Kids Sports News Network

Youth Sport Coaches and Helicopter Parents




Youth sports are supposed to be enjoyable, fun and educational right?


Well, many times it they are, but too often things can go awry and “spoil” the experience.


There are two constants involved in youth sports that are normally at the heart of any issues. Coaches and parents. There is no denying that both coaches and parents have a part to play in the child’s participation and experience.


Being a good coach in youth sports requires some very specific skills such as;


  • Concern for the Health, Safety & Development of players
  • Teach all players the skills of the game and keep it simple
  • Be Fair to all players. Do not play favorites.
  • Provide Positive reinforcement at all times.
  • Teach Good Sportsmanship


Too often, youth sport coaches exhibit behaviors that can create problems within the team environment. Youth coaches should not;


  • Yell at their players or referees.
  • Have a win at all cost attitude.
  • Disrespect players or allow disrespect between teammates.
  • Play favorites or criticize less talented players.


These are just a few of the positive and negative traits you may see. But there is something missing and it may be the most important of all;


  • Communicating with and providing expectations to Parents


Parents have always had a keen interest in their child’s activities and want them to do their best. However, some parents, coined by the name “Helicopter Parents”, are always hovering over their children, never allowing them to succeed or fail on their own. They are at games yelling instructions to their child, instructions that many times are contrary to the coaches. They call and email the coaches about their child’s playing time and blame others if their child fails.


Sometimes these “Helicopter Parents” can actually be the coach of the team which can create some additional problems. But most times they are not which leads us back to the coach being able to communicate and provide expectations for all parents.


A good youth sports coach will have a meeting or communication ready at the beginning of the season to review with all of the parents. Some basic guidelines should be set such as not yelling at the child or the officials, providing positive feedback to their child and the team and trying to encourage the child to have fun.


However, even by setting guidelines there will still be questions or concerns that will come up throughout the season. Coaches should be available and provide contact information for parents for those times. By communicating with parents it can help to explain and answer some of their questions and concerns.


Keep in mind that the goal of youth sports is to have fun and enjoy the experience. No child will be guaranteed a scholarship or professional contract by their success at that level.


Keep it simple, fun, fair and enjoyable. That should be the goal.

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