Why we over-coach, why we shouldn’t, and how not to

by Mike Woitalla        @MikeWoitalla

While returning the player cards to a coach of the 9-year-olds I’d been reffing, I told him I noticed he had coached throughout the entire game, that he had not gone one minute without yelling something from the sidelines.

This was a friendly guy who didn’t get defensive about what he could have taken as criticism. So we talked for a while.

I explained that as ref, being in the middle of the field, I could hear all of his yelling, as well as the instructions that were screamed from the parents’ sideline.

He said he didn’t realize his sideline coaching had been non-stop and he hadn’t been aware of how much “coaching” was coming from the parents.

I think that’s one reason why there is so much over-coaching — they know not what they do. We have such an innate desire to see our children succeed that we don’t realize when we’re interfering with the learning process (not to mention disrupting their playtime).

We have an irresistible urge to help our children, whether they’re 6 or 16 or 26. That’s a good thing, but there are times when we need to refrain — such as when they’re playing soccer. That’s not just my opinion.

Read what Landon Donovan and others have to say on the subject…