I coach many youth, who have behavior disorders, but I am not even close to an expert on behavioral disorders, so the following are just my youth sports coaching experiences, and not meant to be a how to manual.
Youth sports coaching is very challenging to begin with, as coaches have to teach game skills, strategy, safety, etc. Along with that, youth sports coaching involve dealing with kids, who have different personalities, behaviors, and interests.
My first experiences with players with disorders was very frustrating, as I could not understand why players could not pay attention, sit still, integrate with other kids, constantly ask what time it was, appear to daydream constantly, not do what I just told them to try, among other behaviors. My first inclination was to get upset with those players, ask them if they really wanted to play, and either ignore them, or sit them down for a while. Over time, I became much more aware of players with behavior disorders, as well as becoming better prepared with dealing with them. Learning to deal with all type players became one of my most rewarding experiences with youth sports coaching.
Adults, who volunteer to coach, must prepare themselves for players, who have these. Sure it is challenging, but it can be a very rewarding experience for coaches, not to mention a great learning experience for all, players, parents and coaches, alike. Coaches, who best deal with players with behavioral disorders, earn the respect of all.
Coaches must look for the positives in all players and bring those out to player them-self and to team members. Only as a last resort, when players are beyond a coach's control and they take away from the safety and/or enjoyment, should coaches ask parents to remove behavioral problem players.
Finally, it is worth noting that my sport coaching experiences are with baseball, a sport where being hit by balls and bats present a danger that may not exist with other sports.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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