It’s summer—the perfect time to get caught up on some reading. Our Book of the Month for July is Competing with Character: Let’s Put Sportsmanship and Fun Back in Youth Sports. Tyler, one of the newest members of the support team, selected this book because of Coach Kevin Kush’s ability to always lead a competitive team. As head coach for Boys Town in Omaha, Neb., Coach Kush only has the players for two years, but coaches in a way that gives each of them a sense of ownership and love for the sport.
In Competing with Character, Coach Kush focuses on the specific skills every youth coach should develop in order to be successful. The main goal he mentions is to make athletes’ experiences fun and enjoyable so they want to keep playing and learning.
Teach Life Skills
- Blend the teaching of life skills into your practice plan.
- Teach kids before they face them in difficult situations.
- Look for opportunities to teach, practice and reinforce life skills.
- Set and stick to your tolerance levels (the line you draw between acceptable and unacceptable behavior).
- Address misbehavior right away.
- Give consequences when necessary.
Praise and Compliment
- Catch kids being good.
- Praise three times for every correction or criticism.
- Help kids connect appropriate behavior to desired outcomes.
- Have a practice plan.
- Keep players busy and reduce idle time.
- Set and work toward goals.
What do you look for in a youth team? Do you think Coach Kush’s points relate to all levels of coaching?
Head over to our Facebook page and ‘Like’ our book of the month post for a chance to win a free copy.