One thing I've learned over the years from working with youth is that coaches and parents need a ton of support as well! Navigating the sports world, trying to be a great support system for our kiddos, and sometimes getting caught up in our own competitiveness can make it hard to know what to do and how to do it. That's why I wanted to put together this post with resources and tips for parents and coaches to help them navigate the tricky world of a youth athletes.
I've been investigating resources that parents and youth coaches can add to their bag of tricks to help them be the best they can as teacher and supporter. I wanted to share with you some of the resources I like best so you have access to them when you need them.
Websites and Podcasts:
Working with Parents in Sport : "Working with Parents in Sport" (WWPIS) is a UK based company that supports parents and coaches in working together to provide children with the best possible sporting experiences.
WWPIS is a great resource that provides you with articles, seminars, workshops, and tips that can help you on your journey as a youth sports parent.
Parenting Peak Performers : If you are into Podcasts, check this one out! Hosted by Kathy A. Feinstein, a fellow Mental Performance Consultant, Kathy talks to athletes, coaches, and parents to give you a well rounded perspective on ways to approach sport parenting. The Parenting Peak Performers website also has other great information and resources.
Youth Baseball Edge with Rob Tong : Rob Tong uses his experience as a father of 7 and youth baseball coach to bring you great advice and experience not only from his own perspective, but from the great resources that he interviews on the Youth Baseball Edge Podcast. His podcast tailors not only to youth baseball coaches, but to all youth coaches, and can help you become a better coach!
Practical Parenting with Katie Hurley, LCSW : Katie came and spoke at the local elementary school a few weeks ago and gave some wonderful tips and insights about today's youth and how we can best support them. She's also written many articles with great helpful information!
Moms Team : I came across this website and it has a lot of great information. One great thing about this website is that the information provided comes from a team of experts in their respective fields. Definitely worth checking out.
Positive Coaching Alliance : The Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) has been an advocate for positive coaching and youth development for years, and is full of resources for parents, coaches, athletes, and leaders. I highly recommend checking it out.
CoachUP Nation : Coach Up is another great resource to check out. The Coach Up Nation website has great blog posts and articles that can help you navigate some of the very things you are experiencing as a youth coach or parent.
I've always believed that as youth sport parents and coaches, our best role is to encourage and support youngsters on their journey to finding their own athletic and competitive spirit. I try to live this vision myself when I'm coaching. Hopefully from the list above, you'll find one or more resources to help you on your own journey as a youth sports parent or coach. As you know, it takes a village, so if you have other resources you'd like to share, please comment below!
Until next time!!
I recently posted an article in the media links section of my website about Des Linden and how she almost retired from professional running. The article recalled a 2017 Half Marathon in Australia where Des felt sluggish and lacked motivation. She had spent the previous 2 years training intensely for some really big races, and by the time she got to the Half in Australia, she was burnt out.
Without getting into a full recap (read it here for yourself!), the article really struck me. So often when we see professional or elite athletes on TV or in the media, we see all the good things; the successes, the fame, the triumph. What we don't often see are the setbacks, the obstacles, the dips in motivation, and the self-doubt.
Des' story highlights that lack of motivation and self-doubt happens to everyone, and that it's ok when it does! One of the most important things you can do for yourself is have a life filled with balance and reflection. Train hard when you need to, take a break when you need to, hang with family and friends, read a book, cross train, go on a hike or trail run. Constantly check in with yourself about progress, motivation, boredom, and passion. The key is to listen to your body and your mind.
When I feel self-doubt creeping in or I'm feeling burnt out, I try to remind myself of these things:
Take a break: Sometimes a change of scenery helps.
Switch up my routine: Feeling burnt out can come from boredom or over-training. Cross-training can help.
Remember my why: Why do I love what I do? Why did I get started? Why do I want to work so hard to pursue this?
Challenge my thoughts: If I'm feeling negative, I try to challenge those thoughts and question their truth. They usually end up coming from a place of frustration.
I'm so glad that Des shared her story with the world. Even though she's one of the best runners in the world, by sharing her experience she's helping normalize things we all feel everyday. And she was able to work through them, rediscover her passion, and win the 2018 Boston Marathon, the first American women to do so in over three decades. She heads to Boston again on Monday April 15, 2019, to defend her title. Win or lose, I think she's already won.
To follow along or find out more about this year's Boston Marathon, click here.
Hey! I'm Katie, and I specialize in Mental Performance. I believe greatly in mindset and the role it plays in life.