Author Topic: Dad Coach Situation  (Read 389 times)

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Offline acsmith7062

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Dad Coach Situation
« on: August 24, 2019, 02:35:53 AM »
We had our first, and only scrimmage tonight (against a team from our school district one grade older).  Regular season starts in two weeks. 

A little background, this is a 4th grade tackle team that started playing tackle in 2nd grade.  My son plays QB and they are undefeated in their age group in the past two years.  They even finished 2nd in the State at the 7 on 7 state playoffs this summer. 

A new kid moved into our district this summer and he has a lot of natural arm talent at QB.  Since the start of practices I have been giving him and my son equal reps at QB, and in my (probably biased) opinion my son has out performed him, especially in accuracy.  Flash forward to tonight's scrimmage, I gave both equal reps and my son looked like he had never thrown a football before.  He was rushing every throw, and not even giving the receiver a chance to make a catch.  Really awful passes.  I have never seen him like this!  While my other QB was quick and accurate, despite this being his first live tackle football experience against another team (he previously has only played flag).

Needless to say, my son was upset after the scrimmage about his performance, and I probable didn't handle it right by telling him (honestly) that my other QB had definitely passed him on the depth chart and he is going to have to work hard to overtake him.  I explained that all our parents were there and saw the scrimmage, and I don't see any way that he can reclaim his starting position at QB before our first game (again wrong thing to say).  I don't want to, and refuse to be, a "Daddy Ball" coach and not to mention, my other QB has been a model player, works hard, listens, gives great effort, etc.  I've told my son that he has to seriously out perform the other QB to play ahead of him.

I feel like that I may have handled this situation badly.  Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

Chad 
"Coaching is not how much you know. It's how much you can get players to do."   O.A. "Bum" Phillips

Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 03:32:23 AM »
Sounds like you handled it well to me. Don't make a big deal out of it. Move forward. Your son will learn that a big part of football is dealing with adversity. My only criticism is that by mentioning what the other parents saw deflects the decision onto them. It's a long season and your son will get his chances.
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Offline tiger46

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 04:09:32 AM »
We had our first, and only scrimmage tonight (against a team from our school district one grade older).  Regular season starts in two weeks. 

A little background, this is a 4th grade tackle team that started playing tackle in 2nd grade.  My son plays QB and they are undefeated in their age group in the past two years.  They even finished 2nd in the State at the 7 on 7 state playoffs this summer. 



I feel like that I may have handled this situation badly.  Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

Chad

Son, or no son, what the parents saw, whatever... It would take more than 1 good scrimmage performance to replace my starting QB that has that type of game day experience  and record to back him up.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ”  ― Frederick Douglass

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2019, 10:17:04 AM »
This is a great example why dads shouldn’t be coaching their own sons.  The pressure of that dynamic is so skewed that they either see their child the player through rose-colored glasses, OR they are so determined not to be daddy-ballers that they overcompensate in the other direction.  This can also effect home life negatively.  Nothing wrong with having your own son on the team, but allow someone else to coach his position. 

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2019, 10:32:28 AM »
I feel like that I may have handled this situation badly.

Chad, I would say that’s an understatement.  It’s one thing for a player to have a bad performance.  If it was due to a lack of effort, that would be one thing.  But it sounds like the player was giving effort and perhaps even pressing too hard.  You did nothing to remedy that.  You simply told him that his performance wasn’t good, which is “quality” instruction comparable to telling a receiver who’s dropped a pass, “You’ve got to catch that” or telling a ball-carrier who’s dropped the ball, “You gotta hold onto the ball!”  You not only played Captain Obvious as a coach, you piled on by telling him how much more difficult it’s going to be for him to get his job back.  Even if that were true, do you want you players thinking that one mistake, one bad play, one bad quarter or one bad SCRIMMAGE is all it takes for you to lose faith in him? 

You now have to clean up the mess, Chad.  Not sure how you’re going to choose to do so, but your Number 1 priority at this point is his confidence in himself.  Since you’re also his dad, he probably is suffering the additional disappointment of feeling like he has let you down.  The greatest influence in ANY male child is always the father.  You have magnified your importance to him by also being his coach. 

—Dave
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 10:38:11 AM by CoachDP »
"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

Offline terrypjohnson

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2019, 10:44:36 AM »
I don't see any way that he can reclaim his starting position at QB before our first game (again wrong thing to say).

I don't know that this was the wrong thing to say. From what you've said, it sounds like the new QB separated himself from your son. If he's the guy, your son needs to know that and be prepared to help the team in whatever capacity is needed.

Now, that's a little bit easier for me to say because my team has 14 players. One kid was crushed that he wasn't the starting tailback until he found out that meant he was going to start at FB.

I feel like you did the right thing. Honesty is always the best policy!

Coach Terry

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2019, 11:31:32 AM »
I feel like you did the right thing. Honesty is always the best policy!

Nothing wrong with "honesty."  And while "honesty is the best policy," you still have to know what to be honest about.

The problem with telling any player that you don't see how they can (re)claim a starting job ("I don't see any way that he can reclaim his starting position at QB before our first game (again wrong thing to say)" is that it is THE JOB OF THE COACH TO KNOW how he can reclaim the job.  This player now either loses hope in himself, or in his coach, and neither should happen.

"Coach, I really want to reclaim my starting position.  What can I do?"
--"I don't see how that's possible, at this point."

Really?  If anyone should know, you should. 

This thread's not about who is the better QB.  It's about what's the best way to handle players and get the most from them.  And it's apparent that Chad feels that he could have handled it better.  And I agree with him.

Give your players hope and motivation by giving them concrete instructions on how to get where they want to get. 

I get the feeling that's why so many coaches refuse to discuss playing time with parents.  Because they themselves can't even identify how their player can improve other than to say "he needs to get better."  When I talk to players and parents, we talk about their specific strengths and weaknesses and the approach to take for working on the weakness.  The player then understands what it's going to take for him to get where he wants to be.

--Dave
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 07:36:19 PM by CoachDP »
"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2019, 11:48:58 AM »
Needless to say, my son was upset after the scrimmage about his performance

--So he already knew he didn't play well, and you decided to pile on.

I explained that all our parents were there and saw the scrimmage,

--How many people were there and who saw what should have absolutely no bearing.  It should be YOUR decision, not the Peanut Gallery's.

I've told my son that he has to seriously out perform the other QB to play ahead of him.

--That sounds hardly fair.  Chad, it looks like you don't want to have to take any heat from parents for you making your son the QB, so his expectations and performance must be unrivaled so that no parent can question your choice of putting your son at QB.  Really??  Do you think that's fair?  Do you think that's even reasonable?  Your son can only control what he can control, which is his own ability.  Your son can't control the other QB's ability.  If your son is a 7 and the other QB is a 7, is it fair that you then ask/expect your son to then become a 10?  In my 20+ years of doing this, I've only seen two (dad) coaches who could at least coach and act as if their son was just another player out there.  The other 99% just couldn't do it.

-Dave


"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

Offline terrypjohnson

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2019, 12:58:09 PM »
Nothing wrong with "honesty."  And while "honesty is the best policy," you still have to know what to be honest about.
--Dave

Agree 100%. In fact, the first thing that came to mind when I read that was our conversation about MPP's and setting goals for more playing time.


Offline Coach E

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2019, 01:44:16 PM »
Give your players hope and motivation by giving them concrete instructions on how to get where they want to get. 

Yet another thing I learned the hard way. I was one of those, "You gotta do better" coaches until I saw the light, so to speak. Last year I had a kid who was very upset about his dropped passes in a game and I talked him down by asking him what he did and what he didn't do. It took a little prying ("I suck! I just can't play!"), but he was eventually calmed down and was able to break down the plays and what was happening and was able to correct it. For the younger kids, break it down for them and give specific (concrete) instructions.

Do you have film? It might help to have him watch and break down his own performance on a series or two. It might give him an opportunity to see what he did well and what needs to correct.
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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2019, 03:22:41 PM »
Agree 100%. In fact, the first thing that came to mind when I read that was our conversation about MPP's and setting goals for more playing time.

While my job is to always be honest with my players, it's also my job to be able to provide resolution, information and answers.  There isn't anyone on the team who should be better versed in providing answers for every question than the head coach. 

So while, "I don't see any way that he can reclaim his starting position at QB before our first game" may have been honest, it provided absolutely no help.  What can the player do with this response?  It tells the player that the matter is essentially out of his hands now and has been decided.  And yet coaches claim that they want players who are going to outwork their competition, wanting those who are "Willing to put its the work."  "You gotta want it!"  Sounds like this kid was just told, "You're out of options.  And because you're my son, you can't be just a little bit better than the competition; you have to be considerably better so that it no only justifies my belief in you, but so that the parents won't question me for putting you at QB."

--Dave
"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2019, 03:23:26 PM »
I was one of those, "You gotta do better" coaches until I saw the light, so to speak.

When did you see the light?

--Dave
"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

Offline Coach E

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 03:58:14 PM »
When did you see the light?

--Dave

A while back, I was coaching another team and a kid fumbled the ball without being hit. He came off the field during his rotation and I gave him such sound advice as "you gotta hang on to it when it's in your hands" and "we needed those yards." Awesome. I know. Anyway, he walked away looking at his hands and then kind of whipped his hands down in frustration. I remembered just then some of the things I read on here (you, Michael, Mahonz) and I realized as I watched that kid walk away I had given him zero coaching. Now, I really, really pay attention to what I am saying whenever I am interacting with a player. I want to make sure that what I'm saying will have instructional value.

(Yes, I did apologize to that kid for not being clear and then worked on correcting the issue.)
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Offline Coach E

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2019, 03:59:52 PM »
When did you see the light?

--Dave

And don't get me wrong. I may have corrected this bad behavior in my coaching, but there's still plenty I screw up. Always learning
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
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Offline acsmith7062

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Re: Dad Coach Situation
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2019, 06:57:25 PM »
Thanks everyone for all the honest and candid advice.  The way I handled the situation was completely unfair to my son.  I would have not handled ANY of my other players in the same way, and that is not fair to him.

Fortunately, my son has very thick skin and a better head on his shoulders than me.  He brought up the subject again with me today and asked if I would work with him outside of practice so that he can become a better player.  I of course said yes, and we discussed the things he needs to work on.  I assured him that I believe in him and that this doesn't mean that he is locked into the backup QB role.  Only that based on what I saw Friday night, the other QB is now a little ahead of him based on his performance.  But, he has the same opportunity to move up the depth chart based on future performance(s). 

Hopefully I dodged a bullet on this one, and it will only encourage him to work harder.           
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