Choosing the right coach can be difficult for parents considering you really cannot get to know someone right off the bat from a few simple meetings. What you can do is inform yourself to the maximum level, and be sure that you keep your child in mind when you are chatting with the coach.
The initial step in the process is meeting with the coach and going over goals for your child, and what the aim of the team is for the coach. Depending on the age of your child you may want to choose a more fun and recreational league for children ages 12 and under, and a more competitive league for kids over 12 years. Joining competitive sports is a healthy development tool and encourages healthy competition, but only with good influences and responsible adults around to guide the way.
Coaches are an important part to athlete and team development. With the amount of time that the coach would be putting in with any of the children, parents will have to make sure that a responsible adult is in charge and going to guide and direct those in his care well.
One thing parents need to avoid is discounting a potential coach due to lack of experience. Everyone has to start somewhere, and some of the best coaches started where someone was willing to go out on a line and give them a chance to do the best they could. You should judge a coach based on what he presents, and what he brings to the table, and the directions he plans to take, not based on what a professional coach would be like.
Misconceptions can doom some of the best fits for the job before they even get out of the gate. Especially with some of the coaching scandals that have gone around in recent years. If parents are unsure, but think it could potentially be a good fit, maybe they should attend a few practices and scout for themselves. It would give them a view with their own eyes of how the coach interacts with kids, and allows the coach to show his stuff in its natural environment and not just talk about it.
One thing that is for sure in the early years of sports, you will want a coach that puts an emphasis on teamwork and having fun, and less of the emphasis on winning. These early years are the best time to instil good sportsmanlike conduct in the players and get the good habits etched in stone. If you do not get these habits set early, you could find them developing bad habits that will be hard to work out of them in the later years.
While there is absolutely no way that any parents can pick a coach that is going to be absolutely perfect and work out in every way imaginable, you will find out that as long as you arm yourself with information, and make a decision based off of it, then you will be pointed in the right direction.