So I have people come up to me and tell me they ready my blog, so I say thank you! I just feel like I have a perspective that can help all of you that coach your own kids. I am also very honest and I keep it as real as I possibly can, some people can handle it and some people cant.
So the last tournament I was at a friend of mine came to me and asked me for some advice or tips on how to coach/keep coaching their own kid. Sometimes when I get put on the spot I don’t have all the great wise answers, I am a bit socially awkward. But as I give myself some time to sit and think about it, I wish I could of said more.
Ok Moms and Dads, the hardest part for me was turning off coach mode, I was always so critical, so much to where now I look back and see that I was the reason that my daughter didn’t think she was progressing. I demanded perfection but I forgot to compliment her on the way to perfection. Saying “I’m proud of you” “great work” doesn’t replace the 1 hour practice and criticisms that you just gave her. She will NOT forget the thing she needs to work on. So now when she hits a bomb and you tell her great job she doesn’t see it, she says “I didn’t follow through” or “I didn’t use my legs” or “I shouldn’t of swung, that was a ball” and to me as a father I tell myself I’m doing great because she is always looking for something to get better. But in reality she really didn’t think she was doing well. When she was a pitcher and she would pitch so well but the defense failed, she hung her head and thought it was all her fault. I made her so self conscious that if one thing went wrong she thought it all went wrong. Now that I think more about it I sucked as a dad coach in the beginning (12u and first year 14u) to the point to where we both almost quit. So my first advice to you all is do not over coach or be overly critical because that’s what they remember, she doesn’t see the bomb that she feels that she is suppose to hit, she sees the flaw in her swing. she doesn’t see that pitchers are not suppose to strike everyone out they are to create outs, she see’s that she isn’t striking everyone out so she isn’t doing well. The things we put into our kids heads will hurt them more than help them. So remember this, they know they made and error (everyone makes errors), they know they struck out (everyone does) so instead of reminding them of it. Find the positives in everything and then ask them what they feel they need to work on and move on. They will get it wrong before they get it right, don’t make it a long process. Just be proud that your kid likes to put in the extra work, continue to push them but choose your words wisely.
The best thing for me was I was not in control of Vanessa’s playing time, and I did not interact with her at practice unless I was the only coach there. When I wanted to go over to her and smack her around a bit..lol.. I went to my other coach and said I need you to go talk to her because this is what I see. One thing for sure is I did not play daddy ball , well there is one person that thought I played daddy ball but that’s another story. But I separated myself from her, the other coaches would work with her and when practice was done I would ask her how practice was. Same thing in the game I would focus on the team! I would always watch Vanessa, and I loved it! she was such a gamer and she was a fire starter in the dugout and behind the plate, but I also had a team to coach. I have so many memories in my mind of her its crazy!. But during the game I coached the team. The ride homes became easier, sometimes I would say nothing because I wanted to say something so I just stayed quiet and got over it but the rides home were fun. Literally jump on the car from Orlando and hit the road home to enjoy the road trip, those are the memories you want!
those are the 2 best things I can give when it comes to advice on coaching your own kid. Its definitely not easy, but the memories last forever! the moments! the conversations the bond. Softball. Not everyone can do it! and don’t do it just because your kid didn’t getting the playing time. Teach them to work harder and smarter and earn what’s there’s! My kid is where she is at because she was rotated in and out of left field when she first started! she is where she is because she work hard and made the right sacrifices!.