« Parenting

Coaching Your Kids: Dad vs Coach

by Bryan Scott

Game faces on!

Coaching your child's sports team can be quite difficult at times.  As a coach, you have an obligation to your team to treat every kid fair and equal.  As a father, you have an obligation to your son to make sure that he understands the commitment it takes to play a team sport. For the second year in a row, I have volunteered to coach my son's t-ball team.  

Last week was the first game of the season.  Will was super excited to play...until warm ups.  His best friend was playing catch with another player and that did not sit well with my son.  He had a little break down and I had him go sit by himself behind the fence. 

He eventually, decided to come back and warm up with the rest of the team.

Everything was fine, until he had to share a helmet with another little boy.  That's when the breakdown occurred.  I'm not talking about a few tears and pouty face breakdown.  This was a full blown, "I HATE BASEBALL, I HATE MOM & DAD, I HATE EVERYONE" kind of breakdown, complete with tears and lots of screaming!  Now, do I act as Dad and try to calm him down and "encourage" him to stay in the game or do I act as coach and get him off the field as soon as possible and send him back to his mother?  Any idea what my wife, Addi, would have preferred?  Unfortunately, she didn't get her way either.  So, as he sits in lawn chair with his mom, I can hear him arguing with her as to whether or not he still gets a snack after the game.  Both Addi and I agreed the answer was a big, fat, NO!!! He did not like that answer.

As a father, I'm hoping that the big meltdown was due to lack of sleep the night before.  Yeah, that's what I'm going with.  Tonight is Game 2.  Wish me (and Addi) luck!

fyi, I did find some great tips online on how to manage being a coach and parent.  

UPDATE:

Game 2 was a huge success!  Will rode his bike to the game with Addi and was nothing but smiles!  He played catch with one of his new teammates and shared his batting helmet with the rest of the team.  He even managed to snag a hit off me as I pitched to him, not until after brushing him back with an inside pitch though!  Looks like this parenting thing isn't as difficult as it seems.  Or is it?