Something changed a while ago. I’m not sure if it was a seismic shift that happened overnight or if it was something that crept up on us over a long period of time but however we have arrived at this point, arrived we have.
When did we cross the bridge of enabling our kids to the point the they really do think they are in charge. Every day I see players shut down because coaches correct them, ask them to work harder or just plain tell them no. How did we get to the point where these simple acts of coaching are seen as too demanding or too demeaning or just wrong?
How are you supposed to coach the modern athlete when they believe it is OK to ignore correction or to shut down and just stop participating when things get a little challenging. How are coaches supposed to coach when they are handcuffed by the culture that tells players it is OK to stop trying because a coach has challenged them. When did the idea of hurting a player’s feelings or holding a player accountable for missing practices or games become something that coaches have to be careful about.
Kids didn’t learn to act this way in a vacuum. They have been told by someone that these types of behaviors are OK or, at least, never been told that these behaviors are wrong by the people who should be doing it. Parents, we need to help our coaches teach our kids the valuable lessons that many of us learned by being on teams. When you signed your kid up to play didn’t you want them to learn skills on the field and off? Some of these lessons are going to ruffle some feathers and hurt some feeling along the way.
By holding kids accountable, teaching team work, putting the team first, sacrificing for the good of the group our coaches are doing something way more important than winning a game or bringing home a trophy. We need to allow our coaches to challenge players, set standards and teach our kids through difficult times the life skills we all want them to have.
Parents, we need to do a better job. It’s never about just your kid, it’s about the team! Remember why you signed her up? Stop enabling poor behavior.