I remember the thoughts racing through my head when I decided to coach Little League Baseball for the first time. It felt like I wasn’t prepared to teach kids how to play baseball and I started questioning my decision.
So should you coach youth sports?
You should absolutely coach youth sports if you have a passion for sports and enjoy mentoring kids! Coaching allows you to dive into a sport(s) you love while positively impacting the local youth. Leagues are always looking for coaches!
If the decision to coach has crossed your mind, we invite you to continue reading to learn about some of the best reasons to start a coaching career!
You Love Mentoring Kids
First and foremost, you need to love kids to coach youth sports. This is a REQUIREMENT! If kids aren’t your thing, you should pass on coaching. Do not rob kids the opportunity of having a coach who has a genuine interest in bringing the best out of his players.
Your passion for the game will shine through in your coaching and the kids will benefit.
Coaching Is Rewarding
Coaching is one of the most rewarding things known to man! There is no greater feeling than seeing a kid who previously struggled, succeed because of your input.
Maybe you taught a player how to correctly field a ground ball, kick a soccer ball with the inside of their foot or taught them how to throw a football spiral…in all these scenarios you’re going to go home with a sense of accomplishment.
Serve as a Positive Role Model
Kids are going to look up to you as a coach. For this reason, it’s important to serve as a positive role model. That means no swearing, displaying poor sportsmanship or yelling at the officials.
Players are going to mimic your actions, whether consciously or subconsciously. If a kid drops a four letter word in the direction of another player or coach…there’s a good chance that’s going to be on you. Show good sportsmanship.
Shake hands with opposing players and coaches following each game and offer words of encouragement. Kids will take notice and follow your lead!
You Love the Game
Coach a sport that you love. If you love baseball, find a bat and some balls and coach baseball! Coaching a sport that you love will help you stay engaged and have more fun. Your players will also benefit from your passion for the game.
The more passion you have for a sport, the more knowledge you probably possess. Use this knowledge to bring the most out of your players. Break down what works and what doesn’t work for the kids. Love the game and your players will too!
Help Kids Succeed
Let’s face it, we’ve all had a couple bad or less than enthusiastic coaches. In fact, I recently met a couple during the local Little League season. These coaches organized one practice over the course of the three-month season.
By the end of the season the parents had put together more practices than the coaches. Coaching isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to have a wealth of knowledge to be a good coach.
Sure it helps, but it’s not required. Showing up on time, organize team practices and take an interest in your kids. These things will make you a good coach!
Help Kids Learn a Game
Learning a new game can be tough for kids, but luckily they have you as a coach! A basic understanding of a sport and its intricacies is all you need to coach.
While experience in playing a sport at a high level helps, it’s far from expected or needed. All you need is a positive attitude and a willingness to grow and learn with your players!
Coach Your Kid
A lot of coaches get into coaching to coach their own kids. The opportunity to see your child grow in and outside of sports is invaluable. I encourage any parents who are hesitant about coaching a team to take the leap of faith and go for it.
By giving coaching a chance, you might come to the realization that coaching is something you want to do beyond your initial season.
Show Working Hard Is Fun
Getting better at a sport requires hard work. That’s not to say you can’t have fun in the process. It’s important your players understand this concept. No one magically improves overnight. Do you think Mike Trout and Michael Jordan became the best at their sports by playing Fortnight all day?
I didn’t think so! They became superstars in their sports through endless repetitions. They treated every practice like it was a game. Now they’re making livings playing kid’s games.
Instill Life Lessons
Youth athletes are impressionable. It’s important that we, as coaches, instill the right life lessons to help our players succeed on and off the field. There are a ton of lesson we can impart, these are some of them:
- Perseverance – It’s ok if you fall short in achieving a goal. As long as you get back up and keep trying, that goal will come to fruition.
- Attitude – A positive attitude will make fun things more enjoyable and challenging things easier to handle.
- Teamwork – No one gets to where they are by themselves. Keep that in mind the next time someone looks like they need help. Teamwork makes the dream work.
- Set goals – Go about your life with a purpose. Work to achieve your goals.
- Practice makes perfect – The more reps you put into something, the better you’ll become at it.
Set the Practice Schedule
As the coach, you get to make the practice schedule! This is a huge benefit in a world that never stops moving. You can work around your busy schedule and make as many practices as possible.
A bonus of making a schedule that works for you is ensuring you get to see your child practice if you’re coaching their team.
Join a Team
Coaching opens the door to meeting like-minded individuals. Whether that’s dads coaching their kid’s teams or meeting people who simply love the game, your social group will expand. This allows you to bounce ideas off those who have been and are still in your shoes.
Coaching also allows you to be a part of a team and something bigger than yourself. This will keep you accountable and help you foster relationships that have the potential to span the rest of your life.
Build Your Confidence
When you coach sports, you’re going to find yourself in plenty of adverse situations. Overcoming these difficulties serve as great confidence boosters. These boosts in confidence add up and benefit you and your players.
Through your new-found confidence, you’re going to be willing to try new things and find it easier to speak your mind.
Coaching Is a Workout
There’s nothing sedentary about coaching sports. Hitting ground balls to the infield. Throwing footballs to wide receivers. Serving up one-timers to skaters. It all requires physical activity. Coaching might not replace the gym entirely, but it’s a workout in and of itself.
New coaches should be aware and open to the physical aspects that coaching requires. You don’t have to be a physical specimen, but you need to be willing to get down to work.
Money Isn’t a Factor
I hate to break it to you, but coaching youth sports doesn’t pay well. It actually doesn’t pay anything! For this reason, it’s important you coach for the right reasons. A love for the game and a desire to mentor kids are a must.
Over the course of a season, you’re going to volunteer a lot of your free time and those around you will appreciate your efforts.
Try Something New
If you want to try something new, give coaching a shot. Coaching is perfect for those who love sports and enjoy giving back to the community. Like anything in life, you won’t know if you like something until you try it. For that reason alone – sign up to coach!
How do you find leagues to coach in? A great way to find local leagues is to open Google and search “[Your City] youth [desired sport]”. Many cities will have local chapters of national organizations such as the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) or Little League.
What qualifications do you need to coach? There aren’t any set qualifications needed to coach. You must have a passion for the sport you’re coaching and have sufficient time to volunteer. Leagues may run a background check on you and require fingerprint clearance.