A lot of what your child gets out of youth sports depends on the coach. Not only how well your child does in the particular sport, but also how he/she adapts to both winning and losing, and sportsmanship all depend greatly on the coach. Here are some things to consider before your child joins a team.
- Is the coach certified? If not, suggest they contact the National Alliance for Youth Sports to obtain certification.
- Find out how important winning is to the coach. Sure, winning is a priority, but winning shouldn't be EVERYTHING.
- Inquire about the main focus of the season. Many youth coaches take things way too seriously. "To have fun" should be at the top of the list.
- Make certain the coach has a plan in case of emergency or injury. You should give him a list of contact numbers in case your child has an accident.
- Ask about the safety equipment involved in the sport and how it will be implemented with the kids. This equipment is not to be taken lightly and could save your child from serious injury.
- Find out how open the coach is to parent participation. You should be able to watch your child at practice and feel comfortable in making suggestions.
- Suggest a preseason parent/coach meeting so that everyone gets on the same page concerning the season.
- Inquire about what the coach intends to teach over the course of the season. A good coach not only teaches the sport, but also ethics, sportsmanship and right and wrong.
- Make sure there is adequate supervision during practices. 15 kids can be quite a handful for one coach. Make sure there are others present to help.
- Find out about the coach's background. If he or she has coached before, find out how he did and why he left.