News & Articles / / 03 April, 2018
Things to look for in a Sports Coach for Your Kid
Legendary Basketball head-coach John wooden summed it up like this- A Coach is someone who can give correction without resentment. He couldn't have been more precise in his subtle judgment about the role of a coach in the life of an athlete. A good-coach can mould an average talent into a world-beater. Here are 12 Things to look for in a Sports Coach for Your Kid -
1. Know the Sports Skills
Does the coach understand the nuances of the technicalities of the sport?
That's a very important attribute that has a direct impact on the growth of an athlete's aspiring career. It's a universal truth that the methods used by a coach during the training shape the destiny of an athlete. Not only a coach should be able to teach complex skills required to perform well at the top end of the sport but he should have the understanding and the knowledge of the sport to teach athletes the fundamental skills on which the more complex skill depends. Many coaches are good players but when it comes to breaking the game down into small pieces to teach effectively, they fail. For younger kids, the knowledge of fundamental skills become all the more important.
2. Good Communication
The coach should be able to have a good command of the language in which he communicates with kids. This is important because many a time he/she has to come up with simple explanations for complex skills in which good communication skill is very important. In sports like Tennis or cricket (and other sports as well) where each stoke needs complex buildup and follow through good communication is the key
3. How good he is with kids
Financially, teaching younger kids is quite lucrative (owing to the volumes) but handling lot of kids at once need a lot of patience and energy. Coaches who teach younger kids should have both and also he/she should enjoy being around the kids. Only then he will be able to teach well and be classified as a good coach.
4. How good he is able to communicate with kid’s parents
With more and more parents are getting involved with sports for their kid, this aspect has become very important. Majority of coaches fall flat while communicating with parents. A coach should be able to articulate his thoughts so that parents understand what and how he is training the kids and how the kids are responding to the training and the communication should be in layman’s language
5. Coach should be able to teach life skills
Sports teach you things which other streams can’t. They teach how to win modestly and lose gracefully and the coach is the catalyst for that learning. Coach teaches physical literacy which is a life skill that helps kids to take up any sport at a later stage of life.
6. Coach should concentrate on all, not just on talented few
A good coach teaches to a team (even in individual sport), not to any individual. It is important to make groups according to the skills of the student-athlete however it is coach’s responsibility to make each group (as well as individual) feel important in spite of the difference in the quality of a player.
7. Does he make learning fun for kids
For younger kids of 12 years and below sport is not competition, it is more of a fun break from their monotonous routine. A coach should also treat it the same. He should find ways to make coaching fun kids & sometimes even for parents
8. He should not yell
When we were in school we used to abhor the teacher who used to yell at us the most. Same is with sports coaching as well. Even though the kid has lost a match or he is not able to correctly play a shot even after many repetitions, whatever may be the situation he should never yell.
9. He should have No one size fit all
Every kid has different capacity to learn new things. Some kids learn fast, some take time to grasp. As mentioned above, he can make groups with respect to skills of each kid but he should use different methods to teach to the different kid.
10. Descent Equipment and Infrastructure
This is one of the most basic requirement. However, parents should not be swayed by the quality of equipment only. For example, I have seen coaches who provide jazzy equipment to the kids at the start of the session but in terms of teaching skills, they are nowhere. However, having good equipment make sports coaching easier.
11. Coach should be Role models
This is one of the most important aspects. Just like teachers Coaches are role models for small kids and they can follow them anywhere. So, it is prerogative of the coach to not to engage in practices (such as cheating to win or teaching mindset of winning at any cost) which are against the spirit of sports.
12. Good Coaches Motivates
It is not easy to make people believe in their own abilities. However, for some good coaches, this is easier than the other ones. The coach who can generate the desire to excel in their athletes through motivation are the ones who can really make a difference for kids. Motivation can include things like making practice fun and refreshing on one hand and demanding and challenging on the other.