Navigation Links
Coaches Can Play Big Role in How Kids Feel About Sports
Date:7/28/2011

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- "Oh, put me in, coach! I'm ready to play today," plead the lyrics of a classic song about baseball.

A new study suggests that coaches who heed those pleas and give kids playing time and avoid pitting one kid against another may end up with more motivated players who stick with the game.

"The big thing here is to create a climate where the players don't compare themselves with others," said study author Jean Cote, director of the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada.

Instead of comparing themselves to their teammates, kids should be encouraged to strive to improve on their own skills, called "self-referenced competency," Cote said.

Cote and his colleagues asked 510 Canadian youths aged 9 to 19 to complete several questionnaires on their sports experiences. All participated on school sports teams or non-elite community programs, including baseball, basketball, curling, dance, football, hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, synchronized swimming, volleyball and ringette, a sport played on ice in which sticks are used to control a rubber ring.

The study found that several factors were associated with a positive experience, including when kids felt they were part of a team; when coaches kept the focus on personal skill development regardless of how the child measured up to others on the team; and when coaches and peers encouraged each player to do their best and to reach for challenging, but attainable, goals.

Negative experiences were most strongly associated with a focus on demonstrating superior ability over others and comparing one's own performance to others.

These findings all suggest that the stereotypical gruff, red-faced, screaming, yet lovable coach of Hollywood lore probably isn't the best type of coach for your kids.

The best coach, said Cote, is one that tries to be inclusive, sets goals based on each kid's skill level and makes drills enjoyable. Parents should look to see if their kids are smiling during practice or play. Do they look like they're having fun? If not, parents may want to see if they can get a different coach.

Results of the study are scheduled to be published in the September issue of The Sports Psychologist.

The benefits of a positive coaching environment can be seen both on and off the field, Cote said. Previous research has linked sports participation with increased grades and college enrollment.

"There are really three difference qualities of an activity that are needed to influence personal development: effort, concentration and enjoyment," explained Cote. "If you think about watching TV, there's enjoyment, but not a lot of effort or concentration, so it's probably not the best activity for personal development. But, when you look at sports, children who are giving a lot of effort and concentration, also usually enjoy it."

He said that when kids enjoy their sport, they'll stay motivated. And parents and kids alike should ignore pressure to start specializing in a sport at a young age.

"Kids that are the best at 12 or 13, if they start playing year-round may end up dropping out," Cote said. "A child can be very skilled, but if they lose their motivation, it doesn't matter how skilled they are. It's better to go slow at a young age, gradually increasing the amount of practice until age 14 or 15. It's all about balance."

And while parents may secretly harbor dreams of college scholarships or even a pro career, kids are mostly interested in having fun, said pediatric sports medicine specialist, Dr. Eric Small, from Mount Kisco, N.Y.

And having fun, of course, means making sure that all kids get ample chances to kick, throw and run, rather than just letting the best performers get most of the playing time.

"Most kids will say winning is more important, but most kids would rather be on a losing team and playing than sitting on the bench of the winning team," Small said. "Playing time is important to having fun, and it's about skill acquisition. Plus, teams who have fun tend to do better anyway."

More information

Read more about positive coaching from the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

SOURCES: Jean Cote, Ph.D., professor and director, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Eric Small, M.D., pedatric sports medicine specialist, Mount Kisco, N.Y.; September 2011 The Sports Psychologist


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Many Coaches Unprepared for Student-Athletes Asthma
2. Food Psychology Coaches Launch New Weight Loss Program for Ultimate Life Fitness Results
3. HeartCoaches Introduces Brain-Based Strategies for a Healthy Heart
4. Excluding children from discussions about their hospital care causes unnecessary distress
5. Parents Must Be Vigilant About Pool Safety
6. Lack of clarity about HPV vaccine and the need for cervical cancer screening
7. Research in fish provides new clues about deadly form of liver cancer
8. Intensive care nurses have doubts about method for establishing brain death
9. Parent-adolescent cell phone conversations reveal a lot about the relationship
10. Its not about the money for long-term care nurses
11. Truth About Ice Cream, Snow Cones May Be Hard to Swallow
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/18/2017)... , ... January 18, 2017 , ... At Hallmark Nameplate, ... announce that they have achieved certification to ISO 13485. This certification is another way ... up to date products and services that they need. , The ISO 13485 Certification ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... NH (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... launch of the revolutionary Active Brake Technology (ABT), an innovative braking system that ... , Active Brake Technology addresses one of the biggest concerns of beginner and ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... Gym ... opening of a new showroom at South Dixie Hwy in Miami, FL. , “We ... at Gym Source. “The new innovative in-store concept is designed to give clients a ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... ... SunView Software’s Service Smart Technology has been selected as a finalist for Pink ... Pink Elephant recognizes a new product or service developed by an IT services vendor ... The award highlights original innovations that were released in 2016, either as a major ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique, Houston’s premiere CoolSculpting provider , ... Zeltiq’s Crystal Rewards Program. Practice founder, Paul Vitenas, MD FACS, is delighted that Mirror ... , Produced by Zeltiq, CoolSculpting is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... In China , we say Health is ... China,s Healthy Strategy originates. 2016 is ... and Social Development of the People,s Republic of ... council of the People,s Republic of China ... plan, identifying medical devices as one of the main breakthrough ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... manufacturing solutions for cell and advanced therapies , ... the French biopharmaceutical company developing "tumor starvation" treatments ... unmet medical needs. Under the agreement, Invetech will ... products based on Erytech,s proprietary ERYCAPS technology platform, ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Tarix Orphan LLC today announced that ... Rare Pediatric Disease (RPD) designation for the company,s drug ... Bullosa (RDEB), a rare genetic skin disorder. There are ... limited to supportive care. "The RPD designation ... previously granted by the FDA in this indication," said ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: