Coaches Influence on Student Athletes

Claire Gosson, Staff Reporter

Over the years, sports have gotten more and more intense. As athletes get older, they realize the impact that coaches can make on their lives. Coaches have expectations that are difficult for some athletes to live up to. Athletes are also students, which makes it difficult to juggle and balance the two different parts of their lives.

Marissa Bradshaw, a Senior softball player at Rex Putnam High School has had a mix of coaches. She values having a coach who motivates. “Positivity, because that is how they can make their athletes the best players they can be.” she responded. Marissa believes that they must have this characteristic in order for it all to be worth it. But, sometimes a coach isn’t always able to completely satisfy the needs of the athlete. “Sometimes, but not always. It’s not worth it if they don’t because athletes need more confidence.” Marissa believes that it is not worth it if a coach does not show this quality.

Shelby Schrein, a Junior cheerleader who is homeschooled has been in the same place as Marissa. She has had her mix of coaches and believes that their purpose should be more about experience rather than winning. But can coaches influence the lives of a student?  “Yes, it makes you feel like you disappoint them.” She said. Shelby has had her fill of negative coaches. “Yes, I have had a lot of urges to quit. My parents encouraged me to quit because of how they treated me, but I continued because of my love for the sport.” Shelby explained.

Coaches apparently can find a way to help athletes change emotionally as well as physically.  “I feel like yes because even the negative affect me and the positive ones pushed me to work harder in both sports and life in general.” Marissa explained. Shelby’s response was similar “Yes, because they did encourage me to do the right thing even though they were negative sometimes. If it wasn’t for them, I probably would not realize the significance of freedom.”  For these students, sports impact their lives dramatically. Both having different coaches, but similar experiences they were able to answer my final question. Overall, are coaches a good influence on athletes? “Yes, if they live up to being a positive influence on their athletes.” Marissa responded. “If you have the right coaches, then yes.” Shelby explained.

Coaches should understand the hopes and dreams of their players so the sport can be enjoyed by everyone. Marissa and Shelby are not the only ones who have gone through these difficult times. Many others are there beside them, waiting for their voices to be heard. Those who do not listen to the voices of their players do not deserve the coaching spot. For these two students, coaches continue to be big parts of their lives, but the influence depends on the coaches and their beliefs in the purpose of the sport.