I'm coaching a team in a U8 recreational soccer league.
Some of the parents and assistant coaches are way more focused on the team's win-loss record than they are on the kids having fun.
The real challenge is with the assistant coaches. I need their help in running practices and games, but their focus on winning is putting some of the kids off. The message the kids get is that it can't be fun if they don't win the game.
At this stage and level of (non-)competitive play, I see my job as inspiring the kids with passion for the game and to enjoy playing on a team. I would like for them to win some games, but I'm more concerned with making sure they enjoy playing first.
How can I convince my assistant coaches to change their behavior / what they're saying to the kids?
To address some questions:
1) I have already talked with the ass't coaches and pointed out what's going on. But they're type-A driven individuals and while they say they agree with my points, they haven't shifted their focus.
2) The team didn't win any games last season. And no, I wasn't involved with the team at that point but the assistant coaches were.
3) I can't replace the assistant coaches as I don't have anyone to replace them with. And it's a rec league. And these are their kids, too.
4) And yes, winning is fun, but you can have fun without always winning too.
5) Honestly, I don't know how much latent talent is on the team. But my first guess is not much at this stage. And I'll counter that by noting Michael Jordan was cut from his HS basketball team, and I've heard that Pele was just average at this age. I see those examples as more reasons I want the kids having fun and a passion for the sport before worrying about win-loss.