Signing on as a youth sports coach is a huge commitment. You’re likely to spend several evenings a week with the team. And your weekends? Games and tournaments could take them over. And you'll have to deal with parents.
What can you gain from becoming a volunteer coach? Read on for six rewarding benefits of coaching youth sports.
1. Sharing Your Love of the Sport with Young Athletes
Most people have some experience with the sports they choose to coach. That can mean a few seasons as a junior player or a collegiate athletic career. But most of us have to set our playing days aside to focus on work and family in adulthood.
Becoming a youth coach helps you reconnect with your sports passions. You’ll learn about the sport at an even deeper level. After all, you’re now responsible for strategic and tactical decisions.
As you learn new skills and techniques, you’ll be sharing them with a new generation of young athletes. It’s exciting to watch their enthusiasm for the sport grow!
2. Helping Kids Access the Life-Changing Benefits of Youth Sports
It’s clear that sports participation helps kids get more physical activity. But did you know that kids who enjoy sports enjoy many other proven benefits?
According to the research from the Aspen Institute Project Play, kids who play sports achieve up to 40% higher test scores and are 15% more likely to go to college. And they face less risk of health complications, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Whether you are a head coach or an assistant coach, you can feel good about your role in youth sports. You’re making a positive impact by helping to set kids on a path towards lifelong wellness.
You can make a long-term impact on kids in your community by volunteering to coach.
3. Feeling the Rewards of Serving Others
Youth sports teams often play a vital role in their communities. Many local leagues have been in operation for decades and have a strong sense of tradition. As a coach, you’ll get to see the progression of your young athletes into high school–and maybe even to college-level sports. You may also get to know kids who don’t pursue athletics but still feel the joy of being part of a team.
As a coach, you can feel good knowing that you’re part of something that makes a difference in peoples lives. You can see the fruits of your work in the development of the young people on your team. And you can know that your service has meaning and value to the community where you live.
4. Building Relationships with Community Members
With the pressures of adult life, it can be difficult to make new friends. But you can solve that problem by becoming a youth sports coach.
As a youth sports coach, you’ll have opportunities to get to know many people in your community. You’ll meet board members, officials, parents, and other coaches. Some of those relationships will last just a season. But there’s a good chance that some of the friendships you build as a coach will last a lifetime.
5. Practicing Your Leadership Skills
Many skills that you use while coaching have direct relevance in your workplace. For example, you’ll learn how to understand different athlete’s personalities and motivate a diverse group of kids. Try to figure out how to unlock each player's potential - regardless of whether you coach rec or competitive sports.
You’ll have to make decisions – and some of them may be unpopular. At times, you may have to rebuild morale after a disappointment. And you may have to discern how to outmaneuver tough opponents.
All these skills are essential leadership qualities. There’s no doubt that you can use what you learn as a youth coach to help you in your career.
Is there a better way to build your leadership skills than coaching a group of 12-year olds?
6. Spending Quality Time with Your Own Children
With all the competing pressures of everyday life, it can be hard to find quality time with your kids. And as your children grow they’ll naturally want to spend more time with peers and less with mom and dad.
By being a youth sports coach, you can build extra family togetherness into your life and support your kid as a young athlete. Head to the field or court a few minutes early to warm up. Bond as you review the latest victory over breakfast. And enjoy every special moment.
Watching your child’s excitement and growth is one of the greatest rewards of being a coach.
The Benefits of Coaching Youth Sports Make the Hard Work Worthwhile
After a hard loss or difficult season, you may wonder: Why coach youth sports? Being a coach can definitely add complexity to your life. But when you pause to reflect, the rewards of your effort become clear.
One reason many adults become coaches is to reconnect with sports they loved in their youth. They get to enjoy watching kids learn how to play while teaching important life lessons about teamwork and tenacity. And they help open the door for healthy choices that kids can carry into adulthood.
As a coach, you’ll also have opportunities to build bonds with others who share your interest in sports. New friendships with league officials and parents await you. And you’ll feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing you’ve served your community.
For many people, coaching lets them set aside quality time with their own kids. You’ll get to share a common interest and create many happy memories.
Every sports league needs willing volunteers to become coaches. Coaching isn’t for everyone. But when you do make the choice, you’re opening yourself to a new world of positive opportunities. You’re sure to find that being a coach is one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.