Role models and heroes take shape in a plethora of forms. Often, we see parents, immediate family members or even a sporting hero as these such inspirations. However, it is often the coach that also makes a huge impact from behind the scenes. They deliver messages in order to evoke behaviour changes and more often than not, inspire individuals through personal contact and relationship. It is these kinds of role models that are found at Fitter Futures. The role models who influence children, adolescents and adults to make changes, forging fitter futures!
A recent study concluded that coaches have more impact on the lives of young athletes than parents, teachers, peers, school, and religion. This is not merely a responsibility, but also a tremendous opportunity (Austin, 2017). However, as Jan Boxill puts it: “We cannot expect [coaches] to be perfect. Coaches are human and fallible, but in accepting the role of coach, they accept the responsibility of developing excellence in those they teach,” (p. 16). Although numerous definitions of role models can be found in the literature, all definitions embrace the notion that they are persons who motivate, inspire or support others to engage in similar behaviour (Payne, Reynolds, Brown & Fleming, 2002). Role models set standards and are points of reference for others.
Today’s coaches need to be communicators, confidants, organisers, technicians, tacticians, negotiators, motivators, first aid officers, and so on. The variety in the role is part of what makes it enjoyable. However, coaches need to be equipped with the competencies to deal with all the demands. Given that lack of motivation is often the main reason students or players don’t learn or perform, knowledge of motivational strategies should be a priority for all teachers and coaches. “Motivation is an internal state that arouses, directs and maintains behaviour. The study of motivation focuses on how and why people initiate actions directed toward specific goals, how intensively they are involved in the activity, how persistent they are in their attempts to reach these goals and what they are thinking and feeling along the way” (Woolfolk, 2001, p395). The coaches at Fitter Futures are always ready to motivate, to know when to push and when to praise.
The role of coaching should not be undervalued. Coaches, have a very special role to play – they are facilitators for future generations and at Fitter Futures, we have the best coaches, forging and facilitating a fitter future for all.
So… Switch on, Jump in and Take off with Fitter Futures!