There are many mistakes made by first-time coaches in youth football. One of the worst I have seen is when the dads tried to connect with the youth by trying to be their best friend. Though their intentions are generally good, the coach needs to be able to effectively reach his players. That can be difficult when they try too hard to be popular with the team.
It is important that your team understand that you care about them. That doesn’t mean that must dress like them and talk like them. If you begin to act like those on your team, they will begin to see you on their level and you will lose their respect.
So, how do you let your team know you legitimately care without stooping to their level? Well, it starts by knowing their name. I contact is also important as you encourage them and help them set goals. Without that relationship, you will never reach your full coaching potential. Once you have the trust of your team, they will begin looking to you for your expertise. They will begin to gravitate towards to help them grow into better football players.
When I see a team that seems to be lost, it is typically because the team members believe their coach doesn’t care about them as individuals. Many of those players will likely believe their coach is clueless. On the other hand, when you find a team that excels, it’s because they have dedicated themselves to the methods and system of the coaches. Not only to those players trust their coaches on the field, but also off the field.
Many parents these days are trying to be their kid’s best friend. Unfortunately, that will often lead to a lack of respect for the parents. Our children have friends of their own, so what they really need our parents that will teach and guide them through their young lives. The same principle applies for youth football coaches.