6 Reasons Why Why You Should Coach Youth Sports

Up until now, you guys probably thought I was a pretty sane guy with relatively healthy boundaries. But, what if I told you that I coach five youth sports teams each year, and I’m on the board of directors for my local baseball and softball league? And in fact, it’s my job to make sure baseball happens each season.

Not so sane, huh? And my inability to say no to youth sports is an unhealthy boundary. But I’ve been a youth sports coach for almost 20 years, first coaching my nephew’s teams and now coaching my own children. With some much time in sports, I’ve seen the world of good that coaching youth sports can do for kids, both physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s also a pretty incredible hobby, and if you get good at it, it can even be a side hustle someday—just saying.

And you can make that impact too, and the world of youth athletics sorely needs you. This guide on why you should coach a youth sports team will explain why.

Why Youth Sports Need You

Youth sports are in a bad way. Today, kids would rather play sports on an Xbox or Playstation (God, I sound old) than head outside and play the game themselves. In fact, a 2017 study by Brigham Young University (which used data from a Wall Street Journal article) showed that participation in baseball dropped 6.8%, basketball 6.3%, and football 4.9% from 2008 to 2012. All this, while inactivity rose 5%.

Youth athletics just aren’t valued like they used to be. Kids feel sports are too demanding or parents feel there is either too much competition in their leagues or too little. It’s a rough dynamic.

Also, at the start of every season, I have to beg and plead with people to coach their children’s teams. People just don’t volunteer anymore. Whether it’s because they feel they don’t know the sport or that they’re “too busy,” most parents would rather sit back and watch a volunteer coach wrangle their kids than get involved themselves. It makes it really hard to run a successful league when parents don’t want to get involved.

6 Reasons You Should Coach a Sports Team

There are lots of great reasons to coach a team. And, while I acknowledge that coaching isn’t ideal for everyone, the following reasons might encourage you to take it on for a season.

There are other reasons to coach a sports team, but these are the best:

The League Needs You

Whether it’s basketball, baseball, football, soccer, softball, lacrosse, field hockey, or volleyball.. It doesn’t matter. More than likely, any recreational league in any community will be looking for volunteers. Volunteers help keep the kids safe, first and foremost, and ensure that everyone uses sportsmanlike behavior. It doesn’t take Knute Rockne to make that happen.

You’ll Build Your Kid’s Confidence

One of the best things that happens when a parent coaches youth athletes doesn’t even happen to them, it happens to their kid. It’s confidence, and it can make a world of difference for a young player at games, but also when simply heading to practice.

Many young athletes who could potentially be pretty good feel timid and nervous around competitive sports. However, if their mom or dad steps up and coaches the team, they’ll often feel more comfortable, take more risks, and learn to love the sport. As long as that parent makes the experience a good one, the positive impact on their child can be remarkable. It can change the way they show up in the world moving forward, and it’s a great way to build high-value men.

You Can Be a Role Model

As is often the case, many of the children in these leagues don’t have much positivity going on at home. Because of this, they look up to other adults who show them compassion, support, enthusiasm, and most importantly, encouragement. If you can be the person to create a space where that child can’t wait to get to practices and games, you’re doing your job of turning children into future leaders.

You’ll Build an Amazing Social Circle

If you’re someone who doesn’t get out much and would prefer more friends, coaching youth sports is a great way to expand your social circle. I’m not sure how it happened, as I maintained a relatively small social circle my whole life, but now we have parties and get-togethers all the time with a relatively large community of friends. Of course, if that’s not your thing, you can say no.

You Can Encourage Physical Activity

A lot of young people don’t like physical activities because they equate it to punishment. But, as a youth coach, you’ll be able to help them live healthier lives and make physical activities and training something positive and rewarding. That alone could change a child’s life for the better.

You Can Share Your Love of Sports

One of the best benefits of being a coach is that you can teach kids the sport you love. You can help with their development, teaching them the skills and drills required to get better. You don’t have to be an ex-college athlete, either. When it comes to rec sports, enthusiasm is often the baseline requirement.

It’s Fun

Honestly, coaching is a blast. Watching these young athletes’ progress and development start to take off because you taught them the benefits of focus and effort, it’s a lot of fun. Even if you don’t win any games, you and your assistant coaches will have a great time.

Which Role is Right For You?

There are a few roles in which a youth sports coach can help a team: a head coach, an assistant coach, or a “team parent.” All of these coaches’ positions are important, but they have different roles (and this is true for all ages).

  • The head coach keeps the parents in the loop about games and practices. They also set up practice plans, coordinate with the league, and are ultimately responsible for ensuring someone is at every game and all the practices.
  • Assistant coaches, as the name suggests, are there to help the main coach with the practice program, keep kids safe, and help with their development and skills.
  • A team parent’s job is to make sure kids don’t kill each other on the sidelines or in the dugout. They might also help run drills at practices, but their focus is really on keeping things safe and keeping kids on track.

Your Turn

Do you coach a youth sports team? Or are you considering becoming a youth sports coach? Are there any other important benefits that I missed? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you like this type of content, sign up for the TGA mailing list below! You’ll receive weekly emails with the latest articles and updates.

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