Is Coaching Parenting?
Posted by Dean Holden at March 27th, 2015
by The TrenchFiles, 3 March 2015
If you ask any athlete who was the most instrumental in helping them get started in their particular sport, they will often refer to a coach. If this coach was the athlete’s parent, then this question will hold even greater significance. A lot of who we are and what we become is shaped primarily by the influences we have in our lives. From birth, our parents begin planning how they will help us become the best we can be. From the day we take our first breath we are being coached, how to live, how to survive, how to behave, how to communicate, how to coexist with others, how to compete. All these things start at home.
In many cases, it is the coach who plays a pivotal role in the growth of an individual. They don’t just coach us to be good at a particular sport, but a good coach will show you how to apply what you learn in sport to life. The relationship between an athlete and coach is a bond that can last a lifetime. A relationship built on trust and respect that can affect the outcome of an athlete outside of the competitive arena.
As legendary coach, John Wooden puts it “In the end, it’s about the teaching, and what I always loved about coaching was the practices. Not the games, not the tournaments, not the alumni stuff. But teaching the players during practice was what coaching was all about to me.”
How is good coaching similar to good parenting? Interested to know what other athletes, coaches, and parents may think? We decided to ask, to get an idea of the similarities between good parenting and good coaching.
“Coaching and parenting are similar in that in both situations you are teaching the same life skills and values. As well in addition to demanding the very best effort from your children you have to be fair and treat the whole team as well as your children the same way. You have the responsibility of being a role model in both situations.“ -Coach Steve Konchalski (St FX Men’s Basketball Coach)
“When you have good coaching you’re excited to learn everyday and see progress. You don’t want to let your coach down, so you give it 100 percent. When you’re a part of good parenting and being led in the right direction you don’t want to take steps backwards cause you’re seeing the benefits of good parenting through your children, where your children will want to keep growing and not let their parents down.” –Johnny Berhanemeskel (Senior guard University of Ottawa Mens basketball)
“It comes with the same accountability that balances providing someone with opportunities to be their greatness while at the same time nurturing that person to believe something that is only possible in the moment. Coaches and parents believe what you say you want and then put you in a position to achieve it.” -Adrienne Coddett (Coach, Educator, Mentor, parent, Community Leader)
“They prepare you for the world and life. They teach you time management skills, discipline, organization skills. Also how to present yourself in the community, team work, leadership skills. These are all things good parents and coaches try to do for their children and players.” -Porchia Green (Ball State Alumni, Professional Basketball Player)
Coaching and parenting is a selfless job in which one must put others before one’s self. You have the power to shape and motivate. Seeing the potential in an individual and then providing the means by which he or she can be their absolute best. Knowing when a person needs to be pushed, but also knowing when that same person can use some gentle words of encouragement. Their purpose is to help you grow, give your best and be your best at all times. Ultimately what you become is a reflection of what they did or didn’t do while they were coaching you through life. It’s a relationship like no other.
<Someone forwarded this to me and I thought I would share it as it certainly reflects a value-based, athlete-centred, positive coaching / parenting approach. Sadly, in these times, it seems that negative stories concerning parenting, coaching and even ‘leadership decisions’ in sport administration circles occur far too often. If the adults would only realize that decisions should be made with the best interests of the children involved – not their own selfish adult egos – the world (and the game!) would truly be a better place! Adults need to realize they should try seeing the world through the childs eyes, not just their own.
Check out more of The TrenchFiles here. Cheers, DH>