‘Positive coaching’ in kids sport. ABC 92.5 FM radio segment Friday 27/7/18: 8:30 am.

Posted by James Cummins
Categories: Positive coaching - Positive rugby - Character Strength - Mindfulness - Mindful Movement - Accredited Exercise Physiology - wellbeing - positive education - Mental health - positive psychology - meditation - smiling mind - + positive education - + education


In this blog post I lay out my thinking as I prepare for a local ABC 92.5 FM radio segment.

‘Positive coaching’ in kids sport.

ABC 92.5 FM radio segment Friday 27/7/18: 8:30 am.

About James:

James Cummins is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, sports coach and founder of The Positivity Project. 

He designs and delivers positive education and wellbeing presentations and programs to whole school communities & sports teams.

He works with The READClinic & has been coaching school boy rugby for over 20 years and practices ‘Positive Coaching’! 

With Saturday sport looming, today we will be discussing ‘Positive Coaching’ & the 

NSW Sport & Rec initiative designed to improve positive behaviour by parents, spectators and coaches involved in kids sports #Shooshforkids.

But first: ‘What is positive coaching?’

It is a style of coaching where ‘wellbeing’ is at the heart of everything we do. We promote the process and practice of nourishing kids through sport. 

James uses positive psychology principles of enabling wellbeing, mindfulness, character strength spotting, positive communication & focus on process not outcome to set up a nurturing environment for kids and older athletes to enjoy, play and & learn.

To be totally awesome it requires teams, coaches, parents and supporters to participate. 

Maybe this is the key to effective & positive support of sport.

The key is spectator participation in a positive way. 

How does James practice Positive Coaching?

1. First things first! 

Set the intention with mindfulness. I practice this and as a coach, I can teach and role model it with authenticity. This way I am mindful in my thought, movements and actions. 

2. Be mindful as to ‘why’ you coach. Understand your ‘why’, your motivation behind your desire to coach. Self awareness and understanding as a coach is crucial for awesome coaching, driving your enthusiasm and energy on your coaching journey.

3. Investigate the ‘how’ and ‘what’ you coach.  Understanding the game, philosophy, skills, moves, attitudes and rules are important.

4. Communicate a positive manner, to all members of the sporting family. (Players, coaches, administrators, family & spectators).

5. Reflection is an awesome skill and tool to enable positive coaching. Setting time to think and sit with your experiences as a coach will enable better coaching in the future. The use of video with sound is a top tool to enable improvements in coaches and players. Use a coaches journal to record your reflections, this kinaesthetic link between thinking and writing unleashes learning, problem solving and celebrating coaching process wins.


  1. Mindfulness 
  2. Connection
  3. Spot strengths in kids and parents 
  4. Positive Communication 
  5. Keep it simple & reflect 

Benefits of Positive Coaching:

Everyone  (sports family: players, parents, supporters and coaches) can thrive! 

What is Shoosh for kids?

NSW sport & rec initiative designed to improve positive behaviour by parents, spectators and coaches involved in kids sports


Shoosh for kids is a NSW sport and rec initiative aimed at promoting positive behaviour at kids sports.

It targets five broad points to help promote positive behaviour in kids sport:

  1. If your comment is negative, then SHOOSH!
  2. If your negative comment is directed at a child, then SHOOSH!
  3. If your negative comment is directed at an official, then SHOOSH!
  4. Reward good work with applause; if you can’t then SHOOSH!
  5. Show respect to kids and officials. Remember, sport should be fun!

Why do we need this? 

The shadow side of passionate parents, supporters and coaches is too much pressure and unrealistic expectations on kids playing sport.

If the reason why kids play sport is ‘fun’ then this has t be supported on and off the sports arena.

Kids sport ( and all sport) provides so many positive opportunities such as ‘having fun’, social connections (belonging through a tribe), making friends, improving communication and decision making skills, learning new skills, skill mastery, performing and becoming fitter and stronger. 

To enable kids who want to keep playing sport, positive behaviour by parents, supporters and coaches will enable this. 

With the  #shooshforkids initiative and the rising wave of  ‘positive coaching’ principles we can all love our Saturday sport!



#positiverugby #positivecoaching #viacharacterstrengths





Junior sport: Forget about winning, just let the kids play – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Coaching children : Participating in Sport : Australian Sports Commission


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