My daughter is 8 years old and recently started playing ice hockey.  She absolutely loves it. She is extremely competitive (no clue where she gets that from 🙋 hehe) and just this week she moved up a level to “Hockey 2”. She was ecstatic and couldn’t wait for us to sign her up for the next level. Last night she had her weekly swim lessons. She has been in swim class since she was in utero, literally, (I loved my prenatal swim class) she works very hard on her swimming. However, she has been struggling for quite some time to learn how to do a “flip turn” (basically a somersault in the water) when she reaches the end of the pool to get herself turned around so she can swim to the other side without losing any time, but last night she nailed it! Her face lit up, she was smiling from ear to ear and couldn’t wait until we got in the car to watch herself on the video that I had taken to capture this epic moment (Kids these days)!  All the excitement in my house this week around athletics, it got me thinking back to my athletic “career”.

My parents didn’t allow me to play traveling sports for many reasons (cost, time consuming, needed to focus on my studies, etc). I played park district sports, and when I was in High School I played softball and volleyball all 4 years. I can say, without a doubt, that sports saved me.  I HATED high school. School was hard for me and I felt invincible. My brother (3 years older than I) was president of his class, straight A student, president of the student council, etc. me…not so much. I lived in the shadow of my brother, except when I was on the field or court. 

I want to paint a clear picture for you. I wasn’t an all-star athlete but I have always been athletic and I continuously worked hard to get better. My coaches saw me, the effort I put in and encouraged me to continue pushing on. They helped me with my academics and ensured I was able to graduate my senior year (I had some attendance issues my senior year 😬). But as I look back to my experience I know I did not thank or appreciate my coaches as much as I should. 

Coaches have a lasting impact on individuals yet, often go underappreciated and unrecognized. Coaches give up their weekends, nights, early mornings and even their vacations to show up for students both on and off the court/field. It doesn’t matter the age of the athlete, a coach can make or break an athletic experience for an individual. Just check out this emotional exchange between a first grader and his football coach.  

So we here at the Kane County Regional Office of Education want to thank ALL the coaches out there.  Thank you for being a role model as you show up for our students, providing them encouragement, and instilling a growth mindset in them that they will benefit from on and off the court/field. The Kane County Regional Office of Education will be offering 10% off 3 of our online, asynchronous courses (for PD hours OR Graduate Credit) designed just for COACHES as our way of giving back to you and thanking you for the time and effort you put into helping shape our students.  When you register for any of the three courses below use the promo code: IOA22 to utilize the 10% discount. Note – you do not need to be a Kane County Coach to utilize this special offer!

Check them out below:

  1. Coaching for Character: 

Coaches play a unique role in their students’ lives that impacts much more than their athletic performance. In a position that lies somewhere between parent, friend, and teacher, coaches have the ability to help students grow not only as athletes but also as human beings.

In this course, you will learn how you can use coaching to connect with your students and instill important, lifelong values in them. You’ll examine how the psychological benefits of playing sports contrast with the dangers of developing negative attitudes and behaviors, and how to help your student athletes overcome these difficulties. In addition, you will assess your approach to sportsmanship, particularly in terms of building individual character and showing respect for the team, opponents, officials, and other coaches. Finally, you will explore different coaching philosophies and create a plan for implementing a character education curriculum with athletes.

Using the techniques from this course, you will be equipped to teach your student athletes how to excel not only on the playing field but also in their day-to-day lives for years to come.

     2. Why Good Coaches Quit:

Although coaching can be meaningful, exciting, and fulfilling work, it can also be a tough job with significant pressures and stressors. When coaches are performing optimally, their words and actions match the clear values and goals they have set for their teams. However, too often, the stress of the job, the pressure to achieve, and the overwhelming nature of additional responsibilities jeopardize coaches’ desire to continue.

In this course, you will examine the challenges of coaching and learn how to cope with internal and external pressures to be an effective leader. Because you need to be able to manage yourself before you can manage others, you will focus on cultivating techniques for juggling multiple roles, controlling stress, building emotional intelligence, and defining a clear value system that aligns with your goals and actions. In addition, you’ll learn how to be a role model and pass on the strategies you gain to other coaches (and to parents and students as well) to help them perform at their highest level.

With the techniques you learn in this course, you will be able to prevent burnout and reignite your passion for the job not only for yourself, but for others as well.

     3. Coaching the Female Athlete:

There’s no denying that male and female athletes are different. Besides physical distinctions, they also react differently to issues such as team building, self-esteem, and coaching techniques. Girls bring a unique set of strengths and challenges to the playing field, and their coaches play a key role in bringing out the best in them.

In this course, you will examine the characteristics that female athletes value in coaches and how you can exemplify these qualities in your coaching philosophy. You’ll learn how to build strong chemistry and teamwork on a girls’ team, beginning with tryouts and all the way through practices and competitive play. In addition, you’ll develop strategies for fostering female athletes’ drive and self-esteem to help them build a confident, winning mindset.

Using the techniques from this course, you will be able to empower your female athletes to develop the confidence and assertiveness that will not only strengthen their athletic performance, but also help them in life off the field.

Again, thank you coaches for all your hard work.

“A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” – John Wooden

Discount code is available until 5/8/22

Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning




Leave a Reply