January is synonymous with resolutions. The New Year offers the opportunity to refocus energy and identify areas for improvement. I would argue that any resolution should simply be a part of an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. As an administrator or coach, every day is dedicated to improving yourself and the experience of your athletes. There are numerous examples of this, but I want to use the recent launch of coaching education courses by three separate organizations that illustrate the commitment to always be improving.
In December we launched a customized course with the LA84 Foundation and the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation (SCMAF). SCMAF executive director Tim Ittner shared his view of the impact he expects the course to have when he said, "The partnership with LA84 Foundation and ASEP will allow us to aid even more coaches with the resources that they need to make youth sports better for our participants. If we can educate more coaches about how to teach youth sports properly as well as how to make it fun, safe, and exciting for the kids, we will have much more success increasing participation and retaining young athletes." Wayne Wilson, LA84 Foundation vice president of education services, added, "With the online course, the LA84 Foundation and SCMAF can reach coaches who might not be able to attend traditional in-person coaching clinics."
Also in December we finalized an agreement with USA Rugby, who is using a number of ASEP courses, including Coaching Principles, to provide continuing education to rugby coaches. Norm Mottram, USA Rugby director of coach development, described the value that this would have when he said, "We believe that ASEP products fill an important need for USA Rugby coaches. ASEP’s distance learning online delivery model will really help coaches remain certified without necessarily having to attend face-to-face workshops."
Finally, in 2007 Babe Ruth League informed its leagues and coaches that coaching education would be required effective for the 2008 season. The first courses introduced were Coaching Youth Baseball and Coaching Youth Softball: The Ripken Way for Babe Ruth League Coaches. The courses focused on the fundamentals and were most appropriate for first-time coaches and those responsible for coaching younger age groups.
Responding to feedback and calls for more advanced coaching tools, Babe Ruth League and Ripken Baseball concluded that and advanced course was needed to meet the needs of their coaches.
The result was the newly released online courses Coaching Advanced Baseball: The Ripken Way for Babe Ruth League Coaches and Coaching Advanced Softball: The Ripken Way for Babe Ruth League Coaches. Babe Ruth League president and CEO Steven Tellefsen sums it in stating, "Every manager and coach has an obligation to provide players with the best instruction and leadership possible. Coaches are the ones who spend the most time interacting with the players and are the ones who can make a child’s experience in youth sports fun and memorable. This is the driving force behind Babe Ruth League’s partnership with the American Sport Education Program to provide the best coaching education."
These three organizations exemplify what it means to "always be improving." What are you doing to improve? Share your comments on Jim’s blog or at our Facebook page.
ASEP Executive Director