What Makes Someone a Bad Youth Sports Coach?


A few weeks ago, SportsSignup published a blog post entitled “What Makes Someone a Great Youth Sports Coach?” We were happy to hear from you, our readers, about what qualities you believe make someone a great youth sports coach. Many of the comments outlined patience, enthusiasm, understanding and keeping the sport fun as important attributes a great coach possesses. But that got us thinking, if that’s what makes a good coach, what makes a bad coach? Can enthusiasm make up for lack of knowledge? Can a winning record overshadow poor communication skills?

Here are some things that we feel might make someone a bad youth sports coach:

Feels the need to win at all costs.

A bad youth sports coach is only going to care about winning, even if it means that some of their less talented/younger players get little to no time on the field. These coaches don’t care about bringing up everyone’s skill level so they have a well-rounded team, they’ll just focus on the “stars” of the squad so they can win more games.What Makes Someone a Bad Youth Sports Coach?

Clearly has a favorite.

And speaking of focusing on the stars of the team, a bad youth sports coach makes no qualms about letting their players know who the favorites are (and where everyone else falls on their favorite scale). Whether it’s their own child or the most talented athlete, a bad sports coach is always going to be comparing the rest of their team to their favorite and letting everyone know how they aren’t measuring up.

Treats players with disrespect.

There is a line between being a tough coach and being a jerk. Tough coaches still know how to talk to their players with respect (and in return earn the respect of their team) while still getting their point across. A bad sports coach talks down to their players and humiliates or berates them for making a mistake. A bad sport coach will also single out a player out in front of their teammates with demeaning comments like “That was terrible.” “What were you thinking?” “Have you ever been on field before?” There is nothing constructive in their comments, just criticism.

Allows players to disrespect each other.

No youth sports coach should turn a blind eye to any bullying that is going on amongst their team. A bad sports coach isn’t going to create a safe environment for their players to learn and make mistakes, nor are they going to put a stop to inappropriate or mean comments among players.

Chances are everyone has belonged to/been involved with a sports team where the coach was less than great (maybe not as experienced or enthusiastic as parents would have liked), but everyone still had a pretty good season. However, a coach with these four attributes could ruin the entire experience for their team!

Have you ever had to deal with a bad coach? What do you think makes someone a bad youth sports coach?