Every year more and more parents are becoming parent coaches, with little to no experience coaching youth sports. Here are a few things to keep in mind to have a successful year as a parent coach!
Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is the art of increasing the probability of occurrence of a given behavior by following it with a positive action, object, or event such as praise, stickers on helmet, prizes, etc. It is easy to critique what young players do wrong, but it is important to notice and praise when they do something right. Some positive reinforcement techniques can be used below:
- Stickers on Helmet
- Candy when they reach third base
- Award game ball to one person after every game
Keep Things Simple
The key to coaching youth athletics is fundamentals. It is important to work on the basics and to designate one skill or lesson each practice. When coaching youth sports, it is common for coaches to overcomplicate or use terms that players don’t understand. Remember, simple terms, simple rules, and say it more than once! Remember as a parent coach to break things down and use simpler terms when discussing things to the team.
Communicate Expectations to Parents
When becoming a coach of youth sports, you’re not just managing kids, but parents as well. It is important to have a clear line of communication with all parents on your team. It’s important to express your expectations and intentions for the team early and with an open discussion. If you have expectations or requirements for the parents, this is also a good time to discuss these things.
Teach Kids Resilience
As a youth coach or parent coach, you are able to frame how kids will deal with failure for not just sports, but for the rest of their lives. Teaching a child that failure happens and the correct way to respond is essential for many situations in their life, no matter how long they continue to play sports.
One example is during a hard practice or conditioning to remind players that the only way to get better is through hard work and determination. Wins don’t come easy, and they shouldn’t be expected. Games are won not on the field, but in practices and conditioning when you’re giving 100% and no one else is around.
Parent coaches make youth sports go round, we hope these few key pointers will help you have a successful season, every season!