Tips To Help Sports Kids in Games
In many ways, it makes sense that we often see mayhem on the sidelines during youth sporting events, says Brian Swarz, a coach, ref and umpire who has seen a lot of youth sports games.
First of all, many of the coaches are parents of high-level players who are very invested in the outcome of the games. Second, the coaches generally aren’t trained. What’s more, the parents aren’t trained, either. No one has told them how they can best support their kids from the sidelines.
And, parents–who are natural teachers for their kids—tend to throw their natural teaching abilities out the window when there’s competition involved. They’re more critical of their kids.
The result of all these factors: There’s too much pressure, too much yelling, and too much negativity. That’s especially true if the coach is not setting a good example, Swarz says. The coach needs to set the tone for the whole team and its parents.
Given that there are so many factors contributing to sideline mayhem, it’s important for parents—and coaches—to understand what’s best for their kids.
First of all, it makes sense for coaches to begin each season with a team meeting during which they explain their philosophy and what they expect from kids and parents. That’s what Swarz does.
Parents and coaches should keep in mind that kids play sports to have fun. Adults should be as positive as possible. Keep in mind that most kids know what they’re supposed to be doing. They know when they’ve made a mistake. And most kids are quick to beat themselves up for making mistakes. They don’t need the parents criticizing them, too.
In addition, we’d like to add, it’s important for parents to cheer for all the team members—not just their own kids. If a coach sets a good example and establishes a positive, team-oriented culture, that’s likely what will happen.
If you’d like to learn more about how to avoid sideline mayhem and support your kids in the best way possible, we’ve got just what you need at Kids’ Sports Psychology—beginning with our audio interview with Swarz. Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology have access to that interview, plus e-books, expert interviews, videos, articles, Question-And-Answers and much more!
To listen to the first half of this interview, use the player below:
Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology can download our complete interview with Swarz here and get her tips on helping your athlete’s performance in sports:
Exclusive members can listen to our full interview with Swarz here:
What do folks have to say about our resources?
“The work you guys are doing is so incredibly important. (Negative experiences in sports) stick with kids for years and years.”
~Steve Siebold, a former professional athlete (top 500 tennis player) and a mental toughness coach to professional and amateur athletes.
P.S. Exclusive members of Kids’ Sports Psychology, be sure to get Swarz’s tips for ensuring you do the best job you can support your kids on the sidelines. You can listen here
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