A long time ago, when I first started coaching Tiny and Mini aged kids, I was told kids won’t do anything for you until they think you care about them. This was quickly proven true. At that age some of the kids instantly decide you are best friends and you are good from the first moment. Others are a little more suspicious of new people and it takes more effort to build trust and rapport with them, so step 1 was getting the kids to like you.
A recent conversation with a coach reminded me that sometimes competitiveness in this area isn’t the best thing. The conversation was about a coach who was so determined to be every child’s favorite that he was in some ways cutting down the other coaches to improve his position. Even though I think wanting to be the favorite can be a good thing I don’t think doing it at the expense of others is good. I hope coaches are putting in effort to ensure each kid connects with someone on staff without getting too caught up on being the one each kid connects with. It is great to be the coach every kid loves, but much more important that every kid feels loved.