Here’s a really tough question for sports parents….
If a youth sports coach yells at his young athletes a lot, but his teams always win AND his team members generally seem happy, is he a good coach or a bad coach?
That’s a question recently posed in a blog that’s part of a new effort called the National Conversation on Coaching.
Created by the Positive Coaching Alliance and other groups, the National Conversation on Coaching aims to educate sports parents about the best quality coaching and youth sports environment for kids.
We recently asked David Jacobson, marketing communications manager for the Positive Coaching Alliance, how sports parents responded to the question about the coach who yells.
“The feedback has been wide-ranging,” he says. “Most people don’t think yelling is the best way to get one’s point across.
But the bulk of the parents said if the coach is yelling supportive comments, that’s okay. They draw the line at humiliation and singling out players and making public what should be private conversations.”
Jacobson points out that parents and kids are much more likely to tolerate a coach who yells if his teams win. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.
“We’re up against a win-at-all-costs mentality. Coaches who yell bring that mentality,” he says.
Instead of embracing that mentality, coaches need to create a positive, character-building environment for their young athletes, he says.
You may ask: What if my sports kids prefer to stay on a team with a coach who yells–because their friends are on that team? As a parent, it’s your job to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of such a team.
Parents should certainly consider kids’ desire to be with their friends when deciding which team they should play on. On the other hand, it’s important to keep in mind that you have choices-and you can always look for other coaches, says Jacobson.
The Positive Coaching Alliance certifies “Double-Goal” coaches-coaches who want to win, but more importantly want to teach life lessons through sports, he says.
“We are trying to create an environment where parents demand more for their kids. They shop around for schools. They should shop around for sports and get involved to improve the environment–just as they would by joining a Parent-Teacher Association,” he says.
Sports parents should seek out a coach who builds character, Jacobson advises. Highly supportive coaches generally have a good reputation in their community. If you can’t find one, be sure to look around. Maybe you’ll find one in a neighboring town.
“You need to go find the right coach for your child,” he says.
Want to get more advice about what to look for in coaches while at the same time improving your kids’ mental game in sports?
Visit Kids’ Sports Psychology to join our newest online community and boost your kids’ confidence and success in sports.
You’ll find lots of interviews with experts like Jacobson. For example, you can listen to interviews with:
- Joe Bouffard, active director of Youth Football USA
- Sean Brawley, a former professional tennis player who addresses the “Inner Game of Sports Parenting,”
- Stephen Raghoobarsingh, author of “The New Game Plan: Using Sports to Raise Happy, Healthy, Successful Kids.”
- Al Miller, Hall of Fame Soccer Coach
- Ken Ravizza, sports psychology consultant to Olympic athletes
In addition, you’ll find videos for kids about how to improve their mental game, sports parenting articles, mental game ebooks for kids, and much more!
If you want to become a charter member, please act today because after May 30, the dues will double:
Kids’ Sports Psychology Online Mental Game Training for Young Athletes
Patrick Cohn and Lisa Cohn
p.s. Our dues at Kids’ Sports Psychology have been cut in half, but only until May 30. Reserve your spot and download sports psychology videos to your kids’ Ipods! You can also download ebooks specifically written for kids to improve their confidence and success in sports.