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June 30, 2017
How to Be a Great Youth Sports Coach
Coaching youth sports might seem like a big challenge but our approach to youth sports makes it simple for anyone to step off the sidelines and start coaching. For people who have never coached before, i9 Sports provides great resources such as detailed, age-appropriate practice plans, coaching guides, drills, and rule books. Using these tools, it’s easy to become a youth sports coach kids will remember for years to come!
Here are five coaching tips from the team at i9 Sports:
Keep It Fun
While we are committed to providing age appropriate instruction in an environment of healthy competition, the #1 goal of i9 Sports programs is for the kids to have fun.  Sports have changed over the years and have become overly aggressive in some leagues.  When a winning at all costs mentality takes over a team, the main reasons kids want to play sports such as exercise, meeting new teammates, and learning the game get pushed aside. From warm ups, to drills to game play, keep it fun. The more fun they are having, the more open they will be to learning and improving. (Our practice plans help too!)
Be Flexible
When working with kids, you will get a variety of skill levels on your team.  This means you will need to adjust your practices and games to make sure each individual player is learning and improving.  As your season progresses, you will learn more about your players and how they respond to your coaching. The younger the age group, the harder it might be for the players to comprehend a more structured practice and game plan.  Keep it simple.  Kids will be more responsive and have more fun when they can quickly catch on to a drill or learn a new skill easily.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Learning a new skill and a new game can be frustrating for kids, especially if it is the first time they are participating in a sport. Children haven’t learned the importance of practice yet and how it can take many tries to get something right.  If a child has a hard time learning a new skill, they can grow insecure about their abilities. This is where positive reinforcement plays a key role in the child’s development.  When you reinforce the good things the kids are doing, they will be not be as sensitive to feedback that you give them. 
Staying positive as the coach sets a good example to the rest of the team.  The more positive reinforcement you give the players, the more the kids will catch on and begin to give positive reinforcement to each other.  Encouraging children to cheer on their teammates when they do well or even if they are frustrated will help with team morale and individual self-esteem.
Teach Valuable Character Lessons
Everyone loves to win but that shouldn’t be the focus of youth sports.  Kids learn a lot more than just a set of ball skills to get around a defender or how to perfectly shoot the ball to score a goal.  Youth sports teaches kids lessons that builds their character.  Be a great coach by teaching your players about valuable life lessons such as good sportsmanship, teamwork, never giving up and setting goals. 
If you’re interested in coaching an i9 Sports youth league in your area, click here!

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