Sports skills and an inspirational, positive, and opportunistic personality are the beginning of an authentic coaching experience.
A coach is not just an instructor who teaches people to follow standardized instructions; instead, a coach supports the athlete’s overall development for immediate results and future possibilities.
Some people are natural-born coaches who embody leadership traits such as charisma, approachability, determination, resourcefulness, and trustworthiness. Seven Summits Centre for Learning senior student Wyatt Joyce embodies the essence of the coaching spirit.
“I believe that there is greatness in everyone, and it is my role to help people find that through their advancement in sports,” says Joyce. “Since I moved to Rossland at five years old, I have had many opportunities to enjoy the local recreational sports, and I feel like I grow through watching others try new skills.”
Joyce aspires to get others to participate and is attracted to sports such as freeride skiing and skateboarding. Still, like any leader, the desire to be an ambassador of the sport he represents led to his choice to coach.
“Unlike teaching, where attendance is mandatory, athletes have a choice of buying into coaching, and therefore a coach must be a believable authentic example,” continues Joyce. “By successfully promoting and welcoming inclusion, athletes can achieve advancements within their chosen sports.”
Anyone can aspire to impact others, but first, a great coach works on themselves.
“I have a big family which provides me many opportunities to teach my younger siblings.”
By practicing to learn skills and capture experiences, he has passed on relevant and helpful information to others.
“It’s just the culture, like even at Seven Summits; helping others is part of how we all move forward. Especially with Fridays off to do more activities. I prefer the self-directed learning platform, which gives me extra time to pursue other interests like coaching.”
“When I first started to coach skateboarding, it was to bridge the gap and improve the reputation of people who skateboard. It was also to get more youngsters to try the sport, as the skate park in Rossland is a great place to learn and practice.
“At the hill, my younger brother put me into a coaching position; he needed a coach, and I found a passion for working to pass on the skills to motivate others to improve. Coaching is hard with some people because you need first to get their attention and be relatable, so they are willing to learn from you. Getting their attention dialled in can be challenging, especially if the skill or environment is unfamiliar.”
Working with younger people takes responsibility and a focus on safety, then fun.
“I model the skill, and the others imitate the behaviour to learn by doing. It doesn’t always work out, but we keep trying.”
Learning by trial is limited to the learner’s abilities to achieve the skill, giving them a choice to participate. Motivation comes from the willingness to perform and can depend on the learner’s perception of the likely outcome.
If the reward exceeds the cost, the person will be motivated to imitate. Reinforcement can also be internal, as learners are likely to be encouraged to repeat the learned skill and behaviour if they feel pride or accomplishment for learning.
“It’s about helping others to find their way, and I am scheduled to take further coaching courses to gain my place to coach others safely and effectively. This is my interest, but I plan to have a career as an Environmental Engineer. Until then, I will support others to show up and throw down.”