Athletics is not only a means by which students practice and compete in sporting events, but is also a place where a lot of individual growth takes place. Many physical education teachers also have a passion for coaching but the goals of physical education and coaching athletics are very different. While the goal of physical education is to teach students ways to stay fit and engage in lifetime activities, the goals of athletics are much more competitive competition and to develop proficiency in sport skills. Through athletics, individuals develop character though hard work, dedication and teamwork. It is the responsibility of the coach to facilitate the acquisition of character through these different aspects of sport.
One big difference between athletics and physical education is that every child on the sport team in interscholastic athletics wants to be there. This differs from physical education because physical education is a state mandated requirement and mandatory even though some students may not really want to be there. Thus the players on sports teams are more likely to work hard to improve their skills both to better themselves as athletes, as well as for the benefit of the team as a whole. It is the job of the coach to motivate the players to keep practicing and working at 110%. A coach needs to find creative and innovative ways to keep practice sessions interesting and rewarding while improving the skills and mental capacity of the team. A coach is a person who is always learning and constantly acquiring ways to challenge the athletes. After all, coaching can be seen as an extension of learning as coaches teach their players lessons both on and off the field.
Athletics almost always requires a large time commitment. Players and coaches who are truly dedicated will put in countless hours to practicing so that come game day, they are more than prepared. This dedication leads to a discipline in athletes. As a coach, it is crucial to make athletes know that all their hard work and time will pay off.
The way that a player acts on the field can really show a lot about their character. Coaches should strive to mold their athletes into respectable individuals who show compassion for their opponents and who have an unbreakable bond with their teammates. Learning to work together as a team towards a common goal requires a great deal of effective cooperation and communication. Both cooperation and communication are skills that can be carried over to many other life situations besides athletics.
I believe that the number one most important part of being a coach is finding the balance between being a friend and role model to the players while maintain authority at the same time. I have had several coaches throughout my life who were the most inspiring people in life and really pushed myself and my team to succeed even when none of us had faith. A coach believes in his or her team at all times and is an approachable individual who players look to for advice, both on and off the field. I believe that the coaches I had and the experiences I had in interscholastic sports really shaped me into the person I am today.