WYC 038 Emily Cohen from TeamSnap talks sportsmanship and lessons learned from great coaches


What does it take to be part of a winning youth team? Listen in as Emily Cohen shares stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth sports team manager.

Emily has been a team manager for youth sports teams for over 10 years.  She also is a blogger for TeamSnap, and also hosts a podcast for TeamSnap.  As a youth sports podcast host and blogger, Emily is passionate about sportsmanship, injury prevention, and sideline etiquette. Emily is married and has 2 kids, ages 18 and 15.

Website: www.teamsnap.com/community/podcast

Twitter: @emilygcohen

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming’ – John Wooden

Coaching Your Own Kids

  • Always have an assistant to provide balance for being your own kid’s coach
  • The Team Manager can be a conduit to hear concerns/complaints from parents – embrace this!

Team Managing Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • If the coach you work with is a bad communicator – don’t be afraid to step up and take over the communication role
  • Delegate!  Have specific roles assigned to a bunch of the parents – and assign them right at the beginning of the season (even if it’s something that you don’t need until the end of the season – i.e. coaches’ gifts, team videos)

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Talk to the kids physically at their level – take a knee so you’re not talking down to them which can be very intimidating (this can be especially important when coaching girls)
  • Minimize lines – have multiple stations to keep the kids constantly moving
  • Free-play – 30 minutes of no adult involvement

Mental Peak Performance

  • As a parent – Have your child own the experience and stay out of the way, and don’t attend tryouts
  • As a coach – put each kid in the best position for them to succeed – which is different for each kid
  • Coaches – you have to format your communication to your athletes – so that they don’t freeze from the pressures you are putting on them

Coaching Resources

  • TeamSnap – Software program and app that allows you to enter team rosters, schedules, and tons of team info. You can send scheduling updates easily and it’s a lifesaver for team managers.


  • Corporate punishment for individual mistakes – You really need to think through your team chemistry and be careful if you are going to ever use this.
  • Community service can be another positive way to discipline kids.


  • HUGE IDEA #1 – Juggling competition – Each week you try to beat your previous record of how many times you can juggle the soccer ball.  Good reward because it encourages you to practice on your own outside of practice.  And you can set individual and team goals for each week and for the season.
  • When setting up teamwork goals – make sure you include the parents, not just the kids

Inspiring Story

  • Be on the lookout for a kid having off the field home problems – being late for practice, etc. – then seek to understand and see how you can help this kid out


  • Winning is a happy result – but there are so many more lessons to be learned from losing

The One that Got Away

  • Emily’s son’s final high school start as a baseball pitcher – they were up 5-1, and then one play rattled him and the team
  • HUGE IDEA #2 – Coaches – practice situations going wrong and momentum swinging against them – you have to practice it and be prepared for it
  • Teach your kids to be idiot-proof

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

  • Quote – ‘Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming’ – Coach John Wooden

Parting Advice

  • Forget about the win/loss record – and instead focus on making the experience fun

The TeamSnap Youth Sports Podcast


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