How to Establish Rapport with Your Athlete

1. Make sure that your child knows that:

  • Win or Lose - you love them and appreciate their efforts, and you are not disappointed in them

  • You are the person in their life that they can look to for constant positive enforcement.

    • Learn to hide your feelings if they disappoint you.

2. Try your best to be completely honest about your child's athletic capability, their competitive attitude, their sportsmanship, and their actual skill level.

3. Teach them to:

  • enjoy the thrill of competition, to be "out there trying"

  • improve their skills and attitudes

  • take the physical bumps and come back for more

  • develop the feel for competing, for trying hard, and for having fun

4. Don't compete with the coach. The young athlete often comes home and chatters about "coach says this, and coach says that." This is often hard to take especially for a mother or father who has had some sports experience. When a certain degree of disenchantment about the coach sets in, some parents side with the youngster. This is a perfect opportunity to discuss with your student-athlete the importance of learning how to handle problems, react to criticism and understand the necessity of discipline, rules, regulations, and so on.

5. You should get to know the coach so that you can be assured that their philosophy, attitudes, ethics, and knowledge are such that you are happy to expose your child to them. The coach has a tremendous potential influence.

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