Coaching your own child can be a wonderful sports experience–or it can be a challenging ordeal that carries over into family time.
Here are 15 tips to help keep things smooth and productive as you prepare to coach you own child in sports.
Tip No. 1: Keep It FunIf we know anything about children and sports, we know that children follow the fun. When the fun stops, kids quit playing. Come to think of it, don't coaches follow the fun as well?
Tip No. 2: Discover the Sports Goals of Your ChildWhat do you hope your child will achieve by participating in sports? Make a list of your sports dreams for your child. Now go over that list and ask yourself, "How will my presence as a coach impact these dreams?" Be honest. Be specific. If you remain convinced you are the best coach for your child, go ahead. If not, coach another team.
Tip No. 3: Use Your Experience with Other CoachesTake time to recall the coaches you admired. What made these coaches special in your eyes? Make a list of the qualities and traits of coaches who were positive influences in your life. Try to emulate those coaches.
Tip No. 4: Examine Your Motives for Coaching Your ChildBe sensitive to your child's level of sports ambition as compared to your own. Are you projecting your dreams, your level of ambition, onto your child? If you want success more than your child, your relationship is at risk. Your relationship with your son or daughter will suffer if you press your child too hard.
Tip No. 5: Times Have ChangedRemember that your sports dreams and ambitions are a product of your childhood. Your own child is being raised by different people, at a different point in time and with a different set of games than you were. Be sensitive to generation-gap issues.
Tip No. 6: Respect Your Child's IndividualityYour child is an individual first, and an athlete second. To ensure a positive experience from sports, you must respect your child's individuality.
Tip No. 7: Listen More Than You LectureEncourage your child to communicate openly with you. When you coach your child in team sports, other players may become jealous. They may express jealousy by rejecting or ignoring your child socially. Teammates may criticize you to your child. Your child needs to feel free to talk about his or her feelings. Your child needs to know you will listen to issues such as these.