Anyone who has ever been involved in a youth sports organization can tell you about the good, the okay and the terrible coaches they’ve had over the years. Hopefully the terrible coaches were far and few in between, but chances are the truly great coaches were just as hard to come by. Since most youth sports organizations rely on volunteers to serve as coaches, finding a mom or dad that has all the skills, know-how, passion and natural ability to coach a team is a lot like finding a needle in a haystack. But when you do find a great youth sports coach, they most likely have the following skills:
Committed to teaching the fundamentals
As silly as it may sound, a great youth sports coach realizes that they are a youth sports coach. This isn’t the majors, a Division 1 college team, or even highly-competitive travel team—this is the time and place where players learn the fundamentals of their given sport that will carry them on to those higher levels of competition. A great youth sports coach is committed to teaching their players the proper techniques and necessary skills needed to excel in the sport, and doesn’t gloss over the basics in order to get to the more complex plays and drills. Every professional or Olympic athlete got their start in youth sports, where a great coach taught them how to play the game.
Understands the limitations of their team
When dealing with a youth sports team, different players are going to have different skill levels. Some kids might have learned to throw a baseball from the moment their dad could find a glove small enough to fit their hands; others might be lacing up their skates for the first time. A great sports coach understands the limitations and skill levels of each of their players and finds a way to give everyone the attention they need. They need to be able to help the newer players improve while still giving the more advanced players more difficult skills to master. It’s a delicate balance and a great youth sports coach knows how to walk that line.
Passionate about the sport
A great youth sports coach loves the sport and loves to coach. They want to be on the field/court/ice every day and their enthusiasm ripples down through the team. It’s easy to get a youth athlete excited when you’re excited, and a great youth sports coach has enough passion to feed the whole team (and even get the parents amped up!).
What are some other characteristics of a great youth sports coach? Leave your comments below!