Do you have fond memories of your mother or father coaching a pee-wee sports team when you were younger? Do you remember having a friend’s mother or father act as an assistant coach for your softball or baseball team? There’s something wholesome about a mom or dad offering to coach a youth sports team and you may be ready to take on responsibility for your son or daughter’s sports team. You want to be the best coach you can be, so you understandably feel a little nervous. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to be a professional umpire or coach to successfully coach a pee-wee sports team; just make sure that you follow these steps:
Always be supportive
Everyone makes mistakes; even professional athletes occasionally miss shots or mess up. The kids you’re coaching may have a passion for sports, but that doesn’t mean that they’re experts. Don’t be afraid to help kids that are struggling with certain things, but don’t make them feel bad for it. Too many coaches get caught up in wanting to make their teams winners, and their drive to win makes them way too critical of their team. Don’t lose sight of what the league is supposed to be about, and don’t get too hard on the kids when they make a mistake or lose a game.
Don’t focus on your own kid
If you’re the coach of a team or league your son or daughter is in, you may subconsciously focus on what they’re doing more so than their teammates. They may already feel a little self-conscious about having their parent be their coach, and you don’t need to make it any worse by giving them too much attention. Allow your kid to mess up, learn, and make friends on their own. Watching them improve as the weeks go on will be very rewarding, but so will watching the rest of the kids in your league. Never play favorites, and make sure that everyone gets equal amounts of attention from their coach.
Build a team spirit
The kids may all wear the same uniform, but that doesn’t mean that they’re automatically going to work well together. As a coach, it isn’t just your job to make sure that the games go smoothly, you also have to encourage teamwork with your kids. Stress the importance of working together during games and practices, and encourage them to work together whenever they’re on the field. Consider buying them custom baseball trading pins as rewards for when they win games or overcome an obstacle. Anything you can do to encourage them to work together will help foster a healthy spirit of teamwork.