How to Retain Youth Coaches After Their Child Stops Playing

Coaches are valuable members of any sports organization. How well they prepare the team tactically, physically and mentally determines the success of the entire team. But good youth coaches also are excellent teachers, educating kids about the importance of having fun over winning, teamwork and fair play.

However, in most cases, youth coaches are volunteers with primary experience in sports who only want to do right by their community and their kids. And after their child stops playing, it’s likely they leave the team to focus on other aspects of their life.

Because a good youth coach is hard to find, it is vital for both the parents and the youth sports organization to pull together and do as much as possible to persuade the coach to stay on the team. So, it’s vital to know how to retain youth coaches after their child stops playing to continue nurturing a fun and enjoyable experience for all the kids on the team.

Use the Two Main Motives for All Youth Coaches

Youth coaches are formal volunteers. They have a personal commitment to the sports organization (their child and their word) and gain a sense of accomplishment and gratification from doing the work (teaching kids and winning games.)

These two motives are the main driving force of your coach. It’s why they chose to lead the team in the first place. After their child outgrows the team, it’s important to highlight their connection with other kids.

Make sure not to guilt the coach into staying, but instead suggest he takes on the team until the next generation of players signs up for the team. It’s far more likely the coach will stay if he feels a sense of obligation to see the whole project through.

Listen to the Coach

Listening to the coach allows you to hear him out and discover his pain points. Sure his child has left the team, but that’s not the only reason why he stayed on as coach. There must be something he wants to achieve or a personal ambition he can realize through the team. Your job is to find out what it is.

Ask questions related to his ambitions and what the team needs. When you do find out what that might be, it will be easier to make constructive suggestions both to the coach and the organization.

Offer to Do Something for the Coach

As mentioned, a sense of gratification is one of the motives that drive youth coaches. Reward the coach’s efforts by offering to support his professional development. Financing a coaching course or getting them to take a first aid certification might seem insignificant, but it demonstrates how much you care.

A coach might also feel empowered by the offer, and share the passion you have for your children. And if he accepts, he’s here to stay.

Offer to Do Something for the Team

Finally, offer to improve and reward the team. Gather the community around a major project, like the sports facility renovation or raising money to take part in a stronger league or tournament. If your offer boosts expectations, it can motivate the coach to stay on and see the new project through.

It also shows the coach that you share his ambitions, while the competitiveness of your offer might be tempting, seeing how he’s a former athlete. The kids will also appreciate the gesture and work harder to make you and the coach proud.