Tag Archives: Coach

How to Be a Coach When You’re a Dad

11 Dec

Ronald Matsuura holds a DDS and practices dentistry at Los Gatos Dentist in California. Over the years, Dr. Matsuura has also served as a parent coach for many of his two sons’ athletic teams, including soccer, Little League baseball, and basketball. Here are his three tips to prospective parent coaches on how to make the experience good for everyone involved:

1. Be the coach, not the parent. When coaching your own child, the first impulse is often to go easy or go hard on him or her. However, by singling out the child in either way, you make it more difficult for your child to enjoy the game. When you are coaching, be the coach: train yourself to treat your child the same as you would treat any of the other children.

2. Be the parent, not the coach. After practice or a game is over, your child needs the unconditional love and support that only a parent can give. The coach inside of you might want to continue a discussion about your child’s form or footwork, but the only time for that is at practice and at games. Remember, the rest of the children you are coaching can come home from practice and be done with it. It is important to give your own child the same opportunity.

3. Know and love the game. Not every parent is cut out to be a coach. It is important that you understand the game before you volunteer your time. This often means doing some research and learning about the strategic elements and coaching strategies specific to the game. If you cannot take your role as a coach seriously, you will hinder the entire team.

By clearly separating your roles on and off the field, and dedicating some time and effort to being a good coach, you can provide a fun and fair experience for your own children as well as your whole team. Being a parent coach is its own reward, as long as it is done correctly.