- Always remain positive and use positive reinforcement. Kids will respond or be encouraged by negativity. Negativity will not build confidence and making sure that kids feel confident is key to youth teams.
- Keep things simple in practice and games. It's no use making things complicated because the most important thing about coaching kids is teaching the fundamentals. Without fundamental skills, they won't be able to handle complicated tactics. This also means give them simple tasks and instructions, so they feel like they are succeeding. Again this builds confidence.
- Try and connect on a one on one level with each kid. You can do this by giving each of them custom instructions that you think they can handle based on their position and the skill level and understanding. This makes them feel special, important, teaches them a more complicated role, and again builds confidence.
- Do not let them give up or quit during practice or during a game. Do this by staying positive and encouraging. Letting them quit might lead them to developing a bad habit.
- Always stay in communications with the parents. Make yourself available to them and always be willing to listen to them after and before practice or games.
Steve Misencik is the Director of Global Network Infrastructure Planning for Verizon. He has two daughters and coaches their local youth sports teams. He truly enjoys teaching kids the importance of teamwork but most importantly likes to see them improve and have fun.