The Dad-Coach balance

I often marvel at dads that become coaches of their child’s team.  Most of the time,  these guys are just do it selflessly, because they have something to contribute and they want the team to have some direction.  Those dads do it out of the kindness of their own heart.  But some dads, they are seen as dads from hell.

I think being a coach is an awesome way to be involved in your daughter’s life as well as be a positive influence for the kids around you.  And it’s a big task.  Not only are you the guiding force for your child, but all the other girls on that team.  So it’s a dual opportunity to teach your daughter about having integrity and dealing with conflicts, but also having that same integrity and conflict resolution no matter who you deal with.  Way to go there, Super Dad.  And let’s face it, being a coach ain’t easy, but it sure is fun.

Click that link, if you didn’t.  It talks about the downside of coaching, which is sort of a dark place.  It’s from Tennis World USA and is mostly about tennis, but it does have the underlying theme of a dad’s role and influence on their daughters in sports.  The examples given in the article talk about Jennifer Capriati and others having “dads from hell” that pushed and coached them so hard that severe depression set in.  All over a fuzzy little ball!  I think if those dads knew it was going to push their daughters that far, they wouldn’t have pushed like that.  Maybe that’s just my hope.

And that’s TENNIS!  Think about the numerous sports that your daughter is involved in.  With you as a coach, it’s most likely you’ve got other players to develop as well as encourage your daughter.  That’s a difficult dance, my friend.

I think the “dads from hell” article is the exception, rather then the prominent situation.  Especially at a young age, Dads are diving in and giving of their own time and in some cases, money/resources.  I admit I haven’t gotten there, but I’d love to hear from dads that have!

So I ask the dads out there, do you coach your daughter?  How?  And how do you balance the “dad” in you with the “coach” in you?  What drives you to continue coaching?

Either way, thanks for being a dad…

– Scott –


One thought on “The Dad-Coach balance

  1. I don’t have the Dad-Coach Balance thing perfect, but what’s worked fairly well so far is viewing my daughter as a member of the team, rather than just my daughter. I try to treat all the team members fairly, to engage all of them by having fun, and to give each of them encouragement and helpful feedback. We all celebrate their successes and I help and expect my daughter and her team members to resolve conflicts with respect and kindness.

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