The Long Game

Many people (and a lot of parents) judge success by how many games the team wins or how many trophies they collect. While this is a nice outcome, it is not the purpose. We are trying to coach the players in some of the things they won’t necessarily learn in school. We are trying to build social skills to complement the ball skills. Resilience to supplement their reading skills and a work ethic that applies in all circumstances. I read recently that 6 out of the last 11 US presidents were college athletes. I believe in the not too distant future (some would argue it is here now) that exam results will be less important than the individual social skills that you possess. Schools can, effectively, teach pupils to pass exams but can they build the following traits by passing exams

– Strong communication skills

– Resilience

– Empathy

– Team Orientation

– Work Ethic

I am sure many academics will argue that these can be taught in the classroom and they will be correct but team sports can develop all these traits to a higher level. I suppose we, as coaches, will only know if we have helped develop these skills years later after the trophies have rusted and the medals forgotten about. So, let’s concentrate on the long game and be content that we may never see the fruits of our labour but know that we have helped shape that player for the better.

The Long Game

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