So you signed up your little guy or gal up for a team sport. It seems like a great way for you child to make friends and have fun. The next thing you know you get a call from the league commissioner. Turns out you child’s team has no coach. Before you know it you have somehow been talked into taking over the team. Now what?
If this is your first time coaching a youth sports team then their are a few things you should know. Following the steps below will help ensure that you and the team have a smooth and fun season.
1) Do not let parents run you over. — Be nice and polite to all parents, but at the end of the day you have to accept that you are the coach and you have the final say. Some parents will try to be pushy. Some will be obvious. They will get upset when they don’t like your decisions and they will let you know. Other’s will be more subtle. Some parents may try to kill you with kindness, only to pour on the guilt later on. Communicate with your parents and let them know you take their concerns seriously, but you have to maintain authority. If any parents feel like you are caving to one or two then you may lose all control of your team. Any parent could have volunteered. You chose to and they should respect that.
2) You set the mood for your team — You must understand that as the coach you are the leader of the team and parents. You set the mood. If you are over aggressive or disrespectful towards officials and other teams then you are creating an atmosphere where that attitude is expected. You must set a good example of sportsmanship at all times. And it is your responsibility to set the standard of sportsmanship expected from your team and your parents. Do not wait until an official is forced to step in to deal with an unruly parent. It is your responsibility to let parents know if they are crossing the line.
3) Make a snack list — This sounds silly but it is often overlooked. Parents will be expecting you to do this. You are in charge of all the small details you never thought before you coached.
Above all else, make sure the kids are having fun. Don’t get caught up in wins and loses. Your job is to to ensure that the kids have fun, learn the game, and learn sportsmanship. As long as you make sure those things are happening than you can be sure that you are doing your job as youth sports coach. Good luck!