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Referee talking to a football coach

Referee talking to a football coach

Coaching Skills That Breed Champions

In every generation and in every sport, there have been exceptional coaches. For example, John Wooden (UCLA’s basketball coach in the 1960–70s) and Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors basketball coach) are legendary coaches. But what makes a great coach stand out above the rest? The answer: They teach their players life skills in addition to athletic skills.

for a team to succeed at a champion-winning status, coaches also need to teach life skills

In general, most coaches today have a good grasp on how to teach athletic skills and strategies within their sport. Improving in these areas is a natural part of training. However, for a team to succeed at a champion-winning status, coaches also need to teach life skills. Characteristics like a growth mindset, work ethic, grit, discipline, collaboration, adaptability, communication, leadership, followership/teamwork, conflict resolution, goal-setting, resourcefulness, empathy, and grace under pressure will truly make a team and athlete successful. These life skills will continue to pay dividends long after the season and long after one’s playing career. Great teams, such as Wooden’s Bruins and Kerr’s Warriors, have always embraced these skills.

Santa Clara University’s Coaching for Life Academy aims to continue this trend so that teaching life skills becomes more commonplace among coaches. The mission of the Coaching for Life Academy is to make life skill development the No. 1 priority in youth sports to teach these valuable skills early in life. The first step to mass adoption is to make this a priority. The second step is to train coaches to recognize these teachable moments and provide the tools and strategies they need.

  • The Coaching for Life Academy will be offering a new certification starting in fall 2017 called Applied Life Skills Development in Sport, through online courses. Sections of our certification will include: Child/adolescent psychology and physical literacy

  • Core values and character development in sport

  • Personal life skills development

  • Interpersonal life skills development

  • Leadership development

  • Trainings, meetings, feedback, and assessments

  • Working with parents and volunteers

  • Cultural competency

  • Risk management and legal/ethical issues

  • Putting it all together – Your comprehensive plan

The Coaching for Life Academy believes nothing should be more important than teaching life skills to our players. We look forward to this opportunity to make an impact on every coach in our program and to accomplishing our mission of making the teaching of life skills the No. #1 priority in youth sports.

Leadership, Athletics
Illuminate, Santa Clara, success, teamwork, personal growth, psychology

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