Courtesy of Quentin Perry
When people think of their childhood athletic coaches, most people will picture an adult, but are adults really the only option for coaching youth?
Adolescent children who play sports gain an abundance of invaluable knowledge and experience if they are coached by high school teens, alongside a standard adult coach. High school teens are able to relate to children in more ways than adults as they are closer to their age. While adult coaches are seen as supervisors, teen coaches can be seen by the young athletes as mentors or even members of the team.
“When anyone closer to the players’ age coaches them, it gives the players someone who they can identify with. When the player can relate better with the coach I think there is a greater chance of transfer of knowledge,” said Bill Vance, a high school soccer coach.
These teen coaches become role models that the children can look up to and push them to work harder in order to follow their example.
“When I coach younger kids I try to create a bond with them from the get-go so we can learn from each other,” said Aiden Harrington, a junior on the basketball team who also helps out coaching children.
While having teen coaches brings numerous benefits to the adolescent athletes, these experiences also help the teen coaches. Coaching younger kids helps these high school students develop their leadership skills as they learn how to control younger children and organize them into drills at practice. Coaching young athletes also helps high school athletes improve their game as they are able to see to the court field in a new perspective: the coach’s perspective.
“Coaching younger kids has helped me become a more well rounded person,” said Patrick Hammerlund ‘19. “Now when I play basketball I see the court through a whole new lens and I’ve become a better player because of these coaching experiences.”
While adults still retain the majority of youth coaching positions, with the many benefits high school coaches bring to the table who knows what the future might hold.