If your child joined a sports team and you want to coach them, but are not sure of what you need to know, then here’s a few quick tips.
by Troop Atomic Mommy
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An active lifestyle is essential for your kids’ overall wellness, and participating in sports keeps them active. But maybe you really want to be a coach for them and their team. The next questions you’re going to ask yourself is “How do I volunteer my time?”, and “What things do I need to know about?”.
Some steps are necessary to help motivate your kids to participate in sports activities, so before you sign on to a deeply committed position like a sports coach, here’s a few things that you’ll need to know.
1. Choose a sport together
Your kids might like one sport and you another. Communicate to one another, about which sports each of you likes and why. This way, when you choose what sports your child wants to play and you to coach, you’ll both benefit from the experience.
You can do this by watching various sports games on television or even taking them to see live games. While at it, watch out to see what sports they pay more attention to or talk so much about. Chances are, those are their favorite sports. Then see if their favorite sports line up with yours.
Remember not to push your child in any specific direction as this could indicate to them that you only care about your own desires and are not considering theirs.
2. Make it fun
Since kids love to have fun, making sports exciting can work wonders for your bonding experience together. To achieve this, you want to avoid applying too much pressure on them. Instead, keep it simple, and let a soft leadership style shine through. This way, your kids will have the best of times while seeing you as their coach in a non-competitive fashion.
But beware, if you are too soft on them during a game or practice, then their friends or other parents could see you as playing favorites. This can negative feelings towards the sport and you, so try to be mindful of this.
Another great way to make it fun for your child while you coach, is to have them join in on learning all the ins and outs of coaching. Include them on coaching aspects like the strategy, making player videos, and even customizing their team jerseys. As a tip, consider getting custom-made jerseys from projerseyshop and allowing your child to participate in the design process.
3. Don’t favorite any child on the team, including your own
In the tip above, we explained how other kids and parents might interpret your soft leadership with your child as playing favorites. This can and has happened to many coaches, so the number one thing to remember is to treat every child the exact same way. It would be a good idea to develop a strategy as to how you plan to coach and what style of leadership will you be using, before you begin interacting with the players.
Some things to consider might be the following: act firm with one, then act firm with all, don’t play any single player longer than another, and if you give special success tips to one player, then be sure to give them to each player as well. Remember, you’re trying to build competitive players with great skill and with great teamwork capabilities. So, try your best to coach each of your players into finding their personal strengths.
4. Choose age-appropriate sports
While several sports are available, choosing age-appropriate options is important for the well-being of your child. For example, enrolling your Kindergartner in a difficult sport like hockey, may cause an inexperienced child anxiety if they know they’re missing the skills needed to play.
Find sports that are age appropriate by analyzing their current skills. If your child cannot skate, you wouldn’t stick them in hockey. Just like if your child cannot swim, you wouldn’t put them on a swim team. The best way to do this is to test their abilities at home, away from an audience. You want your child to feel empowered and not shame. So if you realize they are amazing at tumbling, but are terrible at catching, then you can enhance their strengths by choosing a sport that guides them towards building on that skill.
Being a sports coach for your child does not have to be anxiety-ridden for you or your child. It can be a time of great bonding and fun, if you follow the above tips. We hope you enjoy your new volunteer position and good luck!