I am constantly asked for various forms of insight in helping parents coach their adolescent and teenage athletes – OFF the field/court/rink. Most of these inquiries rest in finding the proper way(s) to guide their young athlete as to how he/she can best handle situations that involve developing and implementing proper communication techniques. A great resource is a book called – 101 Ways to be a Terrific Sports Parent – by Dr. Joel Fish and Susan Magee.
This book is filled with what I call a cross between “common sense & old school ways” …
I will share tid-bits of this book over the next little while and/or as situations arise where I find myself sharing similar insights with families & athletes in my practice.
One of my favorite for parents is – Teach your young athlete to deal with his/her coach on their own. Rather than going into the entire “how to …” I’ll simply state the obvious. This lesson is one that will stay with your “young person” for the rest of his/her life! The ability to effectively deal with a coach (adult, superior …) is beyond important. Simply developing the confidence to share, or ask questions of an elder/boss/ coach is a trait that will provide added benefits that can never be thoroughly explained.
Personally – I think the ability to motivate, teach, and inspire a youth and/or adolescent to speak openly with an adult in proper manner is equivalent to teaching your child how to swim. In the beginning all they may be able to do effectively is float. In time, with experience they may develop the confidence to try kicking and holding their breath. But in time, their confidence will grow to the point that they will want to not only get wet, but dive into the situation.
This development is called “growth of maturity”.