You might not think you have a choice when it comes to choosing coaches for your child’s teams. When it comes to high school athletics, this is probably true, unless your child is willing to change schools (and your school district allows it). For recreational and competitive sports elsewhere in the community, however, you may have better luck matching up your child with the type of coach that’s best for your child. Sign-ups for sports usually occur months before practices actually begin so that team assignments can be made. This is the best the time for you to request a specific coach (if you’ve done your homework) or qualities you’d like your child’s coach to have. If you wait until the game season begins, it might be more difficult, though not impossible, to switch teams.
If your child has been a participant in a certain sporting league, you might already have a good sense of who the various coaches are and what their assets are. On the other hand, if your family is new to an area or your child is new to a sport, you might need to do a little legwork. Make a phone call to the director of the league; he or she might be able to provide a listing of coaches and give you some advice. Also, don’t forget to ask around for insider information -- your neighbors and parents of your child’s classmates are great resources -- to find out who the coaches are and what their qualifications and coaching styles are.
Some important points to consider when evaluating coaches are:
- How extensive is the coach’s background and experience within the sport?
- Has the coach undergone a thorough background check?
- Is the coach a good role model for your child? How well does he or she motivate and inspire the team?
- How competitive or laid-back is the coach? Will the coach’s personality clash with your child’s?
- Does the coach vigilantly follow the game’s rules, regulations, and proper techniques?
- What is the coach’s practice schedule like? Will it fit into your child’s schedule?
- Is the coach certified in CPR?
- Does the coach lead the team in warm-up exercises before practices and games to lessen the possibility of injury?
- Does the coach encourage unhealthy diets or the use of performance-enhancing supplements?
- Does the coach encourage and allow for proper hydration during practices and games?
From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children