As a youth football coach you must lead by positive example. A coach’s demeanor, whether good or bad, is what is first recognized by his team.
Here are 5 ways you are leading by example and may not even be aware of it.
1. Interactions. You will spend plenty of time with your coaching staff, it is how you interact with them that will be carefully scrutinized by your athletes. Avoid bickering and finger pointing within your coaching circle, look to put an end to that nonsense immediately. When it comes to Moms and Dads, when you present your ‘Parent Rules’ at the start of the season, make sure to clearly state and number (1), (2), (3).. each rule. You will point to these rules in-season when conflicts arise to assist to defuse all annoyances. Finally, how you interact with your kids is of utmost importance- teach, encourage, focus on the team’s interests and needs with a positive attitude.
2. Your Physical State. If you are out of shape, then you have some time to improve on this before the start of the season. Proper nutrition provides the fuel while disciplined physical training gives your team what it needs to perform at high levels- you must practice what you preach.
3. Temperament. Do you lose your temper rather quickly if a call does not go your way? When a kid misses his assignment, do you berate him on the sideline? Keep your cool as your kids are attentively monitoring your behavior. The way you respond to the face adversity will be mirrored by your team as they tackle tough situations. An even temperament is highly favorable, and teaches your athletes not to get rattled, regardless of the situation presented.
4. Player Safety. The safety of your team is your number one priority, enforce and consistently look to improve proper tackling technique. Come up with creative ways to perform hitting drills that are smarter and safer. Your kids will want to know that you care for their well-being on the football field.
5. Body Language. Non-verbal communication (body posture, tone, facial and eye expression) speaks volumes, and is a key leadership component to being an effective youth football coach. Make yourself BIG (a power pose) and speak in a decisive, lowered tone. Look your players in their eyes! Read more here: 10 Powerful Body Language Tips.