Simply the Best: 44 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes About Coaching Youth Sports

What coaches say about coaching.

Simply the Best: 44 Inspirational and Motivational Quotes About Coaching Youth Sports

As youth sports coaches, it's our job to help young athletes develop their skills. But coaching requires personal growth too.

We've gathered 44 quotes and pieces of advice from top coaching professionals and fellow youth sports volunteers. Whether you're a seasoned coach or just starting out, these tips can help us all become better mentors, leaders, and teachers to our players.

Let's dive in.

44 Tips For Coaching Youth Sports

Here's a list of what your fellow coaches think about the art of coaching youth sports. Feel free to steal their best ideas.

  1. "All the coaches in the world, it doesn't matter how good you are. If your players don't understand what you are looking for or what you want, it makes no sense." - Pep Guardiola
  2. “Never assume your players know.” -  James Hollman
  3. “If you smile, your players are far more likely to smile as well.” - Lin Wilson
  4. “A good coach must bring his/her players closer to their full potential, or discover it. That is the main objective for the coach, and one that must be occupied every day through daily work. Winning may well be a part of that potential, but maybe not.” - Marcelo Bielsa
  5. "I’ve discovered that most leaders aren’t born with leadership qualities and that everyone can lead, you just have to want to. My personality and industry dictated my leadership qualities, and yours should do the same.” - Dawn Staley
  6. “Remember how fun it was for you to play and imagine you coaching yourself.” -  Gerson Martinez
  7. “I show my players geese videos. I’ve shown them why geese fly in V formation, what everybody’s role is, how geese support each other and, most importantly, why you fly further together. That’s the bottom line. Geese wouldn’t be able to migrate to the sun without all travelling together. It’s the same for us.” - Emma Hayes
  8. “The greatest teacher is adversity. That wasn’t just a message for my players. It was for me as a coach, too.” - Jill Ellis
  9. "Embrace adversity. We get upset when things don’t go our way at that exact moment but that is all a part of your journey. What’s meant for you will be for you and nothing and no one can stop that." - Joyce Ekworomadu
  10. "Young players need freedom of expression to develop as creative players. They should be encouraged to try skills without fear of failing." - Arsene Wenger
  11. “My tutor said something along the lines of: you can be a coach that is only interested in winning (and have the frustrations that will come with that) or you can be a coach interested in the performance of your team which will then secure more wins. I always remembered and worked with that.” - Jessica Bennett-Stewart
  12. "Embrace the opportunity, no matter what it is. Look at everything in a positive light." - Julie Ertz
  13. “There are times not to coach. The urge is to step in and show. Sometimes it’s better to let them make a mistake. Sometimes they learn more from the mistake than being told what to do.” - Dennis Bergkamp
  14. “Offer constant positive feedback to athletes. In the absence of feedback, people will fill in the blanks with a negative. They will assume you don’t care about them or don’t like them.” -  Pat Summitt
  15. “You will make mistakes. Don’t fear them, see them as learning opportunities for future reference and don’t waste time dwelling on them.” - Tony Elliott
  16. “Kids don’t care what you know, until they know that you care. Personal relationships matter!” - Luke Meadows
  17. "Coaching is a deeply humanist endeavour, done by humans, with humans, for humans. However, we seem to have stripped the humanity out of coaching in favour of high-performance (whatever that is). Let's re-introduce the soul, depth, and vibrancy of humanity back into coaching." - Cody Royle
  18. "I tell athletes, your parents don't want you to fail. They don't want you to be uncomfortable. But I love you enough to allow you to fail. Because if you can't operate in that space, you're not going to get to the next level." - Dawn Staley
  19. “Remember coaching is your hobby — enjoy it.” - Anthony Poutch
  20. “At a young age athletes have to play and play as much as possible. Play in the street — in my day we could and now maybe it’s not possible — but play and play and play and that’s all, and let them play day and night and let them make mistakes. Then, some advice to help them understand how we play the game is good.” -  Pep Guardiola
  21. “As coaches we can motivate them to do it, but attitude will determine how well they do it. Find the player with attitude and motivation no longer comes from the coach, this is key in building success.” - Marcelo Bielsa
  22. “Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.” -  Tony Elliott
  23. “The willingness to experiment with change may be the most essential ingredient to success at anything.” - Pat Summitt
  24. “My tutor during coaching training told me, don’t be afraid to be a magpie, meaning to steal other coach's ideas.” -  Roy Lang
  25. “I want to be in an environment where I’m forced to work very hard to be successful. That makes it more rewarding.” -  Jill Ellis
  26. "Leadership in sport may include a flexible set of skills that engage players. Sometimes this means being directive, instructional and setting the plays. At other times it may be sitting back, asking questions, sharing the stage, and allowing the players to create solutions." - Dan Abrahams
  27. “If your drill/session isn’t working don’t be afraid to stop it and do something different.” - Alan Whyte
  28. “Always be open minded.” - Alan Faulkner
  29. "Whether winning or losing, we basically did the exact same thing. We still played music in practice, still made fun of each other, made fun of ourselves. Did birthday videos, invited player’s kids to come in and shoot. All of that is authentic to who we are. And we kept doing that. And it mattered. Especially when you’re losing, that’s when the culture has to matter. That’s my feeling." - Steve Kerr
  30. "As a coach, I want to be someone who helps the sport grow because the sport has helped me grow and mature." - Dawn Staley
  31. “It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear.” - Jon Townsend
  32. “Be a student of the game. Be curious. Always look for opportunities for continued personal development. Listen to, observe and learn from other coaches. Enrol on courses, online resources, webinars, listen to podcasts, etc.” - Tony Elliott
  33. “You don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Research and observe sessions and put your own spin on sessions you have seen, embedding your personality on the session.” - Danny Elliott
  34. “Ask your players questions, don’t just give them the answers and let logic take over or they’ll never be able to think for themselves or learn how to manage a game.” - Scott Paterson
  35. “More than anything, be a good person  -  humility and empathy mean so much and will take you far.” - Tony Elliott
  36. “If you want to have a good relationship with your players, talk their language. It helps to be their friend, not only a coach.” - Betinho Hogwane
  37. “You’ll never please all your team parents all the time. Someone will always have an issue, albeit even a small issue. As long as the majority think you’re doing a good job, that’s all you need to worry about.” - Jacob Cortez
  38. "I meet the parents at the first practice and tell them, 'Let's not get carried away this season yelling from the sidelines. I'm a parent six times over so I know how enthusiastic you are - I get enthusiastic too. But as parents, resist the urge to coach through the fence." - Nick Buonocore
  39. “Development and enjoyment is more important than winning everything. Create a team environment and a place where everyone feels welcomed and valued.” - Dale Peet
  40. “I was once told, ‘Coach the session not the plan.’ It helped me develop as a coach. I plan quite broadly and what I see in the first 10 minutes gives me my next 10 minutes, and so on. It’s actually helped me create some of my best sessions being in the moment, creating things on the spot, on the field, rather than sat with a laptop. I think as a coach being adaptable is massive — to adapt to a session, the players’ level or even their mood.” - Ray Woodhouse
  41. “A coach once told me about what success is. He said it was being better today than you were yesterday and that team stands for Together Everybody Achieves More.” -  Matt Hazeldine
  42. “Just enjoy it.” - Richard Nicholson
  43. “Don’t overthink your coaching, you’ve got this.” - Bev Harkins
  44. "All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them." - Magic Johnson

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