By Scott Hallenbeck, USA Football CEO & Executive Director
Volunteer coaches are the cornerstone to football. They are key contributors to the sport and help make it a gratifying experience for student-athletes. Without them, the game could not be played.
Many local communities rely on individuals who can devote time from their busy workdays, weekends and evenings to ensure young athletes have an opportunity to play a game they love. With football season quickly approaching, learn how community leaders, educators and parents can contribute to the sport by serving as a volunteer coach.
It is important for kids to get involved with extracurricular sports such as football. Participating in these types of activities provides them with the opportunity to develop many skills and significantly impacts their educational, emotional, behavioral and physical outcomes.
This is especially true for underprivileged, poverty-stricken youth who frequently are unable to receive this experience due to lack of resources or on-or off-field support. In fact, kids who do not partake in sport-based activities are at greater risk at getting involved in negative behaviors.
That’s why volunteer coaches are so vital. These individuals not only allow the game to thrive, but also ensure young athletes have an opportunity to get involved and reap the benefits of being a part of a community.
Improves the Player’s Experience
Volunteer coaches bring a wide spectrum of benefits to football teams – especially from a financial standpoint. Serving in this complimentary role allows leagues to save money and allocate them toward other football-related expenses, which helps provide a more rewarding experience for student-athletes. This can include:
* New Football equipment: Since old equipment that doesn’t fit properly can increase risk of injury, purchasing new helmets or shoulder pads can ensure optimal protection for young athletes.
* Coaching Education: Investing in educational resources for coaches can teach them how to navigate, build and sustain successful programs.
* Health-Related Equipment: Buying health-related tools like an automate defibrillator (AED) will ensure teams can react properly if sudden cardiac arrest occurs, which is the leading cause of death for youth and teen athletes during exercise.
Strengthens the Local Community
Volunteer coaches not only fortify the sport of football, but also strengthen the communities in which they serve. They are visible leaders, educators and administrators who provide the nuts and bolts that allow
youth and high school football teams to function. Their efforts are felt throughout entire communities and provide a sense of local pride.
Provides Kids with Role Models
Volunteer coaches have a strong influence on youth athletes. They serve as positive role models and mentors for their players, working behind the scenes to bring teams to victory while also supporting them in defeat.
Volunteer coaches are not only tasked with developing better players, but also play a significant role in shaping one’s identity, culture and knowledge. Most importantly, they help student-athletes evolve into well-rounded individuals by teaching them the principles of arduous work, self-confidence, leadership, resilience and teamwork.
Keeps the Sport Thriving
Football’s promising future will always be connected to the volunteer coaches who help push it forward. Their devotion keeps the game flourishing and maximizes the football experience for athletes everywhere. Without their support, the game would simply not exist.