Coach Web

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Positive Coach?

Coach WebA coach acts as one of the most influential figures in a young athlete’s life. In addition to teaching lessons on the field, a coach’s behavior can impact how players think and feel about their athletic ability and themselves at home.

There are no written qualifications for the position of Youth Sports Coach, but the idea behind “positive coaching” and the influence it can have on the lives of athletes is beginning to separate the great coaches from the pack.

Coaches are picking up on these shared techniques and characteristics to improve their coaching style and boost their seasonal performance.

Repeat Yourself

Young players often respond best when instructions are repeated more than once. Talking through possible scenarios that may arise multiple times gives athletes a chance to visualize their initial reaction before it is presented to them at game time. Practice makes perfect – run similar drills to get the best results.

Target Compliments

Coaches often emphasize specific details during their critiques, but generalize the positives. General compliments like “Great job out there!” are less likely to be remembered by young athletes. For more noticeable results in the future, compliment specific moments in the game that you would like to see repeated.

Promote Good Sportsmanship

Unfortunately, all too often, loud and unsportsmanlike screams are being called out at youth sports games. A positive coach promotes teamwork and good sportsmanship, win or lose. How? The first step involves leading by example. Coaches are expected to show respect for the game, the officials, and the opponents.

Know What To Expect

Setting expectations for young players is only natural, but make sure they’re realistic. Setting the bar too high for athletes can cause many players to drop out of the sport altogether. Cater to the developmental level of play and focus on achievable goals.

Teach Resilience

Make sure players are aware that mistakes are inevitable. It doesn’t matter what the mistake was, it only matters how they plan to bounce back. Don’t allow a player to beat themselves up over a missed play or bad kick. Teach determination.

Positive CoachThe One-Two-One Rule

When delivering a critique, follow the rule of 1-2-1. Begin by praising the athlete on something they performed well. State the correction you’d like to see made in the future in a positive tone. It’s recommended to phrase the correction as “Do it like this…” rather than “Don’t do this…”. Finish with another praising statement to end on a positive note.

Patience Is A Virtue

In order to produce a positive and successful season, youth sports coaches need to tap into their patience to stay relaxed as they navigate the sometimes frustrating attitudes and learning situations of young players. By displaying self-discipline and positivity, that mindset can transfer to the team and help improve performance.

Keep It Fun

Remember that sports are meant to be enjoyable for the entire team. Promoting fun and play will result in a happy team, and a happy season.

Have you seen positive coaching techniques that aren’t mentioned above? Share with us what works best for you team in the comment section below!

Coaching, General


Kris Baker

Kris Baker is the President of Demosphere and has been serving the Youth Sports Community since 2006.