Organizations We Admire

Soldiers To Sidelines: Helping Veterans Continue To Be Leaders

Mackenzie Meaney

People who have served in the military have an innate passion for being part of a team, working towards a goal, and being leaders within their divisions and within their communities.

Soldiers to Sidelines helps veterans and their family members who would like to take up coaching, once they return from serving. As they have committed to serving the country, the foundation is committed to serving its prospective coaches by teaching them the proper way to cultivate character-based leadership.

“We had these folks coming back from the Middle East who were looking for something to do, so we thought ‘why don’t we bring them out to football practice and teach them how to coach football?’” said founder and president Harrison Bernstein. “[At the time], I was teaching at George Washington University and I would write curriculum on courses that I thought would make the ultimate coach because when I was at the [then] Washington Redskins, there was this huge gap between the sciences that we knew and what the assistant position coaches were knowing.”
Soldiers to Sideline’s Instagram

Bernstein added that he believed people can’t be great coaches to others unless they truly understand themselves. Eventually, the organization started to integrate new service members and veterans into the community as coaches and the confidence Bernstein talked about began to grow.

To date, Soldiers to Sidelines have helped 855 coaches and impacted over 42,000 youth athletes. The path to coaching has multiple steps. From seminars to certifications to events, Soldiers to Sidelines helps make the process as straightforward as possible. There is even the ability for members to take certification classes in coaching adaptive athletes or specific sports.

To learn more about Soldiers to Sidelines, you can check out their website here.

Photo credits: Soldiers to Sideline’s Instagram