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Coach vs Parent - Same person

Updated: Aug 1, 2019


The family is traveling to Virginia for The State Games of America. My sons will be shooting Thursday & Friday. My wife and I Shoot Saturday & Sunday.


Like many parents who volunteer (or get paid) to coach their child’s team/sport, we have the tough challenge of balancing two roles: being a parent & being a coach. I know of many multi-coach situations where the agreement is “you coach my son, I coach yours” so all technical questions goto someone else and you can continue being a parent.



How do you balance this? Do you have more then one child and you have to do it different ways for each? When I coached high school soccer and it was time for the half time talk, different years/teams handled situations differently. One year, down two goals and playing poorly, I could tell the team “don’t want to do what we worked one? Figure it out yourself” and walk away. I’d walk away and the second half it was like a new team was playing...doing what we worked on. Other years, you have to talk softly and comfort them.


This means when one child makes a mistake, (s)he might need that kick in the rear from “coach” while the other needs a hug from “mom/dad”.



Your coaching style and philosophy will remain constant. You are who you are as a coach and a person. However, you will adapt to your current situation. You‘re not going to be the same with a U8 team as a HS team in terms of aggressiveness, but your philosophical style remains the same.


Be stern with your own kids. You know their personal makeup and their physical ability better then anyone. Usually, it’s the kick in the rear they need DURING the event and the hug after. Just don’t forget, long after the final whistle, when they no longer need “Coach”, they will still need “Mom/Dad”


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