Parent Coach Tips You Should Follow

Most youth sport teams, or individual sports as tennis and golf, involve a parent coach. There is good and bad to the scenario of parent coach for the coach’s son or daughter. The good is the security the child has of their parent being the coach, as even when there is tension between them, they still do not have to deal with insecurity of an unknown volunteer coach. The bad is ironically the same, as kids, who have mom or dad as coach, do not get the experience of dealing with another adult. Having a parent coach or a non-parent coach can be a good or bad experience, depending on the personality and coaching competence of the adult, whether their parent, or another adult.

When a parent decides to coach their own child, they should do the following things as a parent coach, so the experience is a positive one, not only for their own child but for the team, too. Additionally, these parent coach ideas can prevent negative sport incidents during the season. 

Keys to Being a Great Parent Coach

1. Be fair with and consistent with coaching philosophy – the level played (travel or recreational) and the age of the players, helps coaches determine their coaching philosophy and how much emphasis is put on playing to win. Regardless, player development and fun should have equal, if not more, amount of emphasis. The coach’s philosophy should cover how playing time, batting order etc. is determined and the parent coach shares this decision making process with all at the beginning of the season.  The same goes for sharing rules on player discipline and for what is expected from players, pre-game, in-game and post-game, so that all know that players, including the coach’s child, will be treated the same with regards to all of those coaching decisions.

2. It is important that the coach give equal attention and equal respect to all players, giving no more or no less of those to their own child. The coach’s child will recognize that behavior and respect their parent for it.

3. Treating their own child the same emotionally as the other players is the greatest challenge of the parent coach. Coaches, who can speak in the same tone to their son or daughter, as they do to the other players, have the chance to keep their child engaged and feeling, as they are just “one of the team.”

4. Finally, the parent coach should not expect more or less of an effort than from every team member. This is another challenging aspect of coaching one’s own, but necessary to avoid being too hard or too easy on them.

The parent coach, who can do the above things, makes an enjoyable environment for all, especially for their child and for their relationship with their child.

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