Weekday afternoons can be pretty hectic...picking up the kids from school, making a snack, starting homework, and shuttling kids from activity to activity. In my case, the activities are for the most part sports related. This season we’ve got baseball, soccer, and basketball on the agenda (with flag football starting up soon, as the fall sports wind down). When I take into account both boys, it adds up to a lot of different coaches! These men and women, and in some cases moms and dads, are spending a lot of time with my children. I’m sure many families are in a similar situation.
Oftentimes, especially in the younger age groups, the coaches are parents who have volunteered their time to help out. My husband has been the official "head coach" for many of my older son’s teams for the past five years. Sometimes the coaches are professionals who either work with the school sports program, community program, private sports league, or other sports organizations.
The bottom line is that these people are spending time with our kids, teaching them about a particular sport. Keep in mind that there are a lot of different aspects to children’s sports including physical health, emotional health, injury prevention, sportsmanship, competition, technique, training, conditioning, etc. That’s a lot of things a coach has to deal with. Do you know how well your kid’s coaches are prepared to handle all of these issues?
Unfortunately, most parents don’t!
Here are some questions every parent needs to ask the coach:
The goal of finding out the coach’s repsonses to these questions is to keep our kids as safe and healthy as possible. If there are concerns about the coach’s responses, talk further with him/her and the leaders of the organization the team is affiliated with to be sure proper guidance and education are provided. Please remember that safety comes first.
Lastly, make it a point to get more involved in your children’s sports activities. The more you are around, the more you’ll see firsthand how the team and coach function. Parents really do have a very big role in their kid’s sports activities. We can’t just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best, we must be proactive for the overall wellbeing of our children.