Re: anyone here coach?
I've been involved with a church CYO team for about a decade now. I've served as head coach, assistant, and even something of a program overseer, mainly because most of the coaches are parents, and I was running a more comprehensive program, so the people who run the thing asked me to sort do come coaching of the coaches, set up practices, install offenses and defenses, assess rosters and make adjustments to our general systems.
It's been a great experience. I'm still close with a lot of the kids. As was said before, positive feedback is huge to kids, particularly at that age, but if it's constant than it means nothing. And also, there was a mention above that every kid is different and needs to be treated as such, I couldn't agree more, but one of the things I learned along the way that made this easier on me was figuring out that you have to teach that same concept to the kids. And it has to be done on a personal level. You can't be dressing kids down all the time in front of their teammates. What you need to do is at some point explain to the better kids that you're going to put them at disadvantages in practice, that you aren't holding the lesser kids to the same standard as them, that you're going to ride them. That way they understand that you're hitting them publicly is a compliment. That you expect more, that they're capable of more, and that they need to lead by example.
My first group of kids is now out of college amazingly. I see them at bars occasionally. I had a bunch playing in my softball league this year. They'd invite me over to drink in the parking lot. When we were short players they'd offer to fill in for my team. We talked smack when they were up to bat (I pitch). That's the sort of long term relationship I'm actually proud of. And I've had a couple do big things. One is playing second base in the Mariners minor league system.