By Amy Masters
Giving thanks isn’t tied to a single day or a season. Thanking the folks who help you day after day shouldn’t be an afterthought. The idea of giving thanks or practicing gratitude should be intentional—we should encourage our young athletes to think actively about doing it on a regular basis. This simple shift in thinking can lead to big change—in both mental and physical health. So don’t forget to thank the many and varied “coaches” that help you day in and day out.
Who should you give thanks to?
In everything we do as athletes, there are always so many people to thank from coaches, trainers, and teachers to parents and teammates.
Coaches: Coaches make many sacrifices for their teams. They work late at night, they watch film, develop practice plans, and are always communicating with players. They are vital to your success so give them a big show of gratitude.
Custodial Staff: The custodial staff at the facility or school are always making sure the field, ice, and court are clean and usable. If it wasn’t for them, there would be no games or tournaments. Remember to thank them.
Trainer: The trainer is vital for every game and tournament. They are there to keep athletes healthy. And they are there to help if players are hurt or injured. Don’t forget to thank them, it will go a long way.
Parents: Parents do so much to help make athletes successful on and off the field. Driving players to and from games and tournaments. The parents pack food and snacks. And they may wash uniforms and help organize the day. Do not forget to give them thanks.
Why should you give thanks?
It’s good for your health. According to research from the American Psychological Association, teens who practice gratitude are more likely to be happier in general and less likely to have behavior problems at school. They’re also likely to be healthier overall and could even be more likely to easily make friends.
Impact with Your Play: When people give thanks, they just feel better. And feeling better is a sure sign to help in other parts of your life, like sports. If players think about the best game they played, how did they feel that day? By showing gratitude, players show a kindness and a humbleness that helps with the game. It helps them stay focused.
3 Tips to Thanking Coaches
Write a Note: Writing a note is an easy gesture. It can be in the form of an actual card or just send an email. As a coach, I always love getting a note of thanks from parents, players or both. From a coach perspective, I view that player and family a bit differently. They may understand—and appreciate—all of the work that we coaches do day in and day out.
Help Clean Up Equipment: Teams usually have equipment that is used over and over again. Maybe teams have a ton of cones and balls on the field. Or maybe there is garbage or something else on the pitch. When others help clean up, it shows that we are all in this together. It shows that the best teams take pride and show thanks by doing the dirty work.
Buy a Small Gift: Some families buy a small gift or give a gift card. It’s the thought that counts here: you took the time to think about what this person does for you and you’re giving a small token of appreciation.
Think about how good it feels when someone thanks you…then remember to thank your coaches.
Amy Masters is Head of Marketing for iSport360.com. She is a sports mom and head of a girls field hockey club. For more information on iSport360, please visit isport360.com