Robert Green, area director of the Ocoee Region Fellowship of Christian Athletes, has been working alongside local coaches to bring three dimensional coaching to the middle and high school level.
He told the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland studies have been conducted on college, high school and middle school coaches across the nation. The results show most teach at the first level, or a fundamental level. This means basic skills like agility, speed and power are thoroughly trained.
Coaches aptly train for these skills, but, “Coaching the heart is not something they have always done necessarily well.”
FCA discovered 85 percent of coaches across America only coach at the first level. Few coaches have reached the point where they are training their athletes at the second level, or on an emotional level.
Green asked Kiwanians how a coach was supposed to instill team cohesion. He wanted to know how a coach speaks to the spirit of an athlete.
“Over the past couple of years, we have been implementing some of these,” Green said. “Did you know healthy competition was never meant to create rivalries. There is no place in scripture where rivalry is a term that is healthy for competitions.”
According to Green, local high schools across America have created rivalries and “demonized” their opponents.
Instead, he said, real competition just means to bring out the best in your opponent.
“So whoever on that day brings their best and wins, those opponents can celebrate their gift and their talent of competition on the field that day,” Green said. “We are finding athletic directors are getting a hold of this message and saying, ‘You know what? We’ve been doing this wrong.’”
Coaches from across the city are meeting with Green to discuss three dimensional coaching.
Green said one coach said, “I’ll never talk to this (coach), but we’ll work together!”
The way coaches view their players is changing.
“We want to transition coaches from being transactional where all they care about are wins and losses to a coach who cares about where that student will wind up as a father one day,” Green said. “Coaches have learned they are not interested in being a legend. They want to leave a legacy.”
A state champion coach in Florida once said, “You know what? We may never win another state championship, but as long as I coach here at this high school these 50 and 60 kids I’ve got, they are going to live forever.”
Green said it is not enough anymore to put a child in sports to see their character change. A study among 195 world class athletes asked if they would take a performance enhancing drug, if no one would ever find out. Out of the 195 athletes, 191 said they would take the drug.
Contrary to popular belief, sports do not build character, Green said.
“Do you know who builds character in the lives of young men and women?” Green asked. “Coaches.”
When Green started with the Ocoee Region three and a half years ago, there was one coach at FCA’s Bible Study. Today there are seven with more than 30 coaches tracking the regional organization.
He said FCA is interested in partnerships with community businesses and other civic organizations, “To come together and tap into one of the most influential pieces of American culture right now, which is sports.”
Reports show 44 million youth are involved in athletics today.
He said FCA offers three different camps every summer: leadership, $230; adventure, $335; and sports, $275. Youth athletes who are interested are welcome to sign up and those in a low-income situations can seek financial assistance.
Green closed by mentioning the program local coaches and mentors have with the juvenile court system through FCA. He asked Kiwanis members to consider what would happen if more people bought into the program.
“Could you dream with me a little bit? What would it look like if we could do that? What would it look like if we could get 10 or 15 businesses to partner with us,” Green asked. “It would significantly impact our community.”