5 Mistakes Coaches Make and 5 Improvements to be Better

5 Mistakes Coaches Make and 5 Improvements to be Better

I think most parents are grateful for their kid’s coaches.  It is not a great paying job (often no pay) and kids require an enormous amount of energy.  Nonetheless, paid coaches and volunteers must still adhere to a code of professionalism when taking on this responsibility. Coaching is a position where you motivate as you teach.  Coaching requires your voice, eye contact and body language to be clear.  Coaches leave lifelong impressions on kids and is a very special relationship in a child’s life.

Coaches need to:

1. be a positive leader

2. be a motivator and a mediator

3. be a constant researcher (on performance and training)

4. be present and committed to specific goals for the entire team

5. always lead by example

Mistakes Coaches Make


Here is a list of 5 mistakes that many coaches make and suggestions to improve.

Mistake 1.  Coaches often have a narrow focus on only winning the game.

Improvement – Instead, focus on improving the athletes’ skills each week and throughout the season.  A big picture point of view will impact the whole character of the child.  Small, consistent improvements amount to big gains at the end of a season.

Mistake 2.  Coaches often have favorites on their team.

Improvement – Realize that winning is important, but do not be that coach that only develops a few key players.  Find ways to cultivate each player on the team using game time, as well as practice.  The goal is to produce great athletes over a season.  In doing so, you are investing in future games and future seasons.  You have to think about the big picture- the betterment of the sport and the responsibility you took on as a coach requires focus beyond one player or one game.

Mistake 3. Coaches often praise only the physical talents of players.

Improvements –  There are so many desirable qualities that athletes need today to be successful.  Rewarding an athlete for being physically gifted is great, but other commendable qualities include athletes that:

  • know the playbook best
  • have the best focus
  • understand the rules of the game
  • are the most helpful
  • demonstrate leadership qualities
  • demonstrate a good attitude and awesome character

Mistake 4: Coaches often give shallow advise to parents, “Have Bobby practice throwing the ball more so he can get it across the plate.”

Improvement:  Give specific and thoughtful advise.  Advise that offers developmental guidance.  If you do not know how to advise a parent to help their child – do a little research (ask others, read, make calls) and then offer advise with a strategy.  ” Bobby loves pitching, but he needs to develop his strength in order to get it across the plate for more than 1-2 innings.  I think you should look into a strength training program, here are a few I found.  This way, next season / or end of season he will have the ability to pitch 4 innings.

Mistake 5: Coaches often use exercise to punish or remove water breaks from practice to punish.

Improvement – Children often need to be ‘toughen-up.’  When dishing out laps, stairs, burpees, pushups – know when it ends up being counter productive.  In other words, if it is only breaking down their athletic capabilities, not enhancing them the punishment is a waste of effort.  It is a fine line – but kids are not Navy Seals- they do not need to be broken, in order to re-built.  Kids need to first be BUILT!  Water is a requirement not a privilege.  As it is, kids are not getting 4-6 servings of 8 ounces of water before showing up for their practice.  They are likely dehydrated to begin with – encourage and structure the water breaks.  We all need more water and we want our children to build healthy habits which includes hydration.

Leave a comment