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Finding the Right Coach

Know what to look for from your child’s youth football coach — including five key questions to ask.

Your role as a parent is to support, encourage, volunteer, and guide your child through the ups and downs of being an athlete. While it’s the coach’s job to instruct, you must become comfortable with the process and be aware of what your child is doing.

Five Questions to Ask Your Child's Coach

What are your thoughts on playing time?

Know up front whether your coach’s main focus is winning or development. At younger levels, the final score should not matter. As athletes advance, a coach’s job might be tied to the team’s performance.


Do you have first-aid training?

Don’t assume that coaches can do it all. Insist that someone on staff is present at all games and practices who knows CPR and can identify both heat illness and sudden cardiac arrest.


Do you have a child on the team?

Don’t jump to conclusions. If the coach says “yes,” just seek assurances that favoritism will not be something you have to worry about throughout the season.

What is your emergency action plan?

If an emergency does occur, are you prepared to react? Is there proper cell phone coverage at all practice and game sites? Are there automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and cooling tubs available nearby?


How can I help?

This answer might surprise you. While every league and school welcomes volunteers to do the work behind the scenes, the coach’s number one request might simply be, “Please get your child to practices and games on time.”

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Information on this page is courtesy of the USA Football Parent Guide.