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The Role of Parents in Youth Sports

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  1. The Role of Parents in Youth Sports Kyle D. Will, CSCS, RSCC WillPower Training Studio Head Track and XC Coach Bend High School Strength and Conditioning Coach, Bend High 541-350-3938 willpower05@msn.com

  2. Times when you can make a difference in your child’s performance • Before the Game • During the Game • After the Game

  3. Before the Game: • Questions to ask yourself… • 1.Why do I want my child to play this sport? • 2.What goals do I have for my son/daughter? • 3.If there are roles, what role do I want them to play? • 4.How will I define a successful season?

  4. Before the Game • Questions to ask your child: • 1. Why are you playing? • 2. What goals do you have for yourself? • 3. What role do you think you will have on the team? • 4. How will you define a successful season?

  5. If the answers to the questions are the same or similar, then great!! Support your kid. • If the answers differ much at all….DROP YOUR GOALS AND ACCEPT THEIRS • 75% of youth drop out of organized sports by the age of 13, so it is vital that as a parent you do all you can to help facilitate your child’s growth through sports.

  6. Next Step: • It is important for your child to have a passion about something whether it is sports, dance, music, arts, theater…. • These guidelines apply in ALL arenas. With most there is a coach/director/leader, teammates, etc… • Then you must RELEASE your child to the sport, and their coach. • Sports or dance, whatever the arena is a safe area where parents can release their kids. “This is your venue, not mine” • Parents need to let their kids take risks and become exposed to new things….sports is a great safe place to do that.

  7. Signs you have not Released your Child: • You continue to share the credit when things go well…”We Won” • You find yourself trying to solve all the little problems that can or do come up in the season. (Most will be relationships) • You catch yourself yelling at an official during the game • You continue to try and coach them once they know more than you do about the sport (typically 9th grade) • Your child avoids you after the game or is embarrassed by you at the game • You are more nervous about the game than they are • You fret more about wins and loses after the game than they do

  8. During the Game: • BE THERE: However if you are there all the time, sometimes don’t go, and see what they bring back to you about their experience • Model Appropriate Behavior: If we want to raise athletes who are good sports, are respectful of the game, are poised and confident under pressure then they must see that behavior modeled from parents and coaches • One Instructional Voice: This needs to be the coach….it is very confusing if your child is hearing things from you and the coach. Be encouraging but let the coach “coach”

  9. During the Game: • Focus on the TEAM: Not just on your “superstar” Help to promote the concept of teammate, and teamwork • Choose ONE Role: There are four roles, spectator, player, coach and official….everyone gets to choose one and one only! Make sure you know your role and keep it!

  10. After the Game: • When kids are asked about bad memories from their youth sports career, the most common response has to do with the “car ride home after the game” • Learn the best way to support your child post game….and winning or losing shouldn’t change it!

  11. After the Game: • Save your analysis of the game: Don’t analyze the score, officiating, the opponents, the field, weather, etc… • Give your kids time and space…some athletes need a few hours and some need days. Let them come to you to talk about a game or performance when they are ready • Be a confidence builder! Be very careful of what you say and when you say it. • Say things like: “I love watching you play”, “ I think it is great how you are always encouraging your team”, “ I love seeing how much a part of the team you have become”.

  12. General Tips: • Let our kids fail!! Kids can learn so much from failing….we have become a society where we always provide a “safety net” for our kids. When they fail, they learn their limits. They learn what they need to improve on. They learn that sometimes you get out of sports what you put into sports. • Give them space! Many kids want and crave autonomy. Let their sport be theirs. Don’t become too involved. Let your child have difficult conversations with coaches, teachers, etc… You can help them before hand with what to say and how to approach it, but let them talk! • Let them set expectations! Do not place your expectations on them for sport. You can talk about if you think they are selling themselves short, but ultimately it is their choice.

  13. Final Thoughts: • When is it okay to intervene? • If your child’s safety or another child’s safety is a concern • If your child has tried to resolve an issue and the coach didn’t listen, was condescending your insulting

  14. Final Thoughts: • What can I do at home, in the offseason, at practice to help? • Provide support for extra practice, camps, clinics, etc.. • Provide good healthy nutrition • Consider hiring a private coach, trainer, if and only if the athletes asks about it! • Help foster their passion by taking them to professional games, college games, introducing them to others that share their passion • Offer to practice with them, help them to become better • Offer to help the coach….models teamwork.

  15. Questions? • Thank you! • Kyle Will, CSCS, RSCC • WillPower Training Studio • Bend High Track, XC and Strength Coach