April 28, 2011
Sports Coaching and Parental Pressure Conclusion by Paul Miceli
Children grow quickly and by the time they have been playing sports for a number of years, a more natural form of pressure is introduced from their peers. This promotes a more evolved sense of pressure that is proportionate, understandable and welcomed. It is here that a competitive edge can be nurtured but the element of enjoyment should always be an absolute priority.
Parents are, by and large, receptive entities and if a coach is able to speak from a position of authority, they tend to listen and act accordingly. Usually, a friendly word is enough but a coach should not be afraid to distance parents who pressure a child. Often, that pressure will pass on to other children within the group and when a collective of parents are forcing their feelings on a larger number of youngsters, it becomes more difficult to resolve the situation.
There will be rare times that a coach is unable to resolve the situation by written and verbal methods and at this stage, a coach has to act on behalf of the group instead of an individual child. Offer parents a break from the club for a short while to consider their options but always allow an open door for the child. Rejection is a different entity altogether and can also cause great distress to a maturing youngster.
The coach will be many things in his career, even when he operates on a voluntary basis. Of all the roles he plays, the most important must be that of protector. Personal progression must always be sacrificed in the interests of the child and if the messages regarding pressure are always made clear and left in the open, the chances are that even the pushiest of parents will learn to evolve at the same rate as the child.
Thanks for taking time to read this article and make sure to check back next week for more great coaching information.