Many youth sport organizations rely on volunteers to coach the league’s teams. Volunteer coaches give their time, energy, and spirit to help give the children an opportunity to learn and play the sport. So many times, though, first time volunteer coaches are overwhelmed with the experience, and soon realize they may have bitten off more than they can chew.
- Be clear with your goals for the season and share them with the parents and children
Figure out what your goal is for the season. Is it to make the playoffs? Everyone has fun and gets equal playing time regardless of your record? Do you want to improve from last year? Set your goals for the beginning of the season and let the parents and children know what your goals are. This will help eliminate issues later on in the season.
- Plan practices to keep kids active
When you plan your practice make sure there is not too much “classroom time” where you are talking at the kids while they are not moving. Do not do drills that make the kids stand in line for too long either. The more active the children are, the more they are focused and ultimately improve. If you have the extra volunteers or staffing, stations are a great way to keep the kids moving and learning.
- Focus on 1-2 areas in practice
Many coaches believe they have to teach every aspect of the game during each practice. Pick a skill or two to focus on, and—as you teach—make sure you give the players positive reinforcement when they perform the skill correctly. Suggest that students focus on those skills during your next game; this will reinforce what you taught during practice.
- Always end practice on a positive note
As a coach, you can always find something positive to emphasize. You can ask the children if they saw something their teammate did well…or what they thought was positive during practice.
- Have fun
Though it is a “volunteer” role, coaching is not an easy job. But if you have fun, the children will pick up on this and will have fun, too!
Article Contributed By:
Hi Five Sports Metro