Youth Sports Coach - Coaches Intro Part 2
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Youth Sports Coach
Coaches Intro Part 2
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I’m sure you’ve made this commitment with the best intentions. I've put together some scenarios and solutions to coaching challenges that you will face while coaching youth sports:

What will you do when a parent comes up to you and questions why their child isn’t playing the position they feel they’re best suited for?

Explain to the parent in a calm manner that during practice and games their child has not yet shown the aptitude for that position. Then reassure them that if their child wants to work hard and earn the position, you will give them a chance to do so. Maybe put their child in that position in a non-critical part of the game until they have proven to you that they are going to succeed in the position.

What will you do when the other coach is extremely competitive and appears to be “running up” the score on your team, and you face a very lopsided loss?

Maintain your cool! Your kids will react how you do. If you curse the other coach or complain about the outcome, you will not provide a good example for your players. Most youth leagues have "mercy rules" that prevent the score from getting out of hand. The fact is that this will happen to all coaches at one time or another. Tell your team that this is part of sports and it's only one game. Even in a blow-out you can find some positive things to say. At this time more than any other, positive encouragement is necessary.

How will you react when your team loses because of a mistake by one or more of your players in a “big game?”

Again, keep your cool! Most young athletes are trying their best; they don't want to make mistakes any more than you do. If you have a chance pull them aside and quietly help them understand what they could have done differently, that's alright, but be respectful and positive! Mistakes happen at the highest level so help them learn from them in a constructive way and you'll end up with a much better team. The team with a bunch of players afraid to make a mistake will not be a successful team.

How will you handle parents who yell at you to do something different because the game is not going your way?

You ignore them. If you can't ignore them because of proximity, calmly ask them to refrain from their advice and ensure them you have their child's best interest at hand. This will not be easy! But your reaction can either resolve the situation or make it significantly worse.

What do you tell a parent who is yelling at their child during a game you are coaching?

If you have a chance to talk to the parent during the game, ask them calmly to let you coach. Tell them it is difficult for a player to hear input from many different sources and concentrate on their responsibilities in the game.

How do you handle a parent who gets angry with their child after a game because of their performance?

This is a very difficult position for a coach. I've seen this many times and the way I've handled it is to find a time to speak with the parent on another day (maybe after a practice or even on the phone). Let the parent know their child is a fine player and if they want them to improve they should NOT discipline their child after a game for making a mistake or giving a poor effort. Tell them their child will get this type of feedback from the coach. They will listen to a coach more than a parent in a sports environment.

These are just a few of the scenarios I’ve witnessed over the years. I could go on and add another 100 situations I’ve seen. Some good, most have been bad.

Don't learn the hard way! Empower yourself to be the best coach you can be! Follow these tips and Coach Mike's 10 Keys to Being a Good Coach.

Your success at the youth level is NOT measured by wins and losses.


Your success is measured instead by the way you coach the kids to: learn the game; deal with adversity; respect their team mates; respect their coaches; respect the officials; and most importantly, have FUN playing the game!


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