Unlock the equipment storage sheds and get the pads out. It’s go time! Coach, follow these top ten points for a guaranteed winning youth football season.
1. A winning season means all kids will learn football + character building lessons. Wins are wonderful, but the successful instruction of the fundamentals of football and the multitude of benefits that come with playing the game is what is most important and what ultimately defines your success as a coach. At the end of the season ask yourself three questions to determine if you had a winning youth football season: (a) Did the kids safely learn football? (b) Did they learn valuable life lessons such as teamwork, resilience and discipline? (c) Did they have fun? A resounding YES to all of these questions translates to a victorious season.
2. Parent interaction. At this time you should have a parent’s code of conduct agreement all set and signed. If you do not have this yet document yet created, click this. Remind parents of this signed agreement several times during the season via email. Hit the unruly parents with reminders before they start to be distractions.
3. It’s not about YOU. No. And it’s certainly not about your disdain for an opposing team or coach. This season is all about ensuring your team has a fulfilled experience on the football field.
4. Be the best coach you can be but don’t neglect family time. Often times football becomes all encompassing. Structure your family time days wisely, map out a schedule for the next couple of months.
5. Practice time, keep them focused. According to Parents.com, child development experts say kids should be able to keep focus for up to 20 minutes before they drift into la la land. Keep your kids focused by having creative, engaging and most of all fun practices. Encourage competition amongst teammates. Reward kids that regularly attend practice (on-time) with additional playing time. Finally, a point to remember- to get a child’s attention, a coach must give attention.
It’s not entirely about wins and losses, but it is about player/character development.
6. Focus on a holistic view, the all around development of your team. Highlight the importance of hydration, proper nutrition, hard training and performing well in school. You’ll get more wins out of your squad, and they’ll benefit immensely.
7. Teach football safety correctly. Practice proper tackling technique. To be a coach, you must have expert status with regards to football safety. 8. Give your minimum play kids a little more attention. They’ll appreciate it and they will get better, I promise. Give a minimum play player an opportunity to score, they’ll likely remember a TD scored forever.
9. Champion sportsmanship. Running up the score is simply unnecessary. When this occurs, it’s usually because one team has a clear cut advantage with older but lighter kids, or a team is just loaded with athletes and exponentially better. Put your minimum play players in once the game is in hand, allow these kids an opportunity to improve.
10. Be fair. Favoritism has no place in youth football. The kids will pick up on if you are playing favorites.
Follow these 10 points and you are guaranteed a winning a season. Good luck!