Practical advice from dad coach Justin Martin on coaching your children.
Are you coaching or thinking about coaching your kid or kids? If so, maybe my experiences can help you understand the
sh#t show life-changing experience you’re about to walk into.
Before I get going, I’m sure you’re wondering who the hell am I to give you advice. Am I a PhD? Counselor? Professional Coach? Nope, none of the above.
I’m an every day average super dad who’s looking for ways to stay engaged with my kids and be part of their lives. Plus, I love working with kids and I know a ton about sports.
I’m a sports nut. If it’s labeled sport I’ve watched it, tried it, or (when it comes to extreme sports) said, no way am I doing that. For example, the guy in this video:
I mainly played football, ice hockey, baseball, golf and track and field. I played D1 college hockey, and got a tryout in the NHL. I then floundered in the minor leagues for 3 seasons, playing over 200 games.
As for coaching, my background is mostly with ice hockey, but I feel coaching is something that translates for any sport. I’m Level 5 USA hockey certified, plus I’ve been working with kids for over 20 years in some capacity or another.
A few years ago, the situation presented itself like this:”Dad, will you be my coach?”
I know this seems like such an easy question to answer. The truth is, as a parent you’d better put some serious thought into this proposition. It could forever change your relationship with your child. (Hopefully in a good way, but I’ve also seen it go bad.)
Two things you must do at this stage:
- Ask you child’s permission to be their coach. Do everyone a favor and make sure they say yes before heading to part two.
- Make sure you do the best you can to clearly outline this relationship. When you are at home you are dad, when you are on the field, at the rink, or on the pitch you are coach, and make sure the kid understands the difference.
I’ll discuss what these differences are in my next post. But my best advice now is get buy-in from your child athlete before proceeding to coach his or her team.