all need to have someone make a difference, but some kids need the sport more than the sport needs them. I love teaching life lessons, your e-mails have really helped me to put things in perspective. Technique before winning is the upmost imporant… it is fun to help kids find that it is always, most importantly about the journey more than about the outcome 😛

  21. Michelle says:

    I have been a physical therapist for 10 yrs now. I work in a hospital setting, so I see all types of patients. What I have come to learn, is that I get to these people far too late. They are often too far into their disease process or injury to make permanent change or improvement in quality of life. There are exceptions of course, but for the most part, my fixes are temporary. I have decided that I can make a much bigger impact, a life-changing impact, by teaching children to enjoy activity and learn healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle early on. Maybe I will be able to prevent them from traveling down the road that so many of my current patients travel. I have been an athlete my whole life and I love sports. I was never the fastest or the strongest. But, I could analyze movement and anticipate what the physics of the game was going to create. I have only strengthened that natural gift with my training as a therapist. So now, I am trying a new path, one based in prevention and wellness rather than rehab.

  22. James says:

    I used to be the State Champion in the 1500m in Track & Field when I was 15 years old, which also was the age that I retired from competing. The reason…I wanted to coach kids instead. When I was 14 I started helping my local Track club, helping to teach the young 6-8 year olds how to do various events. The day I got hooked on coaching was when I was trying to teach a bunch of 6year olds how to throw a Discus correctly, but they were struggling with it big time, the discus’ were going everywhere with awful technique. But after about 30mins, they started to pick it up, and seeing the smiles on their little faces once the got it right, and how they ran to their parents directly after, full of joy…that hooked me.
    I think the major reason why working with young athletes is so special and rewarding is their innocence. They need proper guidance in all aspects of life if they are to develop properly as adults, and athletic development is no different. Any adult can download or purchase a training program, and they would have no worries following it, yet lets see a group of kids aged 12 or younger successfully do that by themselves! Seeing young athletes succeed in achieving their goals, and having an absolute ball of a time being guided by you, their coach…nothing beats it!!

  23. Antonio says:

    A man never stand taller than when he stoops to help a child. It is gratifying to teach people things they never thought of attempting, such as hurdles, pole vaulting, discus, and they are so relieved that it doesn’t involve a lot of mind numbing repetition. Like everything in life, once it becomes uninteresting, people wander off. If this is the only thing coaching has taught me, then I can’t help but succeed.

  24. Jeremy says:

    I have been a full-time high school strength coach and teacher for 4 years.
    I was an below average/average athlete. I was taken in by my youth football coach with 3 other kids to try the sport of wrestling. Our youth coach trained us for free out of his basement. He brought us into his family and worked with us with strength training, wrestling, conditioning, you name it…we did it. Besides our regular sport coaches we continued to work with him throughout the year (we learned there is no off-season) and really learned what it took to succeed. This man did all this for free…even would take us on his family vacations to wrestling camps b/c he valued them that much. All his free time and even family time went into our training.
    I had great success in high school wrestling, but decided to not go on and started to powerlift. Taking the lessons from him, I became a 4x Collegiate Champion and World Team Member. I’ve gotten to travel the World twice for competition and even brought home some hard-ware.
    If it wasn’t for all his free training, mentoring (still to this day), I would’ve been just another football player that got some playing time his senior year and got caught up in the mix. From his lessons not only did I get sport success, but it kept me out of trouble, and made me stick with college and graduate with good grades.
    That is why I have dedicated myself to others…because of something somebody did for free to help me that changed my life.

  25. Kuldip Singh says:

    To transform the Youth of India!

  26. Ken Finley says:

    I believe it is a realization that the opportunities and blessings I have in life are a result of others who have gone before and sacrificed. Whether it was time, money or in some cases their lives I have today because what others were willing give. I believe this drives me to give back and hope to continue a positive ripple effect that goes on far and wide.

  27. LEN says:

    I HAVE BEEN TRAINING MY G/SON HE 16 AND FAST/TRACK/ 10.6 100 M. I BEEN INTO ATHLETICS ALL MY LIFE. 5 GOLD MEDALS IN THE POLICE GAMES/TENNIS/ I TRAIN HIM DAILY I AM 71 YRS OLD AND IN PERFECT SHAPE BECAUSE I WORKOUT DAILY

  28. Bryant Tyler says:

    I just want to thank God for the gift he placed in me. That being the ability to reach out and encourage todays youth. My passion is to she young athletes grow to their full potential. I teach them that hard work beats talent, when talent doesnt work hard.And to have complete confidencein their ability.Also I like to thank you Brian Grasso you have been like a mentor to me.

  29. Liz says:

    Its not about me, its about the kids who didnt have opportunities like me. I have been around fitness my whole life. My mom owned her own aerobics studio (80s through 90s) and continues to teach phys ed, group ex classes, after school programs, etc. My dad has always been a weekend runner for stress relief and spending time with his girls =) Ive known nothing other than physical activity from team sports, to dance, to independent sports. Its what I know and grew up with. The older I get the more children I see who do not have role models like that in their lives. I offer kids fitness programs to my community so they can have that opportunity whether their parents are involved or not. I teach them that its not all about the competition, its to have fun while moving our machines (our bodies). Its a social life, healthy lifestyle, and pure Fun!!! Thats why I do I what I do =)

  30. Mike says:

    General knowledge of sport can be gained with so much ease via the internet. If it makes sense I enjoy sharing it with my other T&F part time coaches and then the kids. Wish I new what I know now, when I was a kid. Before the internet pretty much relied on books for wider views on technique and of course the advice from experienced coaches. I enjoy seeing athletes perform to their potential.

  31. SoCal Brian says:

    I know that kids that participate in athletics and exercise in general make better citizens overall. This is one of the main ingredient in raising self esteem and building confidence! Doing this, working with young athletes and youth in fitness is essential when helping to develop productive and healthy adults. I look forward to seeing my own kids as well as the ones who I have trained, coached and taught continue on with their aspirations of athletics and fitness as they grow older.

  32. Chuck Brossard says:

    I grew up with the football ideology of if you drag them through the mud enough and yell at them, intimidate,threaten them you produce results. Results are produced by getting kids to enjoy sports through good encouragement and teaching. Most coaches that need to yell and intimidate usually because they don’t know what there doing.My crusade is to get young people to develop athletic skills and enjoy sports right through to adulthood. It’s tough though with all the prehistoric creatures around. I also use the word enjoy and not fun, because fun is a rollercoaster or an ice cream.Enjoying yourself is taking info,digesting it and something wonderful comes of it and when you can show all the world what you’ve learned and ,it stays with you for life.

  33. muriithi says:

    There will be an excellent tomorrow if we make a better today! children are our future hope,there is joy in their innocence, ability to grasp new knowledge,willingness to take up challenges just makes me enjoy being around them. Thank you for the much insight you have enriched me with alot of knowledge.

  34. muriithi says:

    There will be an excellent tomorrow if we make a better today! children are our future hope,there is joy in their innocence, ability to grasp new knowledge,willingness to take up challenges just makes me enjoy being around them. Thank you for the much insight you have enriched me with.

  35. Greg Powell says:

    1.) SOMEONE DID IT FOR ME!!!
    2.) Even when you do not feel like being there you can not help being lifted up by the energy of 32 9 & 10 year olds on a youth football team.
    3.) when you see your former 10 year old players years later as 14 or 15 year olds and see how happy they are to see “coach” you know it was worth while.

  36. Paul Reneau says:

    First of all This has nothing to do with young athletes. My job is working with young people in general at a school site. I work with troubled youth with a variety or issues and I look at it as a situation where i get to teach young people about life and role modle some of lifes finer behaviors. Sports is something that is a passion for me and guess what I get to work with athletes again teaching life lessons as well as work on athletic skills. I thing it is a big bonus to work on developing young people because I received a lot through sports as I was growing up. The ability to generalize things you learn happens across the board and my life was built on lessons learned in sports. Success is success right and again the better you can generalize it the more fullfilled you are.

  37. Dale Reid says:

    To see the biggest smile on one of my 8/9yr players face. When they accomplish something that they didn’t think they could ever do. Also it’s nice to hear a ex-player that you haven’t seen in a few years call out your name as you’re walking across the field.

  38. Alesia Aumock says:

    WITH THESE THOUGHTS IN MIND: Children are our future and they, like a dry sponge imersed into water absorb our encouragement. Have you ever read “The Little Engine That Could” (my childhood hero) ? To instill the thought of “I think I can . . . I think I can . . .I think I can . . .into their minds with the outcome of “I thought I could” is a wonderful opportunity. Opt to be tenacious in your fitness goals!
    Perservere . . . the rewards of trying your best always returns to you no matter the outcome.
    Phillipians 4:13
    Alesia

  39. Evelyn says:

    I volunteer with our figure skating club – so the kids can have the opportunity to skate either individually or on team. As a mom of a college and a high school skater, who also skates – it keeps me young.

  40. Brendan Murray says:

    I am a coach in several sports and special Olympics.

    I prefer working with young children for the following reasons:

    They are exuberant – they really enjoy what they do.

    Their minds are malleable – they are open to influence and learning.

    And lastly, but most important they are less likely to tell you to f* off with yourself.

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