Coaches, parents, and students are at the core of the success or failure of a student-athletes' ecosystem, and critical aspects of personal development help keep everyone accountable.
A coach holds many responsibilities linked to the primary team and program goals -leader, mentor, disciplinarian, and more. As student-athletes choose to be under the leadership of a coach, there should be clear expectations of the team and the personal responsibilities required to meet those expectations.
Furthermore, student-athletes should be aware of the consequences of not following the program's guidelines, whether a release from the program, extra reps in practice, or inability to participate in upcoming games. Keep in mind, stating consequences serves as a learning moment for athletes, teaching them to remain disciplined, abide by commitments, and accept the consequences of their actions.
Between choosing which sports are played, which programs a child enters and accepting their unique role in the student-athlete ecosystem, it's safe to say that parents/guardians should be considered the first line of defense for student-athletes.
While there are many opportunities for personal growth in sports, some students are not interested in the athletic experience. Therefore, parents must consider that no matter how much you force your child into sports, they will eventually sabotage themselves if they don't want to be there.
On the other hand, while some children choose sports, it's common for student-athletes to experience burnout due to athletic and academic workload, and it's essential to notice the small changes, such as moodiness and disengagement. Because sports are a sure rollercoaster of wins and losses, it presents the opportunity to offer constructive criticism and positive coping mechanisms as student-athletes face adversity.
As time restrictions are known to separate a traditional high school or college student from a student-athlete, when student-athletes agree to be a part of a team, they must understand the sacrifices of the experience.
Encourage student-athletes to determine their personal goals for being a part of a team. Maybe it's to be chosen as captain, beat school stats, or gain a scholarship. Creating personal goals presents an opportunity for student-athletes to understand the importance of vision and accept the sacrifices and adversity that comes with it.
It's clear that there are many roles in the student-athlete ecosystem, all requiring ownership of individual responsibilities to be successful. However, coaches, parents, and student-athletes set the tone of the experience. Three significant roles that each have a considerable impact.
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