7 Tips for Being a Positive Sports Coach

There’s no single formula to becoming a great coach, but positivity is a key element. Whether you’re coaching kids or professional athletes, your attitude plays a major role in how your team members feel, and in turn, how they perform.

While there’s no denying that sports are bound to have their intense moments — it comes with the territory, after all — it’s crucial that you actively strive for positivity, even when the going gets tough. Here are seven tips to help you keep your cool and provide your team with a productive season.

1. Know the Ins and Outs of the Game

Knowledge is power, and power leads to positive outcomes as long as you channel it correctly. In order to act as a positive role model and gain and maintain the respect of your team, you need to be viewed as an expert in (and on) your field.

One of the core qualities of a great sports coach is the ability to act as a mentor and a resource. Confidence goes a long way in keeping your team optimistic, and in order to be confident, you need to be a true leader. Take the time to brush up on your rule book so you never have to second guess decisions you make or advice you give, and so you can continue to push your team beyond just the fundamentals and into more advanced territories.

2. Provide Constructive Feedback

As a coach, you must learn how to teach your team members to grow their skills, and that includes acknowledging mistakes and areas that need to be improved. Even if you become frustrated, it’s important that you use positive reinforcement. One of your primary roles is to keep your team motivated, and even one angry outburst can demoralize players, and it can be difficult to come back from that.

As a coach, tackling problems and weaknesses is a must. How you do so is what defines you as a coach. For example, if one player is struggling, don’t bring it up in front of the whole team. Talk to them in private, and recommend training exercises they can do at home (or even with you after practice) to help them improve and get caught up with the rest of the team. Be proactive, but do it with discretion.

3. Be Realistic With Expectations

There’s nothing wrong with having a strong drive to win. However, problems often arise when players feel pushed beyond their limits. Of course, how you coach little league players compared to professional athletes will vary significantly, but regardless of the level of your team, athletes don’t want to feel overwhelmed with pressure. Push your team to win, but be understanding when they don’t.

4. Treat the Competition With Respect

As a coach, it’s up to you to lead by example. That doesn’t only include sports. Your team should be able to look up to you as someone who provides valuable life lessons, and sportsmanship is a big one. How you treat the opposing team says a lot about you. Even if they’re not exactly pleasant, it’s up to you to be the bigger person and be an example for your team on how to take the high road. Again, respect is paramount. If you sink to their level, your players are going to lose respect.

Beyond just treating the other team with respect, it’s important that you treat the other coach(es) and referees equally and respectfully. Whether you’re interacting with a woman referee, a man coach, a team of young children, or unruly audience members, each and every participant on and off the field should always receive the same treatment. You’re an authority figure, so maintain an air of dignity at all times.

5. Use Quality Equipment

Don’t overlook the little details. Using low-quality, outdated, and overly worn equipment can really bring the team down. Besides being an easily avoidable physical hurdle that can prevent your team from reaching its true athletic potential, using quality gear lets the team know that they’re valued. It makes them feel like they’re part of something special.

Of course, low-grade equipment isn’t usually as big of a problem in higher-level athletics, but you might be surprised by how even professional equipment often gets overlooked when replacements are long overdue.

6. Take Care of Your Mental & Physical Health

Coaches are humans, and that means that how you feel mentally, physically, and emotionally can affect how you interact with your team. Take steps to improve how you feel and positivity will follow naturally.

For example, you may want to get into lifestyle sports to stay active and fit during the offseason. You could consider taking kratom products or other supplements if you struggle with low energy, or look into other supplements for sore back relief if you find that physical ailments are making it difficult for you to stay positive. Take the necessary steps to identify and break bad habits. Even just sleeping better can go a long way in how you feel.

Remember: As a coach, you lead by example. If you’re tired, lethargic, in pain, or afflicted by any number of possible health issues, it’s going to be extremely difficult to be a positive example for your crew. Take care of yourself, and encourage your team members to do the same.

7. Celebrate Achievements (Even When You Lose)

One of the most fun ways to become a better athletics coach is to celebrate — no matter what! Even if you lost, find a reason for joy! Maybe someone made a great play. Or, at least everyone tried their best. Just being active is a reason to be proud. When your team expects an uplifting post-game experience, they’re going to feel more positive about playing on your team in general.

Be Mindful of Everyone’s Experience (Including Your Own)

Every coach has their own unique methods. One universal trait every coach should possess is mindfulness. Be actively aware of how your team feels, and make adjustments on the fly as needed. Additionally, be aware of your own state of mind, and do the same. Once you get that down, you’ll find that positivity comes naturally, and your team will constantly improve and fine-tune itself. With time, commitment, vigilance, and practice, your team will become a well-oiled machine, but that starts with you. Show them the way and they will follow.

Protected by Copyscape