More Than A Coach
As Told by Coach Ryan Yates
More Than An Athlete. Thanks to Lebron and countless other athletes, the fans of the sports world have a better understanding of athletes as people. Now it is time to expand the movement! A “coach” is more than a “coach.”
We have watched the role and consciousness of athletes grow during each generation. Our best athletes are leaders in the community, creatives, philanthropists, activist, & so much more. Athletes have refused to be boxed in and limited. Humans in general are complex and offer much more than just being gifted athletes.
As an athlete myself I LOVE the space we have created for ourselves. Athletes are flourishing and creating their own narrative. However, I have evolved into the role of a coach. While athletes are embracing their roles as being more than an athlete, coaches have not!
There’s a lot that can be said regarding why most coaches fail at being “More Than A Coach” but I won’t focus on that here. I am just going to highlight what it means to be “More Than A Coach”, and what that means for athletes, specifically in basketball.
Basketball is a sport that is dominated by black men and women on the court. In our neighborhoods basketball is a language, a coping skill, and a lifestyle. Many of our basketball stars see their basketball teams and coaches as real family. This is a feeling beyond just a game or sport.
Unfortunately, the coaching field as a whole does not reflect the same sentiment. Our youth need coaches that understand they are mentors, motivators, sometimes counselors, caretakers, and in some ways a parent.
Myself and various other athletes have had far too many experiences with coaches are only care about the wins and losses. They don’t care about your development as an adult, your personal well-being, or your future. Everything is a number. Wins and losses or money.
I’m writing this today to say to those coaches, your time is almost up! You can’t neglect our youth and disrespect the game forever. The real ones are coming and we are coming in strong!! Nurturing youth is the priority! Whether we are here coaching at Hoop Mountain Dubai or anywhere else in the world.
Spend time teaching your athletes how to manage their emotions. Help your athletes prepare for their future. Empower your athletes to dream big and be creative. LOVE your athletes. Don’t allow your athletes to give up on themselves when the world is telling them they don’t have a time. Spend less time telling them what the percentages are! Spend more time telling them there’s NOTHING they can’t do. Check in on their family. Joke with them. Challenge them. Hold these children accountable. Show them respect.
Most importantly, LOVE THEM!
You are placing value in someone’s life whether good or bad. You are MORE THAN A COACH!