Parents, you don’t have to settle for a coach who is not giving your child what you really want them to have in youth sports; it’s okay to be picky. You don’t have to put your child on a team with a coach that will not encourage your child’s love for sports.
There are always options: community leagues, sports organization teams, camps, light travel sports, or maybe just letting your child play with friends for fun until a better opportunity comes along. Yes, it may take some research, but a good youth sports coach who knows how to give your child a positive and growing youth sports experience is gold in the athletic world.
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Before you sign your child up, do your homework and look for a coach who:
1. Knows how to teach in a positive way, not harping on negatives all the time.
2. Doesn’t belittle the team for losing.
3. Takes the blame when the team doesn’t perform and looks to see how they can help them improve.
4. Points out the small victories to the team, even when they lose.
5. Always fights for the team. Whether they confront refs or administrators, they are advocates for their team.
6. Is always learning and looks for ways to improve their own skills as a coach.
7. Wants to win, but not more than they want the players to have a good team experience.
8. Sees the bigger picture of how sports can teach character building.
9. Really loves kids and wants them to have a great experience.
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If your child has a coach with these traits, their love for sports will be nurtured and the chances are much greater that your young athlete will stay in the game longer. A negative coach who does not know how to water your child’s passion for the game could have your young athlete running away from a sport they once couldn’t wait to play.
Janis Meredith is a family coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.