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5 Tips for Positive Coaching

Positive coaching is a practice of instructing athletes that focuses on building self-confidence through motivation. It is a method that coaches around the world use successfully to inspire their athletes and help their athletes grow as individuals. The Positive Coaching Alliance just announced the 2017 Double-Goal Coach Award National Winners. The double goal is to strive to win and to help teach athletes important life lessons through sports. Congratulations to each of these winners, and we are grateful for the impact they have on youth sports!

Here are five tips to implement positive coaching today:

 1. Reward every accomplishment

By rewarding small accomplishments coaches are able to build trust and confidence in their athletes. Rewards can be as simple as giving a high five and providing additional praise. Check out our previous blog The Winning Perspective.

2. Note the importance of communication

Communication is key to a successful relationship between the coach and athlete. An athlete must be comfortable letting the coach know if they have any concerns or injuries. As a coach, it is important to communicate openly and often. Easy ways to do this are asking an athlete throughout the day how they are doing, or even just asking how their day is going. This opens the door for communication and makes the coach more approachable

3.  Build the athlete’s self-esteem

One of the easiest ways to build an athlete’s confidence is to give them the opportunity to be successful throughout their training. Starting out with simple tasks and gradually increasing the difficulty will not only increase their confidence but will also increase their performance. “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment” – Thomas Carlyle

4. Be tough, but fair

A coach’s ability to distinguish the difference between tough and fair is what often separates positive and negative coaching. Positive coaches will always push their athletes towards greatness while respecting the boundaries that each athlete has.

5. Teach kids skills they can use in life

Sports are so much more than just technique, endurance, and strength. At their core, they are a way to teach athletes self-confidence, determination, and discipline among other life skills. By discussing these important life lessons in the context of their sport, coaches can help athletes can learn valuable tools. These tools provide a foundation of fundamental skills that are crucial in an athlete’s development. 

Thank you to Positive Coaching Alliance for recognizing these amazing coaches, their hard work, and dedication to youth sports. An athlete’s coach can be a very impactful figure in his or her life, and we must do our part as coaches to be a positive influence.Written by Julie Walter.

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