Moving Toward the Future
As a youth sports organizer, I’ll tell you that in general, I share their position on participation trophies. I believe that awarding participation trophies sends the wrong message about what lies ahead in life. That being said, parents and coaches of youth sports should absolutely celebrate great play, effort and a fun day of youth sports regardless of the scoreboard results, and I’ll tell you why.
Guys like Jeff Walz did not start out their coaching career as a head coach of a University. In fact Coach Walz started coaching middle and high school age kids before finishing college.
He then found an assistant coach position to Paul Sanderford in 1996 for Western Kentucky, later following Coach Sanderford to the University of Nebraska. Later, Walz took another assistant coach position to Brenda Frese at Minnesota, following her to the University of Maryland after she accepted that new position.
It wasn’t until 2007 where Walz made his head coach debut at the University of Illinois, some eleven years later.
In short, Walz spent 11 years under the tutelage of more experienced coaches to learn his trade. Head Coaches Sanderford and Frese were the ones that held the ultimate responsibility of performance which created an opportunity for their assistant coach to learn, develop and become a successful coach. Developing a youth athlete is an exact parallel to Coach Walz career path development.