Becoming a Successful Youth Coach

As a coach and role model, you will affect the lives of your players. Through your approach to coaching, you will show your players how to deal with many of the challenges they will face in life.

Take Delight in Young People
Liking kids has to be a priority. Your primary reason for coaching should be to help young people grow, mature and develop in to successful, well rounded and respected adults. Of course we all want to win, but if winning is the only thing that counts, you'll never have the pride and satisfaction that comes when your players succeed at life.

You have to coach for the right reasons. You must focus on teaching your players proper values. Important values to teach include discipline, hard work, conquering fear and tension, having pride in theirselves and their teammates, establishing attainable goals, and more importantly stiving to accomplish those goals.

Don't coach for the wrong reasons, such as boosting your ego or wanting to be in the limelight. Don't use your players to fan your ego because then they become pawns instead of people.

You won't be able to accomplish everything that you want to accomplish if you don't have a concrete, workable plan. Every practice is a race against time, don't waste a minute. Determine what you want to accomplish for each practice in order to obtain your team goals. Your assistants must understand your plan and how you want the fundementals to be taught. You must also listen to imput from your assistants and be willing to take their suggestions under consideration. This should be done before practice so that no time is wasted.

Enthusiasm is a necessity whether you are coaching baseball, basketball, soccer, softball or volleyball. The thought of working with your players should motivate you and get you excited about what they are accomplishing. You should treat every player as if they were Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan and every practice as if it were the last game of the World Series.

The ability to go over things again and again, never losing enthusiasm, is a must for a great coach. Every great athlete had a mentor who had the patience to teach the fundementals of the sport.

One of the greatest experiences of coaching is to see the least talented suddenly blossom, all because you never gave up on the player. The player will not forget how they became successful and will take the same values into their lives.

It is difficult to differentiate between patience and persistence, they go hand in hand for a coach. You must persist and you must teach your kids to persist. Persistence in simple words, is never giving up. Each of us has failed at times but what is more important than failure is what we do after we fail. The greatest thing about defeat is that it is a powerful learning tool.

You must be sincerely concerned about your players, first as human beings and second as players. Being concerned, listening as well as teaching and sharing decision making will empower you players to play their best. Sincerity and concern mean that the game and its outcome are secondary to the people playing it.

Being fair goes along with sincerity and concern. Everyone wants a fair chance to so what they can do. They want an opportunity! Each day a coach must re-evaluate personnel. Never discuss one of your player's abilities with another player on the team. Make only positive comments during and after practice and games. Never single out one player to praise. I try to keep a list during the game and write down as many positive things that a player has done that I can find. After the game I will go through the list and state a couple of things that each play did that helped the team.


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