Keeping youth athletes accountable in sport means being responsible for their own actions. Like responsibility, being accountable translates into youth athletes being punctual, attentive, prepared, and ready to help.
For most athletes, their coach is one of the most influential people in their life. According to USADA’s What Sport Means in America survey, coaches rank as the number one positive influence on youth today among the respondents surveyed.
At their best, coaches can help their players improve their skills, perform to the best of their ability, develop strong character, and gain confidence. At their worst, they can push the psychological, emotional, and physical limits of their players to the point of harm, create a hostile and unfair environment, and turn young athletes away from playing sports forever.
Being a coach that has a positive influence and not a negative one requires mastering a balancing act of a number of different skills and perhaps most importantly, staying accountable to your own good coaching principles.