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Tag Archive: jack lalanne

  1. Helping athletes to grow.

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    athletes grow

    Who knows how the athlete will grow/

    Can coaches help athletes grow?

    At Sunday school many years ago I was taught a parable about a man who was given corn. He scattered it carelessly around. Some fell on dry earth, some fell on stones. Some fell in fertile land and was either eaten by birds or strangled by weeds. Some fell in fertile land and received the right amount of sunshine and water and grew into healthy corn.

    I was reminded of this when talking with Phil and Julie, two tennis coaches I work with. Phil was talking about how much we can influence players- he reckoned that they were born great. He asked “how much can we actually influence things?

    I then used the corn analogy to describe how I see our role as coaches.

    The athlete is the corn– they are born a certain way. That can’t be changed. Whether they become fully developed and successful depends on many outside factors. The fertile earth is the environment they grow up in- supportive parents, good schooling, influential peers.

    As coaches, it is our job to provide the sun and the rain– the knowledge and experience and motivation that will help the young athlete grow and develop.

    Often we will provide the sun and the rain and discover we have grown a weed- but we can’t know that until we try.

    Who are we to judge before giving our best effort for all athletes we work with?

    Further Reading

    Helping your child become happy and active within sport.

  2. Managing Parents: Dave Rotheram

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    I have recently completed a case study on the parental expectations of coaches of elite rugby league players.

    The parents of the England Youth (u16) squad completed a questionnaire about their child’s involvement in the sport and parental expectations of the coaches their children work with. 

    Some interesting observations and the implications:

    Our elite players participate at school, community club, scholarship club and National level. On average they are coached by over 6 coaches per week. In some cases this led to conflicting information and potential conflict with other coaches, however parents had strategies to cope with this.

    When asked about the qualities coaches should possess the highest two responses were that coaches should be approachable and have good communication skills.

    Interestingly, subject knowledge was the 3rd most popular response.

    Governing bodies now derive much funding from the public purse to grow their sports.  This generates competition between sports. We must be mindful of the expectations of parents when planning and delivering our programmes.

    Do you have a strategy for dealing with the parents of your athletes??

    Dave Rotheram: RFL National Player Performance Manager, assistant coach Scotland.