Coaching with Empathy in Youth Sports

Empathy is the ability to understand. Nowhere is that more important than when dealing with youth, especially in the current high-intensity world of youth sports. Coaching with empathy is crucial and begins with showing kids you care.

Unfortunately, even coaches with detrimental methods have the ability to show people they care and that is why people play for them and even seek that type coach out. These type coaches lack the necessary empathy to help kids develop as people too, not just as athletes.

Non-empathetic coaches exist and prosper because they know their stuff and display a caring attitude even though their methods are over the top. They may get the most out of their players’ abilities but at a price. It is unfortunate they can act any way they want, but it is a sign of how twisted some people’s views are in sports. The coaches who win despite intimidating means end up getting the honor and respect from parents who only care that teams win and players flourish. Some parents seek out those coaches because player advancement is all they want. They hope the pleasure follows, but they’re out for results, not fun. Many parents want stardom for their child and the means to that end are irrelevant to them. The above is not to excuse or condone bullies and jerks coaching our youth. Rather, it attests to the importance of caring that athletes improve.

Coaching with Empathy is better

There is a better way to show kids you care, besides pushing players to the brink. Coaching with empathy means you do not have to demand kids go beyond what they are willing to give, has their long-term potential in mind as players and athletes. In this week’s edition of coaching tips to print are several ways coaches can show kids they care and be an empathetic coach.


Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte on YouTube with over 120 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos. 

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