Being a youth sports coach is a difficult task. You will face so many individual personalities who are too young to understand the rudiments of team sports and how to act as a team member. Some of the children may display behavioural traits that are different from other children of the same age. Yet the job can be a rewarding one, as well. Like an academic teacher, you have a special role in shaping their character, emotionally and physically. Many youth sports coaches leave long-lasting impressions that children remember for most of their lives.
Many modern parents realise that they are giving less attention to their young children because they have to divide their time between home life and their careers. With the rise in health-related issues due to children not spending more time in physical activities and regular sports, many parents are starting to sign up their children to sports club membership, such as in Coacha.
And for youth sports coaches, these tips can help, so children will have fun while learning the sport of their choice.
Be patient and apply positive reinforcement – Do not be overzealous when you are coaching children. Remember that they are still young, and obeying rigid rules is new to them. Give them positive criticism so they will feel confident and open-minded.
Give simple instructions – Children understand simple things, including simple rules. Do not apply fancy strategies for adult athletes. Teach them the fundamentals first. Move on to a more advanced strategy as the children get used to the discipline and other requirements, as they grow older and more confident.
Customise instructions according to their level – The level of understanding of children varies. Some have the maturity to understand instructions better and faster than others. Thus, it is vital to customise the instructions according to their level of comprehension. You can only do this if you know them individually. Take the time to know your students’ strengths and weaknesses.
Communicate with the parents – Parents can be protective of their children. Some are overeager and like to push their children, whether they like it or not. Once the child has signed up with the sports club, it is vital for you as their coach to let parents know your plans for the team and the level of involvement and support you expect from them. It’s advisable to make yourself accessible to them by sharing your contact information. Let the parents know that you are willing to discuss their child’s progress, give them suggestions regarding their needs, and what the parents should do to encourage their child to stay in the team.
Teach them resilience – It is part of the responsibilities of the coach to guide their team toward success. However, you know that the children will be facing many difficulties as they learn. You have to teach them to have the right attitude, face the challenge, and overcome it. Tell them that physical training will make them stronger and that losing a game does not mean they failed. Instead, they should use it as their motivation to work harder and become better.