One of the biggest benefits of a private coach, outside of athletic improvement, is his or her ability to help increase your child’s confidence. Most children lack confidence because they feel there is nothing particularly special about them; becoming a standout in their sport can change that and it will quickly become a point of pride for them. This feeling of pride and accomplishment can quickly crossover into all aspects of their life that may help cause a chain reaction that shifts their whole attitude for the better. This positive change of attitude can often lead to a better classroom work ethic as they now have experienced first hand that extra-work can lead to success and a feeling of accomplishment.
Parents often think (or would like to think) that their children will come to them with all of their problems, but the unfortunate reality is they won’t. Having an additional confidant can be a hugely helpful resource for your child. In addition, having them regularly interacting with someone who they aspire to be will help create motivation for them to work toward their goals. Unfortunately, children often ignore their parents’ advice. But if their coach, who they trust and respect, tells them that they need to concentrate on school as much as their sport to be a collegiate athlete, they’re more likely to listen.
This is not to say that all private coaches will have a profound positive affect on a child; like with anything not all private coaches are created equal and a bad one can even be detrimental. It is important that you are consistently communicating with your child to be sure that they’re not only improving from their session but also enjoying them. Good team coaches don’t necessarily make good private coaches, just like good players don’t always make good coaches.
A great private coach needs to be able to connect with their athletes and build strong rapport, as it is a very personal relationship and requires a deeper level of trust than a traditional athlete-coach relationship. If your child begins working with a private coach that doesn’t seem like a good fit, don’t waste time hoping things will improve; you need to move on quickly and begin looking for a new coach. Once you find that “perfect” private coach, you’ll quickly realize that the extra effort to find him or her was well worth it.
Next time you hear about someone you know hiring a private coach for their child, don’t jump to the conclusion that the decision was purely about athletics. If possible, talk with them about their experience and ask if the coach has had an impact on their child’s life in areas outside of sports. You may be surprised at their answer!