As kids get older, many find an affection for sports that lands them on a team. These teams often rely on the volunteered time of parent-coaches, as the small team budget typically can’t accommodate a paid professional. If your child’s team needs a new coach, here are 10 reasons why you might want to step up to the plate and take on the position yourself.
- To Bond With Your Child – Bonding with your child can become more difficult as they grow and begin to exercise their independence. Sharing the experience of a great sports season can be a great way to keep those bonds strong.
- Teaching Kids About Fairness – One of the most important aspects of coaching, especially when your own child is on the team, is the emphasis on fairness. Part of this dedication to what’s fair means that you can never show favoritism to your own child.
- Sharing a Love of the Game – When a parent and child share an interest, such as a fondness for a particular sport, it can be a great common ground that helps to foster a good relationship. As kids get older, these common interests may get fewer and farther between; however, the memory of a great youth sports experience will always be there.
- You Played the Sport in Your Own Youth – If you played your child’s sport as a youngster, you probably have great memories of your own glory days. Knowing the sport well and having the requisite personality traits can make you an ideal youth sports coach.
- You’re Patient and Slow to Anger – Impatient adults aren’t likely to enjoy the experience of coaching a youth team, as the kids are still developing and other parents can be frustrating. Patient parents with slow tempers, however, are ideally suited to the task.
- To Make a Positive Impact – We all want to leave a legacy that will be remembered after we’re gone; being a great coach means that you will be remembered by each and every child on your team for the valuable life lessons and great times they had during the season.
- To Get Involved With Your Community – One of the best ways to become actively involved in your community is to take on a role like coaching, which may lead you to meet people you never would have otherwise and broaden your own horizons, all while making a difference in your town or neighborhood.
- Your Child Likes the Idea – In order for your stint as head coach to be a successful one, it’s essential that your child is eager for you to assume the role as well. The benefits of coaching your own child are immediately lost if he or she resents your coaching so much that they no longer want to play.
- You Aren’t Fanatically Competitive – Adults that are determined to win at all costs aren’t likely to find coaching a youth team very fulfilling; the fact is, youth teams are more about building foundations and learning a sport than excelling at them. If you understand that winning isn’t the most important thing in the world for a group of kindergarteners, coaching might be a good experience for you and your child.
- You Don’t Expect Perfection – Developing children, especially very young ones, simply do not have the physical prowess or skill set to be strong contenders in any sport. Making examples out of mistakes and berating little ones for being slow to catch on to the finer points of the game won’t make you a successful coach or your team a winning one; kids are more likely to simply lose interest in playing altogether if they’re in constant fear of humiliation.
Coaching your own child’s team can be tricky, but can also be a very rewarding experience for everyone involved if your expectations are realistic and you’re able to treat every child with equal consideration and respect.