Coaching Your Child’s Team
As you enroll your child in their first little league it always tempting to relive your childhood moments and offer to coach their team. If it weren't for volunteer parent coaches, there would be many leagues of numerous sports that would not be able to be played. Coaching a child's team can be both fun and rewarding, but you should consider the personality and desires of your child first.
Many parents choose to coach because they think their child will do better if they are there. Others worry about another parent-coach messing up their child's future chance at stardom if they aren't involved to supervise it. Other parents coach because they don't know any better and someone asked them to do it. There is a whole other set of parents who coach because they want and expect their child and their team to win. Investigate the reasons why you want to coach and try to decide if your intention will enable you to be an encouraging teacher to not just your own child, but others as well. Coaching children's sports must be kept in proper perspective, especially if the children are very young.
If you are coaching your child's team, you must be able to stand back and realistically see the abilities of the kids on the team. Coaching a 4-year-old t-ball league can be rather burdensome if you expect the kids to understand the rules and hit the ball every time. It's not going to happen. Another element of coaching is offering support, encouragement, know-how and, most importantly, being able to add a massive element of fun to the mix. The fun part is what makes the kids want to come back year after year and play. Ultimately, this is the goal of coaching. Children should feel proud of themselves as they participate in activities, whether they score the winning goal or are the one running backwards on the field. As children become teenagers there is plenty of time for the pressure of competition, and youth sports should never be all about winning.
As a coach, it is important to instill ideas of sportsmanship and teamwork. It is always important to provide support and enthusiastic feedback about how well the children are doing. Their improvements and strides to get better should be noticed and acknowledged far more than their lack thereof. By concentrating on what they are good at, they too will be focused on their talent. When you take on the role of coaching, it is unequivocally your job to be the one who offers words of encouragement and praise and allows each child to feel successful. There will be parents on the sidelines who are hard on their kids and other parents who are going to feel like you are doing something wrong. None of that is the focus of coaching. The focus of coaching should be on enabling children to succeed through sport and be filled with the desire and passion to pursue their dreams.
Obviously, when you are coaching a child's sports team, you are not on the road to the World Series, nor are you striving for perfection in performance. You are not there to separate the talented from the untalented or make an example out of an error. Your job as a coach is quite simple and is much like that of a parent. You are there to show the children that no matter what they put their mind to, they can accomplish it. You are there to teach so they can learn, and you are there to spread love and support through the hearts of the children that are playing. When coaching is done with this in mind, it can become a truly fulfilling experience both for you and the children on your team!