Whether you’re coaching your child’s t-ball team, a high school basketball team, or college level football, good coaching is universal across all sports and levels. It requires a strong set of principles, a role-model mentality and a wide variety of communication skill sets. Here we have compiled the top 10 coaching tips we could find. Are you the best coach you can be?
Top 5 Coaching Tips
Motivation and Inspiration
In the business world, they say, “culture eats strategy,” to imply that when the group dynamic differs from its strategic goals the overall outcome will be a failure. The same principle applies to team dynamics. Create an inspiring and motivational environment in order to encourage growth and positivity. Here’s how:
- Use positive reinforcement. Emphasize the good things, and focus less on the bad.
- Use constructive criticism by explaining how to improve rather than pointing out mistakes.
- Positive affirmations are key to youth players. Their confidence in the sport hasn’t yet been achieved. Using positive affirmations will motivate them to become more confident in their skills and ultimately reach a higher potential.
- Offer rewards for small and large wins. Don’t just emphasize the big ones, but the small ones too.
True communication means not just seeing your team as a whole, not just instructing, but actively listening and relating to each team member differently. Each player has different strengths and weaknesses, which will be easier to nurture through individual communication. Some tips for team communication include:
- At the beginning of the season, have the team come up with the “10 Commandments of a Good Teammate” or something similar. This will help learn to communicate and guide them through the rest of the season.
- Use brainstorming sessions to allow the team to give you feedback on what they think they need to work on. Coaches can learn a lot from their players’ perspectives, even young ones.
- Encourage discussions before and after games to discuss strategy and assess the outcome.
Give Parents and Fans Guidelines
Tell your team’s fan base what is expected of them. Nutrition is a huge part of sports performance, and parents are largely in control of what their children eat. Older players parents, and sometimes younger, are often also aggressive in their passionate cheering. Some examples of guidelines for parents and fans might include:
- Don’t yell at the official, ref, umpire, etc.
- Let the coach give instruction. Cheer your child or team on encouragingly.
- (For parents) Please try to enforce a balanced diet and healthy sleep schedule.
This is one of the hardest principles for most coaches to grasp. Many want to demand respect. There are many ways to gain the respect of the team, but demanding it will hardly get anyone very far. Here are a few tips to earn respect:
- Show up on time, and treat every practice seriously. Have a plan and make it count.
- Treat each player with respect and listen to your athletes.
- Be aware of your body language.
There is a multitude of tools out there for coaches now. You can find everything online from scoresheets to lineups and drill cards. There’s an app for just about everything these days, scorekeeping and statistics included. Some apps to look out for are
- 805 Stats: Keep fans in the loop with live score updates. Make better coaching decisions with detailed scorekeeping and statistics. This app gives you access to them right at your fingertips.
- Hudl: Record a player in action then slow it down and look for areas to improve in the playback.
- Baseball Gameplan with Jason Giambi: This app basically gives baseball coaches everything they need to put together training plans. It includes drills, stretches, and instructional videos.
- Red Cross: First Aid is key for coaches. Don’t be unprepared for an emergency!