Many of the coaches participate because their children play on the teams they are responsible for. I am writing about fathers here and of course there are also mothers who are coaches or co-trainers in soccer. Please bear with me; I am only mentioning father-coaches throughout the text in an effort to keep it readable.
Without fathers as coaches, the organized operation of soccer games wouldn’t even be possible. The voluntary position as a “soccer coach” oftentimes does not provide an alternative. It would be better if a child is not coached by his/her own father and the father could coach another team instead. However, this would require investing even more time, and understandably so, the family often doesn’t appreciate this. Therefore the choice is: either a father as a coach or no coach at all.
What type of problems does a father-coach face?
1. He doesn’t want to favor his own child and therefore he subconsciously discriminates against it.
2. His child has to be good.
3. He overestimates the performance ability of his child.
4. He takes out his frustration with coaching on his own child.
What type of problems does a coach-child face?
1. Other children may forfeit training occasionally; it is not that easy for the child of a coach.
2. The father is always there, even in the locker room.
3. The child doesn’t want to disappoint his/her father and faces the pressure, because he/she always has to demonstrate a higher performance level than his or her team mates.
4. If the child doesn’t behave appropriately it causes problems at home.
5. The child constantly has to deal with the father’s questions, because he wants to know what other children say about him.
What type of problems does the surrounding environment face (parents, fans)?
1. The coach always favors his child.
2. The coaches’ child is always the captain.
3. The coaches’ child always wears number 10.
4. The game is tailored to the coaches’ child.
5. Only the other children and never the coaches’ child are being criticized.
6. The coaches’ child is very talented but the father doesn’t want to transfer it to another league, because as a coach he doesn’t want to lose a good player.
Try to conquer the problems of a coaching father
Have you noticed something in all of these points?
The problems the surrounding environment notices are not limited to one’s own child. Frequently the service providers on the team are treated that way, but the other parents and fans don’t take it that seriously then; it is perceived as normal.
One faces more scrutiny as a coaching father, because somethings must be different than they are with other children. A coaching father should frequently consult third parties to find out how they perceive the situation. To look at your own child objectively is very hard and hardly ever possible.
1. As a coaching father, keep your coaching activity away from you family and especially from your child.
2. Your child shouldn’t know more information than the other children. The team assembly or the surprise at the Christmas party should be a real surprise without child knowing about it in advance.
3. Each game is over when you are on your way home. Talk to your child in the capacity of a father and not a coach.
4. Your child is a child on the team; try to treat it as such. Don’t expect your child’s behavior to be perfect and never apply the pressure using the fact that you are the coach.