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Coach | Who's Your Daddy? | giggle Blogs

coach

March 9, 2010

Too Much Dad?

I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “that’s just ridiculous! It’s impossible to think that there could be too much ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ coming at me. Stop that crazy talk!” Just cool your heels there my friend because I know that is crazy and not what I’m talking about.

I’ve been wondering lately about the balance of “involved dad” vs “over-involved dad” (in my case in sports) and where that line might be. I’ve coached the Little Man now for his first two soccer seasons, plus a season of indoor soccer plus being a de facto coach for his first year of little league. I’m now signed up to actually coach his second year of little league and this raises the question, “too much dad?”

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy coaching and the Little Man seems to enjoy having me as his coach (most of the time). But I worry that it might be getting a little too comfortable for him and if he can learn as much from me. In my experience so far, it seems that your kids (especially father and son) sometimes have a hard time taking coaching or advice from their parents. This was never more evident to me than last summer when the Little Man became truly interested in golf. Almost every attempt to help, fix or coach by me was completely rebuffed. When he took a lesson, the exact same information from the golf pro was taken without question.

As with everything else, there is a balance there somewhere. So I ask you, could we be entering the territory of “too much dad?”

October 21, 2009

Our Little All-Stars

 

Soccer season has kicked off and now is in full swing.  As coach of my son’s U7 team I get to be in the front row for the amazing show that is youth sports.  As coaches, parents, relatives and friends, I’m sure we all wonder what is going through the kids’ heads sometimes.  Most of us were probably young athletes but don’t recall (or don’t care to) much beyond hopefully fond memories of running around the field or court and maybe even picking a flower or two out in center field. 

I am lucky enough to be friends with a very experienced, championship winning, long time NBA coach (now retired).  I recently asked “Coach” about coaching and he shared a youth sports story from personal experience, namely one of his granddaughters.

Coach’s granddaughter has recently started playing volleyball in middle school.  She is a gifted athlete, tall for her age and has coaches drooling at her prospects.  Her first game was a gem with her in the front line blocking, spiking and generally ruining her opponents’ day.  Coaches, parents, teammates were all excited and looking forward to a great season. 

As the second game begins, she immediately seems more hesitant.  Unenthusiastically moving around the court without her previous fire in the belly and nothing like the tornado of arms at the net like the last game.  The game ends and her supporters are puzzled.  Her mom approaches her after the game to see if she is feeling alright.  She gives that distant “yes” that we are all familiar with from kids.  Her mom beautifully explains that she shouldn’t feel any pressure to play and that everyone just wants her to be happy.  If she decides, though, that she does want to play, she should give her all every time.  Her coaches, friends and teammates deserve that from her. 

As the discussion moves along, she explains she does want to play, today was just a unique day.  When moms gently probes deeper, she answers, “I forgot to shave my armpits today and didn’t want everyone to see.”  Enough said.

So to all your youth sports coaches, parents and friends out there, cheer those kids with all your heart.  But remember, we all have days where we forget to shave our armpits.