The Risks of Over-Coaching Young Athletes

Coaching pic

Michael Bulmash is a Chicago-based underwriting manager who has worked for Destiny Mortgage Group since 2008, during which time he has earned multiple Employee of the Quarter awards. Beyond his professional pursuits, Michael Bulmash enjoys coaching his son’s Chicago-area youth baseball and basketball teams.

While it’s essential to teach young athletes the necessary skills involved in their respective sport and provide further guidance throughout their development, there are certain times when coaches need to step back and allow players to learn from their mistakes. Over-coaching generally occurs when coaches try to push too much information at once onto their athletes and attempt to control every element of practices and training sessions. Young and inexperienced coaches as well as those who are driven by ego are often guilty of over-coaching.

Despite their differences, all sports require players to have a certain level of accountability during competition. Without being allowed to occasionally make their own decisions in training sessions, athletes will be ill-prepared to take responsibility for their own in-game decisions. Other problems associated with over-coaching include frustration among players and team staff as well as anxiety and a heightened level of pressure, which can negatively impact the performance of some players.