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Why Parents Shouldn't Coach From the Sidelines

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Why Parents Shouldn't Coach From the Sidelines

We get it: you're excited to see your child doing so well in jiujitsu! We love it and we're here for it.  However, there is a difference between encouraging your child and "coaching from the sidelines".  One is helpful and one is harmful.  Here are a few reasons why coaching your child from the sidelines is banned at all gyms:


1. It's distracting

At the end of the day a jiujitsu class is still a class.  There are instructors and students, a classroom, and a lesson.  Imagine if you were to show up to your child's math class and in the middle of the teacher's lesson you start giving your child advice.  It might not even be bad advice, but it would be incredibly distracting.  People, let along children, have a difficult time focusing on one speaker so for parent to coach from the sidelines it would create a chaotic atmosphere that would quickly spin out of control.  Out of respect for the instructors and for the sake of attention plan please keep sideline noises to a minimum.  


2. It can make your child anxious

Your child wants to please you.  They also want to please the coach.  If the parent and the coach are asking for two different things the child might become anxious.  At the very best even if the coach and the parent are in agreement as to what the child should be doing in the middle of a roll the extra voice is distracting.  For parents who train you already know how many things are going through your mind during sparring, multiply that by trying to impress your parents!  That kind of extra added pressure could quickly sap the fun out of jiujitsu.  We understand that you want what's best for your child and that you want to see them win, but as we all know losing is a big part of learning in jiujitsu and in life.  It's ok if your child loses in practice as long as they're improving and having fun.


3. Now that we know what not to do, what should we do?

Keep encouraging your child!  Encourage them in a way that focuses on their effort, not the result.  Instead of "You did a really good job winning today" try "I'm proud of how hard you're working in class".  This will send the right message that focuses on the process and not the result which is better for long term success.  Keep in mind your child thinks highly of you and might feel like they're letting you down if you come across too critical.  Don't be too focused on the results, especially in practice.  As a general rule we ban all celebrations uring practice for both adult and children because the practice room is not the place to try and win, it is a place to learn. 


We absolutely need our parents to be a part of the team and really appreciate everyone encouraging their children.  We know that you come from a good place but hopefully you can see ow coaching from the sidelines hurts more often than it helps!


Family Oriented Martial Arts and Fitness Training for Barrington, Haddonfield and Haddon Heights

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