Parents are picky about their kids’ doctors, schools, and teachers; shouldn’t you be just as particular about your child’s youth sports team?
Don’t just jump on board with the easiest and cheapest choice. Do your homework and find out if this is an experience that you truly feel will be best for your child. As you do your research, ask these questions:
What are the team’s and coach’s goals?
Make sure that you and the coach or league have similar goals. Find out the team’s mission, culture and the quality of parents and coaches. What is the parent/coach dynamic?
Consider this: Your child will spend hours each week in this environment. If you think that a few hours a week is not going to really make an impact, you are wrong. Your kids will be affected by the people they spend a lot of time with.
How experienced are the coaches?
They don’t all have to be veterans but should have some experience in either playing or coaching. Get to know the coaches and find out what their vision is for the team. Be sure all coaches have been background checked.
What are their goals for the season?
If their goals for coaching are the polar opposite of your goals for your child, then a red flag should go up.
If the coach is more interested in scores than skills, there’s a good chance that players will not be getting a well-rounded and growth-filled youth sports experience.
Are coaches properly trained?
Every youth sports coach should be trained in CPR and in my opinion, they should also be educated about concussions. Are certified through USA Football? Ask if there’s always a physician or physical trainer at the games. Don’t settle for a team that skimps on safety.