There is no doubt that being a youth coach is a rewarding and challenging position to hold. You are responsible for directing the young players on your team to play competitively and respectfully. However, this isn’t the only aspect of the game that coaches must concern themselves with as scheduling games and practices are also a key component of the coaching job.
Here are some tips for existing and want-to-be youth coaches to more effectively manage both their time and their team.
Schedule Games And Practices At The Same Time Every Week – If possible, do your best to schedule games and practices at the same time every week. This helps parents organize and clear their schedules to make sure they are available to arrange or provide transportation and attend the game or practice. By keeping your schedule consistent week after week, you are offering parents the convenience of being able to plan.
In the event that the schedule changes, having contact information such as mobile phone numbers, preferred Email addresses, or a central website to announce these changes helps you avoid inconveniences with player’s parents.
Keep The Instructions As Simple As Possible – As a coach, it’s important to keep in mind the age and experience of your team members. The younger and more inexperienced they are playing the game, the more you should strive to use simple playing instructions. Since they may not have a big grasp of the playing field, one easy instruction for younger players to remember is to not stop playing the game until they hear the game whistle blow.
Use Constructive, Positive Feedback – Nearly everyone responds better to constructive, positive feedback than they do to open criticism. This concept is no different for young sports players. As a coach, you should always keep a level head and do your best to help guide your players to become better at their sport. Avoid screaming and losing your head with your players, even if they made mistakes. Instead, calmly speak with them about changes they can make to their approach or their form to improve their game. By addressing your players respectfully and from a position of wanting to help them, the more likely they are to pay attention to your advice.
By exhibiting strong character and ethics both on and off the playing field, you are serving as a mentor and example in which your young players will hopefully follow. Do your best to the type of person you want them to become!