Playing
sports is one of the best things a kid can do. In addition to being
introduced to a physically active lifestyle, studies have proven that
children who participate in sports tend to have more academic success
and a healthier social life. Many benefits can be attained by playing
youth sports, but much of the experience is reliant on the coach. If
you coach youth sports, use these five tips to help your players get
the most out of their involvement.
1. Fundamentals and Safety
First
As a
youth sports coach, it is important to teach your players the
fundamentals of the game. In many cases, it will be a child’s first
time playing that sport, so taking the time to teach them the basics
is necessary before moving on to more complicated lessons. Safety
should be your number one priority; teach your players the importance
of staying safe and how to play their sport as safely as possible.
2. Teach Respect and Good
Sportsmanship
Young
children are extremely impressionable, and as their coach you are
given a great opportunity to mold them into class-act players.
Emphasize respect for their themselves, their teammates, other
players, and referees. It is essential that you lead by example;
these children look up to you and will act accordingly. Preaching
respect towards officials will not resonate with them if you are
screaming and cursing at the referees every game.
3. Embrace Positivity
Every
coach has their own style, but understand that young children respond
much better to positive reinforcement than negative. When your
players do something right, praise them and reward them for their
efforts. When they do something wrong, focus on the parts they did
right and encourage them to do better. Remember how delicate children
can be and do your best to makes practices and games as enjoyable for
them as possible.
4. Connect with Players
Individually
Any
great youth coach will tell you that sports are only half of the
equation. For many of us who played sports growing up, we will
reference one of our childhood coaches as mentors in our lives who
helped shape us into the people we are now. Make an effort to learn
the names and personalities of every player on your team;
understanding how each one responds to you will ultimately help you
become the best coach possible.
5. Foster a Team Environment
Coaches
at all levels should emphasize that no one individual is more
important than the team as a whole. Building a stellar team
environment is a multi-faceted approach that takes time and work.
Chemistry among teammates is important, address any conflicts you see
– ignoring them won’t make them go away! Have at least one whole-team
exercise every practice and host a couple of team parties at your
house each season to promote off-field bonding.
Insports
Centers is an indoor sports facility located in Connecticut which
features the area’s largest indoor turf field, a boarded lacrosse
arena, and multiple hardwood courts. Our facility is more than
100,000 square feet and can accommodate just about any sport you can
imagine. To view a list of our youth instructional programs or youth
sports leagues, click here to visit our website.