Successful side hustles: Top tips for coaching youth sports

Whether you want to earn a little extra money on the side or just want to get involved in the local community by volunteering, teaching sports for the youngsters - and even adults - in your area can be a great way to use your skills...

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If you like the idea of taking part in sports as part of being part of the community with your children then you could consider becoming a coach. You can either volunteer your time to help out at the local football team or, if you’re already an experienced player of a particular sport, such as tennis, golf or bowls, you could even make extra money from your skills by hosting coaching sessions.

The key thing with either option is that you need to be looking for strategies to bring to the field so that you can be the best possible coach for your team or players. Ask any coach and you’ll know how stressful it could be to be a role model for kids however, a good youth coach is essential to encouraging a love of any sport and will set them up for a successful future.

More than just teaching the fundamentals, you have to be able to instil a love of the sport and be a part of the community as a whole. If you’re going to be stepping up to the plate and becoming a youth coach this year, here are some tips to help you to be successful at it…

Always have a practice plan

A team leader is somebody who needs to be prepared. Being detailed and organised in your routines will provide your players and their families, along with your staff and co-coaches, with the right structure and discipline required to learn the game. If you have a plan outlined for every practice session you do, you’ll be able to create a schedule from start to finish that makes sure that you’re maximising the kids’ time and ensuring it’s a healthy activity for them to enjoy.

Plan to celebrate in style

One of the biggest things that you have to realize as a youth coach is that you are the hype person for all of those young people. Every single person who tries out for your squad or joins in your teaching sessions is going to be looking up to you for guidance, for support, and to be egged on and driven forward. That is essentially your job.

You’re not just teaching them; you’re going to be the one who celebrates with them, the person who hands out the medals to the kids at the end of the season and presents them with crystal awards when they become a champion of the tournament. They will be looking to impress you at all times, which means that you need to be giving as much back in celebration as possible. Don’t be the type of coach that spends their time yelling at players, but be the type of coach that hypes them up so that they know they can do well.

Meet with the parents

If you want the kids to be successful in your programme, then you need to have good relationships with all of the parents. Having an early season meeting will go a long way to creating healthy relationships and help you to set boundaries of what it means to be a good coach. You want parents to be cheering on their kids, not putting inordinate amounts of pressure on them to be a professional one day. Kids need to be able to love the sport that they’re playing, and that means you have to guide them in that. Setting boundaries about bullying on the field and about not starting fights is important.

Get others to help you

You are not always going to be the only coach on the field, so whether you have a staff assembled or you source a group of parents who are willing to help out and volunteer, you need to delegate properly. That means empowering the people working with you to have an area of expertise, for example, someone might work with footwork and another with cardio training.

There’s nothing easy about teaching a large group of kids, so if you’ve got 30 kids playing for you run small group drills and allow volunteers to help you. It’s much easier to keep the children’s attention and coach them in smaller groups. No matter what you do, everything has to be collaborative and cohesive to ensure that the kids are learning but also having fun.

If you’re considering using your sports skills to create a side hustle in coaching, I hope these tips will help you to be successful. Being a youth coach isn’t just about letting kids play on the field – but, even though you’ll need to be strategic and teach them the game, you can still be their biggest cheerleader and give them a love for the sport that’ll stay with them throughout their lives.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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