For the first time, City College will offer a course that develops coaches to properly prepare the next wave of young athletes to live active and healthy lives.
“Coaching the Young Athlete” is a late start class from 9 to 11:50 a.m. for three consecutive Saturdays, beginning on Oct. 21. The course will be held in the Physical Education Building Room 216. It is worth half of a unit and is California State University transferable.
It will be taught by City College head baseball coach Jeff Walker. The class has 19 open spots remaining.
A huge reason kids will stop playing a sport, according to Walker, is because of ineffective coaching and having coaches that care more about winning and take the fun out of playing.
“Kids quit because they stop having fun, they have a bad experience,” said Walker. “A lot of the time it has to do with the coach.
“The youth model should be about development and then as you get older in the secondary levels like high school and college the kids are a bit more competitive. I think the current model is kind of backwards. I think it’s a little bit too competitive”
Studies show that 70 percent of kids stop playing sports by the age of 13. The main reasons are because they stop having fun, they don’t get playing time and they are afraid to make mistakes because of getting yelled at and criticized by coaches.
“I think that is where it’s important to have a professionally trained person coaching youth sports so that they really understand the psychological and emotional, as well as the physical dimensions of young kids, and not treat it like high school and college where it’s just about winning,” said City College head basketball coach Morris Hodges.
Child safety is huge issue when comes to the youth, especially with contact sports like football, hockey and rugby.
According to Stanford Children’s Health, around 30 million children participate in sports and around three and a half million members of the youth suffer from some form of injury.
Obviously all injuries can’t be completely avoided but there are effective methods coaches can use to keep kids healthier while playing. Not overworking the kids, keeping kids hydrated and issuing them with quality equipment can help prevent long term injuries.
“I think the big thing with that is that it teaches the kids a safe way to play sports,” said City College’s new athletic director Rocco Constantino. “It’s big with sports like football and other contact sports.”
The youth is at a need for quality coaching. Many youth coaching jobs are available because a lot of people try to start off coaching high school and college sports.
“There’s great job opportunities out there because there is such a great need because that is the highest population of kids playing sports,” said Walker. “As it get more competitive it gets less and less. Everybody wants to coach at the highest level first.”