coaching, Rugby

Delivery matters. Create a team with parents, ​not a conflict.

I love the Positive Coaching Alliance. They have great ideas and solutions that are positive and focus on outcomes without looking back. I was intrigued when I saw this video because I agree with the message but know the confrontational methodology means it will often fail. We need to create a team with parents.

In this PCA video, Mike Klinzing is right, parents coaching from the stands is not productive to the athlete, but instead of creating a team environment he is confrontational. “One of the things that bugs me as a coach” sets up an adversarial reaction from parents. Would it be better to say “One thing that stops our athletes developing and performing is…”

Create team parents

I tell our parents right up front we are teammates. On a team to make their son successful. That is my goal and their goal – perfectly aligned. I put my money where my mouth is and follow up with – “if your son is not successful, then it is my fault, not his.” We need to create a team with parents.

What does that mean though?

It says you cannot ever give up on an athlete. Vito Chiaravalloti, the Athletic Director at CBA, gave me that as a goal with an athlete I was struggling with a couple of years ago, and I have embraced it as a rugby value on our team. If a kid is moody and unproductive, then it is my job to find out why. I am not a saint I am doing my job. If an overperforming athlete is unpopular with the team and causing tension, then it is my job to find out why. If a kid is disillusioned and not applying themselves, then it is my job to find out why. Now at the end of the day if an athlete lacks intrinsic motivation they will not soar but not every student-athlete needs to fly to be successful. We need to create a team with parents.

So what makes a student rugby athlete successful? That is probably the next post. 

You can find more posts on coaching like “Athlete feedback is a critical tool for the coach.”

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