A National Alliance for Youth Sports resource helping coaches, parents and administrators provide the best youth sports experiences for children.
Core values: Make them a part of your coaching to impact your players
By Greg Bach
Youth coaches naturally devote large chunks of practice time to teaching skills and game strategies to their players.
But what type of practice atmosphere are they creating? And what life values are they striving to instill in these impressionable young athletes?
“In order to ensure a positive experience youth coaches need to develop a culture and backbone to their team,” says University of Michigan basketball coach John Beilein, one of only six active Division I coaches with 700 or more career wins. “The culture they establish will allow their players to take ownership of team expectations. At Michigan we have five core values that we speak about daily: integrity, unity, passion, appreciation and dignity.”
When coaches help their players embrace these attributes they’ll be molding hard-working and unified young athletes on the court – and respectful and model citizens away from the action.
And that’s a great combo.
“Establishing a culture is important so that everyone knows what’s expected and it also makes them accountable for certain daily values and goals,” Beilein says.
In this exclusive interview with SportingKid Live the 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year shares some great insight that coaches of all sports can utilize to make stronger connections with the players under their care:
CONNECTING: “As a coach or leader of any team it is important that you know the personnel involved,” Beilein says. “Getting to know your players and developing a relationship with them will help both player and coach build trust on and off the court.”
ENJOYING: “It is important with younger players that they enjoy the experience and during that time make sure you enjoy the experiences you are having as well,” he says. “The energy and enthusiasm a coach has can be influential on the whole team.”
DEVELOPING: “Skill development is something that can and should be worked on daily,” Beilein says. “Please do not skip steps; working on the basic fundamentals in basketball gives each player a foundation for future success. You can measure improvement by creating various drills that challenges the players to improve or maintain set goals.”
COMPETING: “Make time for healthy team competitions that are fun and that the whole team can be a part of,” Beilein says.
Sending kids home after practice with positive messages fuels confidence and passion for the sport. See how Tulsa football coach Philip Montgomery makes it happen with his team and adopt his approach to benefit your players, too
Troy Calhoun, the head football coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy, on helping young athletes learn, improve and savor competing
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