Honoring coaches who impact young athletes’ lives on and off the field


Coach talking to young athlete

Related Articles

Do you still cringe when you think of your third grade gym teacher — the nasty one who would ridicule you in front of everyone because you couldn’t climb the ropes in class? Or do you have fond memories of your soccer coach who believed in you and instilled the confidence in you to score the winning goal during the big game?

For good or bad, one thing is for sure: The type of coach you have in grade school can very well make or break your love of a sport, and the confidence needed to succeed in that sport. It can also affect other areas of your life that mold you as an adult.

The art and science of coaching

Ronald E. Smith and Frank L. Smoll, professors of psychology at the University of Washington and co-directors of the Youth Enrichment in Sports Project, explained in the Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring: "If we want sport participation to have its desired positive impact on the lives and development of young athletes, coach [and parent] education is not only feasible, but essential."

With over 35 years of research and experience, Smith and Smoll stress that in order to make a positive impact on the lives and development of young athletes, coaches and parents need to create a learning environment that emphasizes skill development, personal and team success, maximum effort and, or course, fun.

“Consistently, we find that the coach-athlete relationship is far more important than winning records in determining children’s liking and desire to play for the coach in the future," they wrote.

Care always wins

Drawing attention to the importance of positivity and care in coaching — whether it’s on the field, in the locker room or in life — the “Care Always Wins” campaign, by Dove Men+Care Deodorant in collaboration with Stanford University head football coach David Shaw and the College Football Hall of Fame, is honoring coaches who are making a positive impact on the lives of their players.

The campaign launches on Sept. 6 with a special football clinic for local Boys and Girls Club of America children on the Stanford University campus ahead of the highly anticipated PAC-12 matchup between Stanford and USC. The clinic will be taught by College Football Hall of Famer Kevin Butler.

K-12 football players can enter coaches who go above and beyond for their athletes and display passion, character, determination, respect and encouragement through a personal essay. The campaign’s winning coaches will be honored with special vignettes at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, plus win a trip to visit the facility with their nominators and guests.

Click here for details and to nominate.