Coaching Myths

Fifteen Wrong Ideas in Youth Sports


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About the Book

Unlike the generations of coaches that have gone before them, today’s coaches are expected not only to teach motor skills to young athletes but to do so in an environment that is conducive to the ethical, emotional, social and physical well-being of each one of them.
Each of the 15 chapters of this book presents, and then systematically debunks, the most pervasive, persistent and potentially harmful myths in coaching, including such chestnuts as “play by my rules,” “winning is the ultimate goal” and “there’s no I in ‘team.’” Although the information in every chapter is based on current scientific evidence (and there are numerous source notes), each is written in the everyday language of coaches and covers topics that are of particular interest to coaches, parents, athletic administrators, recreation programming specialists—and even the occasional fan.

About the Author(s)

Rick Albrecht is a professor of movement science and coordinator of the Sport Leadership Program at Grand Valley State University. He lives in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Rick Albrecht
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 16 graphs and tables, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7369-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0265-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface: Rethinking the Way You Coach 1

Myth No. 1. “Mastering the Xs and Os Will Make You a Successful Coach” 7

Myth No. 2. “Playing on My Team Means Playing by My Rules” 19

Myth No. 3. “A Coach’s Main Job Is to Motivate Athletes” 34

Myth No. 4. “Mental Toughness: Some Players Have It—Some Don’t” 45

Myth No. 5. “Winning Is the Ultimate Goal in Sport” 56

Myth No. 6. “There’s No ‘I’ in Team” 73

Myth No. 7. “Injuries Interfere with Athlete and Team Development” 81

Myth No. 8. “There’s Never Enough Practice Time” 95

Myth No. 9. “A Hard-Nosed Coaching Style Fosters Discipline, Respect, and Performance” 106

Myth No. 10. “The More You ‘Fire Up’ Your Athletes, the Better They’ll Perform” 126

Myth No. 11. “Trophies, Medals, Ribbons, and Money Are Good Ways to Motivate Athletes” 140

Myth No. 12. “To Be the Best, Athletes Need to Commit Themselves to a Single Sport” 154

Myth No. 13. “The Worst Thing About Coaching Is Dealing with Parents” 171

Myth No. 14. “Great Players Are Likely to Become Great Coaches” 187

Myth No. 15. “Hazing Is an Innocent Sport Tradition That Helps Teams Bond” 202

Notes 215

References 218

Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

“Challenges 15 common coaching ideas in youth sports”—Reference & Research Book News.