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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 09:32 

Posts: 4
How do you deal with your own son that's sensitive to your correction as a coach? I tend to be a little harder(yelling) on him but for the most part are equal. Don't want to drive him away from the sport but i know he has definitely the potential. Any suggestions would help. Thanks!!!

PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 16:51 

Posts: 900
That's a tough situation, I coached my son for 14 years, and we definitely had some nose to nose moments. He's a cool kid, never gave me an attitude, seemed to absorb my corrections with no problem (to a point).

I thought I was the man, balancing being a dad and his coach. To this day, if we're having a conversation about a specific season or game, he'll bring up an incident where I was in his face or harder on him than the other players. Point being, I wasn't as cool as I thought and had even tried to dial back on being harder on him than the others.

It's tough being a parent and coach of your kid. I know a lot of parent/coaches think their kid should be one of the better players on the team. We also tend to be harder on our kids because we don't want anyone thinking we're showing favoritism. We're also more comfortable with our own kid, so it's easier to be more brutally honest. And of course, we have a vested interest, and as you mentioned, you see potential and since you're the coach, what better opportunity than to coach your kid.

Two pieces of advice that helped me:

1) Don't talk about the game right after the game. As the coach, you will always be tempted to start into coaching mode as you're walking to the car or even on the drive home. Don't do it. Emotions can run high after a game. The "You should have..." or "Next time you need to.." statements can easily bring a kid down. Save it. 2-3 days later if you're on the court together, that's the time to talk about it. After a game, I told my son, "It was fun to watch you play today" or some variation on the theme and left it at that. They know when they've had a bad game, we don't need to remind them right after the game.

2) Ask someone to hold you accountable, preferably another coach. Or find a more experienced coach you can run things by once in a while. That can pay off big down the road.

I can tell you being a dad/coach is one of the best decisions I ever made. My son (19 now) and I are good friends, and on the whole, he looks back on his youth basketball days with fondness.


PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 19:42 

Posts: 4
Awsome coach rob. Thank you for that insight. I'll definetly apply it right away.

PostPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 07:29 
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Posts: 1277
Great advice! Couple more ideas...

- Totally agree about talking after games. This is actually true for all parents whether they are coaching them or not. Good advice here.

- Try the sandwich technique. I do this with all players and try to make sure I do this with my kids. You sandwich praise between the critique. Example: "Great job sprinting the court. You're doing a really good job running the lane. Now make sure you box out on every shot. Make contract every time. But good job running the transition!"

Be sure to point out the good things that you're kids are doing!

- Ask questions. Instead of criticizing, ask questions. Did we get stop on that play? What can we do to get a stop next time? Ask questions so they self correct and coach themselves.

- Emphasize and praise effort... not talent. I never get mad at my kids any any of my players for missing a basket, dribbling off their foot, or anything like that. I know they didn't miss unpurpose. I don't even praise really good moves (although I have no problem with that and might be good if I did). But I do praise diving on floor for loose ball, defensive intensity, getting tough rebounds, focusing in practice, and all the stuff that is based on effort and focus.

- Emphasize listening and teamwork.

From day 1 I let players know they need to listen (eyes on coach, listen carefully whenever coach is talking). There just is not messing around. I will sit my kids out in a heart beat if they are not listening or the effort is not there. Fortunately they learned that lesson back in 2nd or 3rd grade and it has been smooth since. I wasn't mean. Just sat them in a seat while they watched practice. Calmly let them know if they want to be on the team they need to listen and put in effort. They knew I was not bluffing because I'm pretty consistent in following through.

I think things have gone really well because of what we emphasize to the team and also Rob's advice of being careful about what you say after games.

I coach both of my kids (now 10 and 13). Things have been pretty smooth sailing for us. Maybe I'm lucky or those things above have worked well for us. There have been a couple times where I got upset because I expected more and had a lapse in my discipline of holding it in. But since my outbursts are very rare (maybe once a year) they seem to get over it real quick.

Jeff Haefner

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