Our society a lot of the time appears to be quite sport oriented and so it’s only a natural thing for kids to get interested in sports at an early age. The main reason for this is at an early age they either see their parents watching sports or participating in them. Whether it’s football, soccer, hockey, baseball or whatever, kids like to get involved in organized sports. So, it’s very important that they are then on teams that have coaches that understand how to teach kids to learn the right concepts about organized sports. If you are interested in coaching children, you should try to do your best to enhance their experience.
Most important thing is to make sure it’s a positive experience for the children right off the bat. Make sure that it’s friendly from the very first meeting. Make sure to introduce yourself to all the kids, the other coaches and the parents. Make sure to find out as much as you can about everyone on the team by asking them their favorite foods, teams, shows, music and so on. Then make sure that you let everyone know what your goals are for the entire team and if the kids are 10 years and under, the word “winning” probably should never come out of your mouth.
You will need to make sure that everyone including the parents are all aware of the ground rules. There are a lot of different youth leagues that even have all of the kids and their parents sign contracts that have them pledge that will show good sportsmanship, good citizenship as well as good and reasonable behavior. For instance parents are encouraged to encourage their children but they are not to argue with the umpires, refs or coaches. They also are not to cause problems with other parents or teams.
There should be a reason and purpose for each practice and it needs to be organized at all times. You should also consider sharing some of the daily practice plans with the players so they can better help out during practice. Make them feel more part of the team. You might also want to get more volunteer coaches or parent volunteers to help out with drills and other parts of the practice.
Always make sure to focus on all of the positives of your players and your team as a whole. Remember that sports for youth is for the kids and not a coaches ego. The best thing is to try and think like a kid and how you would want a team to be like if you were playing on it as a kid. Kids feel bad enough when they miss a pass thrown to them or strike out in baseball. The last thing they want or need is for a coach to make them feel even worse. Instead encourage them and give them pointers on how they can improve their skills.