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For many years I have coached my twin girl's along with other athlete's. This has been a learning curve, a struggle and challenging at times with the arguments, competitiveness against each other which I suppose is good in competition time.
The twins have been taking part in athletics since the age of 9 they are now 15 my youngest nearly 9 and wanting to take part.
The issue is that when the twins are together they become very competitive which leads to arguments, and when one wins the other one doesn't well that's a different story altogether. sometimes they show these feelings in a session, not good for other athlete's to see.
How would you deal with the competitiveness and arguments.
Please share any ideas or experiences not just for me but for other coaches.
It is not always a good idea to coach your children or any member of your family, umless they are the only coach.
Only too often favourtism can come into play and as a coach within a group its not a good enviroment to be within.
When the lead coach is away on holiday or can't make a session I step in to run the grous sessions and my Nephew is one of the athletes.
He never gets any special treatment.
I learnt a way to engage all athletes. If many are doing the same session I can pick on one athlete which could be anyone. Once I;ve explained the session I say something like "Ok, I pick on you, Emma tonight, please, explain the session to the group" I step back and may add a few words if Emma asls "Whats the recovery" I don't expect them to remenber word for word.
This does a number of positive things.
Engeages athletes in the session who might just keep quiet and just do what therie told.
Lets me know they have understood what the session is
makes them think about why I have set the session and what it is expected to achieve.
It's also a lot of un saying "Who shall I pick on toinght( all thathltes stand rigid and are saying to themselves "hope he doesn't pick me!"
Most athletes I know don't wantto be coach by a parent. One sad point is that many parents just take their child to take them to the track and home again and don't get inv;oved in coaching. They leave that up to the qualfied coaches to coach as we 'should' know what we are talking about.
Competitiveness wi;; always be there but as we are told on coaching coaches as well as cpd courses put on by sports coach. Somebodies personal worst can be somebodies personal best.
Some children might be upset they are being left behind, but heyy try the best and get a PB thats excellent, what you want. Faster athletes find it harder to achieve a PB.
"I got a PB, you ddn't"
"yeah right but I beat you"
As a coach your job should be let the group talk about the goals each other have between them and you will fin everyone will encourge everyone to acive their own personal goals.
There are no hard and fast rules in coaches, try different ideas and approaches and see what works. Something that does work for you, may never appear in any text book!
Thank you for your response. I have in the past found it difficult coaching the twins and found that either they didn't see me as a coach and just see me as mum and found the twins battling for my attention. At one point I did pass them on to another coach and was doing really well however I left the club due to work commitments and didn't have time to take the girls training. Iv since had to jiggle my time to coach disability athletics due to my work patterns since the jiggle the girls have decided they want to start training again. I haven't got anymore time spare to find another coach to train my twins due to the nearest club to me being 18 miles away and I work different shifts, I do find it difficult hence the reason I coach the twins.
I will use your advice see how this works. I am very stricted with my children but also fare at the same time.
Your initial post made me want to reply - "Just be PROFESSIONAL with ALL the athletes in the Group, and do not treat your children differently to the other attendees". I think coaching highly competitive Twins would be a special challenge for any coach, let alone their Mum.
Your respose to Ian Mahoney however says, to me, you need to find a way to get your Twins to ano Coach, as if you are going to coach only two athletes you are going to end up stressing too much, and this may have a detrimental impact on the athlete and/or child(ren). It seems you have to chose being a Coach to the disabled athletes or getting your children to training; only you can decide which is the priority for your Family set-up imho.
I chose to stop playing myself so that I could get my children (not Twins) to their training and matches. One is no longer playing that particular sport any longer, but is still active cycling & running, whilst the other is playing at National level.
Thank you Lawrie.
Its a hard decision to make, I have in the past coached my girls however they have become older and more aware of each other. I think I will go with the flow coach the girls be as professional as I can be and use as much advice you have all give me. If this doesn't work I will pass to another coach. I think this will be a learning curve as well as a challenge. I will keep you posted on my pro over the next few weeks.
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