Skip to main content

The Second-Goal Parent

Thursday evening, January 12, 2012, Eric Eisendrath, the Positive Coaching Alliance's (PCA) Lead Trainer for the East Coast spoke with Saint David's parents in Hyman Hall about the Second-Goal Parent.

PCA argues that the second goal of sports parenting--the Second-Goal Parent--is to focus relentlessly on the "big picture." The first goal, striving to win, should be left to the coaches and the athletes.  The focus of the parents should be on the second goal--the big picture focus--building character so children develop into successful, contributing members of society.  By the way, this is also a goal of the school's program.  This big picture view can be conceived of in lots of ways including remaining physically active throughout life, learning to bounce back from difficulties with renewed determination, and discovering how to support others.  Active participation in sports, as we all know, does this--our challenge as schools and especially parents is to not to lose sight of this big picture focus.

Many parents get carried away in youth sports focusing more on preparing the path for their children instead of preparing their children for the path.  Parents need to focus more on endorsing and embracing the competitive process rather than the competitive product.  Comments from parents like, "You're working hard and it's paying off" are far more beneficial than, "How can we fix it?" comments/critiques, for example, in a post game conversation.  Parents and children talking about sports should be viewed as a conversation amongst equals.  Our job, Mr. Eisendrath, a Division One Hockey player for Brown, is to avoid sucking the fun out of it.  One startling statistic Eric reported was that 70% of children quit sports by the time they are 13. Coaches should be coaches, and parents, parents.

A parent's role is to BE THERE and BE HAPPY FOR THEM.

Post Script: For the past several years, as part of the school-wide Curriculum Initiative, Saint David's Athletic Department has been critically reviewing its curriculum.  The school invited the Positive Coaching Alliance to work extensively with its coaches, observing the program and critiquing our coaching methods and practices.  PCA and Saint David's have been working together for several years now in an effort to continually improve best practices.  We have always had a strong program; our work with PCA and our critical review is making us even stronger.

After observing all the coaches during each of our three athletic/sports seasons, the alliance designed specific, targeted professional development workshops for the coaching staff.  Usually occurring on Saturdays, the coaches would go back to school for the workshop.

Two recommended books that came out of the night:

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Positive Sports Parenting: How "Second-Goal" Parents Raise Winners in Life Through Sports by Jim Thompson


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

An Evening With Lidia Bastianich

On Tuesday evening, Lidia Bastianich, award-winning chef, restaurateur, television host and author, visited Saint David's to speak to the Saint David's Alumni Parent community and current Eighth Grade.



Interviewed by Alumni Parent Dr. Joseph Haddad for our Alumni Parent Council Lecture, Lidia recounted her youth in Istria when the once Italian peninsula shifted to communist reign after World War II, her two years spent as a refugee in Trieste, and her experiences after her family immigrated to America when she was eleven years old.


The boys were fascinated with her discussion about her family's escape from Istria and her life as a refugee and immigrant. She expressed her everlasting gratitude to the people who provided assistance to her family in Trieste and when they first arrived in New York. "I can't talk enough about the goodness of the people who helped us," she said. "I am where I am because of them."

As a highly successful person with…

Navy SEAL Bill Berrien '82 Gives Chapel on Service to Saint David's Boys

Former Navy SEAL and Saint David's Alumnus Bill Berrien '82 fascinated all during his Chapel Talk Tuesday morning to our seventh and eighth graders.

A SEAL for nine years, Bill was a member of two platoons in South America as well as part of a Joint Special Operations unit. He shared his SEAL Trident with the boys, talked about the intensity of training, and noted he remains close to many with whom he served.


Connecting his service to the values that Saint David's espouses, he encouraged the boys to always be students--curious throughout their lives, to find the best in everyone, appreciate setbacks, and to learn from failures. In the video above, he addresses the first.

He closed by planting these "seeds" for our boys to consider: that life is a journey to be embraced broadly with openness to a variety of opportunities; being a service leader is of utmost importance; the unknown should be embraced; and, finally, that the boys be their own best friend, compassi…

Saint David's Father and Son Dinner Featuring Mark Whitaker

Our annual Seventh Grade father and son dinner provides the opportunity for seventh graders and their fathers to share an evening exploring what it means to be a good man, the relationship between parent and son, and other mission-related themes.

The speaker at this year's event was author, journalist and media executive Mark Whitaker, who spoke about his memoir My Long Trip Home, in which he delves into the story of his family, in particular, his father. The son of a bi-racial couple who wed in 1956 (a time when interracial marriages were still illegal in some states), Mark spent many years estranged from his father, a brilliant African Studies scholar who struggled throughout his life with alcoholism.


Later, they would reconcile, but it was only after his father had passed away that Mark realized he wanted to write a book about this man who had had a groundbreaking career despite all his problems, and try to understand him better. Ultimately, the process deepened Mark'…