Participation in sports can be an invaluable experience for children. But too often they drop out because their coaches don’t know how to treat them (“Your Kids’ Coach Is Probably Doing It Wrong,” The New York Times, Mar. 11). That’s not surprising in light of the requirements for becoming a coach.
In an attempt to produce winners, some coaches forget that they are dealing with children. Their emphasis should be on learning and developing good habits in their young charges. If that means a losing season, so be it. In the final analysis, the important thing is to inculcate in children lifelong enjoyment of physical activity.
I’ve seen coaches at games yelling at their players. Even if such behavior results in winning the game, it is a Pyrrhic victory. Children need encouragement and support from their coaches if we expect them not to drop out. That’s why it’s time to consider national training and standards for anyone who wishes to be a coach.
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