Coaching Sports to Your Children
Some sports parents
would jump at the chance to coach their own youth
athletes. After all, they spend plenty of time playing catch or tossing balls for batting practice in the backyard and are at every game already, how much harder is it to be the actual coach? But before you dive headfirst into the world of parent-coaches here are four questions you should ask yourself.
Are you sure you won’t be biased?
A lot of parents decide to become parent-coaches because it’s a great way to spend more time with their youth athlete. Any sports parent can tell you that athletics takes up a huge chunk of their child’s free time so if you can’t beat ‘em, coach ‘em! But it’s important to remember that you aren’t just coaching your own child—you’ve got a dozen other kids to look out for as well. You need to make sure that every player is getting the attention they need to learn the fundamental skills of the sport and succeed as individuals and as a team. Just because you’re the coach that doesn’t automatically mean your child is the center of the team!
It’s also important to make sure that you don’t let your own player get away with behavior that their teammates would get called out for. If missing a practice means losing playing time that rule has to apply to everyone—including the coach’s kid.
Will you expect perfection?
On the other side of things—in an attempt to make sure they aren’t unduly favoring their own child, some parent-coaches put extra pressure on their own youth athlete to excel and be perfect on the field/court. While it’s important you don’t let your own player get preferential treatment, it’s easy to swing too far in the other direction as well. Some players might thrive as the “coach’s kid” because they want to be a leader on their team but others might feel like you are unfairly singling them out or expecting more from them than their teammates. Just because you’re the coach that doesn’t automatically mean you child is going to be a superstar athlete and it isn’t fair to expect them to turn into one overnight just because you decided to take over as coach.
Sports Coaching Your Kids
Can you “turn off” your coach mentality?
As a parent-coach it’s important to remember that you are equal parts parent and coach. When you go home after a disappointing game are you going to strategize like a coach and run a play-by-play of everything that went wrong or are you going to put your parent hat back on and let it go? Think about some of the crazy coaches you had in your own sports career—would you have wanted to live with them?! A good parent-coach needs to be able to switch back and forth between the two roles as needed.
Do you actually know the rules of the game?
Most youth sports organizations are always on the hunt for volunteers and while enthusiasm can take you a long way a little knowledge can’t hurt either! Typically the best youth sports coaches are going to be the ones that understand the rules and fundamentals of the game so they can actually coach their team! Remember, you aren’t just coaching your own child—you’re responsible for the athletic development of a dozen or so other kids! It’s a big responsibility and an important factor to consider.
Becoming a parent-coach can change the dynamics between you and your youth athlete dramatically, so before you sign up to coach your daughter’s soccer team or your son’s lacrosse team it’s probably worth talking to them about it. Are they going to be comfortable with you as their coach? Your 5 year old probably won’t care but as your kids get older and they start to take sports more seriously their opinion should count for something.
As a full time soccer coach personally I would say no for one reason only.
Kids see the game differently to their coach. Accordingly, for what ever reason if ‘Little Jimmy
‘ has a poor game but you decide to still select him for whatever reason for the next game then usually no problem.
However if the same scenario involves your own son then immediately the other playerds will view this simply as favoring ‘Teachers Pet
‘ and it will be the lad who suffers.
Posted @ Friday, January 04, 2013 11:56 AM by dennis
Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Youth Athletes
Holiday Gifts for Athletes
LocalSportsReviews.com “high-fives” the sports gift ideas for the holidays to support and encourage your friends and family activities. How about adding to the list activities/ gifts for you and your children, partner or friends to play together? Maybe you both sign up for a 5K or yoga classes? Way to go. Play Forward!
What are your favorite sports gifts ideas?
Posted by Jodi Murphy
Christmas is just around the corner and unless you’re the kind of sports parent that likes to buy presents months in advance, chances are you’ve got some last minute shopping to do! If you’ve got a youth athlete (or two or three…) still on your to-buy list here are a few last minute stocking stuffer ideas:
Now most kids will moan and groan at the thought of getting socks for the holidays, but athletic sock are a totally different story! A great pair of athletic socks can help keep your athlete’s feet drier with moisture wicking fabric, add a little extra cushioning to help absorb hard impacts and even contain anti-microbial technology that helps prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria (making their gear bag and your car smell a lot better!) These aren’t just socks, they’re science!
New Sport Earbuds
If your son or daughter likes running (maybe they are thinking about joining their junior high cross country team!) or biking than a new pair of earbuds specifically designed for athletic use is a great stocking stuffer. Sport earbuds are designed to stay in place even when you’re really moving and are usually sweat and water resistant so they won’t get ruined easily.
A Personal Coaching Session
Okay, so maybe this one isn’t really a stocking stuffer per se, but if your youth athlete wants to get a little more serious about their game (maybe they are looking to join a high powered travel team) you might consider getting them a few one-on-one lessons with a personal coach. Maybe you can book a few hours with a batting instructor or sign your hockey player up for a one-day goalie camp. Spending some one-on-one time with a personal coach means your child gets all the attention and gets to work on their game without any distractions.
Tickets to a Professional Game
There is almost nothing cooler than being a youth athlete and getting to see the “real thing” live and in person, especially if you are die-hard fan. It’s also a great time to have some fun yourself! Tickets to professional sporting events can get expensive, but maybe you can snag tickets to a local college game for a lot less and still give your youth athlete the whole experience. Who knows—maybe they’ll be able to picture themselves playing under the same lights one day!
We all know that sports gear can get very expensive very quickly. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to buy second hand gear if your child is just starting out in sports. A-they’ll grow out of it in a season and B-you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on new equipment for football only to have them decide they’d rather play hockey and skip football next year! But if your youth athlete has settled down and clearly has a favorite sport (or maybe even one for each season) than it might be worthwhile investing in a great piece of gear for the upcoming season.
Coming together helps a team bond – (Photo: Article.wn.com)
Competitive sports are a very strange phenomenon in the modern world. We love sports, especially soccer. Here is a game where people of all ages can take the field, kick a ball around, and enjoy themselves. But too often in sports, a massive emphasis is placed on winning, and soccer players and coaches lose site of the overall goal, which is to simply have fun. Make sure that your soccer team enjoys playing the sport, regardless of the score, because in youth soccer that is by far the most important thing.
Refrain from berating children who have made mistakes in the game. Yes, it can be painful to watch a three goal lead slip away, but don’t single out a player for blame. Chances are they already feel miserable about what happened and pouring salt into the open wound will just ruin their day. Instead, give the young player a pat on the back and tell them to keep their head up. Soccer is about confidence, and in young players who are just beginning to play the game such confidence is often remarkably frail, so help them move on from their mistakes, laugh it off, and keep enjoying the game. These things happen.
I think a big problem with coaches and parents is that they live vicariously through their children on the soccer field. When little Johnny Jr. scores a goal, grown-up Johnny enjoys it even more, and when Jr. loses the ball and the other team scores, guess what. Johnny suffers in the pain as well. Sometimes parents let their kids know those feelings and hurt the kid’s pride after the game, but that is entirely the wrong thing to do. As a child, don’t you want pleasant memories of your soccer playing days? If you constantly berate your kids, they will only remember the pains of mistakes and will start to resent not only soccer, but also you.
So keep it fun! Focus on the good plays that your soccer players make, even if they are few and far between. Not only does praise make people feel better inside, but it also helps boost esteem, and this will often lead to improvements on the field and a greater love for the game. When players develop and age they can view their own game from a more levelheaded vantage point. In older years, it can be more beneficial to point out errors, but when it comes to the children you need to make youth soccer as enjoyable as possible.