Whose Coaching Your Child

This is always an interesting time of year for youth travel softball players whose dream is to play college.  Parents and kids begin looking, jockeying and in some cases even selling out for what they believe is the best move for their student athlete.  And then the question I get from parents who are in this decision making process is, “what should I be looking for”?

Whose Coaching Your Child

The first thing I say is know your child.  Know how they like to be coached, know what motivates them and know the type of person that helps get the most from them.  We know this from our own relationship as their parent or maybe even their first coach.  Secondly, find out about the coach you are handing your child over too.  Ask around, talk to former players, go watch a game that they are coaching to get a feel for that coach’s style, personality and temperament.

Whose Coaching Your Child

I remind my clients that on the road to your student athlete earning a scholarship sport must do other things, like building character.  But sports don’t build character unless a coach already has character and he or she teaches it intentionally.  Sports can team with ethics and character and spirituality; and like Joe Ehermann said in his book Inside Out Coaching, virtuous coaching can integrate the body with the heart, the mind, and the soul.

Whose Coaching Your Child

The biggest advice I can give to parents is look for “Transformational Coaches” and stay away from “Transactional Coaches”.  I recently had an eleven-year athlete that I work with tell me that her head coach came up to her during a recent team event and said that she heard from an assistant coach that the eleven-year-old was bad mouthing her, the head coach.  What?  Coaches are to affirm their athletes, so imagine what must be going on in the mind of an eleven-year-old.  Organized sports for young women should be a liberating time on the field, a time free of adult messages that can be hurtful, confusing and destructive.

Whose Coaching Your Child

Often times parents go on a search for teams or coaches who they hear are good, but can also be a little hard or over the top.  To that I say BS if the experience is going to scar the athlete in any way, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically.  Sports should be a sanctuary, a place apart from cultural messages and mind tricks that many social interactions involve.  Transactional coaches can cause scars that may heal on the surface, but from my 20 years of coaching, I know the pain of those scars still cuts deep for many of these young women.  The scars affect show up in how they view themselves, their self-worth and self-esteem, which can lead to eating disorders or worse.

Whose Coaching Your Child?

 

#dontbeacrazyassparents

rightchoicecoaching.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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