Whether you’ve decided to pursue your professional coaching dream or have volunteered to coach Little League baseball, it can be daunting to have a whole team suddenly depending on you. However, some simple advice can help get you and your athletes off to a great start. Use our top eight tips for new coaches to help guide you through your first season. They’ll make you a better coach in the long run, and get your coaching experience off to a great start.
1. Seek Guidance
One great way to seek guidance is to reach out to a coach that you already respect and ask them to be your mentor. Their years of coaching will definitely help you hone in your own coaching skills and help you improve quickly. If you’re not exactly sure who would be a great mentor for you, simply ask other coaches in your community for advice when you need it. The most important thing here is don’t forget to ask for help.
This is especially useful advice for those who coach younger players. Don’t just throw your team out into the field to play during your practice sessions. Be sure to start any practice session with workouts and drills. Although your athletes may whine at first, it will only make them a better team – and you a better coach. Plan your practices to get the best results.
3. Be The Expert
As the coach of your team, all your players will be looking to you for advice and expertise. Make sure you can live up to their expectations. Make a point to learn all of the positions and insider techniques you can. Books, blogs and video instruction online can be a great source of expertise. It will only lead to bigger and better things for you and your team.
4. Encouragement Is Everything
Maybe it’s not everything, but encouragement will help your players go the extra mile after hours of practice. Don’t forget to give them the encouragement they need to improve. Positive reinforcement could give them the boost in confidence they need to shine. This is especially important to younger players, who may need extra encouragement to develop a love of athletics and build their self-confidence through sports.
5. Be Prepared
While this one may seem obvious, remembering to be the most dedicated and prepared will only save you from future headaches. Create detailed practice plans, including any supplies you may need. Create checklists and make sure you have everything you need to fully support your players. Most importantly, be early. This will not only show your dedication to your coaching gig, but you’ll also be able to be there for your team instead of scrambling to get ready at the last minute.
6. Be A Good Teacher
The role of a good coach is usually one who guides, motivates and supports their players. But to be a great coach, you have to be more. Try to also take on the role of a teacher to make your athletes great. Set expectations for them and share your sports expertise with them. Not only will they respect you for it, you and your players will excel.
7. Work Harder Than Anyone Else
As the new guy, you still have to prove yourself to everyone else that you are the coach they need. Making a good impression on athletes and coaches alike is important when you’re just starting out. Work hard to be the best you can be and your players will train their hardest. Starting off with this kind of dedication will only set you up to be a coaching success.
8. Stay Positive
We know it’s going to be tough out there, especially as you encounter new and challenging situations. But despite whatever difficulties you may face, staying positive will help you find solutions (or make you realize some problems aren’t as big as you thought). Positivity is also contagious. If you don’t fall into negativity, everyone around you – especially your athletes – will stay positive, too.
We think Mahatma Gandhi had it right when he said, “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
Ready to step up your coaching game even further? Add the NexStar Training System to your practices!