Why Bother Coaching Youth Sports?
- You love kids. If you don’t love kids, you should not be coaching.
- You want to be a positive role model, something kids so desperately need
- You love the game and want to pass that love on
- You want to show kids that hard work and fun can go hand-in-hand. They are not mutually exclusive.
- You love competition and winning, but not more than you love to see young players develop.
- You want to be part of your child’s youth sports experience.
A good coach is always seeking to improve, learn new training techniques, and deliver to players during practice to be implemented during games. There are plenty of videos on YouTube and every major college uses its social media platforms to showcase its training (see Viper Training Videos Here). A good coach can also take a lot from an opposing coach. We’ve met some great opposing coaches over the years, stayed in contact, and even became friends with. In the last 2 weeks, I saw the ugly side from opposing coaches and it reinforced why some people should NEVER get into coaching youth sports.
Example #1: A controlled scrimmage. I hour time limit, no more than 5 runs per inning. This is a great opportunity to work on things in advance of your next tournament. Team A was having fun, trying some new plays and playing different positions. The coach from Team B, while losing 11- 1, decided he wanted to teach his base runners to run into the opposing shortstop to draw contact and hopefully be awarded 3rd base. This coach is not teaching the right way.
Example #2: Team A is an older team and holding on to 1 run lead against Team B, a younger team still learning the game. Team B has runners on 2nd and 3rd and a good hitter coming up. Coach of Team A, feeling threatened claims Team B batted out of order and demands an immediate out to end the inning. It was a minor clerical error and no one batted out of order. No rules were broken. Coach of Team A tried to save face and didn’t want to lose to a younger team and caused a scene, and tried to bully a team of young girls. This coach should never be allowed to coach youth sports again.
Example #3: Same Team A and Team B as Example #2. The first base coach from Team A gets in on the action. With a healthy 3 run lead, the coach yells out loud the young pitcher from Team B has lost it and the game was over because she was struggling with her location. The pitcher from Team B hears this and breaks down crying. Any adult who feels empowered by bullying a child or using psychology to get into a young player’s head should NEVER be coaching youth sports.
Compliment an opposing player or particular play. Build a level of respect – I do it all the time. I see opposing coaches do it as well. Be a responsible adult when coaching and if you have to think about whether your actions are questionable – then don’t do it.