Active kids have lower health risks, have higher test scores, and are more likely to go to college. Plus, being physically active has shown to increase brain power, happiness, and overall health.
Thankfully, there are over 21 million kids, ages 6 to 17 who actively participate in team sports.
It makes sense that a team coach will play a huge role in a child's life. They have a huge responsibility when it comes to being a role model. That being said, they also want to win.
So when it comes to league coaching, what is the best strategy? Keep reading to learn 10 tips you can use to be a better coach.
As a little league coach, the kids you coach will need to know what is expected of them, both during practice, during games, and every time in between when you are together as a team.
If you make a rule that practice can't be missed unless a player is sick or has a legitimate reason provided by a parent, then stick to that rule.
If you have a rule that there is no talking during drills, stick to that rule. Whatever guidelines and rules you make for your team, stick to them, and make sure that your kids know exactly what they are.
Make sure that consequences are also communicated and consistent.
As a new coach, you'll earn a reputation fairly quickly. Set the tone early on with a positive attitude. If you expect your team to behave during practice and on the field in the middle of a game, the only way you'll get results is if you demonstrate that same disposition.
Make sure that bad attitudes warrant punishment, whether it be running an extra lap or doing push-ups. It doesn't have to be overly harsh, but it does have to be consistent and meaningful.
While it's essential that team sports have structure demand perseverance, you don't have to get there by yelling. The best teachers, parents, and leaders of children refrain from yelling as much as they can.
Your team will respect you more by looking up to you rather than being terrified of you. Plus, team sports are a way to let loose and have fun, which leads us to our next tip.
The same way that adults do, kids love rewards. And they love a chance to work harder in order to reap those benefits. Even if it's a pizza party at the end of a long month of practice or the chance to dictate the first drill before a big game, offering rewards for dedication and good behavior is one of the best teaching practices.
Having fun with your team will encourage them to want to work harder, show up for practice, and give their team their best.
Take the time to know and understand each one of your players to the best of your ability. If you want to win, you'll need to know what to say and how to treat each and every one of your kids.
Some kids need constant encouragement and validation to do their best, whereas others need distractions and responsibility.
Get to know your kids and even though you might have favorites, do your best not to show it. Nothing is worse than feeling like a weak link both on the field AND in the eyes of an adult that you look up to.
Maybe you're sure you have no chance of winning a particular game. But don't say that to your players. Encourage them that they can do anything they set their minds to. And if you lose but they played hard and worked as a team, it's almost as good as, if not better than, a win!
Teach them that hard work, dedication, teamwork, and a positive attitude can help you accomplish almost anything, even getting into the Little League World Series!
Use the hamburger method if you need to give constructive criticism. For example, if you need to tell a player something that they keep doing wrong, lead with a positive. Give them an example of something they do right, whether it's on the field or something they do for the team.
Being able to recognize positives in a child will encourage them to want to work on the other things. The last thing you want is for a player to feel hopeless. You want to encourage them both as players, team members, and as human beings as much as you can.
This may be an obvious one, but make sure you know the ins, outs, and rules of the game. You don't want to be racking your brain when a star player asks you a difficult question.
Make an effort to apply your team's actions to real-life situations and sports history. Get them excited about the history, news, and players of your sport. And if you played in your past, give them details and stories of your journey as a player.
Coaching can be overwhelming. But there are plenty of people more than willing to help. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by involved and needy parents, use them to your advantage.
Your job is to focus on the kids and try to win. So if parents offer to help with anything else under the sun, let them. It'll make your job easier.
As long as you have the right tools and a positive attitude, little league coaching can be one of the most rewarding and exciting jobs in the world.
Be consistent. Be honest. And make an active effort to get to know your players, both as people and as athletes. And don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it.
Do you want to create a more unified team? What better way than to give your players custom baseball trading pins! Check out our design tips here.