Oct. 29, 2020

When Parents Can Be Helpful Or Harmful

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As a parent, are you going to be helpful or helpful to your junior players' development? Discover how to ensure you can have the most positive impact.

Coach: Positive Coaching Alliance, better athletes, better people.
Bio:Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a national non-profit organization with the mission of creating a positive, character-building youth sports environment that results in BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE. 

Youth sports currently involves 40M children, which presents a tremendous platform on which to develop youth character and life skills. PCA ensures sports are ‘done right’ with programming that is research-based and designed to have an impact.

Since its founding in 1998, PCA has established 18 chapters nationwide, partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, reaching 19.2 million youth.

PCA gains support from a National Advisory Board of elite coaches, professional and Olympic athletes, organization leaders, and academics who share PCA’s mission. PCA is proud to partner with more than 50 national governing bodies.

Birthplace: N/A
Residency:Mountain View, CA, USA

Link: Positive Coaching Alliance

Length: 2 min 20 sec
Theme: Concentration

Other tracks by PCA:When Things Go Wrong, When Parents Can Be Helpful Or Harmful, Compete With Grace, Why Mistakes Are Good, The Ride Home.

You might like:The Ride Home.


Are parents going to be helpful or harmful to their kid's development?

Now, it's inevitable that you will be one or the other. And oftentimes, it's both at the same time. Now, it's essential for our kids to be happy, and thoughtful, and healthy in anything that they do. And so it's important for us to be helpful in their development.

So, I'll start by saying, when you approach your kid when you have conversations with them, 'you can't do a don't'. Again, I'll repeat that 'you can't do a don't'. Which means if you're asking them to do something, ask them for the aspirational thing. Encourage them to do the aspirational thing. If you're asking them to clean up their room, that doesn't mean "hey, don't mess up your room" - that means please keep your room clean.

Secondly, so when you're having a conversation with your kid around youth sports and their tennis experience, allow them to lead the conversation. Allow them to tell you how they're feeling. And ask more questions, be inquisitive. Why that's so important is number one, it allows them the freedom to tell you how they're feeling. But most importantly, it's developing a trait in them, where they're able to fix their own problems, specifically in tennis, that is a necessity. You can allow one point to become the entire match if you don't get over whatever just happened. And so it's important to let kids know that they can fix it themselves. And so by asking those questions, they're already engaging in that mental exercise to figure out how they can improve themselves.

And lastly, as you're having a conversation with your kid, that it's aspirational. It's not one in which you're trying to demean them or disrespect them or shame them into being better. There's a quote that says: "when the carrots go away, the sticks are less effective".