In hindsight, most signs are telling. But at the beginning things are not so easy. Make sure you know what you want in a coach, then go from there.
For me, kids developing is number 1. End of story.......everything else is just for the parents, association and coaches ego.
The question that every parent should ask the coach and the other parents at all levels of minor hockey:
- If you coached a group of kids for 4 years and they never won a game, would you be ok with that, how would you rate the success of that team and yourself?
- If you coached a group of kids for 4 years and they never won a game, but all of them got hockey scholarships to college, would you call that success?
Hopefully, at that point the light bulb would go off and the coach would realize that the chances of winning are pretty good when you have the top tier of kids on your team, but to get to that point does come with a price. Usually the price is failure.............lots of failure. This why we always seem true champions rise out of adversity and average people quit as soon as things get tough.
Now back to the questions and answers:
"Losing all the games would be tough on the kids, the parents would probably have me lynched after they got sick of losing"
- Pressure is mostly perception, this coach might be fine, as long as he doesn't crack when the going gets tough, since he has not lost a game at this point and is already making excuses.
- Stay away, unless this person has an amazing record for development of kids, they probably will be scared of this coach and we learn through failure and correction, not fear of failure.
- This coach's heart is in the right place, but they have already written off most of the team. You need someone who truly believes in the kids and has a plan to get them there.
- Chances are this coach already dreams of this happening. They constantly are learning and putting the kids first. Sometimes this involves tough love and kids being held accountable, but there best long term development comes first.
Moral of the post:
Think about who you want to coach your kids....not because you want them to become NHLers, but because you want them to be great at life and having all the lessons learned along the way to greatness make for an amazing journey.