Whether she's playing peewee soccer or varsity lacrosse, your child can learn a lot from a great coach. Support your athlete — and the whole team — by assisting the coach from the sidelines.
- Make sure your child has what she needs. If your child is properly equipped, her coach can concentrate on more important matters like safety, teamwork, and skill-building.
- Let the coach do the work. Nothing stresses a coach out more than having too many helpers on the field. Realize that he knows how to best support your child's performance. Let him do his job.
- Be aware of the coach's rules. Touch base with your child and the coach about expectations. If you disagree with anything, speak with the coach privately — out of earshot of the kids.
- Ask how you can help. The coach does a lot of work, on and off the field. Ask what you can do to lighten his load (without taking over).
- Learn how to handle injuries. Accidents happen. Make sure that you're prepared for them by having first aid supplies at home and in your car.
- Foster your child's fitness. The coach can only transform your child so much. Be aware of her eating habits and encourage good health. Exercise with her, whether it's a jog around the block or a lap in the pool.
- Notice your child's behavior. If he acts unfairly to his teammates during the game or doesn't give the coach his full attention, talk to him later about good sportsmanship and respect.
- Have fun. Maintain a sense of humor, even in the face of defeat. Keep the mood light. "I'm convinced a kid will play all day if it's fun. When it stops being fun and it's about a parent's own dreams, forget it," says Tom Shaw, a three-time Super Bowl-winning conditioning coach.