Youth Coaching Success = The Kids Want to Come Back
The best indicator of grass roots coaching success is that the kids want to keep coming back.
I encourage youth coaches not to measure their success in the number of medals, trophies or titles that their athletes or teams win.
The youth coach who focuses too much on short term competitive results may resort to coaching methods that are contrary to a sound long term athlete development model. Athlete development cannot be rushed if it is to be sustained. A strong base, which takes time to build, needs to be established. From this, future endeavours can be launched, whatever they may be.
Coaching for short term success may also lead to an amount and type of practice that is not suitable for the age group that a coach is working with. In other words training becomes too rigid and too much, too soon.
Some of the best feedback that I have ever received as a coach was when a parent told me that her daughter’s favourite day of the week was Tuesday – because that was the day she came to my coaching sessions.
Above anything else, that to me, is what youth coaching is all about – the young athlete loves to come to practice and can’t wait to get there.
Any long-term involvement in sport, whether it be at a competitive or recreational level, firstly requires an interest which develops into a passion. Facilitating this is one of the critical roles of a youth coach.
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How do you think youth coaches should measure their success?
I would love to hear how you measure your success as a coach or how you think youth sports coaches should measure their success. You can do this by leaving a reply below.
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Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.
We measure success by the clock or the measuring tape. Winning is great but are we improving our skill and having fun at the same time. There are no preconceptions or high expectations for a young athlete in my program. And we always listen to the athlete and their concerns.
Thanks for your comment. I certainly agree that personal improvement and progression is a far better way to measure youth coaching success than competitive outcomes.
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