You do NOT want to be remembered as THIS coach
By Greg Bach
The winningest volleyball coach in University of Michigan history has a challenge for you, the volunteer coach.
Think you can handle it?
“I challenge them to make sure they aren’t their players’ last coach,” says 19-year Wolverines coach Mark Rosen. “If they can do a great job of making it fun and rewarding for their players they can be a catalyst to that player going on to play for a long time, at higher and higher levels.”
Think about that for a moment: No matter what sport you are coaching you hold the power to infuse a young life with a real love for the sport, or douse that passion for playing for the rest of their life.
And when a child quits a sport because of a miserable experience, the last coach they remember playing for is you.
“Too often, coaches at the youngest level don’t accomplish this goal and turn players off to the sport, which is unfortunate,” Rosen says.
So, as you’re planning practices, teaching skills and communicating with players keep Rosen’s challenge at the front of your thoughts.
You do not want to be the reason a child gives up on a sport.
“Always remember why you are coaching this young group of volleyball players,” Rosen says. “I would assume it isn’t for the high pay since it’s volunteer, or the huge publicity you’re going to get. It’s for the kids and to give them a great experience in a wonderful team sport.”
And providing that mega fun experience requires a genuine joy and passion from coaches every practice and game.
“It’s so important to have coaches willing to work with kids just starting out in the sport,” Rosen says. “If you’re having fun and coaching for all the right reasons I bet your players are going to have a great time as well.”
It all starts with the basics. Hone in on those and you’ll have the kids headed in the right direction.
“Teach great, simple fundamentals,” Rosen says. “Take the time to learn the basics; this will allow you to impact your players’ ability to execute. In turn, they will have more success and more success usually helps them enjoy the game better.”
So, put Rosen’s insights into action – your players are counting on you to pass this challenge!
And then you’ll be remembered for all the right reasons.
Former Division I basketball coach Pam Borton, author of ON POINT, shares how you can be a leader that young players respect, learn from and enjoy playing for
University of Nevada basketball coach Eric Musselman on keeping young players on edge so practices are fun, engaging and productive
UNLV women’s basketball coach Kathy Olivier on using humor and creating good vibes for productive practices
Brianne McLaughlin, a two-time Olympian for Team USA, shares how to help young athletes work through disappointment, embrace change – and have some all-important fun throughout the process, too