All coaches have an extremely different personality and you may have encountered some of them when you were playing sports as a kid as well. Every coach has their own style, approach or philosophy when it comes to sports training.

We don’t live in an ideal world, but we’ve put together a list of characteristics you should look out for in a youth sports coach.

youth sports 2

1. The coach cares about the health and safety of the kids

In order to do so, the coach has to be able to understand the development of a child and what his/her expectations should be according to the kid’s age. The coach will also have to know how to perform or give first aid in case anything happens.

2. The coach values good sportsmanship

The basis of a successful sports team is also modeled by teaching the team that a respectful behavior and fairness towards the other teams are extremely important. Teaching a positive behavior in youth sports will also help them develop later on in their adult life.

3. The coach doesn’t want bad sideline behavior from the parents

First of all, this is bad for the coach because it’s distracting. Secondly, parents who choose this type of behavior are not a good example for their kids, nor for everyone who can see the scene. Plus, they ruin the atmosphere and they make everyone uncomfortable.

4. The coach has realistic expectations for the kids

A good youth sports coach has to be child-oriented, not adult-oriented. He also has to be aware of the fact that children who have the same age can be extremely different in terms of physical or psychological development. The coach should not push the kids to do something they’re not ready to do yet, because it can results in burnout or even in them quitting the sport.

5. The coach knows how to work with both genders

A good coach will understand gender differences, but at the same time  will avoid gender stereotyping. Girls need to be approached in a different way than boys. They need to be shown support and treated in a non-confrontational way. However, some kids can respond in a different manner to various approaches, so the coach has to find the best way to deal with each one of them.

6. The coach is patient and calm

Patience and self-control are extremely important, especially when teaching kids new skills. A coach that gets angry all the time because the kids don’t understand a certain move or a coach that yells and shouts at the kids is not someone you’d want around your children. It creates a negative and tense atmosphere and it will not help kids enjoy playing sports.

7. The coach is a good at communication

A coach that knows how to communicate not only with the kids, but with the parents as well, is a successful asset to the team. The kids need to know that they can go to the coach whenever they have a problem. On the other hand, you, as a parent, need to feel that you can go to the coach and talk with him/her if you have any concerns whatsoever.

Youth sports need the best coaches

No matter the sports your kids are going to be playing, they need to have the best coach, so that they’ll enjoy the time they spend at practice and at games. If you don’t have time to attend all of your kids’ practices, at least go to the first ones to see whether the coach fits the criteria listed above.