Create Positive Sport

%

of kids ranked fun as the #1 reason they play sports when surveyed

Coaches can actively promote a positive sport culture by emphasizing the benefit of skill development over winning. In this type of environment, athletes are more likely to learn valuable life skills and feel more confident overall.

Why Kids Play Sports

The number one reason that kids play sports is because they enjoy it. For many kids, winning is nice, but it ranks ranks near the bottom of the list of reasons why they love to play their sport. Having fun with friends, learning new skills and being part of a team consistently provides more fulfillment and translates into kids staying in sport longer. As a coach you can help to foster your athlete’s enjoyment of the game by creating an atmosphere that is fun, promotes team bonding and sportsmanship, and focuses on skill development.

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Promoting a Positive Sport Environment

A positive sport environment sets the tone for success on and off the playing field. Coaches can take a leadership role in building this type of culture by adopting positive sport principles in their coaching philosophy and emphasizing skill development and growth over winning with their athletes. Ultimately, this type of approach creates conditions where athletes are able to perform their best, and most importantly, have fun!

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Peer-to-Peer Relationships

An athlete’s relationship with their peers can play a significant role in influencing their overall sport experience. Kids generally spend more time with their peer group than they do any other age group. As a result, the type of relationships they develop with their peers (positive or negative) can greatly impact their overall confidence and emotional health.

For many athletes, close friendships and social support provide intrinsic motivation for participating in sport and help to increase confidence on the playing field.

In other situations however, peer relationships can result in bullying. This is more common in ‘win at all cost’ sporting environments. As a coach, you can help to prevent bullying behaviour from starting by emphasizing other aspects of sport, like teamwork, sportsmanship & skill development.

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Working with Parents

Developing a positive coach-parent relationship is a key factor that influences an  athlete’s overall sport experience. A positive, and mutually beneficial parent-coach relationship starts with clear communication and expectations and invites collaboration from both sides. When both parties approach the relationship with this mindset, they will help create conditions for their athlete to thrive.

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