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Parents Who Interfere: Was Quitting The Only Way Out For Coach?

This weekend a father from Michigan sent me an article in the Detroit News about a highly successful high school basketball coach in his daughter's league who had just quit as a result of what the newspaper described as "extreme parental interference."

He wanted to know what I would suggest to the coach, who happened to be a personal friend.

Coaches who don't have problems with pushy parents tend to be the great communicators; they let them know where they stand early, before the season even starts, at a preseason meeting.

Realizing A Child's Athletic Potential: How Parents and Coaches Can Help


One way parents and coaches can help a child realize their full athletic potential, says four-time Olympic medalist Angela Ruggiero, is to explain what they may be able to achieve by setting goals and working hard.

A Team With An Attitude: Mid-Season Evaluation Form Can Help

It seems that every time I have a conversation with a coach who complains that some of his players have bad attitudes, I quickly start getting a sense that the coach not only isn't doing anything to make things better, but may be contributing to the problem in the first place.  It is often easy for an outsider to spot the bad body language that infects so many player/coach relationships, but goes unchallenged and unaddressed because of the power that a coach has over playing time. If this doesn't make sense to you, start watching the coaches at games, and pay close attention to their body language and interaction with their players. See which team ends up winning. The coach who interacted with their athletes least, and displayed the better body language, probably came out on top.

One way to correct bad attitudes on a team is to give athletes and their parents a chance to express their concerns or air grievances anonymously during the season through a mid-season evaluation form.

Hey Coach, I Just Want You to Listen to Me!

If you're actively coaching sports, please don't let that vein in your forehead burst before I get done explaining why I believe it is so hard to be a well-liked coach with a winning record to boot.

A good youth sports coach knows how to listen. Really listen.

Playing Multiple Sports: A Healthy Advantage for Youth Athletes

The overlap between youth sports seasons is only getting worse and the degree to which kids are specializing at ever-earlier ages in a single sport is a troubling trend in youth sports, says one longtime baseball coach and author.

A Team In A Slump (Part III): Unlikely Player Sparks Attitude Adjustment

Praise from a youth baseball coach for a player whose uncharacteristic hitting performances had been wasted during a long losing streak prompts a change in the team's attitude that brings the slump to an end.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Jane Hoover (Elizabethtown, Pa.) and John Suren (Manassas, Va.)

Coaching today may create pressures and occasional frustrations, but earning the players' lasting respect pays a coach dividends for a job well done long after their memories of other heroes grow dim.

A Team in A Slump (Part II): The Birth of a Baseball Koan

When a team, whatever the sport, is in a slump, it may leave the coach scratching his or her head, looking for answers.  For one longtime baseball coach and author, the surprising answer may be to take a Zen Buddhist approach.

Giving Thanks For Coaches And Heroes

The news about what some coaches at Penn State allegedly did - and didn't do - has been disturbing.  But, in the spirit of the season, one football mom chooses to give thanks for a coach who truly is a hero.

A Team in A Slump (Part I): The Psychological Pain of Under-Performing

At some point during a season, a team, regardless of the sport or level of play, will under-perform. But as much psychological pain and even physical discomfort as the slump may inflict on a coach, remaining positive is a coach's only choice.
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