Those who take on the privilege of coaching youth generally don't do it with grandiose thoughts of becoming rich and famous. Youth coaches usually do it because they genuinely want to make a difference in the lives of their players. It's not just about winning games. It's about having a positive impact on them that will shape the rest of their lives.
1) Have a Team Vision
Start out by setting a vision for the whole team. Get their input and devise one together. Example: We the Mighty Tigers stand together as a team. Our vision is to work together, encourage each other in good times and bad, help each other improve our skills and always display good sportsmanship by taking our wins and losses with humility and dignity.
2) Unify & Motivate the Team
Explain the power of teamwork. Remind them they're in this together. When one is injured or upset, it impacts the entire team. As a team, they share a bond and need to look out for each other both on and off the field. Show them how to challenge each other to improve their individual skills.
3) Coaching Youth to Balance Skills with Vision
You want to balance team practices and drills with the main vision of the team. To do this, while the team is doing drills to improve their skills, teach them to encourage and cheer each other on. When they get mad because they make a bad play, show them how to display good sportsmanship even when they make mistakes. Coaching youth is about pushing them physically and mentally to make them stronger. Incorporating the aspects of the team vision into each practice unifies the team and keeps them aligned with the vision.
4) Game Plan
Practicing helps a team play. Planning helps them win. Set up a sequence of strategies for games and introduce it to your team so that they know what sequence of plays will be utilized in specific situations of a game. Coaching youth sometimes requires that you go into more detail to explain routines, concepts or certain plays, or they might take you literally. Make sure they understand that having a game plan doesn't mean they have to literally follow the same sequence every single time. An effective game plan is often made up of alternatives based on the opposing team's performance. So it's important to remind them they must also be flexible and able to quickly switch between strategies.
5) Mold the Players For Excellence
One of the greatest impacts you can make while coaching youth is to guide them to always strive for excellence. Remember to also teach them to distinguish excellence from perfection. Excellence simply means being committed to the team and striving to improve at every single practice. It takes a lot of energy and extra encouragement to instill in them to always strive to be their best and never give up. This will have a huge impact on everything they set out to accomplish in life.
6) Track Individual Performance
While you go to great lengths to drill it into their heads that they're one team, make sure they know that you value them each individually. It's important to recognize their performance individually and provide support for improving their skills as well as acknowledgement of their individual improvement. When you identify a weakness, have a clipboard handy and make a note. Take a few minutes during each practice to address this weakness and provide tips for improvement. When you see improvement, always praise them. Also, be sure to check out Team Website builder that make organization and sports management much more efficient and stress free for you.
7) Make It Fun
Kids need to realize that you can have fun whether you're winning, losing, studying or doing exhausting drills at practice. Coaching youth involves incorporating challenges and fun exercises that not only help improve skills, but that also motivate and excite the players. Find ways to incorporate fun drills so that their growth and experiences produce positive memories. Working with young kids requires patience, love and creativity. However, the intrinsic reward is that, if done effectively, it will impact the rest of their lives.