Alex Davies Waruingi Mbugua knows that for children, participating in youth sports can be an empowering experience that helps shape and build character. As a youth football coach in New York City, he is passionate about providing the most enjoyable experience possible for his athletes by keeping the following in mind:
- The best coaches cultivate a safe learning environment. Shame and embarrassment should never, under any circumstances, be used as learning tools. Helping children feel comfortable to make mistakes and learn from them is key, and fear only serves to stunt that necessary growth.
- Excellent coaches use the sport as a vehicle for teaching life lessons. All sports, in one way or another, are a reflection of the real world and how to function successfully within it. Having the opportunity to learn how to work with others harmoniously is valuable both on and off the field, and empowering children to make good choices can be practiced each day.
- Effective coaches are focused on helping their athletes love the game. Healthy competition always plays a role, but playing for the love of the game should be the priority. The best coaches know not to confuse this with ego and pride, which happens often and only serves to alienate athletes.
- Great coaches use a variety of methods to adapt to different learning styles. Your athletes will have different needs and different ways of interpreting information, and it’s important that coaches are able to explain the same thing in five different ways, much like teachers.
Alex Davies Waruingi Mbugua continues to deepen his understanding and approach as a coach.