How to Coach Your Kid's Sports Team

Coaching a kid's sports team isn't about reliving your glory days; it's about properly teaching the fundamentals and having fun.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #411

I’m not alone either; there are thousands of videos on YouTube about how to make learning a sport fun while also developing the fundamentals. For example, my players love a game called “Knock Out” in which they line up at the foul line and one by one, try to make a shot before the person behind them scores. One player takes a shot, chases the rebound, and then rushes to make the quick basket before the player behind them knocks them out. They ask to play it the entire practice. So, after we’re done the set practice, as a “reward,” we do just that. Here, they learn how to shoot, how to rebound, how to hustle, quick hand skills and also how to be competitive … all while they are learning the game. This is one simple way that my fellow coach and I work with the girls to increase the laughter, over the stress. Without the fun aspects of the sport, they will just think of practice as a chore and lose interest. Don’t get me wrong, we play to win because I want to see them try, but we do so in a way where —win or lose—they embrace a new sport as something to enjoy participating in year after year.

Tip #3: If You Want to Coach, You Should Have Signed Up

For my daughter’s league there are only four teams for her age group. Not exactly a packed roster of kids but hey, at least we have a league? However, what’s worse than only having 30 kids in a league, the commissioner had to beg for a forth head coach. Yes, beg.  Whereas my co-coach and I signed up for our daughters because we wanted to share the experience with them not all of the whopping four teams were able to get parents to do the same. So, with such a lack of interest in coaching you would think that parents would keep their views about how a team should be run to a minimum. Well, you’d be wrong. Turns out that the parents who didn’t sign up to coach know all the rules, what should be done, and my favorite, “could have seen that play coming from a mile away.” Yup, the parent on the sideline who didn’t sign up is so knowledgeable of the sport that they wanted to express their opinions sarcastically and openly to everyone around. Classy, right?

Coaching a child’s sports game is kind of like voting: if you don’t participate, you can’t complain. 

Coaching a child’s sports game is kind of like voting: if you don’t participate, you can’t complain. If you signed up to be a coach, you get to make the rules, set the team and guide the practice. If you don’t volunteer, you sit on the sideline and watch, not vocalize your disgust or dislike, but simply cheer on the team. If you don’t abide by this rule, you end up risking the legitimacy of the coach's role and authority to the kids. When you do that, the children will pick up on it and then the whole team will fall apart. Now, taking into account Tips #1 and #2, it’s also about respect for your teammate and the coaches. Trying to take jabs doesn’t make you look “knowledgeable,” it just makes you look rude. Plus, if you’re really soooooo smart or sooooo sports savvy, then you should have signed up yourself to share your skills … but you didn’t.  Maybe next year, grumpy mom or dad.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

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