I think it is safe to say that coaches do not realize the tremendous power they have to influence lives and be positive role models. They do what they do because they have passion for it. Unfortunately, sometimes that coach may not be adequately trained to coach certain skills or techniques. Passion does not equal education. Because of this, untrained or insufficiently trained coaches are entrusted with the well being of our young athletes. The scary part of it all is that over 60% of parents identified the quality and behavior of their coaches as a big concern.
One thing we can all do as we try to improve an athlete's performance is have them work with someone who has been trained to coach for improved sports performance. I think it is safe to say that we do not want our strength coach teaching science class. So why do we let the science teacher, teach our kids how to properly lift weights? No matter how many years of weight training they have, they do not have the background and proper education on how to coach others, especially novice trainees, the lifts. It just doesn't make sense. And as a coach or parent, we are shortchanging our athletes by not giving them the proper training and coaching.
If you are a coaching an athletic team (ie football, basketball, wrestling, etc), seek out a coach well versed in Strength & Conditioning. Find a guy or gal certified with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, or someone with a degree in exercise science, Kinesiology, or all of the above! Then turn the strength program over to that person and let them do their thing. As for parents, seek out an individual who has the aforementioned credentials and put your trust in them. This could be a friend, family member, faculty member, or someone in the private sector. Ask them questions. Make sure they have the knowledge and background in coaching kids. Lastly, step away from the situation and allow that person to coach and let your learn and improve!
And to all the strength coaches out there, lets continue to be proud of the impact we make on an athlete's life. Our profession is tough. There aren't too many people who retire as Strength & Conditioning coaches. Our profession is more than bragging about our "elite program" or how many college athletes we train. It is not about posting videos on YouTube of yourself hooting and hollering, or any other BS, it is about making a positive change on someone's life.
Chris is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has recently served as a high school football and wrestling coach. Chris loves swinging kettlebells around, watching football and reading books!