Encouraging Teamwork on Youth Teams

There is no such thing as a successful team unless teamwork is involved. When you are coaching youth sports, teamwork is even more important because you need everybody to be working together for the same outcome. Team sports when you’re a kid are all about friendships and fun and winning, and while you may not always win you need to make sure that the kids on your team are working well together. 

Fostering a good environment for teamwork is a big part of your job as a coach, and when you are writing your 4-part lineup cards, you need to ensure that you are able to get your team working together and that the people on your team are able to gel well. If they are not jelling, then all the cards you are writing to put your team in the right places are just not going to work out. So, you need to know exactly how you can ensure that everybody on your team is well able to work together and comfortable enough to do so. Here are some of the things that you could do.

Image source: Pexels

  • Encourage positive mental attitudes at all times. If you have kids on your team who are ambitious, then you already know what an attitude looks like! However you need to make sure that the attitude that runs through your team is one that is solid. So, instead of worrying about entertaining friendships and enemies and fights going on, you need to ensure that everybody on your team knows that you leave your troubles at the door and you work together when you were on the same team together. Winning or losing, everybody has to have a good mental attitude so that you can keep the team encouraged and moving forward and supporting one another.
  • Make sure you involve your team in team building activities. Not everybody enjoys doing these, but you need your team to be able to work together on and off the field. Team building activities put your kids in a position where they have to work with each other in a way that’s not just about winning on the team. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, we’re not going to lie, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Team building activities allow the kids to work together and discover each other’s weaknesses outside of the team support that you are doing. It’s a fun way for everybody to be together, and while it does take time for everybody to feel in sync, it does work out in the end.
  • What on team encouragement. There is only so much encouragement you can do as a coach, you need your team cheering for each other. So coming up with fun ways to cheer each other on and even working with cheerleaders to encourage each other is important. Encouragement is beneficial in a cohesive team because when kids are taught early on to encourage others, they will have success on every team that they are a part of. Remember there is no I in the team.
  • Teach the kids to play for each other. One of the hardest things to do as a coach is to get children playing for each other and not just themselves. They should want to do well for their teammates, and you can help to foster that if you are helping them to learn how to do this. Show them how to become a we player instead of a me player and you will have a table full of kids who are nothing but happy to see each other win.

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