Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Positive Coaching Develops Positive Parents

A majority of the negative experiences in athletics are
caused by tension between coaches and athletes' parents.
Most issues arise because athletes and/or parents do not
feel the coach is being fair. It is human nature for
athletes and their parents to overrate the athlete's
abilities. This over-rating leads them to feel that they
deserve to play all the time and play the position they

Unfortunately, parents and players are not always objective
in their analysis and this is often the source of the
tensions. Of course, there are times when athletes and
parents are correct with their opinion and coaches are
wrong with player assessment. Either way, unfortunate youth
sports situations occur between coaches and parents.

Part of what makes an athlete is their desire to play so
coaches should not hold that attitude against them. Coaches
should be sympathetic towards players who do not play as
often as the regulars.

On the other hand, young players are often content with
just being part of a team and are not upset with limited
playing time. Usually, these players only become
discontented after mom or dad start grumbling about the way
the coach is treating them. Players only become upset with
their coach after parents develop this negative attitude in
the player's mind. Players feel like they have to adopt the
same negative attitude towards the coach.

Many negative parent/coach situations can be minimized with
the following positive coaching tips. Most of these
suggestions, when done at the very beginning of the season,
can keep parents positive towards the coach throughout the

Positive Coaching Tips to Maintain Positive

1. Provide team parents background information about all
team coaches, especially about their playing and coaching
experience related to the particular sport. Honesty about
coach's background is mandatory, of course.)

2. Express philosophy of coaching. The three ultimate
objectives are winning, player development and fun.
Specifically state where coaches stand on these three
objectives. All coaches should have developing skills and
fun as an objective. Having to deal with winning and losing
will create many teaching moments that will be important
for kids to learn.

3. Team goals and individual plans for player improvement
should be mapped out. Good coaches will detail how they
plan on achieving these goals.

4. Discuss philosophy about playing time and positions
played. For example, will players have to earn their
position on the field or will coaches rotate players
equally? Give parents a chance to ask questions, and make
sure answers are clearly understood. Be sure to recognize
and discuss the objectives of the league and level at which
the team is playing.

5. Listen and discuss the parent's objectives for their own
kids. Sports parents who have obvious differences in
objectives than the coaches may have to look for another
team for their kid, if they cannot come to an understanding.

6. Discuss when and how coaches can be approached during
the season so there are no public confrontations. Encourage
parents to discuss any concerns away from others,
especially out of players' view. There will be issues that
arise from time to time, but letting parents know that
disagreements will be handled in a civil way, away from the
players, is crucial.

7. Discuss coaching policies when players miss practices or
games, so everybody is treated the same and all are clear
about the policy.

8. Effective communication is the key to averting problems
- make sure parents inform their kids about the coaches'

9. As mentioned, troubles begin when sports parents start
to grumble at home to the players about the coach.
Insisting that parents approach coaches before getting
upset and expressing that displeasure at home is essential
to keeping players from becoming unhappy about their coach.

Finally, it is important that coaches fulfill his or her
philosophy that was initially expressed. Changing
philosophy in the middle of the season will create
problems. If a coach feels a philosophy change is totally
necessary, they must discuss possible change with all
parents first.

Playing major league baseball - sweet; helping kids -
priceless." Jack Perconte has dedicated his post major
league baseball career to helping youth and their parents
get through the challenging world of youth sports. He
shares his playing, coaching and parenting experiences in
his books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete
Read more at http://positiveparentinginsports.com/

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