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How Do I Choose A Club?

Parents Matter

Being the parent or coach of a young athlete is an art, not a science.  Science is exact, and A plus B always equals C.  But sports coaching and parenting are different.  Your children are your blankcanvas, and years from now, they will be the culmination of the messages they have received, the opportunities they have had, and the values they have learned by being an athlete.   Like art, in coaching and parenting there are infinite textures, colors, and styles of that all lead to the final product, and no two kids are the same.  You will have to constantly learn, to adapt, to listen, and be ready to change on the fly as you navigate your child’s athletic career. Raising a young athlete can be brilliant, it can be exasperating, but ultimately it can be the most wonderful and rewarding experience of our life.

Ten Rules for Parents of Athletes

10 Rules for Parents of Athletes by Lloyd Percival 
Lloyd Percival, a fitness expert, developed 10 rules for parents of athletic children. Maybe your child will become a great player some day, and maybe they won’t, but they will be a better person if you follow these rules.

  1. Make sure that your child knows that, win or lose, you love them. Let them know that you appreciate their effort and they you won’t be disappointed in them if they fail. Be the person in their life that they can always look to for support.
  2. Try to be completely honest with yourself about your child’s athletic ability, competitive spirit, sportsmanship, and skill level.
  3. Be helpful, but don’t coach your child on the way to the game or at the breakfast table. Think how tough it must be on them to be continually inundated with advice, criticism, and pep talks.
  4. Teach your child to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be “out there trying,” to be constantly working to improve their skills, to take the physical and emotional bumps and come back for more. Don’t tell them that winning doesn’t count, because it does and they know it. Instead, help them develop a healthy competitive attitude, a “feel” for competing, for trying hard, for having a good time.
  5. Try not to live your life through your child. You’ve lost as well as won, you’ve been frightened, you’ve backed off at times, and you’ve been the villain. Don’t expect any better of them. Sure they are an extension of you, but don’t assume that they feel the same way as you did, want the same things, or has the same attitude. Don’t push them in the direction that will give you the most satisfaction.
  6. Don’t compete with your child’s coach. A coach may become a hero to them for a while – someone who can do no wrong – and you may find this hard to take. Or, they may become disenchanted with the coach. Don’t side with them against the coach. Talk to them about the importance of learning how to handle problems and how to react to criticism. Try to help them understand the necessity for discipline, rules, and regulations.
  7. Don’t compare your child with the other players on their team or others – at least not within their earshot. If they have a tendency to resent the treatment they get from the coach, if she is jealous of the approval other players get, try to be honest with them. Don’t lie to them about their capabilities as a player. If you are overly protective, you will perpetuate the problem.
  8. Get to know your child’s coach.
  9. Remember that children tend to exaggerate when they are praised and when they are criticized. Temper your reactions for exaggerating, but don’t overreact to the stories they tell you.
  10. Teach your child the meaning of courage. Some of us can climb mountains, but are frightened to get into a fight. Some of us can fight without fear, but turn into jelly at the sight of a bee. Everyone is frightened of something. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is learning to perform in spite of fear.

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