8 Things To Consider While Choosing Your Child's Coach
Let's be realistic here -- as a parent of a child participating in youth sports, you will rarely be in the position to choose the coach. But when you have that option, or when you're looking for a private coach to help your child improve his or her skills, like CoachUp, try to look beyond their knowledge of the sport. Just because someone knows the game doesn’t mean that person knows how to coach, unfortunately.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, just because a coach knows the X's and O's, that's no guarantee that they'll be able to develop a young athlete. If you're in the enviable position of choosing a youth sports coach, be sure to use our handy checklist of things to consider. If your coach meets this criteria, then don’t worry about agreeing with him or her on lesser things like strategy or playing time.
- Positive attitude -- he or she pushes and challenges their athletes by focusing on the positive and not constantly harping on the negative. Better yet, he or she adopts the 4:1 ratio -- four positive remarks for every negative one.
- Doesn’t belittle the team for losing -- a good coach knows how to recognize the disappointment of a loss, even while looking for the little victories. Ultimately, a great leader will never makes the team feel like they are failures, but looks for ways to help them learn from the loss.
- Takes the blame when his or her team doesn’t perform and looks to see how he or she can help them improve.
- Always fights for his or her team -- this may sometimes mean a calm confrontation with referees or even administrators, but it’s only because the coach wants the best for the team.
- Always learning and looking for ways to improve his or her own skills as a coach.
- A great coach wants to win, but not more than they want the players to have a memorable team experience.
- Sees the bigger picture of how sports can teach character building. Coaches can look for opportunities to help youth sports athletes learn character lessons and develop them as a well-rounded person.
- Finally -- a great coach really loves kids and wants them to have a great experience. Even at their age, youth sports athletes will pick up on this and be drawn to a coach who embraces the right things. Once the coach has earned their respect, he or she is in the position to truly impact young lives.
Your child’s coach should be in the business of helping your child become a better athlete and person. If he or she is not, and is only about wins and physical skills, the coach is missing out on a great opportunity to shape a young life. If you can, it's always a good move to be picky about who influences your child’s life.