Tips for Youth Sports Coaches

Philadelphia, PA resident Dr. Andrew Collier has practiced orthopaedic surgery for more than 30 years. Dr. Andrew Collier has served his Philadelphia, PA community in a number of additional ways, including coaching a number of his children’s little league and school football teams.

Coaching youth sports can be a difficult task as coaches are expected to keep children safe, teach both morals and fundamentals, and create an atmosphere that is fun yet competitive. The first step toward being an effective youth coach comes in identifying the overarching goals of a league, team, or select group of players. While player safety will always rank as a coach’s top priority, certain leagues may be set up, for example, with an emphasis on fitness and healthy living. In this case, a coach should do everything in his or her power to engage children throughout all warm-up exercises, practice drills, scrimmages, and games, valuing participation over performance. All-star teams, on the other hand, consist of talented players who can benefit more from working on their fundamentals and learning new strategies.

Whatever a coach’s goal is for the youth team, parallels should be drawn between sports and real life whenever possible. Guiding a child in how to lose with dignity or win while demonstrating respect for their opponents is a common example of sports creating teachable life moments. Recognizing and capitalizing on these kinds of teachable moments often sets apart good youth sports coaches from great ones.