Parent as Coach

Image by Sara Petagna via Flickr

Last year I had the opportunity to “shadow” a high school lacrosse coach for a portion of the day. It was an eye-opening experience. The work of a coach – discovering and then strengthening the focus, skills, drive, and desire of the students they work with – seems never-ending. And their opportunities for influence are potentially on a par with those that parents have.

Every year, parents of freshman and sophomores ask me what they should be doing to help prepare their students for college. And every year, I am reminded that the students who fare best in this process are those who come to it having spent some serious energy on self-reflection.

I want to say to them, “The game will come. Now, it’s time to practice and test your skills in a friendly environment. Maybe push yourself a little. Or try a new game altogether.”

Now Cool Cat Teacher’s recent post has got me thinking about the ways in which we can all benefit from having learning networks, in addition to mentors and coaches.

And there’s the question of readiness. What could coaches tell me about the difference between working with a ninth grader as opposed to an eleventh grader? Is there a conceptual threshold, a point at which helping students seek out coaches and mentors and/or develop networks is developmentally appropriate?

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Posted on November 12, 2008, in big picture. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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