Most kids (~70%) drop out of organized sports by the time they hit their teens. Too many adults treat youth sports as the adult version. It’s not. If we can catch ourselves as parents, and coaches, and put it all in perspective I bet we have a whole lot less quitting.
I think that if parents/coaches thought about how they would like to be treated if they were the referee, and acted on that, we wouldn’t have a problem.
Easy to get caught up in it all as a parent, but we teach kids quite a bit through how we react.
There are more than 40 different decision pathways to follow when deciding to pass. The player’s situation changes constantly so they have to keep reassessing. The players need to figure it out.
That’s One Loud Coach!
The more you talk and instruct, the less your players get out of it.
“Mountains of educational and behavioral research testify that telling is the lowest form of instruction. It shifts learning into first gear, breeds dependency and fails to transfer ownership to the individual. ” From the Yell-Tell model of coaching.
“Yelling does not empower athletes,” and “Mistakes are a wonderful way to learn” from Dear Vocal Coach.
U.S. Youth Soccer, also state this explicitly in their coaching manual with quotes like “If a coach is constantly talking or yelling at players during the game, it prevents your players from thinking for themselves.” -Steve Sampson, Former Men’s National Team Coach, June 1998.
How you coach youth sports is way more important than what you coach…
Soccer America’s Youth Soccer Insider posted a great article giving coaches 11 tips for coaching young soccer players. Though this was written in response to a question on how to coach 6-year-olds, most of these rules apply no matter what age you’re coaching. Some of my favorite points:
- Say “no” to the three L’s – no lines, laps or lectures
- Use age-appropriate games and don’t bore them. The longer you have to talk to explain it the better the odds that you’ve picked the wrong thing to do. Don’t sweat it. Improvise.
- Don’t yell instructions. This is a tough one for most of us. If you do, you are hindering their growth more than helping it. Challenge yourself to say less.
- Your players are not mini-adults. They’re kids. Try to see the game through their eyes. They want to have fun.