Everyone deserves an opportunity to try, regardless of gender, socioeconomic background or any other factor. That’s a lesson for both sports and life from former NFL quarterback and MLB pitcher and current coach of coaches, Richard Bartel. This week, we Bartel shares ideas for improving youth access to sports and building better coaches for young players.
While competition is an important aspect of making each day better than the last, it has to be paired with other pieces. Especially for young athletes, seeing teams and coaches who reflect themselves and their backgrounds is crucial for keeping kids in the game. To reach that goal, coaches have to know how to support diverse players and give them both guidelines and freedom to encourage them to constantly try hard and test their limits. It’s not about participation trophies—it’s about building a strong and broad foundation for kids and ensuring everyone has an opportunity to at least try.
What You’ll Learn:
- The importance of diversity and inclusivity both on the field and off
- Use affirmation and encouragement to bring out the best in others
- Having a broad foundation can build greater future potential
- Trying hard and testing limits can be more meaningful than winning
- The ability to have fun is an key part of competition
“We need to do a better job of providing inclusive environments for every gender and demographics in not just participants but also coaches. We need to get more female coaches involved and we need to have coaches involved who are from even lower income socioeconomic households and incomes because these help create more holistic environments for these athletes.” -Richard Bartel
“Everybody deserves an opportunity to coach and everybody deserves an opportunity to play.” -Richard Bartel
“The resilience you start to develop at an early age in sports in learning from losses, from adversity, is huge in the rest of your life.” -Jake Thompson
“Words of affirmation and encouragement go a long way for winners and losers.” -Richard Bartel
“It’s not important that you beat somebody else, it’s important that you go as hard as you can go.” -Richard Bartel