Good coaches can be the difference between a positive youth sports experience and one that leaves a child wanting to give up. In the following article, Founder and Director of flexxCoach, Jim Johnson, provides valuable input on how to select outstanding coaches.
Nancy Asks: As a hockey parent, my concern is the selection that associations make for coaching staff. You send your child to upper level camps and pay for private lessons for spring and summer…then end up in a travel program with a BAD coach. This past season we spent close to ,000 dollars with sign-up, tryouts, uniforms, ice time, travel expenses, and more. For the price that we pay we should have higher level coaching. Dads should not be allowed to coach the game until they have a LEVEL 5 Coaching certificate and understand the level of skills and drills that are needed at different stages. Please help! What can I do to ensure this doesn’t happen again?
Answer: This is an ongoing problem in youth sports today. There is a shortage of”good” coaches for a number of reasons. There is a tremendous lack of gratitude amongst players and parents today. The top level youth coaches are usually coaching their own children and move up with these players. Coaching takes a tremendous amount of time away from their own families and it is difficult for many to take vacation time to coach travel and at the top levels. My recommendation is to find an organization that is committed to development of the fundamental broad based skills that are necessary to enjoy the game (for coaches and players). Also do your research to find an organization that is committed to the development of self worth and self esteem in players. The elite organizations generally share a philosophy with their coaches on how this process should take place. Doing this research ahead of time should help you select an organization that is committed to the proper development of coaches and players.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Jim Johnson for his input.