HESM 477 Philosophy Paper

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Coaching Philosophy

Joanna BertramFebruary 27, 2014HESM 477Philosophy PaperWebsters Dictionary defines philosophy as a particular set of ideas about knowledge, truth, and the nature and meaning of life. Applying a personal coaching philosophy to coaching is incredibly important because that philosophy sets the foundation for how you will coach. To create a strong philosophy, one must look at all aspects of the sport including the environment, importance, coaching style, winning and losing, motivation, and discipline and apply individual beliefs and values to each. In this essay, I will reflect on each of those aspects, as well as additional topics, to develop my own coaching philosophy, which I will be able to apply when I start coaching. The sport I am most interested in coaching is soccer. I have been playing soccer since I was a little kid; it has taught me a lot and I want to be able to pass down those lessons to the kids I coach. Ideally, I would like to coach in a middle school age team, but I am also open to coaching at the high school age as well. When I start coaching, I would also like to coach a mini kickers team as well as the middle school team. Obviously, how I coach little kids will be much different than how I coach middle school age girls, so for the purpose of this paper, I will be writing on my middle school philosophy. I will graduate with a degree in Sport Management with a minor in Coaching Education. My plan is to complete the teaching practicum and become a licensed coach. I would like to work in a professional sport environment in event management and coach on the side. In my opinion, sport has an incredible impact on the lives of adults and children alike. I cannot imagine what my childhood would have been like, had I not played them. Sport teaches youth valuable life lessons like humility, hard work, and perseverance, as well as, a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Sport strengthens body and mind alike. Personally, I would not be the person I am today without sport. Growing up, sports provided me with a competitive outlet. I learned how to win and lose with grace - learned, not perfected. There are so many more positives of sport, but there are also negatives. Sport, in its basic state, is perfect. The games, the ideas are full of grace and beauty. Its the athletes, and those involved, who make sport imperfect, in my opinion. Competitiveness drives people to cheat, push themselves too far; strive for something that is unattainable. Sadly, this results in burnout, which I think is the most negative consequence of sport. It is the coachs job to nurture, shape, and provide balance for their athletes to help prevent burnout. The cooperative style of coaching fits best with my personality. I also think this style fits best for the age group I will be coaching. Teaching and mentoring athletes will be my main goal when I am a coach. I also want them to develop a love of the game, so should they not make their high school teams, they will still continue to play soccer and remain physically active. My coaching role models were my high school soccer coaches. Coaches Casas and Turgeon were two of the best coaches I ever had. They embodied what I hope to be like when I coach fair, personable, and just all around enjoyable to be around. We worked hard; we were good, but we had fun. Some of my weaknesses that will have an impact on this coaching style will be my stubbornness and my competitiveness. I dont like to admit I am wrong, and while I have gotten better at it, I still think it will give me problems. I like to do things my way, but I think if I worked as an assistant coach first, I would be put in a position where someone else had the final say. I am also a very competitive person; I like to win and I like to be better. The first loses my team has, I will probably take very personally. However, I do think that coaching a losing team would give me a lot of perspective on my competitiveness nature. One of my strengths is that I am a fair person; I will base playing time off players ability, attitude, and work ethic rather than popularity. I think I am a fairly easy person to talk to and I hope my players will be able to come to me for any problems they have, so we can work on them together. Finally, I enjoy teaching people new things. I like to see that light go off in their head when something finally clicks. I think this will come in handy for the cooperative style of coaching. I think the middle school age group is where players really develop in the fields of winning and losing and how they learn to handle it. Winning should be taken with grace and I plan to emphasize that with my athletes. I also want to emphasize sportsmanship to the other team and thanking parents. Middle school is a time to enjoy the game, before it becomes increasingly competitive. A large emphasis on winning is unnecessary; I think hard work and game skills should have a higher emphasis. Sometimes in middle school athletics, there is a high level of diversity in the maturity of the kids, and that has potential for conflict. For example, if my team is predominantly eighth graders and we are playing a team that is predominantly eighth graders, I would hesitate to play my younger players in that game. Mostly, because the players would not be matched up equally, resulting in possible injuries, but also because my team would probably not be playing at the level of they would need to be competitive enough to win. I would handle this by telling my players before the season and before each game, if they should expect to play. Before the season, I would tell them that not everyone will play every game and before each game, I would tell them who should expect to be playing. I am a competitor; I dont take losing lightly. I think this will change a little when I become a coach. In my first couple of years coaching, I envision myself getting more upset at loses, because there would be nothing I could physically do to change the odds; I would want to go out and play, but I would be unable to. As my career progresses, however, I think I my approach to losing or failure will be to work harder. I will encourage my players to pick themselves up, work harder, and when faced with the same challenge again, they will succeed. 1 think it is important to not focus on the losing aspect, but what can we do as a team to get better. The motivational theory I think fits with what coaching style I intend to apply in my career is the need achievement theory. I think this theory focuses on all aspects coaches should use. It breaks down each component very well, so I would be able to identify how each athlete is motivated, therefore allowing myself to be able to motivate them better. Since I will be coaching middle school, I think a lot of my players will still be motivated to play for social reasons, so the achievement goal theory might come into play a little more. I think my players will be in a stage of transition from extrinsic motivations, like friends, to learning to intrinsically motivate themselves. I think by not allowing cliques to form on my team will help that transition to some extent. Good motivation is playing time, if I see players working hard, I will give them more playing time. Also, leadership roles on the team can help in motivating players. Most of the time, I think I will chose who the captains are, and I will want to chose someone who has the ability to lead and help motivate her fellow teammates. Respect will definitely be my number one rule. Respect for the game, teammates, as well as myself and any other coaches. I will not let my players be disrespectful in anyway, and I will use playing time as a punishment for those who do not follow this. I will not tolerate cheating either, however, cheating is subjective in soccer, and is often administered by the referees. Hopefully, I wont have to deal with cheating problems like steroids in middle school girls. I also would make it a rule that you would have to practice to play. At most schools, players have to be at school anyway to play in games and practice, so that would be an extension of my rule. Players who cannot follow the rules will be deducted playing time. The ultimate purpose of joining a soccer team is, for most people, to actually play soccer. Taking away playing time whether practice or game time would take away the ability for a player to play. There will be no exceptions to the rules, except a family emergency. And the exception I would make would be to let the player play; She just would not start the first ten minutes or so of each half. I will not punish players be making them run. I think fitness is a very important part of the game, and players should expect it. Players should not have to fear physical punishment because they lost a game or perform subpar. They should see it as a way to improve themselves and that is how I intend to treat it. If the reason for losing the game was because they were not in the right physical shape they needed to be, I would consider having a fitness day, but only to improve their ability to play the game. Like I have said before, playing time is the best reward I can give a player. I plan on using that as much as possible. If their behavior is not right, I will take away playing time and vice versa. Playing time includes practice. A player who has a bad attitude at practice will have to sit out. A score or win should, at the middle school age, should be celebrated with no more than team high fives or hugs. Celebration dances will not be tolerated. Furthermore, my players will be expected to shake hands with the other team after the game. I perceive coaching diverse athletes at the middle school age will be one of my biggest challenges. I have mentioned this previously, but middle school girls can be very cliquey, tending to hang out with players that are similar to them. This could be a problem if I have a player that does not fit their norm. I believe this should be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but bullying will not be tolerated. Whether I have to take away playing or practice time, or remove them from the team, I will not let a player be hurtful to another player simply because they are different. The best way to prevent bullying as much as possible is by telling the team upfront, at the first team meeting, that bullying and meanness will not be tolerated. I will also lie out the punishment if bullying should happen. Soccer is a team sport, and it is imperative that the team works well together and trusts each other. This cannot happen if some players feel like they are in an unsafe environment. Since I will be coaching middle school, I hope I can form a team without cutting people, or cutting as few of people as possible. However, depending on the size of the school, that might not be always possible. Soccer is a sport were you can really have only about twenty-five people max on the team, so that everyone can have some sort of playing time. I will also be limited in the number of jerseys I have to give out. I would like to not have to cut anyone, because I want the kids to still want to play soccer and to want to live a healthy life style. Overall, my coaching goal is to be a fair coach who inspires my athletes to work hard and never give up. I would like to see them grow and mature as people and athletes. I would hope to see them develop their love for soccer and health in general. I think that middle school is a very important age group for growth, and I would hope that by them playing soccer for me, they would only grow in positive directions.