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Coaching youth sports: A thread for Dawgnation parents.



  • JoelSidneyKellyJoelSidneyKelly Posts: 3,678 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Great post, @texdawg!

    RE:#2, I still have to "force" my nearly 13 year old to go hit the cages. She kicks and screams as I drag her to the tee but she's always glad afterward. It's as though she forgets that she enjoys it.

  • pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,576 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Coached almost all of both my kid's teams from ages 4 through Jr High (I have not coached HS). Just some of my thoughts.

    1. Your kid is probably not going to get a college scholarship. Don't act like he's not going to get an invite to the NFL combine if he sits out. Every kid gets to play...which means your little all-star will have to sit occasionally.
    2. Cheer for both teams. It's youth sports, just have fun. There are no rivalries. NEVER boo or heckle a player on either team.
    3. You don't need to spend a fortune on equipment. Your Little Johnny doesn't need a $400 baseball bat.
    4. Do not yell at the refs. It's hard, but try to bite your tongue...the kids are watching you. You want them to learn respect for authority...it starts with how the parents respect authority.
    5. If you have a problem with the coach, take it off to the side. Don't criticize the coach in public.
    6. Get involved! Volunteer to coach or be an assistant. Help with the call-tree, organize snacks and carpools, team events. Don't just drop your kid off and leave.
    7. Don't be hyper-competitive. I've seen parents flip-out over a "bad call" in T-ball or get mad that a 7 year old missed a wide open goal or dropped an easy pop-fly.
    8. Have a sense of humor. Kids are awesome. They just want to play with friends. They aren't there to win championships and dominate opponents. It's usually the parents who take all the fun out of it.
  • AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 6,761 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    These are excellent PGJ. Across the board.

    One thing I would add to #5 is don't be a grumbler either. Sometimes the parent who constantly complains about the coach quietly in the bleachers is the bad apple who ruins the barrel.

    As the coach, you may never even know it.

  • texdawgtexdawg Posts: 11,553 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Some very good points.

    Coaching your own child.....especially in higher levels is very difficult.

    It is very difficult on the relationship.

    Obviously there are those parent coaches that play favoritism.....but I found the opposite to be true more times than not......the parent coach that goes out of their way not to play favoritism.

    God bless all the parents that are qualified to coach and do a great job at it. There simply wouldn't be enough coaches if not for them.

  • razorachillesrazorachilles Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I agree with you point about it being harder to be the coach's kid because they're gonna be harder on them to prove their NOT playing favorites. Definitely see a lot of that. I'd argue that might actually hurt the team in the bigger picture if the athlete really is one of the better players. (ie - a coach leaving their kid on the bench in the final minutes of a close game so parents don't accuse of them of favoritism), because if they're truly elite/clutch a coach who's not their parent is more likely to play them more or in key sports.

    Again - there are plenty of examples where it works out fine (Joe Burrow comes to mind). I'm also thankful to any one who volunteers their time to coach kids - especially my own.

  • pgjacksonpgjackson Posts: 17,576 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I always paid special attention to not show favoritism to my kids. Both my kids were good athletes and typically one of the best players on the team, but I made sure they took their fair share of "riding the pine". A coach also has to be cognizant of not riding their kid harder than the other players. That's a good way of pushing your kid out of sports.

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