- Have you ever considered becoming a volunteer athletic coach?
- Do you have a child that would like to join a sports team in your community?
- Is your local sports association asking parents or community members if they would consider being a volunteer coach?
If you answered yes to the questions above, then I’d like to share some insights about volunteer coaching.
Motivation for Coaching:
What types of personal growth are you looking for from a coaching experience? Do you want to coach your child’s athletic team to show support for their endeavors? If so, you should also consider letting your child be coached by someone other than yourself. This will ensure that no special treatment is given to your child, and this way your child can experience being part of an athletic team in a way that all other teammates experience. It will also relieve the pressure of being either too easy or too hard on your child by having to perform simultaneously a parent and a coach role. Once you make the decision to become a volunteer coach, you will then need to complete all required clearances.
Starting to Coach:
It is a good idea to first assess your coaching abilities prior to volunteering. Next, I would recommend that you consider starting as an assistant coach. By first working with a head coach who is willing to mentor you, you can learn the various aspects about working with children, their parents, and the role of an athletic coach. This experience will strengthen your coaching skills and help you learn how to provide valuable tips and drills to the players. After gaining the experience as an assistant coach, you can later advance to a head coach position.
Beginner and Intermediate Skilled Athlete Coaching:
To begin coaching beginner to intermediate skilled athletes, first assess each player’s sport capabilities during the tryout period. This will allow you determine a baseline of their sport skills and techniques.
Once all players’ skills have been reviewed and they have a placement on the team, you can then conduct mid-season and end-of-season individual evaluations. This will help track each athlete’s progress of skill development.
The fundamentals of the sport should be taught to each player in an understandable manner. Playing related games can help athletes attain good playing habits.
Keep a specific focus on each skill or technique. Notice which drills and strategies contribute towards athletes gaining skill improvement.
- If at any point in the process you are struggling as a coach, then I would recommend contacting someone in your coaching community for guidance and support. There is a good chance that another coach in your league has already experienced this issue causing your concern.
- Choose your coaching tactics wisely. Make sure that your coaching strategies will enhance and not deflate the athletes’ confidence levels.
Utilize good listening skills to hear the comments and questions that your athletes or their parents say about their experiences. Allow and encourage each athlete to ask questions if they are confused or need extra help to learn a skill or technique.
- Provide constructive criticism to your athletes so that they can understand what they can do to improve their skills. Make sure that you are honest and respectful to the athletes when you provide feedback so they know this information can help them improve in the sport.
- To create a cohesive team, it is helpful to provide opportunities for team bonding events. This will help create a more relaxed and friendly environment for the athletes and strengthen their commitment to the team.
Volunteer coaching can be a rewarding experience. Consider looking for a coaching opportunity in your community. If you would like more information on this topic of volunteer coaching, please contact me, Corey Lord, at CAL Sports Academy by email at email@example.com or phone at 1-844-CAL-EDGE (844-225-3343).