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The other day I was talking to a friend and we were reflecting back to 43 years ago to when I started coaching. The differences are quite pronounced. I hope you all realize that I am not living in the past, but we MUST learn from the past, not repeat it. Here are six areas where I think we could certainly learn from the past:

Sport was centered in the schools – Therefore teachers were the coaches. Whether they were knowledgeable in the particular sport they had a foundation in pedagogy. Today anyone can coach.

Elementary schools had after school sports – Kids stayed at their neighborhood schools and played. Sometimes it was organized and other times it was supervised. Today you pass an elementary school after school is out and it is a ghost town.

Liability was not an issue – Climbing Ropes, Tramps, Peg Boards were everywhere – All of this has been taken away for “safety” and liability reasons. We are not challenging the kids.

Coaches were the experts – The high school coach was the expert in his or her sport, there were no special QB schools, you were coached by your high school coach. Can this be a shortcoming if the coach is not knowledgeable, absolutely, but somehow we overcame this?

Daily Physical Education was mandatory K through 12 – Need I say more. These PE teachers were also the coaches. They knew how to teach skill and organize, because they did it all day!

Off season Football was track – if you were a football player and did not play baseball you were out for track. You became a better athlete and you learned how to compete.

Just a few ideas from an “OLD” coach; I would be interested in your comments on how we could get some of this back if you think it is important.


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Comment by Tim Mosey on May 28, 2012 at 10:35pm

Vern,

Agree wholeheartedly with this post. I am employed fulltime as an S&C coach in a high school in Aus. From previous experience I agree with off season being track - and even having t&f earlier in the kids sporting lives as a focus. Learning to run and move via t&f - for me - is essential in developing basic patterns and skills. I see a lot of kids who can't really sprint too well or understand their bodies and how they are in space. Our phys ed is fantastic at the school, however limited, with the time allocated within the academic framework each week lacking compared with previous years. We have a bit of an issue with "Directors of Sport" being blinkered to the wide range of skills and movement patterns that can be developed across a range of sports and activities compared to focusing on just a single sport. Their view in "specialisation" early on is a little misguided and ill-informed. Interesting to see where we will be in a further 10 years. Perhaps looking back and saying how good it was back then (i.e NOW!)...

 

Cheers

Tim

Brisbane, AUS

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