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How Kids Can Tell Their Coach Cares

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PCA National Advisory Board Member Mary Fry (@MaryFry10) is a professor in the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Kansas. She also is the Director of the KU Sport and Exercise Psychology Lab and oversees the graduate program in the area.

Fry researches the benefits of a "Caring Climate," that is an environment created by a coach to make athletes as comfortable as possible so they can perform at their best. In this video, Fry shares what kids say when asked how they know their coach cares. Here are some of their responses:

  • Coach notices my improvement
  • Coach praises effort and gets excited when we work hard
  • Coach pushes us hard because coach believes we have a lot of potential
  • When someone gets injured, coach runs out on the field and seems to genuinely care

Coaches may think they are creating a caring climate, but ultimately kids have to notice and feel cared for, which is why these answers provide a great insight into what matters most to kids.