Youth and interscholastic coaches are often challenged to develop their own coaching style and philosophy so that they can build great relationships with kids, and have a better chance at winning, too. New coaches can get especially caught up with tasks like building strong relationships, teaching athletic skills the most efficient ways, and confronting individual and team problems in healthy and productive ways. Coaching, in many ways, is like parenting in that there is no one perfect approach, and a lot of the job is based on learning as you go. Still, developmental psychology may have something to offer sport psychology by applying Elizabeth Baumrind’s famous parenting philosophies to coaching.
Parenting (coaching) styles
Baumrind identifies 3 typical parenting styles — authoritarian, permissive, and authoritative. It is the authoritative parenting style that is viewed as the healthiest, and may have many applications for youth sport coaches:
“Authoritative parents take a more moderate approach that emphasizes setting high standards, being nurturing and responsive, and showing respect for children as independent, rational beings…..these parents expect maturity and cooperation, and offer children emotional support.”
Rather than yelling and demanding kids improve through intimidation (authoritarian) or allowing teams to completely manage themselves (permissive), the authoritative approach prompts coaches to build rapport and strong relationships, and this is done by soliciting ideas and feedback from kids. Additionally, authoritative coaches take the time to explain things so that kids are more inclined to “buy in” — like discussing the importance of cardio training just before assigning the team to go run stadium steps (in contrast, an authoritarian coach would simply yell at the kids to “go run the steps!”).
Develop your unique styles
When examining coaching philosophies keep in mind styles (like Baumrind’s mentioned here) should simply be used as a framework for developing your own approach to coaching. What this means is that you, the coach, have plenty of latitude to build in your own ideas, styles, and preferences based on your own parenting, coaching, and even previous athletic playing day experiences.
For more help developing your coaching style, check out the Coach tool kit here.
coach, Coaching, mental, philosophy, psychology, sport, sports, style, toughness, training, youth