Sideline Chatter: Hear From Mom + Dad, Vol. 1

Now that you've heard from some of our coaches, it's time to get the scoop from some of our active parents as well! All things considered, this is valuable information for all parties, even us! For any coaches that may be reading this interview, you've now received a direct line to what our CoachUp parents want, need, and are thinking about while putting their athlete through sessions. A few simple tweaks and changes thanks to the feedback provided here might make a huge difference for you moving forward.

On the flip side, if you're somebody looking for a little sports parenting guidance or help choosing a path for your child, these interviews can serve as a jumping off point for future conversations. And, even for us, this type of feedback is great for CoachUp as well. We're always looking for ways to improve, evolve, and provide a better product for our coaches and athletes. Today, we're chatting with Jordan Schmitt about the success and progress he's seen in his son, Nate, in his journey through basketball. We're very excited to start posting these chats with our parents, so we hope you'll enjoy reading them!

CoachUp: Hi, Jordan! Thanks for taking the time to answer some our questions. We'll start easily enough: how long has your child used CoachUp?

Jordan Schmitt: We're coming up on our one-year anniversary pretty quickly! Nate and I have used since February of 2015 and we've seen some really awesome improvements in him over that time.

Screenshot_2015-10-19-18-22-22-2 (1)CU: What sport does Nate focus on?

JS: Nate is budding basketball athlete, he can't get enough of it.

CU: Have you seen improvement and progress in your athlete? In what ways?

JS: That's a tough question, but we've seen some large improvements across the board, but I'd say we've most noticeably seen progress in Nate's confidence, overall fundamentals, shooting form, free throw technique, and ball handling skills. So much of basketball relies on muscle memory, so it's nice to see Nate nail down these abilities. That way, he won't have to focus on them during the game.

CU: Does your child have any specific sports goals? Has CoachUp helped them work towards that goal?

JS: Ultimately, my son’s goal is to play high school and, eventually, play some college basketball. Recently, Nate started for his middle school team as a 7th grader and will also start as an 8th grader, but he doesn't want to stop there! Over those endeavors, CoachUp has helped him towards achieving his current goals while working at those end goals down the road. He'd love to play college ball at any level, whether that's D1 or D3, so we're striving for that in our training.

CU: What is your fondest memory of your child playing sports?

JS: That's difficult, but I'd probably have to say to my favorite was from coaching his team two years ago. We made the playoffs, but we weren't a top seed by any means. I don't think anybody on the team, me included, believed that we'd win the championship. But as the playoffs continued, the team started to click like never before and we grew more and more confident. In the finals, we faced off against a team that defeated us by 18 points earlier in the season, but this time we won by 15!

It was incredible, but the best part was watching the boys grow more confident throughout the playoffs. It was wonderful to watch them motivate and cheer for each other as well. Of course, it was a total team effort as well and every game had a different MVP! Sports parenting can be difficult at times, but this is something I'll never forget.

CU: How important is the student part of “student-athlete”?

JS: The student part is extremely important. Luckily, my son earns very good grades and does well in school on his own -- I can’t even remember the last time I checked his homework. Each night, I ask him if all of his homework is done and I take his word for it. His grades are great, so I'm willing to give him that space, trusting that he'll take care of things on his own. Nate belongs to the National Junior Honor Society and takes all advanced classes as well. It's incredibly responsible and I could not be prouder of his abilities in the both the classroom and on the court.

CU: Why did you decide to get your child a CoachUp coach?

Together, we decided to take a year off from AAU so we could play middle school basketball in the winter and JV league in the spring. In order to do both, we ultimately decided to step away from AAU and focus on one-on-one training -- a decision that's turned out really well so far.

CU: What does your coach do particularly well during their sessions?

My son enjoys the fact that Coach Norman gives him honest feedback without belittling him, that's super key. We've enjoyed coaches in the past that make a concentrated effort to teach and guide without being too easy or congratulatory. At the same time, there are plenty of coaches out there that think yelling is important to the learning process; but at that point, we just stop having fun. My son has commented many times that he likes how Coach Norman never yells at him, but corrects him without making him feel bad.

Coach Norman’s drills always have a purpose behind them, so my son never feels like he's doing drills just for the sake of doing drills. Additionally, he always gives great session feedback via email, providing a thorough recap, evaluation, and suggestions for future sessions. This means that the feedback always points out the positives of a session, as well as things to work on at home until the next one.

That's a wrap on Volume 1! Remember, no matter what role you play in all of this, there's always room to improve. Don't be afraid to tweak your methods, evolve as a coach, or take on a new approach as a parent. If something isn't working, or the athlete isn't enjoying playing as much, take a step back and figure out what must change. Youth sports are a wonderful experience for coaches and parents alike, but none of it matters if the athlete isn't on the same page!

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