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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2012, 09:15 

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I'm going into my third year of coaching. I have coached my son's team every year and every year I have struggled with him understanding that I'm coach when we're on the court and Dad when we're off. He argues with me during practice and tries to get away with more because he thinks he should get special treatment. I've seen him in baseball under other coaches and he accepts criticism well (not fantastic), but well enough. When I try to coach him up, he becomes irritated and explains to me that he already knows how to do that. Do you have any advice how to approach this situation. He's 12 now and its a pivotal point in structuring his fundamentals and game for the future and I don't want this to have a negative effect on his game. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2012, 10:49 
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This is always a tough problem.... coaching a son/daughter or someone you really care about. I think every coach goes through this at one point in his career. I know I have. He needs to understand that YOU are the COACH and you are going to treat him just like everyone else... no exceptions.... after the games/practices, you are my son and we will go out for a pizza or ice cream.

Do you have an assistant that you work with? Maybe you could give him some of that responsibiltiy of dealing with your son??

Here is something that I (and my assistant coaches) said to our players every year. We are going to coach you, give you contstructive criticism..... we are going to tell/coach you how we want things done. We don't have the time to explain to each player the reasons WHY! If you really want to know, come talk to me after practice or the game and I will be happy to explain it to you.... other than that .... please try to execture the fundamentals we are teaching you and execute the offense and defense that we are using.

I would not let him get away with anything that you don't allow from other kids, don't forget, those kids are watching to see how you are going to handle anything that comes up... IF he gets away with sometihng.... they certainly are going to push your buttons too. You need to explain this to your son... ASK him to be a leader, HELP you to make the team and the players better.

12-13, the wonder years when they start believing that they know everything. If worse comes to worse, you can always sit him for a short time and see if he gets the picture.... good luck. Let us know how this goes.


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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2012, 14:21 

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I have a lot of the same issues with my son. He is also 12 and I have been coaching him for 3 years. The behavior is and good and bad and seems to go through phases and usually shows itself in practices but not at games. It's things like goofing off, not listening, going half-speed in a drill, or getting defensive when I make a comment or criticism of his play. I wish I had some magic answers. I've had rational talks with him about leadership and setting example, as well as imposed disciplinary actions like sitting out a drill or running suicide (and praising him when the behavior is good). His behavior has never gotten out-of-hand but it can be distracting. I am hoping that as he gets older he will become more mature. That might be wishful thinking as he enters his teen years the maturity might not come but the rebellion surely will! The good news is when he goes to camps or is coached by others, his attitude is positive and respectful.

I am coming to the conclusion that there may be a statute of limitations when it comes to coaching one's son (perhaps another year in our case). I have told him that it might be best for his own basketball development that I no longer coach him. He doesn't say one way of the other when we discuss that possibility. I'm sure he wonders about being free of dad but he has an important role on my team as one of our top players and my guess is that he also weighs the loss of that opportunity which might not be available to him on another team.

If others in addition to Coach Sar have suggestions, it would be great to hear them.


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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2012, 15:00 
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Coach O -

If I were you I would go lightly on the "punishment" part of trying to figure your son out.... he is probably like any other 12 year old being coached by his dad. I think you have the right idea, maybe its time for someone else to coach him??

I'm sure he is a great kid, but like I said, this is the time in their lives where they begin to know it all.

I would treat him like anyone else and if he steps out of line... get him where it hurts the most.... PLAYING TIME.... .eventually he will get the idea........... but for sure, don't let this carry over to your father / son relationship.... this is just a game.

Do you have an assistant coach? If you do, let him deal with your son, that might work out.... Good luck and I hope this works out for both of you.


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2012, 11:08 

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Coach Sar, I have a part-time assistant and he is helpful. I did read in Morgan Wooten's biography that he had coached his sons and used a philosophy of not treating them any better, worse, or different than other kids. If it is good enough for Coach Wooten it is more than good enough for me, with of course the devil being in the details and their execution. I did drop his PT one-time and it did make a difference but I would like to avoid that being a regular tactic. We'll just have to see how it does, one practice, one game, one season at a time (just like everything else).


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2012, 14:45 
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Coach O -

I have no problem with treating him just like you treat everyone else.... remember, Coach Wooten was coaching high school kids, your son is 12. Do whatever works for you and your son.... if sitting him works, why not stick with that?

Every kid does not react the same way to how we talk to them... some kids need a pat on the back and some others might need something else.


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2012, 15:14 

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"Every kid does not react the same way to how we talk to them... some kids need a pat on the back and some others might need something else."

Very true. And the mark of a superior coach is being able to determine which kids need what.


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2012, 15:19 
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How true...... but even the best of us mess up at times.......... I had an 18 year old senior that I thought needed some motivation... I grabbed his jersey and started to read him the riot act.... all of a sudden I see tears... I STOP... smooth out his jersey and say..... " Let me put this a different way. " He burst out laughing and so did I....

We do the best we can.


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PostPosted: 14 Dec 2012, 18:07 

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I've been coaching my son for the past 9 years and it’s been an interesting ride, but one I wouldn't trade for the world. Made a lot of mistakes along the way and had to say, “I’m sorry” more times than I would've liked. In fact, I had to do it a few nights ago.

As the years went on, I found myself being tougher on him than the others. I held him to a higher standard and called him out more on his mistakes. I was always bringing up basketball, how the game went, what he did right or wrong. The past few years have been a lot better in terms of my coaching relationship with him.

When the game or practice is over, I leave it up to him if he wants to talk about it. If he brings something up about basketball, we talk. If not, I don’t initiate it. I do not discuss the game on the car ride home, but instead wait for the opportunity a few days later when we’re shooting around. Even then, I pick my poison and only make a few suggestions. I had to learn that one the hard way.

The temptation to constantly talk about sports or what my son can do to improve is always there as a coach. I think coaches and parents need to leave the sports on the field/court and spend time doing other activities with their children.

One thing that helped our relationship on the court was our relationship off the court. We've shared the same hobby of herpetology since my son was age 3, which is basically a Jeff Corwin/Croc Hunter type deal. We go out looking for snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs and film them (you can check out some of our adventures here: http://www.youtube.com/user/smetlogik) along with collecting scientific data. We've traveled from FL to AZ spending hours together getting muddy, wet, and scraped up. We camp out, hike, and talk about life. No basketball talk, just spending time together.

Two years ago, when my son was in 6th grade, we had a talk regarding basketball. I told him it was up to him how far he wanted to go with the whole deal. That I wasn't going to be that parent that pushed him to practice or critique his every move. If he wanted to go shoot with me, I would always be there. If he wanted a private lesson, I’d pay for it and make sure he got there.

Being a coach of a player on the team can be one tough gig. I have to remind myself every game to encourage him and to tell him how much I enjoy seeing him play on the court.

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2012, 07:32 
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Rob -

It sound like you are a great coach and PARENT..... we all make mistakes and as long as we don't continue making the same ones,,, its all good. Seems like you have found that forumal for keeping bball and your home in the right perspective. I can't imagine that your son could ask for anything more.

God Bless - after yesterday, its time to give him a big hug.


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