Do You Over Coach Your Athletes From the Sidelines?
It’s important to build kids’ confidence, on and off the field. But its’ not always obvious to sports parents about how to do that.
In a recent interview, Greg Winkler, award-winning soccer coach and author of “Coaching a Season of Significance,” gave tips for sports parents.
Sports parents often have the urge to talk to their kids about the game on the car ride home. This can be a mistake, he says.
“On the ride home, kids typically don’t really want to talk much. As a parent, just pick something out that they did well, even if they sat on the bench. Did they compliment their teammates? Were they cheering for their team? Find something positive that they did, and start the conversation that way. If the kids want to talk about the game, they’ll talk!”
Winkler says that parents get too emotionally invested in the games, leading them to yell at their children from the sidelines when their sports kids make mistakes.
Instead, they need to leave coaching to the coach.
“I’ll take care of the corrections. The kids need to know their parents are supportive and watching,” he says.
This sideline yelling, while somewhat typical in youth sports, can hurt your sports kids’ self-confidence, and is a distraction to even the most confident sports kid.
“When you emphasize winning all the time and you forget about relationships and team building, you lose those valuable pieces that end up making teams great. It’s not always the teams with the most talent that win; it’s the teams that work together and bond,” Winkler says.
Many sports kids receive more benefit from the social aspects of playing sports than from the competitive aspects, so neglecting the social elements can cause your kids to lose interest in the sport, he says.
Winning should not be the emphasis. Instead of focusing on winning, try to help your sports child focus on self-improvement by setting small goals that will allow them to help the whole team, says Winkler.
Winkler also encourages team building through non-sport activities, such as camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
“I like to get them outside of the context of whatever sport they’re playing, and that helps foster really strong relationships,” he says.
These relationships carry benefits on and off the court or field and help the whole team gain confidence while playing together.
You can listen to our interview with Winkler here:
Help Young Athletes Boost Confidence in Sports!
Do your young athletes:
- Criticize themselves often after making mistakes?
- Lose confidence after working with a negative coach?
- Freeze up and look scared when faced with competitive pressure?
- Perform like stars in practice but freeze up or play tentatively during games or competitions?
If so, check out The Ultimate Sports Parent!
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What’s in “The Ultimate Sports Parent: A 14-Day Plan for Kids’ Success in Sports?”
- DAY 1 – Positive Communication with Your Athlete
- DAY 2 – Helping Your Athlete Establish Appropriate Goals
- DAY 3 – Providing Positive Motivation for Your Young Athlete
- DAY 4 – Instilling a Confident Mindset in Young Athletes
- DAY 5 – Boosting Performance by Improving Your Child’s Focus
- DAY 6 – Helping Kids Stop Worrying About What Everyone Thinks
- DAY 7 – Teaching Kids No One is Perfect
- DAY 8 – Guiding Your Children as they Cope with Difficult Feelings
- DAY 9 – Dealing with Kids’ Difficult or Negative Coaches
- DAY 10 – Helping Young Athletes Deal with Competitive Pressure
- DAY 11 – Freeing Your Athletes to Trust Their Skills on Game Day
- DAY 12 – Providing Athletes with Positive Support After Defeat
- DAY 13 – Helping Your Child or Teen Cope with Little Playing Time
- DAY 14 – Instilling a Competitive Edge in Your Young Athlete
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