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How to Spot A Bad Youth Sports Coach

Some coaches are well-meaning but may not have the skills, temperament or personality to be good coaches.   They are easy to spot. Less easy to identify are the coaches who appear to know what they are doing but are still bad coaches.  In particular, there are three kinds of coaches to watch out for: the drill sergeant, the entrepreneur, and the loose cannon.

Good Youth Sports Coaches Get Training, Emphasize Safety

One of the signs of a good youth sports coach is that he has demonstrated his committment to coaching and the physical and emotional well-being of athletes entrusted to his care through training and education.

A Good Youth Sports Coach Is Sociable, Empathetic and a Good Communicator

He looks for signs of trouble with athletes or parents and comes up with ways to nip the problem in the bud. He genuinely listens to what players and parents say and tries to meet their needs if possible. By listening, a good coach can better relate to his players and understand the true reason for a player's behavior, whether it is slacking off during practice or not performing to her ability in games.

A Good Youth Sport Coach Knows How, What and When To Teach

He keeps winning in perspective and places the emphasis on self-improvement, mastering skills, creating community, and achieving personal and team goals.

Good Youth Sports Coaches Teach, Model and Demand Sportsmanship, Fairness and Respectful Behavior

The winning-is-everything philosophy of youth sports is a major reason why children have such low moral reasoning abilities: in an environment in which winning is paramount, our children internalize the value that it is acceptable to do anything to win, even if it means intimidating officials, cheating, bullying teammates, breaking the rules, intentionally injuring an opponent, or faking an injury to get a time out.

Advice for Sports Moms from a Sports Mom

Women, particularly the mothers who volunteer, are often the backbone of what makes a youth sports team work smoothly.
Unfortunately, as with dads, when it comes to their own child's sports team, a mom's greatest strengths can become weaknesses that can cause problems for her child and his/her coach. 

Coaches Need to Be Patient, Stay Calm And Never Lose Their Cool

Patience and self-control are essential in teaching kids new skills, coaching games, and dealing with parents and officials.

Good Youth Sports Coaches Understand Gender Differences but Avoid Reinforcing Gender Stereotypes

Not all male athletes benefit from a certain (i.e. male) coaching style, nor do all female athletes respond better to a kinder, gentler, nicer coaching style. Different athletes respond in different ways, depending on who they are, what their goals are, and what motivates them. A sign of a good coach is that he knows how to tap into those differences and adjust accordingly while avoiding the reinforcement of culturally-based gender stereotypes.

Youth Sports Coaches Need to Set Realistic, Age-Appropriate Expectations

Youth sports coaches should set realistic, age-appropriate expectations for athletes, understand child development, and be child- rather than adult-centered.


Ten Signs of A Good Youth Sports Coach

While youth sports coaches come in all shapes and sizes, the good ones share ten characteristics.

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