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Just about any parent can rattle off the benefits of youth sports for their child—the opportunities to make new friends, the physical activity to help them stay fit, the skills and life lessons, and so on—but what about the benefits of youth sports for coaches? After all, what inspires these men and women to dedicate so much time and effort to creating a positive experience for a bunch of kids? While many youth sports coaches are in it simply for love of the game, there are actually numerous benefits associated with coaching sports. Take a look below to find out what they are!

Spend Time with Your Child

Perhaps the most common reason why people coach youth sports teams is to be with their sons or daughters. Coaching places you in an ideal position to help them develop a love for the game while also nurturing your child and facilitating their personal growth while on the field. And when your child starts to get older and may want to spend less time with Mom and Dad, you’ll always have memories of youth sports to bond over and keep you close.

Develop New Skills

Learning valuable lessons through youth sports doesn’t stop once you hit a certain age. Even as an adult, youth sports can help you to grow and to develop new skills—albeit different skills than what the kids will be learning—that you can apply off the field. For example, planning practices and games can help you to become more organized; coordinating with other kids’ parents about everything from times and locations to allergies and playing time can refine your communication skills; and understanding how to support and encourage the children on the team can enhance your emotional intelligence.

Be a Role Model

As a coach, you have the opportunity to play an important role in the lives of your players. You may think of yourself as an organizer or an on-the-field presence, but for the kids on your team, you act as a mentor and support system. After all, as a coach, you encourage the kids to do the best they can and celebrate their successes, you reassure them after losses, and you teach them important life lessons. It can be difficult, but mentoring kids and helping them to grow can be one of the most rewarding elements of coaching youth sports.