For those of you that have your own children on your team, you’ll have a tough time ahead of you, as it is difficult to distinguish (for you and your child) between your roles as coach and parent. In our experience we have found the following to be true: It is difficult to not be a parent first, which means you discipline or require greater achievement of your own child more than the other players. Because you CAN, I might add.
It can be very confusing for your child, because they are generally the center of attention around you, and this will and should not be the case on the field .
So how do you differentiate between the two roles? Here are some guidelines…
Do not ‘parent’ your child on the field. But remember that you are always their parent, and will need, at times not to be their coach ( this is only in extreme situations)
Develop and maintain a separate ‘coaching-attitude’ and don’t bring it home after practice or games.
Explain to your child / children why you want to be a coach for their team. This will help them understand your motivation and be more understanding of your instructions to them during games and practices. Explain to them you will have a ‘coaching’ demeanor or attitude, that is intended to benefit the entire team, not just themselves.
Be yourself with your kids when not on the field. Don’t ‘coach’ them at home. It’s okay to practice, just be sure you’re being Mom or Dad, not Coach Dad.
One coach suggested that your son/daughter call you ‘Coach’ on the field instead of Mom/Dad to eliminate any favoritism the rest of the team might feel you give your own kid.
After many years of coaching all three of my kids I must and will say this, it is not only possible to be a great coach and a great father. Not only is it possible, it is tremendous fun, but the two MUST stay apart. Things NOT to do – DO NOT place more pressure on your kid, because they are yours and an example. DO NOT place less pressure on your kid, FOR EXACTLY THE SAME REASON.
Enjoy the blessing of coaching your own kids – but help them be being technically sound with what you teach them as well.