There are three pivotal roles to be played when participating in sports, from the youth level on up to the professional level, the coach parent player relationships are key in each individuals happiness and success.
Growing up in a household of sports, I was fortunate to have brothers and friends to often compete against on a daily basis in whichever sport it was that we chose to play that day. These were the developmental years for myself as a competitor and as a PLAYER for the teams I was being prepared to play on. The day I became a member of any team I played for, my COACH was always somebody I had to impress. I had to show them that I was worth that starting position and I was willing to earn it day in and day out on the field in practice and in games. I also learned in college to never “flirt“ with the coaches thanks to an upperclassmen teammate of mine, you are not on the team to win the coaches by your words, you are there to compete with your teammates and earn your coaches trust and respect by the way you perform on a daily basis and against your opponents.
Now along this journey my PARENTS were the main ingredient to my success as an athlete, they were always more concerned about how I conducted myself amongst my peers and coaches as a person first before anything else. They never put me down when I didn’t perform to what I had expected myself to. They always made sure I ate the right foods and they convinced me to not focus on work and jobs because I wouldn’t be playing sports my whole life but I will be working! They had that right! I can truly say I had the best parents when it comes to my relationship with them as a PLAYER. They did their best to put me in a position to showcase my skills and hard work, they never told me what to do other than picking a school that would set me up best for my future as any good parent would. Now, if my parents were on the sidelines yelling at me for not making a good play, or if they were harassing me on the car ride home because I struck out four times, I probably would have grown to not only hate sports but hate my parents. Instead, they disciplined me when my anger was out of control on the field. They wouldn’t let me miss a practice unless I was on my death bed. They truly were the sole reason I had the mental toughness needed to become a Division 1 Athlete and always put the team first. Now, my mom used to tell all of us brothers that if we got caught from behind running from anybody there would be no dinner on the table... Hence why none of us really ever got “CFB’D”. My dad used to write, “No Excuses“ in my baseball glove at age 9. Do we UNDERSTAND the role of the PARENT?
Now we are on to the role of the COACH. This was something I had to learn the hard way and it is something that fuels me to be what I am as a COACH for the younger generations of athletes. When there is a toxic human being in the role of a coaching position for whatever sport it is, it will be a detrimental experience for everyone who is involved. When your child is being harassed by a coach more so than coached on technique and discipline, well your child is being abused by a human in a position of what seems to be power. Allow your child to get coached, do not interfere with the PLAYER when you are the PARENT, allow them to learn and grow as an athlete and as a person while always being there for them no matter what happens on the field. When we are coaching the player as the parent it can be a confusing experience for the player, especially when they are giving it all they have and it still isn’t enough from their mother or father. Know the roles of each person, the COACH has the easiest role because it is a community service role and if you allow your own pride to interfere with volunteering in youth sports well then coaching may not be for you. Let the Coaches coach, the Parents parent, and the Players play, it can be that simple if we choose it to be. And yes high school coaches too, you are all volunteers. Do not allow that stipend to interfere with your role in the community.
Written with Love,
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