When I was a kid, coaches were a nightmare. And I'm talking about the "Dad coaches" here, not the ones who were professionally trained and paid by the school department. I'd watch my friends play Little League and wonder why they would subject themselves to the yelling and abuse heaped on them from their friend's Dad.

Being an effective coach isn't about shame and punishment. It's recognizing each athlete's strengths and teaching them how to improve. Accepting that each kid is going to have some weaknesses and not expecting them to overcome them overnight. Listening to the kids. I mean, they're people too, with problems and worries. Maybe it's an "off day" because they're having problems at school. Be aware of that and lay off them, instead of making it worse.

Kidshealth.org has a great article, written by teens, called "What Makes A Good Coach?" Anyone who's thinking of becoming a coach for their kids' team should read through it. Ultimately, you are a TEACHER. And the best teachers recognize that it's not about getting A's, it's about learning and doing your best. If you do that then the A's (and the victories) will come! Have fun!