Friday, 28 July 2017

Published Friday, July 28, 2017 with 22 comments

The Ideal Youth Sports Coach

To begin with, there is no ideal youth sports coach. Different coaches have different styles, different philosophies, different ideologies and so on. There is no one type that you can pick up and label good or even bad for that matter.

That said, there are some traits that are essential in youth sports. even with different styles, philosophies etc., some essential elements for youth sports coaching can make your child’s sports training a success. Ensuring that these essential elements are there, the kid not only picks up sports skills but also picks up life skills that help in making a better person of your child.

Here are the things that you need to ensure in your child’s sports coaching, irrespective of the coach’s coaching style.

·        Positive Reinforcement

There are coaches who can get very irritable at the players. Disappointment can be justified, but taking it out on kids is not done. Seven-eight year olds cannot objectify yelling. They lose confidence and in some cases even get emotionally wrecked. Coaches need to have patience and know the art of positive reinforcement.

·        Talk the child’s language

Coaches need to talk the language children can understand. This includes explaining technical terms, simplifying jargon and also using a tone that can be comprehended by children. This also means that the coach breaks down instructions into bits and pieces such that children can understand well.

·        Set realistic goals for kids

Some coaches are very ambitious, which is actually a good thing, but that should not translate to putting undue pressure or giving false hopes to kids.

·        Communication with parents

If you ask coaches about sports parents and communication issues, most would say that parents are interfering, demanding and unreasonably critical. That being true to some extent, coaches also need to realize that parents are anxious about their child’s performance. A lot’s riding on it. a good coach would know the importance of communication with parents. In fact, coaches can collaborate with parents and delegate a lot of work that otherwise takes up the coach’s time and leaves little time for the actual coaching.

Many successful teams have been so because of the fantastic coordination between the coach and parents.

·        Teach children to lose, not just to win

A good coach knows the importance of learning to lose gracefully. It is obvious how the coach would react when the team wins, what you need to see in your child’s coach is, the coach’s reaction when the team loses. The coach needs to teach kids how to accept defeat, how to learn from it and how to emerge all fresh and enlightened out of the whole experience. This is not just a sports skill but it’s a great life skill too.
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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Published Tuesday, July 11, 2017 with 8 comments

Want your Kid to Enjoy Sports? Do This!

Sports should not be a compulsion. Sports should be a passion, recreation or just plain joy. Sports should not drain energy, sports should revitalize it.

If your child is not energized before going to the practice, or is showing signs of depression or stress, or has to be literally dragged to her practice every day, you have a problem. Either ask your child to give up sports completely, because perhaps you are not seeing what the child is trying so hard to show you, she does not want to play mainstream sports. Or, you give up on your hopes and expectations from your child. just let her enjoy the game at her own pace.

The thing is, the day parents enroll their child into youth sports program, their hope rise and eventually expectations rise too. Then they want the child to perform well, win games, outshine others, get successful, clear the way to college scholarship and so on. Well this might work for some children who have in-born talent and can take the pressure, children who grow up to be star athletes, who grow up to play pro sports and have their career in it. But not every child is made to that specification. Majority of the kids do not end up in pro sports. So why force every child into it.

The dilemma most parents face is, how would they know if the child has it in her, until they push the child into it. Here are a few tips that will help parents ease off the pressure and let their child enjoy playing.

·        Don’t make victory the benchmark for success when your child is playing. Sometimes the fringe benefits are more important than winning. See what your child is learning. See if she is enjoying the game or not? Is she making new friends or building up on her emotional quotient.

·        If the child is struggling with the sport in the beginning, support her but do not force her in to it. There’s a fine line between motivation and emotional coercion.

·        If you think that only winning will motivate your child, you are probably wrong. Victory and success is usually the motivation for adults. Children can find motivation and joy in innocent things the adult mind may be incapable of processing.

·        Please don’t live by the notion that if the child is not good at a particular sport, the child is wasting her time playing it. The very fact that she is loving the sport means that she should play it irrespective of her level of skill
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