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Coaching Kids - Dos and Don'ts

Nationally-recognized performance coach shares tips


While there are. as MomsTEAM has often observed, a wide variety of coaching styles, techniques and philosophies in youth sports, there are a few qualities that separate good coaches from great ones. No Limits Founder and Creator, Coach Mike Basevic, a nationally-recognized performance coach, explains that there are a few rules of thumb all coaches should follow.

"It is the responsibility of the coach to set an example for their players so they may achieve their performance potential," says Coach Mike. "Providing players with mental strategies empowers athletes to create their own success, purpose, and happiness."

Here are Coach Mike's coaching do's and don'ts:

  • DO Teach Kids to Focus: When there are parents screaming on the sidelines, players need to learn how to tune out the noise. "The pressure kids feel from the opposing team, or even their own parents, can spur anxiety and cause problems with performance," says Coach Mike. "Coaches need to teach their kids how to focus on the task at hand, stay in the moment, and realize that nothing outside of themselves affects what they do, unless they let it."
  • DO Let Kids Feel Their Emotions: Society may say ‘boys don't cry', but it is okay for kids to feel sad, mad or angry if they are off their game. "It is important for kids to learn to accept and acknowledge their emotions," says Coach Mike. "Only then can they let go and move forward past the limiting emotions that could shut down a performance."
  • DO Have an End Goal in Mind: Outlining expectations at the beginning of the season and revisiting those expectations throughout the season will give players a goal to work towards at every practice and game. This will help give kids the motivation they need to work harder and stay on track.
  • DON'T Focus on Weaknesses: Chances are there will be mistakes, lost games and other failures during the course of the season. However only focusing on player weaknesses is detrimental to the morale of the team. "It is just as important to acknowledge the strengths as it is the negatives," says Coach Mike. "When weaknesses are addressed for the sake of improving, it should be done in a constructive manner."
  • DON'T Lose Your Cool: Constant yelling during the game will most likely turn into white noise or fear in a player. Game time is for strategy and when the work learned at practice should be applied. Let the kids play, teach them it's ok to make mistakes and learn from them.
  • DON'T Make it All Business: The reason most kids join a sports team is to have fun! While winning is fun, that doesn't mean all structure needs to go out the window, the coach should make a concerted effort to keep a nurturing environment for their players.

Coach Mike Basevic

No Limits Founder and Creator Coach Mike Basevic is a nationally-recognized behavioral strategist, performance coach, author, and speaker who has been training athletes of all ages for two decades. With a track record of entrepreneurship that includes building strong teams and individuals from sports to business, Coach Mike is dedicated to helping each person realize their full performance potential. During his years working with top athletes, Coach Mike studied why certain players excel at crunch time while others fail. He uncovered the truths of human behavior and discovered successful mental strategies and began implementing them in his No Limits technique. Today, the principles shared through Coach Mike's book, workshops, coaching, and the No Limits Nation are transforming performance from the court to the classroom. For more information visit: http://nolimitsmentaledge.com/about