Here’s the thing: the more I get into my coaching career, the more I care about teaching my athletes life skills.
How to handle adversity.
How to collaborate with others.
How to be kind.
How to work hard.
How to stay committed and consistent.
How to deal with negative energy.
How to avoid comparison.
How to surround themselves with friends who uplift them.
How to follow their passions.
How to live life wholeheartedly.
For me, seeing my players turn into empowered young women is more of an accomplishment as a coach, than them going professional.
Don’t get me wrong: if they go D1 or pro, that is fantastic and should be commended. But if they become authentic, caring beings for a lifetime, that is fantastic and should be applauded.
Teaching your athletes life skills as much as physical, technical and tactical skills is critical.
After all, coaches are TEACHERS. You’d be surprised how much your athletes idolize you and want to be you, especially if your message is an empowering one.
Life lessons, to that end, matter. Start honing in on them now with your youth athletes.
Here are some excellent books on mental and life skills I recommend:
I remember reading this book and belly laughing at every sentence.
Author, Jen Sincero, does a stellar job of making personal development funny and lighthearted.
She is also fierce in her main points, and truly propels you to take action when it comes to tackling problems with confidence.
More youth athletes need to learn that adversity is inevitable. It’s going to happen.
But, this book will help them to overcome it with elegance and strength.
Besides Tolkien, Mark Manson is my FAVORITE writer.
And that’s saying a lot, folks.
Mark has a sharp tongue with his prose: sarcastic, witty, and thought provoking all at once. Again, if you want to grow as a human AND laugh, this book is for you.
Yes, the profanity is rich in this book, but it serves as a spicy call-out for you to stop being lame and stagnant.
I read this book back in year 2000 when I was a teenage athlete. It was the first time I was exposed to goal setting, action taking, and visualization training.
And boy did it do wonders for my playing.
The mental-physical connection is paramount in order to become the complete athlete. This book is an absolute must-read for middle, high school and college athletes.
4. Big Magic
Do you want your kid to pursue a route of creativity? Whether this is photography, writing, art work, social media marketing, entrepreneurial adventures, this book sheds light on the deep sense of pleasure people get from immersing themselves in the creative process.
In today’s day and age, in order to grow in your career, you have to be creative. And you also have to have the confidence to put yourself out there for the world to see. The world, to that end, is becoming less 9-to-5 cubicle jobs, and more, creative-put-out-content careers.
Another must-read for kids who want to garner the confidence to jumpstart their creative pursuits.
This book blew my mind. It was an excellent reminder that we are all in control of our lives, athletic careers, and academic endeavors, relationships and more.