As parents at Pride Martial Arts Academy, we want what’s best for our children, and we also want our children to give it their best when they participate in their martial arts training. The problem is, we sometimes get caught up in our desire to see our children perform well and we speak up at the wrong times. With that said, our team has put together some details about how coaching from the sidelines plays a retro-active role in your child’s emotional development.

Coaching from the Sidelines is Retroactive to Focus in the Martial Arts

For starters: your child’s brain is already occupied with so many thoughts. Take a martial art sparring class at Pride Martial Arts Academy for example:

  • Which technique should I throw?
  • What technique is my opponent going to throw?
  • What did my instructor just say?
  • What did my parent just say?
  • Was that other parent talking to me?
  • What are the sparring rules again?
  • What is the score?
  • How much time do I have left in the match?

You can imagine this a lot to think about, and when your parent is coaching you from the sidelines, chances are the emotional cup will run over!

Coaching from the Sidelines is Retroactive to Concentration in the Martial Arts

How about a class where your child is learning a new “pattern/form?” Here is what is going on in your child’s mind:

  • What move is next in the form?
  • Is it my left hand, right hand; left foot, right foot?
  • What did my instructor just say?
  • What did my parent just say?
  • What will my classmates think if I make a mistake?
  • What will my instructor think if I make a mistake?
  • What will my parents think if I make a mistake?
  • How many moves do I have left?

Again, there is a lot of ‘movement’ going on with your child’s neurons, and your coaching from the sidelines, be it positive or negative, could make your child’s emotional stability fall off balance.

But let’s not forget that your coaching is a distraction to other people besides just your child:

  • It distracts the other students.
  • It distracts other parents.
  • It distracts the instructors.

Using Positive Reinforcement in the Martial Arts

So, although you have good intentions with coaching from the sidelines, there are more productive options:

  • Give your child tips and encouragement before the class or competition.
  • Remain quiet, allowing your child; to focus, unless they look to you for advice or support.
  • Provide constructive feedback after class or competition.

Hopefully, this blog entry sheds some light on coaching from the sidelines and prompts you to take more constructive steps towards your child’s performance in extra-curricular sports, activities, and martial arts. The goal should be to help foster growth and development, as well as encourage fun. After all, it’s the great memories that last a lifetime.

Interested in learning more about Buffalo’s premier martial arts safety center? Visit Pride Martial Arts at and explore everything our team has to offer. To learn more about your child’s development in the martial arts, stay tuned to our blog for announcements and other coaching strategies.