Saturday, January 5, 2013

Coaching Style



What is Your Coaching Style?

Recently I was involved in a round table discussion on the Heels on Wheels Radio Program about coaching our children. We were talking about the Lifetime television show Dance Moms and the coaching style of Abby Lee Miller of the Abby Lee Dance Company (The show is a guilty pleasure of Kim Ratcliffe, host of the Heels on Wheels Radio Program, and myself.) Abby is very harsh on her students and rules with tough love and an iron fist. Her students win National Championships. I'm not sure if it's her coaching style or her creative choreography that is so successful. That led me to think about the coaching style of my husband and myself with our children and racing.
We tend to keep things in perspective, or try to anyways. When Ashlee first started racing our goal was mainly to get her through the practices, heat races and feature. She steadily began to improve. She was really starting to grasp the concepts we were teaching. A few of the hurdles we overcame this year were for her to get a good start, we worked on her lines, got her to stop looking at us when she drove by, and many other small goals along the way. Our goal was to get her to do her personal best, winning or placing high was just a bonus. One thing we did learn is that you cannot expect a young child (6-7 year old in our case) to do their best every time they go out there. It's just not realistic. They are going to have good days and off days as well. After all they are kids not robots.
Coaching our daughter has a challenge for both of us. Ashlee does not respond well to criticism. She tends to get defensive quickly and stop listening to what we have to say. We've learned to address issues a little while after the fact and a little more with "kid gloves." She then will process what we've had to say and most of the time try to apply it. We may be parents of 2 girls but the parallels between our two children ends at their gender. We will have to adjust the way we coach Aubree when she starts driving and racing her kart next year. She is more of a sponge and soaks up what is happening around her as things happen. To say the least this next season will be a challenge, a fun challenge though!!
What is your coaching style with your child(ren)?

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