Tips For Finding The Best Coaches: They Should Instill Love Of Playing

Help Young Athletes Compete Under Pressure

Tips For Finding The Best Coaches

What makes great coaches who boost kids’ confidence?

First and foremost, great coaches instill a love of the game, says Michael Langlois, a longtime coach and author of “A Guide To Effective Communication for Youth Soccer Coaches.”

“If nothing else, we should not kill the love players have for the game,” he says.

And what’s the best way to do that?

Coaches should be empathic, he says.

“Parents are always looking for coaches who can remember what it was like to be 10, 11, or 12 and playing sports,” he says.

Empathic coaches connect well with kids and are more likely to communicate well with them. And that’s great for kids’ confidence.

In addition, good coaches focus on building skills, character and confidence in players, instead on focusing on the “win,” he says.

Good Coaches Know How to Motivate the Individual Athletes

“I would look for inspirational coaches-people who can find out what motivates my son or daughter,” he says. “It’s a great idea for coaches to talk to parents or give them a survey at the beginning of the season asking them what motivates their kids. In general, having fun and learning new skills motivates kids,” he says.

“Good coaches establish joint expectations at the beginning of the season,” says Langlois.

That means explaining how they plan on running the team-including how they handle playing time.

If parents don’t understand a coach’s philosophy, they’re often disappointed later in the season and less supportive of the coach. And that’s not good for players’ confidence.

Another tip:

Good coaches don’t play “the blame game.” They don’t blame the referees, other coaches or their players if something goes wrong or if they don’t win. In order to feel confident, kids need to feel as if their coaches are positive, effective leaders-not blamers!

Want to learn more about coaches who instill confidence and love of the game? Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can listen to our interview with Langlois here:

What Makes a Good Coach – Listen Here!

At Kids’ Sports Psychology, you’ll also find articles, ebooks, question-and-answers, additional audio interviews-and more-all intended to help you be the best sports parents possible.

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