Daily Dose of Coach #207: Tips for Raising Young Athletes

As someone who works with young athletes and raising a few of my own, I have to share this list I came across. It was written by David Lynch, who is a trainer for 8 and 9 year old soccer players at the Stockholm soccer club.

  1. The kids pack and prepare their own bag.
  2. Always be on time for practice.
  3. Make them put their dirty training undergarments in the wash.
  4. Tell them to give 100% at practice and at games
  5. The kids carry their own bag on and off the field. That's carry, not wheel.
  6. Teach them who to tie their own shoes.
  7. Play with them, where they want and when they want to.
  8. Make them wear their equipment until it's been outgrown, then buy new equipment.
  9. Buy them new cleats when they need them, not when they want them.
  10. Buy second hand cleats when appropriate to save yourself a fortune.
  11. Teach them not to hate other teams.
  12. Win or lose, remind them to love the game, and the game will love them back.
  13. They will respect teammates, the opposition, the refs, the other team's coaches. If you don't teach them this the coach will have to do it.
  14. Let them dream they can be their idol, but don't give them any expectations.
  15. Blaming teammates, blaming the ref, blaming anything is out. This goes for players and parents. Set a good example.
  16. Let them play at home with a tennis ball.
  17. Take them to games and let them watch the pros.
  18. Tell them baseball/softball is for fun. Practice is for fun. If it isn't fun for them, talk to the coach/club or move to another club.
  19. Encourage them to watch training videos on YouTube and let them try and perfect come of the moves.
  20. Encourage them, support them, but never ever shout out instructions from the bleachers.
  21. Don't car-coach after practices and games. It sucks the fun out of the game. They know if they played well or poorly.
  22. Encourage them to play other sports.
  23. Don't try to train your kid. Them them out, ask what they want to do and let them do it.
  24. Tell your kids that you love watching them play.