Positive Coaching

Expectations of a Parisi PeeWee Coach:

  • Pee Wee coaches must establish authority immediately. 
  • Learn to speak on the child’s level, not down to the child. 
  • Do not make empty threats. 
  • Use redirection and consequences, don’t drag out discipline. 
  • Never use exercise as a form of punishment. 
  • Help kids define their emotions. 
  • Kids do not always understand how to express their feelings. 
  • Eliminate tattling from the class culture immediately. 
  • Be fun so everyone can have fun. 
  • Get the kid’s attention, then give instructions, never in reverse. 
  • Use first names to build relationships. 
  • Keep directions simple, but specific. 
  • Give the kids assignments. 
  • Treat the children with respect.

Children ages 4-7 have as wide a range of personalities as adults.  You will find kids that are extroverts and hyperactive.  These children bring a lot of great energy needed for a fun class, but also require taming and lots of redirection.  Children that are more introverted take longer to warm up, but you might find they are great at following rules.  Then you have all the kids that are in the middle.  Make sure you give equal attention to all kids in your class.  Try not to let the children who need constant redirection hi-jack your class.  

As previously mentioned, do not confuse the shyness of a child with a child that is being rude. Shy children are not being insubordinate.  A shy child is often afraid to ask questions, get clarification and their anxiety may even interfere with their ability to participate.  Shy children should be treated with a nurturing tone and validation.  This means it is okay for them to participate at their own pace.  

Parisi Pee Wee classes are structured and didactic.  So it is important to establish that all the children must participate according to the lesson plan or structure of class.  They may not engage in the class ‘doing their own thing.’  It is important to learn and remember the triggers that might dramatically alter the energy of your class. 

Learn each kid’s individual triggers…

  • Some kids don’t ever want to go first.
  • Some kids always want to go first.
  • Some kids get mad or emotional when they lose.
  • Some kids get mad when others do not follow the rules.
  • Some kids can’t keep their hands off each other, and therefore trigger aggressiveness from others.
  • Siblings in the class can create challenges, because they often think it is okay to wrestle, hit and behave how they do at home.  Therefore, you might need to separate them in the space.
  • Some kids arrive late.  Often this will stress a child out or they will be sleepy.  Give that kid time to transition/adjust.  Pushing them into class and socializing might trigger an emotional breakdown.  Take them from their guardian and assure the adult ‘you got this!’ Ideally they will arrive during The Huddle (period 1 ) and they can sit and listen, but choose not to participate yet.  Stick to your facility’s late policy.

Avoid Labeling

  • Once you know a child is shy or slow, do not  refer to their behavior as shy or slow.
  • When a child is constantly disobeying the rules or causing a problem in your class, do not label them as bad.  But hold them accountable by removing them from class and let the parent know why. 
  • Do not allow other children to label (or name call) kids in their class.  

Create a Safe Space

  • Walk your space and make sure it is safe for the drills you have planned.  This can be challenging in a gym.  However, children can learn rules.  Establish rules about weight areas and equipment that can not be removed.  
  • Also, establish paths of travel.  How are children allowed to enter and exit your sace.  Identify their path of travel to the waiting area and the bathroom.  They are learning these things in school.
  • Part of building good studentship is teaching children how to follow rules.
  • Part of building a trusting relationship is establishing that you are also responsible for keeping them safe and paths of travel are safety rules.

Give Them Jobs

  • Kids love being given jobs.  Cleaning up is the best example of this.  
  • When assigning jobs to the children, your instructions must be clear.
  • Do not assign the same jobs to the same kids all the time.
  • Break big  jobs up into smaller assignments. For example, ‘Becky grab the red dots only, Joey grab the blue dots only’. Instead of allowing a child to clean up all of the dots.
  • Clean up assignments are an intentional part of the lesson plan.

Set Expectations

  • You are constantly setting expectations.
  • Repeating, reminding, rerouting and redirecting is an overarching teaching strategy for all classes with elementary-aged children.

Parisi Performance Coaches are not just filled with sport science knowledge. They are influencers in the lives of young athletes and other coaches. They are expected to deliver enthusiasm and create a positive environment for everyone around them. Anyone can learn how to perform our exercises. Parisi performance coaches cultivate better athletes who are more confident individuals. They instill health and exercise principles as touchstones in the lives of young athletes. The best Parisi coaches are like artists. They sculpt an athlete’s movement foundation using their passion along with positive coaching and energy to produce an individual that has amazing movement literacy, the potential to become a fast and strong athlete, but most importantly a more confident person.

A coach at a Parisi Speed School is a fundamentally positive coach. It is common in sports today that results are emphasized above all else.  This mindset is often paired with a team culture that makes young athletes feel that losses and mistakes are unacceptable. Unfortunately, this type of coaching environment raises the anxiety of young athletes, decreases their self-esteem, and often increases the chances that they will give up sports early in life. The great news is that simply changing your paradigms of training as a coach can be the difference between creating a positive and negative climate for athletes. This shift involves rewarding effort instead of purely results.

While there are many aspects of the Parisi program that will cultivate a competitive spirit, and therefore events and games will have a clear winner and loser; it is the skills used in these activities that are being promoted. There will be many games that will be a rolling exercise with no clear winner at the end.  But coaches should also include games that produce a clear winner.  Children need to learn how to win and lose.  However, Parisi coaches will need to help children better understand how to behave when they win and lose. 

Since Parisi Pee Wee classes cater to children as young as 4 years old, almost all games you include in your class will be a new experience.

Parisi coaches will place more value on growth over the results of a competition or game. But competition is an amazing way to incite growth physically, emotionally and mentally.  In addition, mistakes become tools essential for honest growth. When this shift has been made by the coach, and a positive climate for training has been created, anxiety decreases, self-esteem rises, and young athletes are more likely to remain committed to sports for a longer period of time.  The Parisi Speed School network is committed to building future athletes with good character and high self-esteem.