Being the head coach of your child’s sports team can be a mixed experience with both positive and negative effects. Getting your child involved in extracurricular activities can be beneficial to their development. Being the head coach of their team can influence that process and affect your relationship with your child.
Pro #1: Bonding
Your primary responsibility as head coach is to properly train your team to be the absolute best that they can be. However, if your child is on the roster, this can also present more opportunities to bond with them. You have bigger responsibilities than being a head coach because you will also have to provide for them. This can prove to be time-consuming, and time that you may not be able to spend with them at home or anywhere else could be spent on a basketball court or on a soccer field.
Pro #2: Building Memories
Ten years in the future, the two of you may be able to look fondly back on the experiences you shared. This coincides with the lack of time you may be able to spend with your child anywhere else. Perhaps you will share a close moment together on the field or during practice. Believe or not, there are many important life lessons that can be learned through athletics. Your child may appreciate you for it when they grow up.
Con #1: Bias
As the head coach of the team, you are not only coaching your child. You are coaching the children of other parents. If they were to discover you were the parent of one of them, they can suspect that you have an agenda to give your child more opportunities and being harder than others. You also will have to fight the natural, internal bias to give your child special treatment.
Con #2: Relationship DynamicYou may also have to consider that your child may feel that you are too bossy or hard on them. You are already the authority figure in their lives when they are children. As the head coach, they will also have to listen to what you have to say both at home and during recreational activities, and this can lead to them potentially distancing themselves from you. This is a situation communication can fix, but the potential risk still exists.
Whether coaching your child’s sports team is the right decision for you depends on your existing relationship with your child, your availability, and your goals. Coaching a sports team can provide ample opportunities to engage with your child and watch them grow alongside their peers, and if you feel comfortable managing your bias and relationships, it might be worth considering.