Project Play: Youth Coach Training and Resources

July 8, 2019, Department, by National Recreation and Park Association

2019 July NRPA Update How to Coach Kids 410

Coaches are critical to providing kids with early, positive experiences in sport and play. They help kids develop confidence and skills, both on and off the playing field. But, coaching, and finding people to coach, has become a challenge in today’s society given the increasing lack of civility, particularly at sporting events from spectators toward coaches and game officials. The U.S. Olympic Committee and Nike (inspired by Project Play (which was launched in 2013 by the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program), have partnered to create “How to Coach Kids”, a free, interactive online training course and resource library.

The How to Coach Kids library provides materials on everything from sport-specific information (including bobsled, canoe, squash and more) to audience-specific information (e.g., “how to coach kids with intellectual disabilities”). The 30-minute course is designed for community organizations and youth sports leagues that would like to offer foundational training to their volunteer coaches.

Active kids do better academically, physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, many kids don’t have access to the great experiences that help them learn to love sports and physical activity. And, many with access end up dropping out because of the pressure to secure scholarships, to find or be the next great [fill in the blank] player or the expense associated with playing in travel leagues that often are the only way kids can get on a team in high school. Whether it’s at school or as part of a community group or an organized team, some kids are missing out on being physically active and developing valuable life skills. How to Coach Kids is focused on getting all kids moving and having a great time, while developing those important life skills. It also provides coaches with the tools to help them inspire young athletes in their communities.
To take the course or share the resource with your coaches, go to