Youth Sports Expert Interview
Mark Greenburg, youth sports coach and former physical education teacher, says that emotional intelligence is one of the most important gifts sports parents can give their kids.
In a recent interview with Ultimate Sports Parent Radio, Greenburg, the author of “Elevated Leadership, a Pitch-by-Pitch Guide to Business, Life, and Baseball” said, “The biggest mistake parents make: They think of everything as game 7 of the World Series.”
They complain that their child didn’t get enough playing time, or went 0 for 3 and say the coach didn’t develop their child well, he added.
“Parents should spend more time giving kids the tools they need to approach the coach,” he said. Those emotional intelligence tools will benefit children throughout their lives. Someday kids might use that experience to ask a company CEO for a raise.
Sports parents can help kids communicate with coaches by role playing with their children. The parents can pretend to be the coach, and the kids can practice asking the coach for more playing time or making other requests.
Help kids learn how to approach the coach and say, “I’d like more playing time, what do I have to do to get to that point?”
When a child approaches Greenburg to ask for more playing time–as opposed to the parent making the request– he’s more open to giving that playing time.
Parents should also help kids practice empathy. If a coach is in a bad mood, suggest that young athletes think about what the coach is experiencing that day.
“You might say, ‘I wonder why she’s so upset today; maybe there was something that happened in her life,” Greenburg suggests.
Parents should also serve as role models who are self-aware. For example, Greenburg said, “I’m very emotional and don’t always think things through.” If he loses his temper, he admits he lost his temper and says he’s sorry. The goal is to model self-awareness to the child.
Our interview with Greenburg is packed with tips about helping kids develop emotional intelligence and get the most from their experience!
Help Your Young Athletes Succeed
In The Ultimate Sports Parent 14-day CD program, you and your young athlete will learn how to cultivate confidence, focus, and composure in sports! Improve your sports parenting skills with this program.
It’s difficult for sports parents to watch their kids under-perform in sports and lose self-esteem due to fear, doubt and tentativeness. It’s hard to stand idle and watch.
The solutions are not obvious. However, you, as a parent, can learn how to respond to your athletes’ fears, doubts, and frustrations. You can develop happy, successful kids who are “mentally tough” in sports – and life!
A child or teen athlete may possess all the talent in the world. But if he can’t “get his head in the game” and realize his potential, his performance will suffer and he will be unhappy.
What are Parents and Coaches saying?
“The Ultimate Sports Parent program is well designed to help parents and athletes come to terms with developing well rounded student athletes. This workbook will help give athletes and parents the competitive edge.”
~Mike Maveus, athlete & youth sports coach
“I just listened to The Ultimate Sports Parent CD program on a drive back from North Carolina. Every parent should be required to listen to it! I thought it was great.” Thank you.”
~Rita, Sports Parent
“Dr. Patrick Cohn and Lisa Cohn are to be congratulated! Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge, information, and practical mental tools for sports parents on the substantial “mental game” challenges and pressures facing today’s young athletes.”
~Marc D. Anderson, LCSW, MGCP, Mental Game Coach