– by Isaac Samuels, parent, age group coach, former track athlete
- Research the history of the coaches and the organization/school. This will be helpful before you register your athlete.
- As a coach/parent, I have come to recognize the importance of establishing a relationship with both parents/guardians and student athlete(s). It takes a village to raise our youth.
- Coaches should be able to maintain the respect of athletes and parents/guardians. This is especially true at practice and at competitions.
- The coach’s purpose should be to challenge, instill discipline, teach the value of sacrifice and responsibility…and to guide each student athlete in the direction of a higher education in the form of an athletic scholarship to a college or university.
- Coaches should always be open to communicating with everyone during specified meetings.
- Coaches should know the background of parents/guardians who may want to volunteer periodically or throughout the whole season.
- It’s imperative that a contact sheet of all the appropriate personnel of organization be distributed to all parents/guardians and athletes. This is a great time to administer any organization handbooks as well.
- In some cases, the coaches may speak before and after practice to ensure consistent communication to the athletes and parents. This is a perfect time for parents/guardians to exchange info, numbers and emails along with the best time to communicate.
- Oftentimes, the parents are former Olympians and world-class athletes. They can help, so get to know them and ask how they’d like to be involved in the organization. Volunteers should always be welcomed to all organizations!
- Parents should always respect the role of a coach at practice and competitions, and should never interrupt a coach during these moments. There are designated times for important discussions, but they’re not during practice sessions or competitions.
- Documentation about practice and competition creates an easy, factual way to monitor progress, correct any problems or concerns. Athletes, coaches, and parents can keep separate logs and compare them.
- Athletes ages 13 yrs-18 yrs old can keep weekly logs. This will assist in developing the professional discipline for their future.
- Coaches, parents and the athlete should understand the goals of the organization to make sure it’s a fit for the athlete. There will be better progress when everyone is aware of all goals for the student athlete(s), coach(s), parents/guardians.
- The coach and athlete should establish weekly communications about progress and how that can be improved.
Just like in every family or organization, small or large, you will witness trial and error. It is the obligation of everyone involved to resolve those matters in an expeditious and timely manner. Stay focused on the opportunity and create the relationships that will make it happen!
Good luck in the upcoming season coaches, athletes, parents/guardians.
Coach Isaac Samuels
About the Coach
During his 15-year athletic career as a long jumper, Coach Samuels broke age group national records and won several national and state titles, including 1983 U.S. #1 indoors high school men’s long jump and 2-Time All American. He was coached by Bill & Evelyn Lewis from youth through high school. He went on to attend the University of Houston and was coached by 2-Time U.S. National Team Head Coach Tom Tellez.
During his 17 years as a Long Jump / Sprint Coach, Coach Samuels coached several national age group champions, record holders and developed (3) US #1 High school athletes. He has served as Southwest Youth Association (Track and Field) Coach/VP, where he developed and coordinated Track and Field Clinics. As Track Houston Track Club Coach, he devised the long jump and sprint program for 8 locations. He’s been a consultant for other area track clubs, coaches, athletes, and parents on yearly goals and meet management for practices and meets.
Coach Samuels is also the parent and coach to Samiyah Samuels, long jumper and recent U.S. #1 at 21ft3-¼ and #3 U.S. All-time indoors. She is now competing for the University of Houston. He coached Samiyah to (2 ) USA Jr. National Teams, 2015 Pan American Jr. World Championships, 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2016 IAAF JR. World Championships.
If you’d like to reach Coach Samuels directly, you may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.