Setting Team Goals as a Parent-Coach
A sports parent asks:
“As a parent and a coach, how should I handle performing both duties simultaneously to help all the kids as much as possible?”
Being a coach and parent can breed many issues that you need to be aware of from day one…
The first issue you need to tackle is the expectation that you’ll favor your child.
If the other players or coaches expect or suspect favoritism, your players’ self-confidence will drop—and so will their parents’ trust in you.
The players will likely assume you’ll favor your own kids, unless you prove otherwise. Again, that can lead to a loss in confidence and with this, kids’ performance will deteriorate.
They may start second-guessing themselves and soon could start struggling with a number of mental game issues, among them comparing themselves to others and worrying about what others think of them.
You can take steps to stop these issues before they ever begin…
First, get everyone involved by having a team meeting with the purpose of establishing an inclusive team culture. Make sure all the parents are involved.
Set goals for the kids, and for the team. You want to build everyone’s confidence, not just your kids’, but the other players’ and their parents’ confidence, as well. Make sure your goals focus on ways the team can grow together and build confidence together.
During practices and games, remind kids not to compare themselves to others.
It’s possible kids will compare themselves to your kids in an effort to gain your favor. Tell them to focus on their own strengths, and not on the strengths of others.
You might even ask them to list their strengths and best moments in sports. In addition, tell them to focus on playing for themselves—not to please other people, including their coaches.
To be a good sports parent, let your children know that you can’t give them special attention during team practice, but will instead work with them to meet their goals, just like you’ll work with the other players.
Share your team goals with your children to make them feel included. Keeping a solid balance can be difficult, but it’s achievable.
One of the best ways to help boost kids’ confidence is to help them prepare for games. Check out our latest product, “10-Minute Pregame Prep,” here:
Young athletes, their parents and coaches tell us that sports kids often struggle with these pregame mental game challenges:
- They feel pressure to excel from expectations they feel from others.
- They worry too much about what others think about their performance.
- They interpret pregame jitters as harmful to their performance.
- They fail to take charge of their confidence before the compete.
- They hang on to mistakes and dwell in them in competition.
- They don’t trust in their skills when they go from practice to competition.
- They focus too much on the outcome instead of the process.
- They tighten up and play safe when they feel pressure to succeed.
“10 Minute Pregame Prep” will tell you everything you need to know about ensuring your sports kids avoid classic mental game pitfalls before a game, learn how to trust their instincts, and just go for it. It provides lots of advice for you, too…
Parents ask us:
“I am more nervous than my son before games. How do I as a parent stay calm and not show I am nervous before games?”
“My challenge is not to talk too much about the upcoming games or what they need to do. I want to psych him up and encourage him but don’t want him to feel that he has to perform perfectly.”
“How do I support my athlete without putting more pressure on him?”