When things go wrong for our children or team, as parents and coaches, we often revert back to our own youth athletic experiences. If it happened to us and we survived and maybe even thrived, then we should use it with our children and the teams we coach. Our first coaching and parenting role models are the people that coached us and our own parents. Growth happens through education…CYCLES ARE BROKEN BY EDUCATION AND THEN ACTION…people learn what works for them and how it may or may not be more effective than what they experienced.
A coach or parent must be brave in order to break the cycle of poor coaching or parenting practices in regard to athletics. This individual will be breaking time honored traditions, passed down from one generation to the next, that all had negative consequences for sport participants. It is also likely, that other peers will be stuck in the cycle of poor practices applying negative pressure to the individual for attempting to improve. A tough situation for most, but coaches and parents do exist that have decided to break from tradition and create an experience focused on creating an environment of success around the team and at home.
Examples of the cycle of poor coaching and parenting practices are below:
- The collegiate soccer team I coach has just lost three games in a row. That must mean we are not in good enough shape and should do more fitness activities to improve.
- I sat quietly and watched my child strike out at his baseball game. In the next at bat I yelled at him to “Get it Together” and he hit a double.
- The players I coach will only give their best effort during practice after running suicides and a long lecture on effort.
- The basketball coaches I watch on television are always yelling and screaming at their players and my coach used to do that to me. That must be the best way to coach.
- Miranda was acting out today at training and I threw her out of the session. That used to happen to players on the team I played for.
- I watched Dominick and his team mentally prepare for their game today with a session focused on imagery. After the game in which I though Dominick played terrible, I told him that imagery stuff is useless.
- When I played sports my Dad coached me. I have not received any training in coaching but how hard can it be…my Dad used to coach all of my teams.
- John and Fred have been acting out during training. I will punish them by putting them in the weight room for additional “penalty” training at 6AM.
- My Mom keeps telling me that I should be in the game more and that my coach does not know what he is doing. I do not know whom to listen to anymore, my coach or my Mom?
- When I played football growing up, a little injury never slowed me down. Walk it off and then get back in for the next play or you may never get back on the field.
Ideas to improve parenting, coaching, and communication have been abundant since our youth sport experiences happened numerous years ago. Learning occurs through numerous resources such as reading, mentoring, watching videos, listening to books, and observing others. Take an opportunity to learn if what the coach is telling your child is the best method, if your after the game behavior is appropriate, and how you can be instrumental in creating an environment of success through intentional positive interaction.
We almost always go back to what happened to us during our time in athletics especially in times of perceived despair…BREAK THE CYCLE OF POOR PARENTING AND COACHING PRACTICES TODAY!
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