This past fall’s sports' season, Elephant Insurance sponsored two local youth sports leagues — Crieve Hall Youth Athletic Association and Williamson County Soccer Association (WCSA) — which oversee nearly 7,000 youth athletes. Out of dozens of nominations that Elephant Insurance received, two local coaches emerged as coaches of the year: Tim Stone (Crieve Hall) and Natalie Horel (WCSA). The two coaches whom kids love have similarities in how they work with their teams. We asked both coaches what the essentials are of a successful coach.
“To be inspiring,” says Horel. “When I think back to the coaches I had as a child, I remember the ones who inspired, encouraged and pushed me,” she adds. Stone adds more.
“Patient communication and a little empathy for the kids since some have never played a team sport before,” says Stone.
In between practices, games, snacks and trophy recognitions, coaches tower above young athletes as they look to them for guidance and encouragement.
“The driving force that keeps me trying hard as a coach is not the skill, drill or tactic,” Horel says. “It is the fact that I want each child to want to return day after day, and to push themselves to be the best version of themselves.”
“The most important thing that I do, when addressing the kids, is that I get on their eye level to talk to them,” says Stone. “I never stand over them and look down on them when talking to them about things that they can do better,” he adds.
Congratulations to coaches Natalie Horel and Tim Stone!