We are consistently honored that so many of our members allow us the opportunity to work with their kids. Although juniors make up only about 10% of our total membership, it’s a group that we thoroughly enjoy and find immensely rewarding.
I (Stephen) often have up to 10 junior golfers at any given time, while both Michelle and James usually have 1-2 young ones on their regular schedules.
Disclaimer: None of us have any children of our own. And I won’t insult anyone by insinuating that the menagerie of felines that Michelle and I rent from are in any way equivalent.
So you might be wondering how we would have any worthwhile insight or tips for you in coaching YOUR kids.
That’s a legit question. Here are two potential answers:
1) Personally, being about the same age as most of the parents, but in a different role, allows me the opportunity to take on a coach (but non-parental) perspective. Once rapport is developed, many juniors will open up to us in ways they’re hesitant to do with their parents, no matter how solid that relationship may be.
Then there is the issue of “proximity bias”. Most any of us can say, literally, the exact same thing to a junior as their mother/father would, and get a distinctively better response. This can then allow space for a different type of dialogue about health/fitness/lifestyle, and all of the secondary benefits that are derived from that foundation: confidence, self-reliance, self-esteem, awareness and control of their physical bodies, etc.
2) I’m going to pull from one of my go-to experts in the field of working with and developing young adults, from whom I’ve learned a great deal, and consistently utilize his concepts in my work with juniors:
His name is Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders. I’ll be quoting him below, but I would highly recommend that you check out his websites and books (links below).
Tips for Coaching your Kids in Sports & Life
The most liberating words that parents can speak to their student-athletes are quite simple. Based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make in regards to their kids performance are:
Before the competition:
1) Have fun.
2) Play hard.
3) I love you.
After the competition:
1) Did you have fun?
2) I’m proud of you.
3) I love you.
Six Simple Words
Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller spend decades working with junior athletes and inquired as to what words or phrases from parents would produce the most overall positive results, and their findings were both simple and compelling. When college athletes were asked what their parents said to them that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a competition, the overwhelming response was:
“I love to watch you play.”
That’s it. Those six words. How interesting. How liberating to the parent. How empowering to the student-athlete. No pressure. No corrections. No judgment (that’s the coach’s job). Just pure love of their child using their gift in competition.
Read Tim’s post in it’s entirety, and all of his materials with the links below:
I can personally attest to the enormous about of love and dedication that all of the parents have for the juniors we have the privilege of servicing. Nobody cares more about the welfare and happiness of these young people.
We can only imagine the complexity of the relationships, situations and emotions that weigh upon parents these days.
It is our hope that this blog post can be of some assistance in simplifying and centering one aspect of that parent/child relationship.