Whether your child is lacing up cleats for their first youth soccer practice or pulling their high school’s jersey over their head for the last time, there are a couple things their coaches wish you knew…
Let the Coaches Coach, the Players Play, and the Parents Parent
No matter the level your child is playing at, the chances are that their coach loves the sport and cares about the growth of your kids and the team as a whole, or else they would not be out there. Everyone will inevitably make mistakes–that is how they learn, grow, and get better. Thankfully, you don’t have to be the one to tell them. Let the coach pick and choose their moments to teach but also their moments to let the kids figure it out on their own.
Respect the Coach’s Decisions
Kids will make mistakes during games and practices, but so will coaches. Like your kids, they too are learning and growing with the game. So, whether or not they make a decision you agree with, respect it. Not only does this bode well for your stress levels, but it teaches your child that respecting coaches, referees, and everyone who works hard to put together sporting events for your kids, should be appreciated.
Pay Attention To How Your Kid Responds To Feedback
We all want to watch our kid during practices and games, so take that time to see how you can help them. Observing their behavior after receiving feedback from their coach or other players can let you decipher ways in which you can help them to be more receptive and use constructive criticism as fuel rather than as a confidence killer.
Let Them Talk To You
Every athlete has closed the car door after a less than average performance and wanted to do one of the above: scream, cry, never speak again, break something–you get the idea. Sports are an incredible avenue for kids to learn how to recognize and manage their emotions. So, it is important that when they get in the car after that soccer game, volleyball match, you name it, that you let them talk to you–don’t force them to speak, don’t hit them with the play-by-play–let them direct the conversation, if they want to have one.
Coaches Are Doing Their Best
Coaches are putting more time and effort into your child and their team than you can see on the surface. It takes a great deal of patience and thought to pull together a team, let alone make them successful. The afternoons you spend at home, they are out on the field, sacrificing time with their families. So, go easy on your park and rec, travel, premier, high school, and college coaches–they are doing everything they can to help your child grow.
Sports are one of the greatest teaching tools for kids. That said, they require a great deal of physical and emotional investment, which your young athlete has to learn how to balance. So, do your best to set an example for your kid by treating their coach with respect and encouraging them to do the same.