Welcome to the fifteenth installment of a small series of serialisations of my book “A Guide to Surviving Youth Football” If you like what you see and want to read more please do go and purchase a copy of the book by going to amazon.
Coaching Family Members
In TV there is a rule to never work with children or animals. In youth football you could change that rule for family members but if you did hardly any teams would get off the ground. A lot of teams are started or kept going by parents who just want a team for their child to play in. Parents set teams up for many reasons. Some will set up a team if there isn’t a team for their child. Some if they aren’t getting on with another club. Some will do it because they want to help control their child’s footballing career.
Coaching your own child can be very hard. Now doing one-on-one coaching with your own child is easy when you are down at the park, but when you have to look after the coaching of a team as well as your own child it is a completely different ball game.
As a parent coach regardless of how you treat your own child compared to the other players in your team the other players and their parents may always think that you are showing favouritism to your own child. There are coaches who will do this, make their child the captain, and have them as the striker who everyone else has to pass to and who never gets subbed. This is only one side of the coin though as some coaches will be that worried about parents and players accusing them of favouritism that they will be tougher on their own child than anyone else to make an example. Their child may always be the first to be subbed, never made captain and get more telling offs than anyone else in training.
If you do treat your child harder than anybody else you have to explain to them why you are doing it as if they don’t know why, it can affect your relationship with your child as if you ask most children who play for their parents they don’t want to be treated any different to their team mates. You also have to consider things like how you address each other at training and how to deal with problems when they arise. For years you will have built up a relationship with your child and you will interact in a certain way then all of a sudden to ask your child to go in to a player coach relationship and then back in to a child parent relationship outside of football can be difficult to do.
(Image courtesy of stevecrenshawfamily)