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How to make the most of coaching your own child | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) | ConnectedCoaches

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Home » Groups » Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) » blogs » Gordon MacLelland » How to make the most of coaching your own child
Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Andy Stevens, Olivia Forde and 2 others like this.
 

Comments (4)

  
AndyS
Andy Stevens said:

Nice article Gordon, and one I would wholeheartedly encourage potential coaches to read before jumping in. My son started playing rugby at 3 and I soon started helping with coaching - but we talked about it first, ans we still talk about it now he’s 9 and we’re loving our rugby together. We often devise the following weekends training plan between us - that’s my offer to him in return for him understanding I can’t spend all my time with him. Works really well for us 👍

01/02/18
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katiamifsud
Katia Mifsud said:

My daughter started playing table tennis at age 7. I was her primary coach within the club. Now that she's 12 and I still mostly take care of the younger players, she has moved on to other coaches but I still supplement her sessions at the club with mini sessions at home. Us coaches speak at the end of the club session and discuss what she needs to work on and focused work is done at home. The system has worked immensely well so far.

02/02/18
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Brucer
Bruce Robbins said:

I am afraid that I disagree with the thrust of this post, parent coaches are not just there to make up the numbers they really are placed in a good position to add very real value to the coaching experience. They are well placed to learn from their children and through this improve the coaching they provide to others. My son teaches me things all the time, he is 9. He is at once a sage and wise influence and a harsh and severe critic. I trust him and I trust his judgment. OK so far so good and I could go on but let's leave it at the fact that because we have the luxury of spending time together we can also discuss and examine things in a wider and more longer-term context than the hour or so coaching session. It is not just the 10 mins after a session or the day after a game. We have extended access to each other. We are able to discuss over a period of time: what went well, what went badly, what we need to do and what we need to stop doing: as players, we do this not just as father and son but as a member of the team and as a coach of that team.
The team I am involved with has three qualified coaches. This includes two RFU Level 2 and a RFU Level 1 coach. We have a young (late teens) club team player who can demonstrate most parts with understanding and insight. We have an aspiring coach of school-age who also gives great value. Two of the coaching squad still play at club level the other two played at club level for many years. Unsurprisingly many of the parents played which lends a very strong acceptance of the ethos and spirit of fair play that is the foundation of rugby union and without which it could not survive.
Aside from being involved with a team run by experienced coaches and experienced players three of us are experienced dads whose kids are in the team. Moving through the age grades with the same team is central to age grade club coaching. It is a system that has been proven to work well. There are Premiership Rugby clubs with fathers running the team and their sons on the field. The reason I believe coaching your own children is more than a nod back to, and, an affectionate look back at the amateur foundations and origins of rugby union, is that it is an essential component to maintaining and developing the core values that our sport seeks to deliver.
Allow the players to learn from playing you will, as a coach, allow yourself an opportunity to learn from your players. Amongst the things you will learn is how to deliver coaching. This requires both trust and intimacy, the kind of trust and intimacy that exists between parent and child. The dynamics of father/mother/child are based on a level trust that allows the parent to admit to learning from the child. We have all done it, we have all thought it is amazing how much our kids know and how smart they are and we have all learnt from them. Good coaching is a similar two-way street, we learn from our kids how to best give them ways of improving their performance. Just as this applies to life it applies to sport and once we learn from our kids how to coach them we become more able to share this knowledge with those other kids that belong to other parents.
Not every parent will want to coach, it does demand a big commitment of energy and time, and doing it does not make you a better person or parent. Andy and Katia who responded to this post prior to me both elucidate the positives of coaching your own kids - "We often devise the following weekends training plan between us - that’s my offer to him in return for him understanding I can’t spend all my time with him.", "I still supplement her sessions at the club with mini sessions at home ... The system has worked immensely well so far". My experience tells me that parents make good coaches. I learnt a hell of a lot from my dad, I may have taught him a bit in return.

03/02/18
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RobChapman
Rob Chapman said:

I got into coaching 5 years because my daughter did Gymnastics and I kept getting asked to help by the head coach. To be honest it has been one of the hardest things that I have ever done, Gymnastics in particular is a difficult sport as it is all about acheiving perfection. There have been tears and anger and accusations of never giving praise or things being good enough. You are always careful not to over praise and find you don't do it enough, it is dreadfully hard to walk that line and be fair to everyone.

On the other hand although one of the hardest, it has also been one of the best things I have ever done. At the age of 43 I started learning about a sport in which I had never competed or had much interest in, I learnt new technical skills about how we move and what affects us, I am learning new skills about how I affect others and how to get the best from people, but most of all I learnt about what it means to be a parent and want to help your child and hold their hand through all their troubles but know the best thing for them is to work it out themselves or even worse let someone else help them and you be the bad one.

It has taught me a lot about my daughter and our relationship and she is probably closer to me than her mum when she has a problem, but Most of all being a parent coach has taught me the most about myself and how I help and hinder in equal measure. I've also found a love for coaching that has taken me beyond being concerned for her and wanting to help everyone achieve the skills they get from working hard and having fun in their chosen sport.

Without parent coaches we wouldn't have local clubs as over two thirds of our clubs coaches have children there currently or used to. Most of the others are ex-gymnasts whose parents coach. This does makes thing's friendly and rather being in a clique, we even had 2 new parents join us last year and are always looking for more.

Long live the parent coach.

11/02/18
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