DES MOINES, IA, September 26, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Many children participate in youth sports and lacrosse coach Alanna Waters
understands the very important role of a coach. The coaches are the ones that are encouraging and supporting growth and development in young athletes and overseeing their physical, mental, and social well-being while they are at practice. A quality coach can bring out the best in a child while keeping their health and safety in mind. A recent article
in the New York Daily News outlines what parents should look for in a coach for their child.
The first key trait is effective communication, not only with the athletes, but with their parents as well. At the start of the season, they should lay out the basics of the game, the practice schedule, and expectations. Understanding standards and policies from the beginning will let players and parents know what to expect. The coach should take the time to answer questions and remain available throughout the season to address any issues or concerns.
The coach should have some level of training or certification in the sport and in coaching. They should understand age-appropriate techniques and development, safety, philosophy, and the fundamentals of the game. Whether it is a recreational or a school league, training is important. Parents want to ensure that their child is going to benefit from their involvement and learn the proper techniques and methods to allow them to develop and improve.
An effective coach has a personality and coaching style that is compatible with the age group they are working with. They know how to motivate and inspire young athletes. Parents should spend a practice or two observing how the coach interacts with their child to see if their style meshes well with the child's needs. Building a strong connection and trusting relationship is important. Parents should encourage their child to talk to their coach about any problems or difficulties they are having while playing. Especially with older children, it is important that they learn to advocate for themselves before the parents intervene.
Parents should check in with their child frequently to see how things are going. If a young player does not seem motivated to go to practice, find out why. Not every child is cut out to play every sport. Talk to the coach to find out how they are doing. Even the best coaches can only do so much to inspire a child's participation and love of the game. Maybe there is a different sport or activity they would be more suited for. Building a strong player-coach-parent relationship can have a positive impact on a child's experience.
"Effective coaches know how to motivate young athletes and teach them not only the essentials of the game, but of being a team player," says Alanna Waters. "They understand where children are developmentally and what types of plays and techniques are appropriate for their level of play. They take time to listen, respond, and instill confidence and trust in players and their parents. They are positive role models." Alanna Waters strives to build positive relationships among her athletes and with their families, and helps them to excel both on and off the field.
Alanna Waters serves as the head varsity girls' lacrosse coach at Metro Lacrosse. She is passionate about teaching young athletes to develop not only their athletic skills, but also self-confidence and communication skills. She is a positive role model and an accomplished athlete herself, having set many school records in both high school and college.