Why Coaching from the Sidelines is Harmful to Your Child’s Development | Bay Area Martial Arts
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I signed my kindergartener daughter in the six-week promotion to see if she would enjoy martial arts. I knew after her first class that this was going to be truly enriching for her, and she loves going to her classes.
I love that the classes are age specific- and you can see how the teaching styles are geared towards each age group. As explained by Sensei Adrian in our assessment- four-year-olds and seven-year-olds are capable of different things at different times. Having them in age-appropriate classes will help them succeed because they are with their peers.
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My 13 year old son started at the dojo when he was 5 and my 9 year old daughter started when she was 3. Bringing them here has turned out to be one of the best decisions that my husband and I made for our children. The amount of focus and discipline that they have learned through martial arts has encompassed all parts of their lives. Both are excellent students and know how to stick up for themselves. My daughter will not think twice about being an ally for someone else. I am blown away by their self confidence. They have learned that you can succeed at anything you put your mind to with hard work and perseverance.

While learning the skills of working hard and self esteem, students get a great work out and have fun with Sifu Adrian and Sensei Ceci. They create a nurturing environment where children learn skills at their appropriate developmental stage. They have become family and I am forever grateful for all that they have done for my children.

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My 7 year old son started at Bay Area Martial Arts in January of this year. After nearly 6 months I have seen such a change in him both physically and emotionally. My son was always scared of trying new things - like riding a scooter or doing a handstand - because his balance has never been that great. Martial arts has really helped him build confidence and the physical strength to try new things. Respect for yourself, your family, and people in the wider world is something that he is learning and doing. Sensei Adrian, Nate, and Ceci have been so wonderful not just to our son, but to our whole family. They really care about these kids - not just to make them ninjas (because lets face it... what kid doesn't want to be a ninja?!?!), but about helping them be the best version of themselves that they can be. Thanks so much you guys!!!!

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Why Coaching from the Sidelines is Harmful to Your Child’s Development

As parents, we want what’s best for our children, and we also want our children to give it their best when they participate in extra-curricular sports and activities. The problem is, we sometimes get caught up in our desire to see our children perform well and we speak up at the wrong times. With that said, I’ve put together some details about how coaching from the sidelines plays a harmful role in our child’s emotional development.

(Please note as it relates to this article, I’m focusing on a martial arts parent because that’s the environment I’m an expert at when it comes to this topic. However, this information is easily related to other sports and activities.)

For starters: your child’s brain is already occupied with so many thoughts. Take a sparring match for example:
• Which technique should I throw?
• What technique is my opponent going to throw?
• What if I get hit?
• What did my instructor just say?
• What did my classmate just say?
• What did my parent just say?
• Was that other parent talking to me?
• What are the rules about hitting the head again?
• What if I miss?
• What is the score?
• How much time do I have left?

You can imagine this a lot to think about, and when your parent is yelling at you, chances are the emotional cup will run over!

How about a simple class where your child is learning a ‘kata?’ Here’s what’s going on in your child’s mind:
• What move is next?
• Is it my left hand, right hand, left foot, right foot?
• What did my instructor just say?
• What did my parent just say?
• What will my classmates think if I make a mistake?
• What will my instructor think if I make a mistake?
• What will my parents think if I make a mistake?
• How many moves do I have left?

Again, there’s a lot of ‘movement’ going on with your child’s neurons, and your coaching from the sidelines, be it positive or negative, could make your child’s emotional stability fall off balance.

But let’s not forget that your coaching is a distraction to other people besides just your child:
• It distracts the other students.
• It distracts other parents.
• It distracts the instructors.

So, although you have good intentions with coaching from the sidelines, there are more productive options:

• Give your child tips and encouragement before class or competition.

• Remain silent unless you see your child look to you for advice or support.

• Provide constructive feedback after class or competition.

Hopefully, this article sheds some light on coaching from the sidelines and prompts you to take more constructive steps towards your child’s performance in extra-curricular sports and activities. The goal should be to help foster growth and development, as well as encourage the fun out of it. After all, it’s the great memories that last a lifetime.

~~~~~

Yours,

Sensei Adrian

Please reply with a 🙌 if you found this blog informative!

 — feeling motivated at Bay Area Martial Arts Oakland.