John DeBenedictis 

Executive Director (National Soccer Coaches Association of Canada)

Author, “The Last 9 Seconds’ …”A book I highly recommend,” Koach Karl

“You are very important in more ways than you think. It’s time to re-define your real job as a coach of our youth. You are not there just coaching a sport. You are there to help guide kids through life. Those coaching very young kids will have different issues than coaches coaching teenagers. Also, each child is different emotionally, mentally, and coaching is a challenge. Please be proud and honored of the fact that you have been given a huge task with our youth and learn what you can about dealing with the age bracket you are coaching. Take it professionally and respectfully.”

“Your real job is to keep kids in the game, while teaching values and ethics. Make it fun and interesting to the point that the kids you coach will love what they’re doing so much that they will thrive to repeat what you teach them at home and look forward to coming to games and practices”

“And about losing your players to poachers. Don’t worry. If you accomplish those two goals, no one will want to leave and the parents will not want them to leave. You’re real success as a coach will be judged by how many players you keep in sport and by the impression you left on that child’s life forever. Will the players you coach seek you out 20 years later and thank you for your time and how you treated them as individuals?”

“Strive for those goals everyday as a coach and success will come automatically in more ways than one.”

Coaches! You are glorified because you do make a big difference in a child’s life. Unlike television you are not glorified because the audience wants to see you act immaturely on the sidelines. That’s not your place when you coach kids. You are not on TV. You are not in the entertainment business of pro sports.

If you coach kids, please BE the reason kids stay in sports, not the reason they quit sports.

The real “coach of the year” should be the coach who brings back the most players the following season.

Enjoy the challenge, have fun, and thanks for reading.