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3 Things Great Sports Coaches Have in Common

  
  
  
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Coaches can really make or break a sports season. Coaches that don't really care, play favorites, or are bullies on the field can completely sour a child's opinion of sports and push them to quit at a young age. On the other hand, a great coach can inspire a life-long love of sports that a child will carry with them long after they hang up their 4th grade cleats. There are plenty of good sports coaches out there that keep the season humming along, but it's those great sports coaches that kids (and parents) will remember and love forever. Here are 3 things those great sports coaches have in common.

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Should You Coach Your Own Child?

  
  
  
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Most sports leagues survive because plenty of moms and dads are willing to step up the plate (pun intended) and volunteer to coach. And we at SportsSignup applaud those sports parents willing to give up their weeknights and weekends to coach a dozen 8-year-olds and teach them the finer points of baseball/soccer/football/lacrosse. Being a coach is not an easy job! But even if you want to coach, it's important to know that one of hardest things about being a parent-coach is knowing how to handle coaching your own child.

What Does Real Sportsmanship Look Like?

  
  
  
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SportsSignup calls New York state home, and even though we are closer to Albany than New York City more than a few on our team are die-hard Yankee fans. As anyone who follows baseball knows, this is Derek Jeter's last season in the MLB. After 20 years of playing shortstop for the Yankees, "The Captain" is calling it quits. In his 20 year career, Derek Jeter has earned 14 All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. Jeter is also the all-time MLB leader in hits by a shortstop, and the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits. It's pretty much agreed by everyone in baseball that he is one of the best players of his generation. On top of that, he was also ranked as the most marketable player in baseball according to the 2003, 2005, and 2010 Sports Business Surveys and has done endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Ford, Gillette, and other major brands.

Should You Punish the Player to Control the Parent?

  
  
  
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Every youth sports coach has dealt with "those" sports parents before; the loud, the rude, the mean, the pushy. And while (thankfully) they represent a small percentage of sports parents overall, one or two is enough to make for a rough season. A few weeks ago we wrote about a controversial tactic that one soccer coach used to keep aggressive and inappropriate sports parents in line.

Earning the Respect of Your Players

  
  
  
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A coach is in a position of power with their team, but as the saying goes "with great power comes great responsibility." A coach is responsible for the safety, well-being, and athletic development of their players and that is a not something to be taken lightly. Most coaches are well respected by their athletes and sports parents, but respect is still something you have to earn. It doesn't get handed out with a clipboard and whistle.

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Why Drill Stations Can Work Really Well at Practice

  
  
  
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So you've decided to volunteer this season as a youth sports coach! First off, thank you! It's parent-coaches like you that keep the sports wheel turning and without your our leagues wouldn't be possible! As a coach, one of your biggest tasks is figuring out how to manage practices. How can you keep young kids engaged, having a good time, learning the basic skills of their given sport, building team spirit and more?! It's a tall order for a few hours a week. One of the easiest things to do is keep your practice moving by planning several drills that focus on different skills.

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What Is the Role of the Assistant Coach?

  
  
  
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Being a youth sports coach is a big responsability! You've got a lot of moving parts to keep track of and sometimes it's hard to manage all on your own. That's why assistant coaches are so important to a youth sports team! They may not carry the biggest clipboard on the field, but they are a critical component of any successful team.

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Does Everyone Deserve a Trophy? Survey Says No!

  
  
  
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We've written about the debate over everyone getting a trophy in youth sports before. It was arguably one of the most discussed and debated topics we've ever hit on! Some people say that giving everyone a trophy (such as a participation award) undermines the value of the award itself and teaches kids that "showing up" is good enough. You don't get a reward for being "average" in real life, so why should we teach kids that lesson in sports? The counter argument is that parents need to lighten up! It's just Little League and giving a 7 year old a trophy is going to make them happy so why not let them have it? Isn't that what youth sports is about anyway?

Throwing Like a Girl - Can Coed Teams Work?

  
  
  
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13 year-old Mo'ne Davis made Little League World Series the other week as the first female pitcher to throw a shutout in the Little League postseason. She is one of the two girls playing in the 2014 Little League World Series. More than a thousand girls in the U.S. play high school baseball, according to Justine Siegal, the founder of Baseball For All, which "fosters, encourages and provides opportunities for girls to participate in baseball." Mo'ne Davis is not the first girl to ever choose baseball over softball, and she certainly won't be the last. But her shutout game got a lot of attention and has a lot of people talking about coed sports. Can they actually work? Can girls compete with boys even as they get older?

A Controversial Way to Keep Your Sports Parents in Line

  
  
  
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Dealing with sports parents is one of the hazards of being a youth sports coach. Most parents are great; they are friendly, helpful, get their kids to practice on time, help set up the field, have a positive attitude no matter what, and more. We love those sports parents! But no team is immune from "those" sports parents that coach from the sidelines, get into it with the officials, pick fights with other parents, scream at the kids, and so forth. Hopefully a quick word or two is all it takes to get one of those parents to calm down, but some parents need a much harsher approach in order to "get it." Some coaches have developed a rather controversial way to keep aggressive sports parents in line.

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