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Can I Coach My Child


Coaching your own son or daughter is a huge responsibility, but along with that responsibility comes the equally great responsibility to the players that are not related to you. They too deserve competent, fair coaching from you. A COACH MUST COACH AND BE FAIR TO ALL ON THE TEAM.
Many youth coaches in every sport, become involved initially and because of their own child and the sport organization need parents to volunteer to coach to keep the organization running. Coaching your child can be a wonderful experience when handled well by parent-coach and child. The bonding that occurs can strengthen your relationship with your child. 
Unfortunately, coaching your child can often lead to conflicts at the field and at home. For instance, the parent-coach and the child continue to argue at the dinner table about missing a play during a practice or game or, your child is frustrated with your coaching tactics and does not want to talk to you for hours after a game. There also may be some unforeseen issues such as team members perceiving that you are only coaching so your child can start and, of course, are giving him preferential treatment.
There are also concerns for your child such as feeling pressure because you are coaching and you have very high expectations. You may have higher expectations for your child just so you minimize the perception of favoritism. Your child may feel isolated because teammates might feel your son/daughter will tell the coach, about conversations that are for players only.
So, why does coaching your child often end in conflict? Usually this conflict is due to the parent’s and the child’s inability to separate the coach and parent roles. This means that while you are coaching you have to be a coach and when you are at home be the parent. You must remind yourself to click into your roles depending on the situation. Being unable to move in and out of these roles will create confusion for your child.
If you are going to coach your child then you best understand yourself as a parent and a coach. What does it mean to be in each of these roles?
COACH ROLE - When you are a coach, be a coach.


  • You should not show favoritism to your child AND you should not be overly tough on your child to prove you are not playing favoritism.
  • Take a coaching mindset and be realistic about your child’s abilities. Pressuring your child will most certainly lead to a negative experience.

PARENT ROLE - When you are a parent, be a parent.

  • Provide unconditional love and support. Try not to bring home things that happened in practices and games.
  • Refrain from turning dinner table conversation to coaching critiques. Talk about things other than sport with your child.

Pros Of Coaching Your Child

  • Some kids believe their parents had a better understanding of their abilities than other coaches. They also liked spending quality time with their dads during games and practices.
  • Parents have pride in their child’s achievements and enjoyed positive social interactions with the team and other parents. They enjoyed the opportunity to teach skills and values while spending quality time with their sons.

Cons of Coaching Your Child

  • Many Kids negative emotional responses, including added pressure and expectations to win, and greater conflict at home. They also reported a lack of understanding and empathy from their fathers, more criticism for mistakes, and unfair behavior compared with that directed toward their teammates.
  • The inability of a parent to easily separate being a coach from being a dad. They often placed greater expectations and pressure on their sons to succeed and said they showed favoritism toward their sons.

Tips For Parents Who Coach Their Child

  1. Talk Openly With Your Child
    Consider talking to your son or daughter about your interest in coaching the team. How does he or she feel about it? You may find that an open, honest conversation will make the coaching experience more rewarding for both of you.  Explain to your child that you will do your very best to treat all the players equally, giving praise, guidance, and play time fairly to all. That is your job if the team is to have a quality team coach!


  1. Separate the Parent From the Coach
    One of the biggest challenges a parent-coach faces is the inability to separate those two roles from one another. This can create confusion for the child. To master these roles, and live them independently, start by using environment as a cue for your behavior. You are a coach when on the field, and a parent when you are at home.As a parent, your job is to provide unconditional love and support. Leave critiques of things that happened in practices and games behind, and try to talk about things other than the sport, such as school, friends, and hobbies.

  1. Treat Your Child Fairly
    When acting as the coach, it's imperative to become more objective. Be fair and realistic about your child's abilities, and avoid showing favoritism. In trying to do this, some parents go too far the other way and are overly tough on their children, which ultimately backfires. Unnecessarily pressuring any child can result in negative outcomes, including angry outbursts and hidden emotional turmoil.


  1. Train Yourself To Watch And Make Decisions Objectively

Observe every child's playing behavior on your team. Give quality, equal advice based on observable actions. Make fair decisions based on team goals, not your goals as your child's parent. Some parents as coaches favor their own child while others are too hard on their child. Finding the balance is the hardest task you will have! Balance. Not too much attention, not too little attention; just the right amount. Your child will thank you.