How Sports Can Transform Lives

Transactional vs Transformational Coaching


Coaches have a tremendous platform.  Second only to parents, coaches can impact young people as no one else can.  The great Billy Graham said that coaching youth sports will reach more youth than any other cultural activity in a lifetime.  Wow!  Coaches can really affect the future of a child and the culture of our world.  Most coaches fall into one of two categories – a transactional coach or a transformational coach. 


Transactional coaching focus solely on winning and meeting their personal needs. These type of coaches are mainly concerned with skills, techniques of the player as they pertain to winning the game.  These are the coaches who may coach to just live the glory days of when they played.  Some of these coaches disregard the organization rules and/or safety and health of the athletes.  They tend to show disrespect to the players, parents, other teams, other coaches and officials.  A transactional coach identifies the team’s wins or loses with his/her self-worth.  These coaches will punish a player for a mistake and the team for not winning.  The transactional coach leaves behind a program where the youth athlete hates the sport, loses his/her confidence in the sport and worse yet loses his/her self-esteem.


Transformational coaches are more concerned about developing young athletes into responsible adults who take with them skills that change communities, families, schools and the world.  They leave a lasting legacy.  These coaches change lives, and they also change society by helping to develop healthy men and women.  Transformational coaches teach and convey empathy and compassion.  Transformational coaches have done the work on answering critical questions such as:  Why do I coach?  Why do I coach the way I do?  What does it feel like to be coached by me?  How do I measure and define success?  They transform the many young athletes who need connection, empathy, and guidance. 


Twenty to 30 million kids play recreational sports, while another 10 million teens play interscholastic sports.  This means that between 30 and 80 million parents are invested and involved in their children’s sports.  There are at least 5 million coaches with the potential to become one of the most influential adults in a young person’s life.  Forever.


I challenge every bowling coach and any coach for that matter to use this awesome influence to become agents of transformation in athletes’ lives.  We can provide the tools to help them with the challenges of growing up in our culture.  Many athletes today feel diminished and discouraged by the sports they play that should strengthen, encourage and redeem them.  That’s change the trend of being transactional and become the leader in transforming the future of today’s generation by coaching.


Are you ready to transform the life and future of a young athlete?  One of the more powerful books I have ever read which has really impacted the way I coach is Insideout Coaching by Joe Ehrmann.  I highly recommend reading this book if you coach.  Powerful and life changing!  I plan on writing a much more detailed blog on transformational coaching in the future.  Look for it on 


Win the Day,

Coach Shady