Train All Coaches

Youth sport in the U.S. is dominated by well-meaning volunteers, winging it. Less than one third of coaches are trained or take advantage of training in most of the key competencies, limiting the ability to effectively engage, develop and retain children. There’s also a need for more coaches, especially those who can help meet the needs of underserved populations – including girls, youth from low-income homes, and youth living with disabilities.

How to Coach Kids

The How to Coach Kids course is a great resource for coaching kids at any age. Take 30 minutes and discover how easy it is to give kids a great experience in sport and play.

Through Project Play 2020, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Nike have developed a free, online resource, “How to Coach Kids” – a 30-minute experience that provides new or novice youth sports coaches confidence, inspiration and actionable tips to deliver great experiences to kids under 12. In the hands of coaches, this course provides a much-needed mechanism to close the existing gap in the number of coaches who are trained to support kids’ physical, social and emotional learning in sports.

Train All Coaches is Play #7 in the Aspen Institute’s seminal report, Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game. During each of our flagship annual events, our Project Play Summit, the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society team has highlighted different aspects of the Train All Coaches concept, including parent engagement with coaches, reaching underserved populations and more.

Project Play Summit

2018 Project Play Summit
Train All Coaches: Can a Free Tool Change the Game

Moderator: Craig Morris, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, U.S. Tennis Association
Panelists: Tierra McIntosh, Volunteer Coach, Volo City Kids Foundation; Wayne Moss, Executive Director, National Council of Youth Sports; Ben Reed, Specialist, Sports and Recreation, YMCA of the USA; Chris Snyder, Director of Coaching Education, U.S. Olympic Committee

Train All Coaches: What's Fair for Parents to Ask of Coaches?

Moderator: Rebecca Lowe, Broadcaster, NBC Sports
Panelists: Alan Ashley, Chief of Sport Performance, United States Olympic Committee; Michelle Mundey, Facility Director, Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County & Mom of E’Jai (12) and Neiko Primus (Nation’s Top-Ranked, 9-Year-Old Basketball Player); Harold Reynolds, MLB Network Broadcaster and former MLB Player; Steven Stenersen, CEO, US Lacrosse.

Train All Coaches: How to Reach the Hardest-To-Reach?

Moderator: Mike Fletcher, Senior Writer, The Undefeated, ESPN
Panelists: Jon Feinman, Founder, InnerCity Weightlifting; Leah Friedman, Junior Development Coordinator, USTA Chicago; Tony Korson, CEO, Koa Sports; Richard Pavlick, Co-Founder, Project Leader & Coach, YLC Kids; Daleajah Williams, Playworks Junior Coach

training coaches and social emotional learning


In addition, sports create a unique environment where kids can develop social emotional learning skills, such as learning to manage their emotions, work as a team and focus on a goal. These skills have a direct connection to academic and other positive long-term outcomes.

Given the importance of this connection, the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society team has teamed up with the National Commission for Social Emotional and Academic Development to convene academic and sport leaders to develop an evidence-based framework that youth-serving organizations can use to develop and refine coach training resources, with generous support from the Susan Crowne Exchange.

At the 2018 Project Play Summit, the Susan Crowne Exchange was honored as a Project Play Champion for their commitment to improving the quality of programs by identifying best practices in social emotional learning for youth coaches. More information about their commitment is forthcoming in early 2019.