Four Tips For Coaching Your Own Kid
Four Tips For Coaching Your Own Kid, The ideas come from baseball pros, but they’ll work for any sport, Yahoo!’s Steve Henson says. It’s the second-most memorable line in Field of Dreams: “Hey, Dad, you wanna have a catch?” Kevin Costner is already an adult when he tosses a baseball to his ghostly father. For most dads and kids, the moment comes much sooner; and for thousands of families across the country, a simple catch leads to dad signing up his son or daughter with the local youth league, and then signing up himself as coach.
Then the simple joy of tossing a ball back and forth transforms into something more complicated. The team, of course, includes other players. And they have parents, many of whom have opinions about you as a coach. Practices are difficult enough to run smoothly, and they lead to games, and games are competitive. Are you a good coach or a poor one? Is your child a good player or a lousy one? Are you playing favorites with your child? Or are you harder on your kid than on the others, creating friction in the family?
None of that mattered during the backyard catch. Coaching a son or daughter, it turns out, is one of the most challenging pursuits a parent can take on. It can be exceedingly rewarding. And it can be exceedingly frustrating – to the child as well as the parent.
Even if the child hits the sports equivalent of the lottery and becomes a professional athlete, memories of the years under dad’s tutelage can be a mixed bag. Kevin Neary and Leigh A. Tobin co-authored a book, Major League Dads, which features 250 pages of big-league baseball players recounting being coached as youngsters by their fathers. Most of the memories are positive: the work ethic dad taught, the skills he honed, the fun he emphasized. Others are telling, and could help serve as a road map for any dad piling bats and helmets into his car and heading off to the field. Neary and Tobin even reference Field of Dreams (and its most memorable line: “If you build it, he will come.”)