Managers and Coaches, Don’t Forget the Fun!
By Positive Coaching Alliance
Survey after survey in youth sports shows that the top reason kids play sports is to have fun. One key survey from Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports shows that 70 percent of kids quit playing organized youth sports by age 13, and the number one reason they give for quitting is that “sports aren’t fun anymore.”
That’s ample argument for managers and coaches to keep things fun in practices, games and team activities. Yes, you’d like to win. Winning is fun. Just don’t make winning more important than it is, especially at younger levels of play.
It’s more important to compete, which also is fun. Plus, learning to compete is a critical trait in anyone who wants to succeed in baseball, softball, or other aspects of life that await our young players.
In fact, you can move your players toward wins and life lessons through sports – the two goals of a Double-Goal Coach® -- by introducing competition as widely and deeply as possible. That may mean hitting fungoes and counting how many your infielders can stop in a row, or it may mean challenging your team to beat a time on a zig-zag drill with no drops.
Then there are the fun contests that still build skills. Depending on where you live, you may know those games as 500, three-flies-up, home run derby, pickle, or hot box.
There really should be no end to the fun you can have with baseball and softball. And that means there should be no end to kids wanting to continue playing ball.
You can learn more about the importance of keeping things fun in this video of former Major League Baseball Player and Manager Dusty Baker, which is included in a new website of free PCA resources at www.PCADevZone.org.
For more ideas on getting the most out of your players while teaching life lessons, take the full-length Little League Double-Goal Coach® Course at http://shopping.positivecoach.org/Little-League-DGC, or free Little League Double-Goal Coach® Quick Course at http://www.littleleague.org/pca.