Wednesday January 20 2021
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10 Things to Remember if You Are a Parent-Coach

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Sometimes it can be difficult to walk that fine line of being a parent and a coach at the same time... while still offering the best of both to your children as well as the entire team. KidSports offers some tips.

1. Parents are looking out for the best interests of their children. While some parents may seem overbearing, overprotective or simply overly annoying with their complaints and second-guessing, remember that they usually just want what’s best for their kids. Having a thick skin will be essential if you are a coach.

2. Officials make split-second decisions. The refs, umps and officials are in the business of making split-second rulings on plays that happen in the blink of an eye. Just as your players will make errors and coaches will make blunders from the bench, the officials will miss some calls every now and then. It’s part of the game and it sends a bad message to your players when you complain about every call that goes against your team.

3. Don’t scream at players for their mistakes. Stressing the positives and correcting the negatives will help young athletes understand that they are being taught and not scolded. As a result, they will be able to move ahead more confidently.

4. Try not to favor your own child. This can be the toughest part of coaching your own kid. Coaches who are also parents often go in two directions – they either favor their child, or they try so hard NOT to favor their kid that they wind up being extra hard on them. It’s easier said than done, but try to find a balance. Often, an assistant coach that you trust can be a good gauge of your behavior in this area.

5. Use teaching moments. Losing is tough for young kids—and adults, for that matter—but it can build character. There are lessons to be learned in winning and losing, so don’t let those opportunities pass you by. That ride home with your own child can provide a unique opportunity to talk about what happened in the game and on the field.

6. Ask for volunteers. If you need something, ask. Ask that dad who always has tips for his kid after practice to help out on the field. Ask the mom that you see at every game to make something for the team’s bake sale. Ask someone to help sell raffle tickets at the games. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at the number of people willing to volunteer their time and effort. After all, they are proud parents, too.

7. Don’t underestimate the time commitment. As a parent, you are responsible for your kids. As a coach, you are responsible for everyone’s kids. Make sure you know what you are facing before you get started. Keep in mind that coaching older kids will require a greater time commitment that coaching younger kids.

8. Consider what other coaches have to offer. Coaching a sport will take up a lot of your time, but be sure to find the “veteran coaches” and seek out their opinions. They’ve got experience and can give you an idea of how to handle league rules and guidelines, overbearing parents, tournaments, uniforms and equipment, fundraising and everything else that will be your responsibility during the season.

9. Don’t let your relationship with a parent hurt your relationship with their kid. You WILL come across overbearing parents. And no matter how thick your skin, there may be times when you resent someone’s constant complaining, second-guessing or crossing the line. Try to remember that it’s not the kid doing the complaining, it’s the parent. Don’t let that negatively impact the child.

10. You are a parent first. While you have a lot of things to balance and juggle in the roll of coach/parent, remember which one matters the most at the end of the day.

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