Coach Your Child’s Sports Team
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When they’re young, it’s the easiest time to be a coach.
Put your child into a sport when they’re young. It doesn’t really matter too much what that sport is, but sign them up for something that you think they might enjoy. Soccer and baseball are generally the two sports that kids can start at a pretty early age - yes, they’re generally not going to be great at it, but they’re the easiest sports for kids to get started in. Sign them up so they can start getting experience.
While there are competitive leagues from a pretty young age, the first years are generally just recreational leagues through your city or county. This means that you’ll usually have co-ed teams, and the coaches will be volunteering from the parents. It also generally means that you have far less competitive parents, and a lot more parents that don’t know a lot about the rules of the sport.
If given the opportunity, you should volunteer to be a coach for your child’s team. Many parents will shy away from this opportunity because they either don’t want to commit the time, or because they don’t think they’ll do a good job. The first concern is far more valid than the first, but making time to be a coach for your child’s team means that you’ll be able to be at every one of their games.
Before the age of five, there are usually not extra practices outside of the game either - kids are just learning how to run around and kick the ball or hit the ball. Your time commitment will be that of the games themselves, and probably another hour or two for some basic coaching training. If you’re already planning to be at all of the games, then you’re not actually committing to much more time than that.
In regards to the feeling that you’re not going to do a good job - who cares? If another parent wanted to be the coach, they would have immediately volunteered for the position. You’ll find that there are some parents that really want to be coaches, but they’ll ask or volunteer right up front if that’s the case. If you’re being asked to be the coach by the league, then it’s because no one else volunteered right up front.
As such, other parents are just glad that you’re doing the coaching. You don’t have to be perfect - make sure each kid gets an opportunity to play and that you’re not giving one child more playing time than others simply because they’re better. Encourage the kids, teach them the basics, and simply let them have fun. Being a coach at the early ages is really about keeping everyone involved more than anything.
It’s fun to win, but it’s more fun if everyone can participate and have a good time. Any parent that thinks the kids should be playing more competitively or that their child should be in more than the others can simply be ignored (assuming you’re giving everyone a fair chance). You can tell them to take their child to a competitive league if that’s what they want - recreational leagues are to be active and have fun. You may win, or you may not, but it doesn’t really matter at this early age (realistically it doesn’t matter later either, but parents start to think that it does more often as the kids get older).
Don’t be afraid to be the coach for your child’s recreational league. Get out there and give it a try - you might find that you actually enjoy it.