What Makes for a Successful Season?

By Jon Buzby | Posted 11/20/2020

The success or not of a season can be evaluated based on several factors, many of which vary depending on whom you ask.

There’s no denying that the number of wins a team has is the first objective statistic that coaches, parents and players often consider when declaring if the season was a successful one.

From a parent’s perspective, here is how I make the determination.

1.    Did my child have fun? Because if not, he might decide never to play the sport again. Even if the team went undefeated, I’d say the season was a failure if he didn’t have fun. His unhappiness might have stemmed from many reasons, maybe even some that were his own fault. The bottom line is if he didn’t enjoy the season, it might have been his last. If he had fun – it won’t be. 
2.    Did my child improve? A player’s improvement might relate to the physical, mental or social aspects of playing the sport and being part of a team. Did their skills improve? How about their sportsmanship with both teammates and opponents? And lastly, how did they outwardly react when they dropped a pass or missed a tackle. A positive answer to any of these elements might result in declaring it a successful season. 
3.    Did my child contribute positively to the team? The reason this last criterion is so important is that if the answer is “no,” even if the other factors are all positive, I’d question if the player is at the right level of competition. If they dominated on the field, they probably need to play at a more competitive level. On the flip side, if they were overwhelmed by their opponents, it might be a case where they need to play down a level, whatever that might be.

A season’s success can be determined by a lot of different factors. However, the one consistency regardless of the player, the sport or the team, is that success is usually not based solely on wins and losses. 

Stay safe and healthy!

Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see to JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @YouthSportsBuzz on Twitter.


USA Football's new model for youth football is designed to make the game safer by reducing contact and by teaching the game based on an athlete's age, the skill they are learning and game type.