Are you interested in becoming a coach of a youth sports team for the first time? Maybe you've casually helped out with the local kids' soccer league in the past, but you'd like to take your coaching to the next level in the upcoming season. Whatever the reason, here are some kids' sports coaching tips that might help you take your team or squad to the next level in the coming season.
Get the Parents Involved and Set Expectations Early
It's true that some parents can get a little too into their children's early sports careers and this could cause conflict with the coach or put too much pressure on the kid. Youth coaches can get in front of this dilemma by sitting down with the parents as a group before the season starts and set expectations. Let the parents know exactly what you will expect out of their children and what the plan is for the year. Be clear that every child will be held to the same expectations and will have to follow the same rules. When you get parents to buy in to your coaching philosophy, you'll have the parents backing you up even when the kids aren't in a game or at practice. Ideally, you want the parents to continue coaching the kids in the same way that you would when they are at home but then fade into the background so you can do your job during practice or a game.
Positive Reinforcement Works
You might turn on the TV to a college or football basketball game and see one of those coaches screaming and yelling and getting in people's faces. While this might possibly work as a reinforcement tactic for older athletes, it's probably not the best idea for a youth league. Stick with positive reinforcement as much as possible. Find something that every player does well and compliment them on it. Maybe you have a kid who hasn't scored a basket all season, but they can play good defense. Let them know you'll need them in the 4th quarter when it's time to make a stop.
Give the Kids a Practice Schedule
Another great way to set expectations with both parents and children is to create a practice schedule or an agenda that covers the entire season day by day. That way, both children and parents will know what the day's workout is going to be, and they might be able to prepare mentally for it ahead of time. Include the playoffs on your schedule all the way up to the championship game as a way of showing you have confidence in your team's ability to win.
For more kids' sports coaching tips, reach out to a consultant today
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