Coaching Youth Sports

Many young athletes and budding sports persons aspire to have a professional career in their own respective fields. No matter the skills of any young athlete, a strong coach is required for guidance every step of the way. A great coach can make or break a player. A coach with sound knowledge of the sport domain is imperative for their sporting success. Responsible coaching can help young sportsmen and sportswomen to have an enhanced training curriculum. It ensures that the youths are trained in a safe environment and encouraged to develop strong education and sport ethics. The children are encouraged and instilled a love for the sport, as opposed to traditional sports coaching which predominantly trains sports persons to perform to the maximum of their potential, sometimes at the expense of excess stress and compromising sport morals.

Responsible Coaching

Youths require several opportunities for a play which is unstructured. The youths also need an opportunity to exercise their creativity in the game that they are playing. Responsible coaches do not generally encourage the children to have an early sports specialization. Rather, more importance is placed on individual improvement and the development of skills. Responsible coaching also ensures that the children are coached for around one hour since children have short attention span. It’s equally important for coaches to use role models for demonstrating good performance. Some other attributes of responsible coaching include teaching one sport skill at a time, using simple language for instructions, knowing individual personality traits of the youths, individualizing communications, and being a good listener. 

Communicating with your team

Being an effective communicator considerably reduces the communication gaps which may arise. Effective communication also garners respect, authority, and competence for the coach. Responsible coaches encourage teamwork and cooperation among the youths as well. The children who make a good contribution to a team’s performance are acknowledged. At the same time, the value of teamwork is reinforced to the team. To strengthen teamwork, aspects such as accountability, commitment, and unselfishness is inculcated.  

Dealing with Parents

One of the greatest challenges for a responsible coach is dealing with the parents. Parental expectation is a crucial issue which often creates a hindrance for the career of a budding sportsperson. Instead of encouraging a high pressured outlook towards sports training, responsible coaches try to make the training sessions more supportive for the youths by convincing the parents to change their attitude towards careers in competitive sports. The immense role of supportive parents in the success of a child’s sporting endeavour is also intimated to the parents by the coaches. All in all, the key aspect of children’s sport is fun.

Youth Baseball and Softball


photo by Jonathan: flickr

Youth Soccer

photo by Ole Olson: Flickr
  • AYSO: Official site of the American Youth Soccer Organization.
  • Coaching Education: Learn about coaching at US Youth Soccer.
  • Youth Soccer: Best Practices for coaching soccer.
  • Soccer for Kids: Youth soccer which encourages equal play rule, fair and balanced teams, and positive coaching.
  • Soccer Drills: Great drills to get young players focused and into the rules of the game
  • Rules of the Game: Overview for coaches on rules, fouls, fields, free kicks and more.
  • US Youth Soccer: Coaches education section. 
  • Video Tutorial: Coaching young players on positions.

Youth Basketball 

photo by FMWRC: Flickr

Youth Football

photo by Matt McGee: Flickr

Youth Cheerleading

photo by Brett: Flickr

Youth Hockey

photo by Mr. Beck: Flickr

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