Everything that goes into the NGS Recreational League supports one overall objective: that each player enjoys the best experience possible while participating in Newton Girls Softball. The most important factor bar none in a player’s experience is her head coach, followed closely by her assistant coaches. No other factor even comes close. Every coach must understand and fully live the values of NGS to continue coaching. I grew up playing high school and college football in the 80’s and early 90’s; that kind of coaching style is not effective with young and adolescent girls, and is not what we are looking for here in our league.
NGS coaches create a supportive environment where girls of all ability levels, experience, and backgrounds come together to enjoy the benefits of team based athletics. An NGS coach uses a style that fosters individual growth, develops confidence and self esteem, and builds resiliency. These goals are second only to player safety for an NGS coach. The head coach is responsible for all aspects of his or her team’s activities with the assistance and support of at least one or two assistant coaches. All coaches work closely together to achieve the primary goals of the league while teaching the fundamentals of softball.
Just as the Rec League is for players of all ability levels, it also welcomes coaches of all experience levels. NGS is home to coaches with great technical knowledge of the game and to those who initially had no knowledge of softball before becoming involved. Some of the greatest NGS coaches have been those who had never coached any sport before. There is tremendous in-house support and training available to prospective coaches. The most important prerequisites include the willingness and ability to spend some extra hours a week with young people and a desire to help girls develop skills used to face challenges and overcome adversity. Girls today face some daunting gender specific challenges that many mothers are acutely aware of and/or are educated about, less so for many of us fathers. It is statistically proven that girls who participate in sports fare better against these challenges. And while an almost equal number of girls are trying sports at a young age compared to boys, girls are dropping out of those same sports at an alarming rate compared to boys.
We are going to coach softball, but our focus will be bigger than that. Together, we will be learning more about the challenges affecting girls specifically and the role coaches can play in that bigger picture.
Coaching may not be for everybody, but if you have even an inkling of an interest, I am asking you to please contact me so we can have at least a short conversation. If you are reading this, you likely have a school aged daughter, and you can feel how fast the years are going by. When it comes to coaching or not coaching, most of us have only a brief window to be involved in this special way. Most coaches find it to be one of the most meaningful and memorable times of their life. For everyone reading this I tell you: the coaches are Newton Girls Softball. The coaches are the league, and we are a community together. We work together, we achieve together, we find our way together.
Past coaches know and appreciate Doug Clott for his more than 10 years of stewardship as President of NGS before retiring last year. Our thanks go to Doug for everything he did, and continues to do even now. We are grateful to Bill Hartranft for his outstanding leadership taking over for Doug as the new President of NGS. As the Rec League Director I look forward to working with old friends, meeting new coaches, and representing any issues as needed to Bill. If there is anything on your mind please contact me anytime. I look forward to seeing you soon!