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  • Writer's pictureadam thompson

Coach Them Kids!

Coaching young athletes can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both the coach and the players involved. From building certain skills and self-confidence to fostering positive relationships and teamwork, the benefits of coaching are numerous. In this blog post, I want to talk about the advantages of coaching young athletes and even offer advice on how to deal with parents of young athletes.

When my kids were playing recreation league baseball and softball (in the Florida panhandle school sports don’t start until middle school) my wife and I volunteered to either help coach or coach our kids’ teams. April-May became a strenuous time, often at the field 5 days a week between practices and games, to the point when the season was over, we could finally breathe. But we would soon miss it. We would miss the excitement of the kids when they had a great play. We would miss the ‘a-ha’ moments of the player finding a new skill they could use on (and sometimes off) the field.

Benefits for Coaches: Coaching young athletes is an opportunity to pass on knowledge and skills to the next generation. It is an opportunity to watch young players grow and develop, both on and off the field. Additionally, coaching can be a great way to stay connected to the sport and to continue learning and growing in your own right. Coaches often find that they gain a great deal of satisfaction from seeing their players improve and succeed, and from the relationships, they build with their players and their families. I know my wife and I did. (It’s also a great feeling when a parent comes up and says they want you to coach the team again next season.)

Benefits for Players: For young athletes, coaching can be a transformative experience. Through coaching, players can learn important life skills such as teamwork, leadership, and communication. They can develop a sense of discipline, perseverance, and self-confidence. Additionally, coaching can provide a sense of community and belonging, as players work together towards a common goal. Coaches can serve as positive role models and mentors for their players, providing guidance and support both on and off the field. Remember, some of these players are from single-parent households, or living with grandparents versus their parents. Any chance you can be a positive addition to their life makes a huge difference down the road.

Dealing with Parents: One of the challenges of coaching young athletes is managing the expectations and concerns of parents. It is important to establish open and honest lines of communication with parents from the start and to listen to their concerns and questions. Coaches should be clear about their coaching philosophy and their expectations for players and parents. Additionally, coaches should be proactive about addressing any issues that arise, whether they are related to player behavior, playing time, or team dynamics. By staying in regular communication with parents, coaches can help to build trust and ensure a positive experience for all involved. You will always have the parent who thinks their kid should get more playing time; the one who is always worried their kid will get hurt; always the one who thinks they can coach better than you. You’ll have to find a way to deal with it. If you have a good snack schedule for the week, the rest is gravy.

Coaching young athletes is an incredibly rewarding experience. By providing guidance, support, and a sense of community, coaches can help young athletes develop important life skills and succeed on and off the field. And by maintaining open lines of communication with parents, coaches can ensure a positive experience for all involved.

Do it at least once. Even if you don’t know enough about the sport, that’s fine, you can learn. I had to help teach my son to pitch, and I was by no means a pitcher. Hell, I only played one or two years of little league myself in elementary school. So, I bought a book and watched every Youtube video I can find. But it gave me time back with my kids that I lost to always being on the road.

Happy Monday! Cheers.


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