What did you learn today?
Did you enjoy yourself?
Do you think you are playing better?
Whats one thing you would like to achieve this season?
If you were coaching your team, what would you do differently?
These simple questions will open a line of communication with your child, and provide a better understanding of whether he or she is benefiting from the experience. If your kids answer negatively saying, for example, that they are bored, or are not improving or enjoying the game, we recommend you approach the coach with five tips that will help improve your childs sports experience.
APPROACH THE COACH: TIPS FOR PARENTS Take any of the following five methods and adapt them to your childs league, discuss them with other parents, or apply them to your own recreation time with your children. Collectively, these suggestions will help guide you in proactively producing an experience that your child will benefit from for a lifetime.
1. Get Involved Rather than stand on the sidelines watching, become engaged as a teacher of the game. Approach your childs league with other parents and asked to be assigned different teaching responsibilities at each practice. Gather the correct tools to teach one or two skills within an organized structure for an entire season, you will become a useful resource for your kids and help create a better and more interactive learning environment for your kids.
2. Hold league-wide practices/clinics Forget tradition. Rather than conducting single team practices, approach your childs league about setting aside one day or evening each week in which the entire league gets together and conducts a skill-oriented practice/clinic session. As a parent volunteer, you can attend and participate with other parents and be given assigned responsibilities to teach specific fundamentals. In each session, include individual and group competitions that allow everyone to apply what he or she has learned. Measure progress by keeping both individual and group scores throughout the entire season. A 90-minute fast paced session can be a fun way for players to learn new skills and improve upon the basics while bonding with members of other teams.
3. Let Kids Decide Individualism and creativity are missing from traditional organized sports; another reason kids get disenchanted and drop out. Letting them create their own games or work on the skill of their desire gives them an ownership stake in their own development. They feel empowered. It makes for happy kids and happy parents. Next time you spend time with your child in the backyard or at the local park allow them the opportunity to express their creativity by asking them to create a game that works a skill that needs improvement. For a parent, this approach can be a great teaching tool that engages your child in learning without sensing parental pressure. Weve found that when kids are given the choice to practice what they want, they have better long-term recall of recently taught skills.
4. Incorporate Additional Free Play The days we all remember as children of leaving the house early on a warm summer day only to return in the evening exhausted after a day of unsupervised recreation are gone. As a society we need to be protective and aware of where our children are at all times. As a result, a childs free time away from adult intervention has been lost. Allow your children the opportunity to create their own free time. Next time you accompany your child to the park with their friends observe from afar and give them the freedom to play pick-up games without adult input or restrictions. These unrestricted play periods can be the most productive from an athletic development standpoint.
5. Let kids coach The most important role of any parent or coach is to teach and prepare players for eventual competition. Empower kids and coach them to manage their own game experiences. You will be greatly rewarded in witnessing your child taking on this responsibility and you will be teaching your team a valuable skill. As a coach, if you have taught the game properly, there is no need for you to hang out close by at game time. Take an active role as an advisor during games (timeouts, halftimes, between innings, etc.) to teach with positive reinforcement.
For information, please visit http://www.fairplaytoday.com/