Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

One good adult

I am very grateful that everyday I get to coach young children to enjoy physical activity and experience overall well-being.

When taking any workshop, I always highlight to coaches, that what they are doing can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.

Firstly, every coach out there must realise that you are not coaching a player, you are coaching a person.

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From grassroots right up to elite level sport it is still played by people who need guidance, support, trust and love.

This is true at every level but especially at youth level. Every child should have at least ‘one good adult’ in their life. Someone they can trust and talk to.

Not every young child is fortunate enough to have a great relationship with their family and friends. Some children may not have anyone to turn to at all.

I always tell our coaches that you never know where or what a child has come from. Young children can be put into some horrible situations at home, school or anywhere. They may feel scared, afraid or even think what they have been put through is ‘normal’.

This is where a coach can really make a difference in a young person’s life. It’s not just about making them a better athlete or player. It’s about building trust, connection and a relationship with them so they feel comfortable to talk to you as a person. You can be their ‘one good adult’.

One of my coaching goals is to play a part in the development of an Olympic athlete. This could be from the age of four getting them to fall in love and enjoy physical activity right through to possibly being part of an Olympic training camp. You just never know.

When I look at this goal as a percentage it is probably 0.001 per-cent of every person I will ever coach in my life. So what about the other 99.009 per-cent?

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This is where I develop my coaching on the philosophy of ‘Building Great Athletes, But Better People’.

I have the privilege of working with some of the best elite young footballers in this country. Having coached some of these guys from the age of 13 it has been great for me to see them develop, not just as players but as young men.

Some of them are making a fantastic football career for themselves, while others have achieved better success off the field through education and jobs.

Unfortunately, there are also those, who at the time were probably the most talented, have fallen off the radar. These are the people who I hope I have influenced to someday pick themselves back up and develop into the person we all know they can be.

It may come across a bit cheesy but I genuinely believe that this is the most rewarding reason why I coach.

If you are a coach, maybe it’s time to ask yourself a question. Why are you coaching? Is it solely because your child is playing in that team? Or you wanted to volunteer and give back to your local club?

Maybe you are getting paid to coach. Whatever the reason, try and look past all of that and see what impact you can have on people’s lives. When you do this, you and the people you are coaching may even start to enjoy it more.

Thankfully being that ‘one good adult’ is not just confined to sports coaches. It can be anyone. It doesn’t matter what you do in your life, there is always someone out there who could do with your help and in turn you may need someone to rely on from time to time.

I am very grateful that everyday I get to coach young children to enjoy physical activity and experience overall well-being.

When taking any workshop, I always highlight to coaches, that what they are doing can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.

Firstly, every coach out there must realise that you are not coaching a player, you are coaching a person.

From grassroots right up to elite level sport it is still played by people who need guidance, support, trust and love.

This is true at every level but especially at youth level. Every child should have at least ‘one good adult’ in their life. Someone they can trust and talk to.

Not every young child is fortunate enough to have a great relationship with their family and friends. Some children may not have anyone to turn to at all.

I always tell our coaches that you never know where or what a child has come from. Young children can be put into some horrible situations at home, school or anywhere. They may feel scared, afraid or even think what they have been put through is ‘normal’.

This is where a coach can really make a difference in a young person’s life. It’s not just about making them a better athlete or player. It’s about building trust, connection and a relationship with them so they feel comfortable to talk to you as a person. You can be their ‘one good adult’.

One of my coaching goals is to play a part in the development of an Olympic athlete. This could be from the age of four getting them to fall in love and enjoy physical activity right through to possibly being part of an Olympic training camp. You just never know.

When I look at this goal as a percentage it is probably 0.001 per-cent of every person I will ever coach in my life. So what about the other 99.009 per-cent?

This is where I develop my coaching on the philosophy of ‘Building Great Athletes, But Better People’.

I have the privilege of working with some of the best elite young footballers in this country. Having coached some of these guys from the age of 13 it has been great for me to see them develop, not just as players but as young men.

Some of them are making a fantastic football career for themselves, while others have achieved better success off the field through education and jobs.

Unfortunately, there are also those, who at the time were probably the most talented, have fallen off the radar. These are the people who I hope I have influenced to someday pick themselves back up and develop into the person we all know they can be.

It may come across a bit cheesy but I genuinely believe that this is the most rewarding reason why I coach.

If you are a coach, maybe it’s time to ask yourself a question. Why are you coaching? Is it solely because your child is playing in that team? Or you wanted to volunteer and give back to your local club?

Maybe you are getting paid to coach. Whatever the reason, try and look past all of that and see what impact you can have on people’s lives.

When you do this, you and the people you are coaching may even start to enjoy it more.

Thankfully being that ‘one good adult’ is not just confined to sports coaches. It can be anyone. It doesn’t matter what you do in your life, there is always someone out there who could do with your help and in turn you may need someone to rely on from time to time.

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