If you have kids who play sports then you probably have witnessed this a lot.  Parents lining along the sideline trying to coach their kids in the disguise of cheering for the team.

I’m a parent so I kind of get it.  You want your kid to be the one to score the goal or the winning basket.  The coach they have just isn’t quite seeing things the way you like and your kid isn’t paying attention to the coach.

Your kid will recognize your voice.  You are the only one that can get through to your kid.

So you yell out where to go.  Who to guard.  What to do next in the possession.

Let me clue you in.  It very rarely helps.

Your kid is playing a game where you have to react quickly.  Not only does the kid have to listen to the coach yelling, but now he/she has to listen to you too?

That split second turning their head in your direction will result in someone blowing past him/her and them scoring on your kid.  Your yelling instructions at your athlete is actually stunting their athletic development.

They need to develop the reaction part of the game by not having you yell where to go every 5 seconds.  This also delays their athletic intellect towards the game.

Their actual coaches sometimes are not that much better.  A coach that yells out everything that is happening while it is happening gets tuned out by the kids real quick.  The coach thinks he/she is doing a great job coaching them up, but that is not the case.

You have to let kids figure things out as a coach and the coach yelling with the parent yelling all the time doesn’t allow that to develop.

The absolute best thing for the kids would be to play pick-up games of their sport.  But, in this day and age of travel sports, that won’t happen.  To get better you have to pay money for travel sports and immediately go into pressure filled games and tournaments (this is sarcastic by the way).

When I say pressure, I mean it is pressure-filled for the parents not so much the kids.  The parents think their team needs to win everything or else they won’t be able to justify all the money being spent on these club sports.

What ultimately happens is the athlete has the parent yelling from the sideline, the coach yelling from the bench, and the kids just breaks down.  I saw it happen recently.

We got to let these kids figure it out.

Parents, trust the coaches (even if you don’t trust the coaches).  Cheer the kids on in a positive manner, but don’t be a sideline coach.  Don’t try to tell them where you think (key word is think) they need to be at every point in the game.  Sometimes that conflicts with the coach’s strategy and then the athlete is really clueless.

They will figure it out and they will look better playing the game.  You just have to be patient.