ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Coaching youth sports

Updated on February 28, 2013

Tips for coaching a youth sports team

This lens is intended for parents who want to coach their children's sports teams. Being well prepared is the key. There are a few important points to keep in mind that will make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding for yourself and the kids, and help you avoid the mistakes that can cause headaches.

Setting the standard

The first thing you need to do is establish your ground rules with team members and parents right from the start. It's best to have a meeting with parents after the first practice and go over a code of conduct for parents and players. This should include a brief summary of your coaching philosphy and contact information, including notice to be given if players are unable to attend a game or practice. Also it's the best time to spell out the behaviour expected from players regarding sportsmanship, respect for team mates, respect for officials and opponents, and any other rules you wish to set, as well as consequences if these expectations are not met. The beginning of the season is the best time to set a standard and make everyone aware of expectations. You don't have to be a drill sargeant, but be firm and factual, this can save you a lot of grief down the road.

Always be professional in your conduct, you set the standard for the team. If you're late, unprepared, or behave in an unprofessional manner, the kids will pick up on this and you will sow the seeds of disciplinary problems with your team.

Organizing Practices

Running good practices is vital to the success of your team. In many sports the amount of time a player has direct control of the ball or puck during a game is very limited, whereas in practice you have the opportunity to spend the time necessary to learn and perfect new skills. Here are some tips on running practices :

i) Make sure your team has a thorough warm up before performing any high intensity activity. By warming up properly, you'll reduce injuries, and improve flexibility and mental focus.

ii) Repetition is the key to developing and refining any motor skill. Don't be afraid to practice a particular skill over and over and over until your players reach the level of proficiency you're looking for. At the same time, in any individual practice, if you get the sense your players are getting tired and losing concentration, it's time to move on ot a different skill and give them a mental break.

iii) Keep everyone moving as much as possible. Boredom and discipline issues can result if players are left standing around for too long. Try to keep everyone involved and active during the practice. Keeping a high, consistent level of activity during practice will also improve your team's conditioning.

iv) Try to incorporate games into your drills as much as possible. Kids will have more fun and be willing to work hard if you can add an element of competition to your drills.

During the game

It all comes down to you. Players take their cue from the coach, even in subtle ways. It's important that you project an air of quiet confidence, control and resilience on the bench during games. Key points to remember:

i) Keep your emotions in control. No yelling at referees or players, throwing things etc. You always want to be professional and above reproach in your conduct. If you have a serious concern over the officiating, try to speak with them in a calm, matter of fact, non-emotional manner. If you have a problem with a player, same thing. If you lose your cool, players will be prone to do so as well and the situation can degenerate into chaos.

ii) Try to keep playing time as equal as possible. Remeber you're dealing with kids, 99.9% of whom will not go on to play professionally. Sports is and should be fun for all. If you want to play your best players at the critical times in a game, try to let the others play at times that are less critical, such as during a blow out win or loss.

iii) Encourage respect for the opposition and a spirit of fair play.

iv) Don't get too high after a win or too low after a loss. If you play or coach sports long enough, you'll have plenty of each. Try to keep an even keel.

After the season

When the season is over, it's a good idea to get together and recognize the contributions of each of the players, their parents, and the assitant coaches and trainers.

Whether your team has had a successful season or not, you can foster a feeling of success and achievement. With my son's soccer team a few years ago, we bought ribbons and made up certificates for each of the players, awarding them on the basis of that child's best skill. One kid got a certificate for being the best passer, another for being the best dribbler, one was the best shooter etc. Each kid received a certificate and was able to feel that he was the best on the team at some element of the game.

Be sure to thank the parents for their contributions in getting the kids to the field on time, and especially recognize and thank anyone who has volunteerd their time for the team, be they assistant coaches, trainers, managers etc.

Coaching a youth sports team is a big responsibility, but can be an extremely rewarding experience. Without coaching volunteers, youth sports wouldn't exist. I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who volunteers their time and effort to coach kids and teach them the important lessons of sports and life.

My other sites

Here are some of the other sites I've put together.

What else have I done?

If you like this lens, you can check my lensography for a listing of all of my lenses on squidoo.

Thanks for taking the time to read my article. I'd love to hear any comments, crticisms, and kudos you may have.

Feedback

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • baseballbrains lm profile image

      baseballbrains lm 

      6 years ago

      A lot of good advice here, good work

    • baseballbrains lm profile image

      baseballbrains lm 

      6 years ago

      A lot of good advice here, good work

    • profile image

      insolvelipe 

      8 years ago

      Coaching a little league team is a lot of work - in addition to a a major responsibility in making sure the young children/youth develop character, something that is much needed in our society.

    • profile image

      4kidsl8r 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for the advice - getting involved doesn't seem so daunting now!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)