– laps, lines and lectures – You would be better served
to play small sided high intensity games that encourage fast play
of short duration than to make your players run laps for conditioning.
As adults we don’t like standing in lines so why would our
children? Players come to practice to play not sit and listen. Use
the “30 second rule”.
Positive Attitude – be enthusiastic without being intimidating.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discipline your players,
but don’t discipline for mistakes when the player is trying
Be prepared – the younger they are, the more organized you
Activities need to be developmentally appropriate and fun –
small sided games, work on skills and tactics.
Give clear instructions – short demonstrations with short,
Simple to complex progression – never underestimate a child’s
opportunities for decision making – attack/defend scheming.
Use safe and appropriate spaces.
Be patient. – don’t push players beyond limits in regards
more about the players as individuals than for how athletically
inclined they are.
time for just playing the game.
the first to demonstrate good sportsmanship – Honor the game.
Respect the rules, opponents, officials and traditions of the game.
Keep a low profile during the game and allow the kids to be the
center of attention.
the different characteristics of youth of different age groups.
Have a team meeting before the season starts and lay down the team
rules and explain your coaching philosophy and goals. Advise parents
at that time that there will be no discussion of coaching philosophy
later in the season so they should decide now if they want their
child to play on your team. It's OK, for parents to disagree with
your philosophy, but they should do it before the season starts
and move their child somewhere else.
parents involved at practice. This will help the player feel more
comfortable when trying something new. Remind the parents that during
games they should try to remain quiet and not yell out instructions
as this will only confuse the players.
approachable – Listen to your players and parents. Keep an
open mind and never retaliate against a player because a parent
tells you they don’t agree with your game time decisions or
the their child’s playing time. Think things over before getting
back to the parent. This will give you time to review and decide
on a solution and it will give the parent time to calm down.
opportunities for all your players - It doesn't matter if your coaching
4 year olds or ten year olds. Find ways to get all of your players
involved. Yes, you will always have some natural athletes and some
kids who don't know a ball from a hole in the ground, but lets get
real, what are we playing youth sports for. So the coach can win or
so the kids have opportunities to develop. That 8 year old with no
skills may just develop into the next star high school athlete if
some coach doesn't give up on him to early.
notes during games – game time is not the time to teach something
new. It’s a time to evaluate what your players have learned
and what skills need to be improved. Game time is also a good time
to learn from the other coach and team.
but most importantly – manage your time effectively –
Keep things in perspective and keep your priorities straight –
God, spouse, and family come first. Having good, dependable assistant
coaches and a good team parent will take a lot of pressure off of