If you’re a typical sports parent, your child’s experience getting coached can be complicated. It’s usually complicated because it requires handing over some control of the experience to someone else – someone you may or may not fully trust. Besides, getting coached can feel negative, critical, or judgmental for your child, or even for you. Many players and parents feel defensive or victimized by the honesty of authentic coaching. But getting coached, I want you to see today, is a critical part of your kid’s development and a necessary part of becoming a champion. If your child’s gonna learn to do it right, he’ll need your help.
Why does a champion get coached? Because a champion is relentlessly driven by the process of improvement. He has the humility to accept that information from others – including his coach – is a valuable resource he can use to get better. As opposed to the proud, egotistical, “know-it-all” attitude of many athletes, the champion is hungry for help in his pursuit of greatness. You might call him a “learn-it-all.” That’s really what he’s after, and he trusts that his coach can help. He doesn’t feel defensive or victimized by his coach’s honesty, even if it does seem critical. He craves information that can help him improve. That’s why a champion gets coached.
So how will your child learn the value of this often overlooked talent? If it’s going to happen, it’ll probably happen through the teaching and training you provide as his champion parent. If you’re a champion, you’ve probably adopted a “learn-it-all” attitude yourself. You see “getting coached” differently than others, and your perspective has clarified for you what many parents can easily complicate:
*You see that every event or experience – even the one involving a coach that could be perceived as challenging or difficult – is an opportunity to help your child get better. You’re relentlessly driven by the process of his or her improvement.
*As a champion sports parent, you see that getting coached is actually a lot less about the coach and a lot more about your child. You know you may not always agree with how the coach decides to instruct or communicate, but that won’t diminish the expectation you have for how your child handles it.
*You see that getting coached is a talent that can separate your child from others he’ll be competing with and against his entire athletic career. As your kid comes to an understanding of how coaching can help him improve, and as he develops an internal desire to receive it, he gets closer to reaching his full potential, and closer to becoming a champion himself.