The best team
to coach is a team full of orphans. Of course this is from the coaches' point
of view. You may ask why this is so. I believe that I have the answer. A team
of orphans has no parents to second-guess your decisions, or to tell you why
their child should play more than everyone else, or to scream from the
sidelines at officials and players. But most importantly, there would not be
any parents around to criticize the children for losing.
At the developmental stage, many
children do not care about winning or losing nor should they be pressured to.
What is important is that they learn about their sport and how to play it
properly. There will be plenty of time to generate the competitiveness that
so many parents are frothing to find in their children. The biggest detriment
to most children is not that they may lose a game but the pressure their
parents put on them which tends to make them feel like failures. So, the
moral of this article is to coach your parents as much as you coach your
teams because your players spend far more time with them than you.
The easiest way to coach your parent is to
educate them as well. By educating the parents we are seeking to raise their
level of interests as well as their level of knowledge of the game. By being
interested and knowledgeable, you provide parents the opportunity to have
constructive conversations with players. Once more the easiest way to educate
parents is to involve them in the sport. If parents participate in the sport,
they are then able to understand the efforts and hardships of the players -
not just the victories.
In my experience, I was coaching an
under eleven developmental girls soccer team. I was having some problems with
some parents applying too much pressure on their kids to win. That's when I
realized that the kids were having fun on the field, but when they came off
the field there was that overwhelming pressure that they played well, but
they didn't win. This is when I decided that I needed to better the
experience for everyone. I realized that we needed to change the atmosphere
the team was competing in. I found that by encouraging the parents to play
themselves, they gained a better understanding of the game.
The more the parents participated, the
less pressure they applied to players. This led to the inception of a parents
team where they practiced and played as hard as the girls did. The result of
all of this was that the atmosphere changed to allow the girls to enjoy the
sport and the parents to understand it. This improved our whole team
experience and led to a great season. The most important thing that coaches
need to do is not fall victim to the pressure from parents and outside
sources. The player's experience is what truly matters.
Now there are many options available for
coaches to get their parents involved by Positive Coaching, local clubs,
recreation centers, and other outside sources. From the coaches perspective,
the point of this article is to help encourage team parents to physically
participate in the sport and create a better experience for the players,
parents, and coaches.
Coaching Vision Statement:
Positive Coaching, Inc. believes that the foundation of our future is in its
youth, and that sports are an essential part of a young person's physical
emotional, and spiritual development in the U.S. culture today.
Participation in sports helps the young
person build positive self esteem a strong work ethic, morals, and
cooperation through team building.
Positive Coaching believes that positive
influences modeled by coaches, parents, teachers, peers media,
professional athletes and others contribute to the well being and the healthy
development of youth.