Being a youth sports team coach is an unbelievably rewarding job. You get to share your love of sports with eager kids and help them grow into the best athletes they can be. But it can also be a stressful, headache-inducing job at times. It can be hard to teach and control a large cast of kids, and then you have to manage rosters and schedules on the side.
If you’re a newer coach feeling overwhelmed, check out these four tips for successfully managing a youth sports team. Coaching is tough work, but with some practice and know-how, you’ll get used to the job in no time.
Set Your Goals
What’s your main goal? Do you want to win or just have fun? Do you want to help the kids improve their athletic skills? Increase involvement in the sport? Knowing what you want to work toward will help you build your schedule and refine your teaching style for the coming season.
Ask for Volunteers
Know that you don’t have to do everything alone. It’s OK to ask for help—in fact, we recommend it! Many parents are willing to step up and lend a hand, especially when planning and providing transport for games.
You can also find volunteers elsewhere in the community. Many people find it fulfilling to volunteer with youth organizations because they view kids as integral to humanity’s future and want to help provide the education and guidance they need to succeed.
Typically, coaches will receive a set amount of money to spend each season. It’s crucial to budget this money wisely, or else you’ll need to fundraise or pay for expenses out-of-pocket. Once you receive your funds, sit down, crack open the books, and try to estimate how much equipment, housing, transport, and other essentials will cost you over the course of the season. If your total estimated expenses go over budget, you’ll need to pinpoint areas where you can cut back.
Our final tip for managing a youth sports team is always to be one step ahead of the game. Imagine: It’s the day before a huge away game, and you’re on the phone trying to find a bus or van to rent. But every company you call is fully booked. Now what?
It’s best to plan for certain things, like transport. Transporting a big team is no easy feat, and last-minute arrangements can make it even more hectic. To ensure you can get your team where they need to be, book vans or buses well in advance and hotel stays for multi-day long tournaments.