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3 Steps To Take With Over-Exuberant Parents

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Kathy Toon (@CoachToon) is a PCA Trainer and serves as a sports psychology and performance consultant for several high school and college teams. She also coached NCAA tennis at UC-Berkeley for almost 15 years and received National Coach of the Year in 1999.

In this article, Kathy writes about the hot topic of over-exuberant sports parents. Many parents have to learn how to have the most positive effect on their child’s youth sport experience, she says, and gives a three-step process for how coaches and leaders can help parents bridge the gap between the values they profess in calm moments and then their behavior in the heat of the moment of competition. Summarizing the steps:

  1. Prevention -- Setting the table. You want parents in your organization to understand what is expected of them. The goal is total clarity on the norms of behavior in your organization.

  2. Enforcement -- Fixing broken windows. You want to make sure that if parents cross the line and behave in ways that are not acceptable to the culture of the organization, someone intervenes and says, in effect, ‘That’s not okay.'

  3. Reinforcement. You may want to reward the parents who do a great job of upholding the positive culture you want.

To read these steps in more detail, click the link below to download this helpful article.

Are you a league administrator, board member, or athletic director? Positive Coaching Alliance has partnered with thousands of youth sports organizations and high schools to provide training to coaches, parents, athletes and leaders. To learn more about partnering with PCA visit:

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  • Type: PDF Document
  • Size: 5 MB
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