How to be a good parent coach in youth sports

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 By

Children from the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Youth Sports Program at Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, participate in a 1.5-mile fun run around Ward Field at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Logico/Released).

Youth sports needs good parent coaches. (Photo Credit: Public Domain/U.S. Navy/Wikipedia)

Youth sports can be a real pleasure for children, as well as the parents and adult volunteers involved. However, some parents in youth sports, particularly in coaching situations, allow things to get out of hand when it comes to being ultra-competitive to the point of violence. Here are some healthy ideas for how to be a good parent coach.

How to be a good parent coach tip No. 1 – Be realistic about your child

It’s natural for a parent to want their child to achieve greatness and bask in the glory. But once that parent becomes a coach, they must be realistic for the sake of the team. The abilities – or lack thereof – of any player must be balanced in the best interests of team success. It’s a great to teach youngsters focus and discipline, and setting them up with goals for improvement.

How to be a good parent coach tip No. 2 – Know your role

A good parent coach should teach youth sports practitioners the rules of the game, as well as fundamental skills and desirable qualities of character. The coach isn’t there to stroke egos of fill kids with false expectations in relation to their capabilities. The coach also isn’t there to overwhelm young minds with complex offensive and defensive strategies. Keep it simple so players can develop basic skills.

How to be a good parent coach tip No. 3 – Be a role model

Good sportsmanship and character are things any good adult coach should model for kids. Coaches should teach kids that opponents and referees should be treated with respect, as they themselves would want to be treated. Some disappointment following losses is healthy, but maintaining proper perspective and not allowing losses to affect a player or coach’s self-image or self-esteem are important. Being a bad loser should always be avoided.

How to be a good parent coach tip No. 4 – Separate coach and parent roles

So as to dispel the notion of favoritism, a child whose mother or father is coaching the team should call the coach. Most importantly, however, let your child know that even if they don’t get all the playing time, you are their parent and you love them unconditionally.

How to be a good parent coach tip No. 5 – Maintain an even emotional keel

Whether your team has won or lost, don’t use the occasion as an excuse to either spoil or punish the children excessively. While the notion of players being rewarded simply for showing up is a sign of cultural sickness, players who receive proper guidance and praise as the situation logically warrants will have the greatest opportunity for personal growth. Participation trophies invite all sorts of negative behaviors and a sense of entitlement that can last a lifetime if left unchecked.

Sources

About.com Sports Medicine

Money Crashers

Responsible Sports

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