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UK Coaching Team
7
Developing Mindsets

What is the Impact of ‘Over-Coaching?’

Discussing the dangers of ‘over-coaching,’ Performance Psychologist Tony Faulkner makes a strong case for ‘under-coaching’ to empower young athletes to learn to think independently

In its various forms, the ‘uber-doting’ mentality exhibited towards today’s youngsters seems logical on the surface. Yet managers in football and business are questioning the skills and capabilities of the younger generation. Where does that leave coaches?

Drawing similarities between parents and coaches is easy: parents want their children to grow up feeling loved and happy in an uncertain world of real (or perceived) dangers and intense competition for jobs. Coaches want their players to feel valued and important. Both parents and coaches may feel compelled to interfere in order to ensure young people have every possible advantage in life. Their misguided distrust of other parents, coaches and society’s institutions drives them to over-protect. 

The problem here is that they overestimate the influence they themselves have on development, potentially developing young people who do not have the resources to deal with the demands the world throws at them.

There is a tendency for coaches and parents to ignore a child’s requirement to develop individually and to recognise that nature, along with the correct nurture, are essential ingredients for reaching potential. The compulsion to intervene becomes even stronger when parents and coaches view their offspring as surrogates for the fulfilment of their own happiness and deferred dreams.

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UK Coaching Team