3 important things your child’s coach wants you to know

By Janis Meredith | Posted 2/15/2017

Have you ever asked your child’s coach how you can best help him or her do their job?

I’ve asked some youth sports coaches to share what they think is important for you to know, especially if your child is in the younger elementary grades:

Focus on fun

The main goal of sports for young children is to have fun. If they have fun, they will come back and play next year. Parents should not focus on their child becoming the next high school or college superstar.

Skills introduction

At this early age, coaches should focus on what the kids know and can do now, not what you want them to do in 10 years. If they get 2-3 new skills out of the season, that’s a great start.

Sometimes practices for young kids look chaotic. That’s just the nature of working with young children. A good coach can have “organized chaos” with a clear plan.

The drills your child learns should be simple because they are still mastering basic motor learning skills. The main goal in teaching skills is that they are age appropriate, fun, and understandable.

As parents, you can play with them at home to help them practice the skills they are learning.

Forget the score

When your kids are very young, the best thing you can do to help them and yourself enjoy the game is to forget about the end result. Coaches and parents should be much more interested in their player learning the fundamentals than the result on the field.

Going along with this, parents need to tell their kids what they did right and ask if their kids enjoyed it rather than focusing on what went wrong.

Remember the big picture

You are at the beginning of a wonderful and exciting journey in youth sports. Your main job is to always keep in mind the “big picture” and remember it’s the kids’ game, so be supportive.

Those three simple directives will help your little one have fun, and may just lay a foundation of love for sports that will encourage your child to keep playing for many years.


Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new book 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents is on Amazon.