Coaching From The Sidelines
Most sports parents have the best intentions when attending a child’s game. These parents hope to support their young athlete by cheering and offering positive encouragement from the stands. Yet too often this encouragement takes the form of “coaching” the child, even if that’s not the intention. As Athletic Director Matthew Pope points out in the video above , a parent offering seemingly harmless instruction can create confusion for the athlete, undermine the coach and hurt the team.
Keep in mind that your child’s coach most likely has the best interests of both the team and your child’s athletic development in mind. He or she has instructed the athletes based on certain goals or strategies and will be providing important instruction to that end during a game. Consider also that a game can already be a difficult place for a young athlete to focus; a cacophony of coaches, parents, teammates and even officials all trying to communicate while an athlete focuses on his or her next move can sow confusion and limit a child’s ability to maximize performance. Something as simple as the common admonition to “shoot” or “pass” from parents can hurt the athlete more than it helps.