First Time Youth Coach - Parent/Coach

Many coaches are parents, but the two roles should not be confused. As a coach you are responsible not only to yourself and your child, but also to the organization, all the players on the team, and their parents. Because of this additional responsibility your behavior on the playing field will be different from your behavior at home, and your son or daughter may not understand why.

Imagine the confusion of a young boy who is the center of his parents' attention at home but is barely noticed by his mother/ coach in the sport setting. You need to explain to your son or daughter your new responsibilities and how they will affect your relationship when coaching.

What are my responsibilities as a coach?

Provide an enjoyable experience. Sports should be fun. Even if nothing else is accomplished, make certain your players have fun. Take the fun out of sports and you'll take the child out of sports.

Provide a safe experience. Your are responsible for planning and teaching activities in such a way that the progression between activities minimizes risks. Protect yourself from any legal liability that might arise from your involvement as a coach.

Provide opportunities for children with disabilities. There is a posibility that a child with a disability of some kind will register for your team. Don't panic! Keep in mind that children with disabilities want the same opportunities to participate as any other children. Give them the same support and encouragement that you give other athletes.

Teach basic skills. Don't get caught up in only working with your one or two 'all-stars' so that you can win every game. In becoming a coach, you take on the role of educator. You must teach your players the fundamental skills and strategies necessary for success in their sport. Veteran coaches in your league are an especially good source of help for you. They have all experienced the same emotions and concerns you are facing, and their advise can be invaluable as you work through your first season.


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