How do we balance coaching our own kids?
Posted by Dean Holden at September 3rd, 2013
by Dan Brennan, Responsible Sports
“My husband and I coach/manage my son’s minor hockey team. We hate it when parent coaches gear everything toward their own child’s development, so we work really hard to make sure every other child on the team has a great experience and develops. Sometimes though, I think it’s to the detriment of our own child’s interest, when he has to put up with the pressure and inconvenience of being coach’s kid without any benefits. What are some tips on striking a balance?”
Lucy, a Responsible Sports Parent
One of our responsible sports experts weighs in:
The key to finding balance is communication. I coached my stepson and always let him just be a kid with his teammates. I treated him no different but I always asked if he and the locker room were good with it when I wasn’t in there. I also worked tirelessly with all the players so everyone knew my heart was in it for the team result first and foremost. I even had to bench him once because it was the right thing to do. I wasn’t trying to prove anything; every coaching move I made was based on what was right for the team. I focused on the effort and behavior of each individual and I acted accordingly.
In closing I always talked to all the players and was up front about everything. This was to respect all involved and concern myself with the season, and it all worked out. I hope this helps… it is a tough one but if you’re the right coach for the job it beats having an inexperienced coach who hinders the players’ development and is selected based on the fear of another not wanting to coach their child.
Manager, USA Hockey’s Coaching Education Program
- Director of player personnel and team leader for Gold Medal winning U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team
- Former professional Swedish hockey player, High School Coach, and Professional Coach