What Coaches Can Do to Create a Positive Youth Sports Experience

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Redefine success, showing and knowing about the sport you are coaching. Be knowledgeable about the age group you are coaching and the sex. Understand the difference in developmental skill patterns of that age group and make adjustments for that skill level. Making sure each participant is playing in what level they need to be in. Remember that the inability to perform a certain skill may just be a lack of developmental timing, rather than a true lack of ability. Taking time out and showing practicing and helping goes along way.

Reinforce and refine the skills that are achieved without pushing too quickly for other skills. With allowing time to feel comfortable in which skill they perform and to give kids small tasks to learn to increase chances for accomplishment, and showing there are different way to fulfill each task rather sports, games, or even in everyday life tasks. Be enthusiastic and genuine. Always smile! Make kids feel comfortable so they are not afraid to try new skills, and to show never ever never. You can always do it. If that’s not right that’s fine still learning by trying something different. Let everyone play and substitute players frequently.

Focus your verbal support on what skills they do right. Then your coaching support can more easily be directed at making constructive corrections in other skills. Understanding chemical development so you do not train a child like an adult, risking overtraining and injury. After all, they are all just kids trying to have fun with a title of playing sport and being taught by a coach. Know the limitations of aerobic development so you can maintain a solid aerobic base without overtraining, and concentrate on technique. Use caution in warmer conditions and hot environments and take frequent water breaks. Know when the circumstances are appropriate for weight training. Make your rewarding statements sincere. Have realistic expectations and communicate them so the active youngster can see improvement and acknowledge accomplishment more frequently and be more protected from societal pressure to perform for an ultimate prize. Be alert for signs of overtraining and burnout.

Keep kids motivated with positive feedback no matter what. Remember the importance of positive effects on early psychological development goes a long far way. As kids progress, give meaningful input on winning and losing and emphasize that every practice and competition is an opportunity to learn and improve, and isn’t always about winning and or losing. Teach how to learn from successes, disappointments, and everything in between. Do not coach by intimidation that can only do the opposite in what the goal is really. Be a good role model. Instill good sportsmanship, they are watching your every move and listening to every word and reaction that takes place in front of them.

 Teach good fundamental skills that the child can use to build on with the next coach or activity. Emphasize effort and accomplishment more than winning. Gear the activity toward fun and a positive experience. You may be the very coach that helps inspire a child to stay involved in a sport and truly maximize his or her potential for reality success. Foster a sense of self-worth and confidence in the child or teen.

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Bobby Ratcliff

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One of our fastest writers on staff, Bobby has a true love for writing. He started writing when he was 8 years old for his school newspaper and saw that the students and teachers were hooked on his every word. It was from an early age that Booby knew he was meant to write. After several jobs at various newspaper outlets and magazines, Bobby came to us wanting more freedom in his writing. We saw that by giving Bobby the freedom to write what he enjoyed, his work had our readers wanting more.