Parents, you don’t have to settle for a coach who isn’t giving your child what you really want him or her to have in youth sports. It’s okay to be picky! You don’t have to put your child on a team with a coach that will not encourage your child’s love for sports.
There are always options: community leagues, sports organization teams (i.e. YMCA), camps, light travel sports, or even just fun play with friends until a more fitting opportunity comes along. It may take some research, but the sports coach who knows how help your child have fun and grow is like a gold medal in the world of athletics.
Before you sign your child up, do your homework and look for a coach who:
1. Knows how to teach in a positive way, not harping on the negative all the time.
2. Doesn’t belittle the team for losing.
3. Takes blame when the team doesn’t perform well and looks to see how he or she can help them improve.
4. Points out the small victories to the team, even when they lose.
5. Always fights for the team. Whether it’s confronting refs or administrators, they are an advocate for the team.
6. Is always learning and looks for ways to improve their own skills as a coach.
7. Wants to win, but not more than he or she wants the players to have a good experience.
8. Sees the bigger picture of how sports can teach character building.
9. Really loves kids and wants them to have a great experience.
If your child has a coach with these traits, their love for sports will be nurtured and the chances are much greater that your young athlete will stay with the game longer. A negative coach who does not know how to water your child’s passion for the game could have your kid running away from a sport they once couldn’t wait to play.
Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.