Bridgewater College recently highlighted the research and coaching philosophy furthered by Dr. Lori Gano-Overway, who teaches health and human sciences at the school in addition to her work in understanding the impact coaching can have on social development.
“My research looks at what it is that coaches do to help athletes’ growth as people, not just their physical prowess in athletics,” Gano-Overway said.
Gano-Overway focuses on a caring climate, or a coaching style that is attentive, respectful and supportive. In this way, coaches are not simply developing athletic skills but helping their athletes become more social, communicate more effectively, and better empathize with others. In this way, coaches allow athletes to perform better, in sport and life, as more well-rounded, confident individuals.
“The concept has been around for quite some
time,” Gano-Overway said. “Good coaches already do it. Some, serving as role
models themselves, are living, breathing examples of what it is to communicate
well, be respectful, care about others and nurture good relationships with
players. Others are being intentional, using teachable moments to drive these
important societal lessons home…If athletes can reach their potential in sport
and develop as people, we all win.”