School-age sport that ranges from 8 years to 17 years, offers us a context with great educational potential, which provides the acquisition of values, in addition to facilitating the development of the capacities and skills necessary for the improvement of relationships of the kids.
The figure of parents will have great relevance in this training process and should be unquestionable since they are the main responsible for their education and training. However, they must be clear about their role, because parents who believe they are coaches of their children tend to cause them more harm than good.
It is important that there is communication at all levels with the parents of the sports children, in an open way, that is bidirectional and sincere between all the participants of the sports activity: coaches, children and parents.
Parents are a great reference for children. For this reason, it is necessary for family members to become aware of how they value sport, how they react in competitions, what comments they make about the performance of their children and their peers, and that this influences the attitude of the little ones. Many parents accompany their children to games, competitions and training sessions. From the stands they can assume:
- A positive role. These types of parents usually accompany their children to training sessions and games for the simple fact that their child feels happy, they also tend to convey to the children enthusiasm for the activity but without pressure. They are parents who participate in the reinforcement of values and are interested in the formation of the child more than in winning or losing.
- A negative role. These types of parents forget that their children play sports for fun. Within this category are those parents who spend the entire game insulting the referee and belittling the rival, we can also find those parents who extol the qualities of their child above others and underestimate them. Finally, we can find the biggest problem that coaches in school sports face, parents who think they are coaches.
The figure known as father coach does not bring any benefit to the child. This is the role that parents adopt when they shout from the band, when they motivate the child to play as if he were a professional who makes a living from it and when they correct the child even contradicting the coach.
These attitudes generate negative consequences in the child that make the child stop enjoying and abandon the practice of sport. These are:
- They create confusion in the child, since on the one hand he receives the information from his (professional) coach and on the other his parents. There is a conflict of authority for the little one.
- Some pressure and insecurity are generated in the child, it is no longer clear what decisions are appropriate to make, their concentration decreases, which hinders their decision-making and performance.
The role of parent coach is a negative role that arises in those parents who do not usually see the expectations that they expect of their children fulfilled. In addition, they usually do not have any control over their behavior, to the point of not being aware of the problem that this causes in children.
Parent coaches are adults who don't realize they are making mistakes. They find a comfort zone in that role and they don't want to move from there. Therefore, it is difficult to make them change. Some advices:
- The coach should not punish the child. The child only reacts instinctively. You have to make him understand that the team is made up of those who are there, and those who are outside can only cheer.
- Make the roles clear. Explain the same as the children, parents do not know what is being worked on within the team and that their role is to encourage and not as coaches since they cause confusion in their children.
- If the coach father does not see reason and they do not know what their role is, it will be those responsible for the club or school where the child performs the sporting activity who take the measures.
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