Coaching a youth sports team is as challenging as ever these days. Whether it’s a t-ball team with 5- and 6-year-olds, or a travel basketball team with a roster of experienced players, a lengthy list of challenges await you.
Among the responsibilities are teaching skills, organizing productive practices, managing game days, instilling life lessons, building confidence, and so much more.
So who better to help you navigate the twists and turns that accompany a youth sports season than some of the most respected coaches around?
In SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL COACHING ($17.95 USD, Square One Publishers), the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) has turned to some of the most treasured names in coaching for top advice, including: Chicago Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon; Baltimore Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh; North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams; Old Dominion women’s basketball coach Nikki McCray-Penson; Olympic gymnastics great Samantha Peszek; Edmonton Oilers’ hockey coach Ken Hitchcock; and Duke softball coach Marissa Young, among more than 40 others.
Written by Greg Bach, NAYS’ long-time communications director, the book features fascinating insights and techniques for being a great leader who can connect with young athletes. It also provides readers with a goldmine of proven methods for helping young athletes to learn the values of working hard, doing their best, and having lots of fun doing so.
“Every coach we’ve spoken with cares deeply and passionately about helping volunteers to become a positive influence on a child’s life,” Bach said. “The insights they revealed and the tips they shared with me for the book—on everything from running productive practices to managing game day—are fascinating and can be used by coaches of all sports, and at all levels, to lead their teams to rewarding seasons.”
Team USA women’s volleyball coach Karch Kiraly: “As coaches we’ve got to promote with our teams a mindset of learning and embracing mistakes and chaos. We need to get our kids to celebrate mistakes and maybe stop once in a while and point out how awesome it was that we were trying something and didn’t get it right, because if we’re never making mistakes, we’re not learning fast enough.”
Drake University women’s basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk: “One of the things that we have learned to focus on at the end of our practices is having our players give feedback—and it works at any level. One of the things that we ask them every day is to name one thing that went really well, and one thing that we need to be better at tomorrow. Sometimes they have to write it down, sometimes they have to say it out loud in front of everybody, and sometimes they just have to think about it.”
University of Minnesota football coach P. J. Fleck: “The biggest thing young people want to know is why? If you’re teaching me this, why are you teaching it? If you’re making me do this, why are you making me do it? That’s where we start—we always start with the word why.”
Three-time Olympic swimmer Kara Lynn Joyce: “I tell kids all the time that if you have a good practice, or if you did something well, then write it down. If it’s something you should be proud of, write it down so you remember it. And at the end of the season, you can look back on all the things that you did.”
Coaching children in sports is a privilege, and an incredible opportunity to influence young lives both on and off the field. SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL COACHING will help you be the coach that kids love playing for and learning from—and the coach they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.Coaching Book John Harbaugh Joe Maddon Karch Kiraly Practice Game Day Teaching Motivation Confidence
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