Monday, June 11, 2012


The balancing act of being a coach for your child as well as a parent can be very difficult unless both participants understand their respective rolls. I have coached my kids for many years in various sports and we have had our share of emotional struggles due to our undefined rolls.

The coach's roll is one who delivers constructive criticism with the emphasis on improvement while a parent's roll is to instill having a good time and being positive. When one attempts to be both at the same time it can often send confusing mixed signals. 

Many young athletes who are coached by their parent, do not know where the coach's voice stops and the parent's begins. This lack of clarity can caused undo stress to a player. The coach and parent have two very different roles to play. Communicating your goals as a coach and then separately as a parent need to be communicated or the player will not have an idea who is talking. 

The player's roll is to give the coach and the team their best effort. When a player leaves the field after the game, he or she rides home with the coach or is it the parent? They hear about the game in the car, then over dinner and then again right before bed. This does not give the player any time away from the game or the coach. Leave the game at the field unless the player brings it up and don't be afraid to ask, "do you want me to answer you as your coach or your parent?" Clearly defined rolls will help keep you away from tears.

While it's not impossible to be coach and parent, it can be difficult to be effective at both at the same time. My emphasis as a parent is "did you have fun and did you learn anything?" Where as a coach you are always looking for very specific things like effort, mental toughness and being prepared for every situation. 

One area that both coach, player and parent can surly agree upon is fun. If a player is not having fun, they will not want to practice and without practice the player might not become very good. The coach as well as the parent wants to see improvement and a love for the game. The player wants to run around, play with friends and have some one cheer from the bleachers.

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