Dec 21, 2011 8:43 AM
For those of you who dare to coach your own kid(s) in whatever sport they play or played know that coaching your own child is the greatest joy yet most treacherous journey any parent can take. I liken it to walking on a narrow path on a cliff high above the ocean. The views are spectacular but one false step and boom...down the cliff you tumble!
Perhaps I am being over dramatic but the dynamics between the parent/coach and child is usually both a blessing and a curse (particularly with daddy-daughter), but it doesn't have to be if you follow these steps:
1. Treat Her Like Every Other Player - meaning don't expect more from her and be harsher in your assessment of her performance, or be easier on her because she's your daughter. Her teammates are watching how you treat her (as are the other parents)...believe me! Your daughter is likely self-conscious that her mom or dad is the coach, so be careful to treat her like the rest of the players. Don't favor her in the lineup unless she deserves it. It took me about 7 years to figure this one out.
2. Remember Why You Coach - as a single parent the time I spent coaching my daughter over eight years was always a privilege and an opportunity to share my passion with her while watching her play the game I love up close. As a parent it was so cool to watch her successes from the bucket (when she pitched) or in the 3rd base coaches box (when she hit). Years later your daughter, hopefully, will remember and be proud that her dad or mom volunteered to be her coach and that she learned many life lessons from "her coach."
3. Leave It at the Field - the minute you walk off the diamond with your daughter you need to turn back into mom or dad. The 24/7 coach as dad or mom can cause friction in the relationship with your daughter so beware. Enjoy being her coach for every minute you are on the field with her, but enjoy even more being her parent when the practice or game is over.