9 Keys for Success when Coaching Your Child’s Team
How should you coach your child's team? Here are 9 keys for success that can help you when coaching your child's hockey team:
1. Know the game - So, you think your son or daughter will be delighted to have you for a coach just because it means you can spend some "quality time" together? Wrong! If you don't know what you're talking about on the ice -- and you don't make the effort to learn -- they would rather you just stay home.
2. Listen to your players - Kids like to feel respected. Yes, you need to establish your authority -- to keep both kids and parents in line -- but players are people too. Kids can often see more about what is going on on the ice than can parents in the stands. Ask them, listen to them and value their input.
3. Don't play favorites - For most kids, being the coach's pet is bad enough; being one just because of bloodlines is unbearable. On the other hand, no child wants to be singled out for extra harsh treatment because Dad's the coach. As hard as it may be at times, treat your child like any other player.
4. Get everyone in the game - All kids like play more than to win. Sure winning is fun but kids like to play and be a part of the team and the game. Make sure all of your players get plenty of playing time and opportunities to try different positions.
5. Make it FUN - The No. 1 reason kids play sports is to have fun. You can help. Avoid repetitive drills, instead use good-humored small sided games. Make games exciting, not terrifying. Treat the team to pizza or ice cream after a game now and then - not as a reward but as a group activity. Enjoy yourself. Kids don't want to feel like a burden.
6. Don't baby them - No kid wants be told everything to do and pay attention all the time, but players expect the coach to make them do whatever they need to do to be ready for the game. Once on the ice, allow them to make their own decisions if if they make mistakes. They will learn more from the mistakes than doing what they are told to do from the bench.
7. Be a teacher - Kids play sports for fun, but if they don't improve, they'll eventually get bored or frustrated, and perhaps quit. Help them learn skills, rules, and strategy so that they can maximize their abilities. If you are not sure what to do, watch games by more experienced or older teams and see what they are doing or better yet, watch them practice.
8. Act your age - It's embarrassing for kids when their parents argue with officials and yell obscenities. It's even worse when the parent is the coach. Keep your anger in check and your language decent. The old adage "an apple does not fall far from the tree" is true in sports, set a good example of sportsmanship and good will and your team will as well.
9. Care -- but not too much - Care about the kids and not the results of games. Kids want their activities to be taken seriously, but not too seriously. "She did not care if I won or lost" and "He's not too emotional" were the most common reasons kids gave for why their mom or dad was a great coach.
Special thanks to Kentucky Youth Soccer for the above article.
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