5 Reasons Why Coaching Your Own Kid Stinks

I have been coaching basketball for 8 years now and I do not hold back the fact that I LOVE coaching and I LOVE my team, but its not always as easy as it seems!  It started out all innocent and fun…during Elle’s first season of recreational basketball she was the only girl on the team and the neanderthals coaching the team paid absolutely no attention to her, or many of the other kids for that fact.  She learned very little about dribbling or the rules of the game – things first year players should learn!  So, after that season I decided that I knew way more about basketball than those guys and could at least communicate with the children without grunting…and 8 years later I’ve coached recreational basketball, travel teams of all ages, a middle school team, a junior varsity team and have had the varsity team at our local high school for the last 4 years.

img_124842995410275136335999.jpegI love coaching young athletes, I love seeing them grow and mature, not only in their basketball skill but as young women!  For many years I gave up coaching my own kid in travel so that I could coach the high school teams.  I missed travel and middle school games in which Elle was playing so that  I could be there for practices for my team to advance our program.  Some nights I hated it, but my pout didn’t last too long, as I loved being in the gym with my players, having faith that Elle was surrounded by coaches that loved her in the same way and our family cheering for her in my place.

Now though, she has finally made it to my roster and I have come to the realization that, at least at this level, it stinks coaching your own kid!  You see I think there is a common misconception that being the coach’s kid is a perk…wrong!  We are talking about a girl that has washed more stinky uniforms than she can count, has endured cold nights on a silent bus while Mom stews in the front seat after a loss (even though she wasn’t old enough to play in that particular game) and as a 5th grader even got recruited to ensure the varsity players were running the sprints they were to run as a punishment when Mom stormed out of the gym to collect herself in the locker-room!  Being a coach’s kid is NOT always fun! And now, shes on the roster!


Here are the Top 5 Reasons Coaching Your Own Kid Stinks:

  1. I Am Always Second Guessing Myself.  When dealing with Elle I am constantly asking myself if I am talking to her and thinking about her in my “mom” voice or in my “coach” voice.  I second guess every decision I make – and it makes me feel horrible!  I have coached this team for 3 seasons without worry about what others think and say and now I am a mess!
  2. When A Player Or Parent Is Mad At Me – They Take It Out On Her!  When this happens I want to kick into “momma bear” mode and tear apart the offender -it just cant happen though, and Elle has to learn to deal with it!
  3. I Miss Big Moments And Plays!  Parents live for this right?  That moment when your kids does something so spectacular in a game that they can talk about on the way home and at work tomorrow!  Not me, I am focused on everyone’s big moments, and often miss hers – or they become a blur that I have to go back and watch on game film after another parent mentions it to me! My bragging to co-workers and peers is about my whole team!
  4. I Am Still Relying On Her For The Dirty Jobs! Yep, she is still washing her (now teammates) smelly uniforms and helping to clean up the gym long after practice is over.  She was recently accused of getting more gym time than others…well she does alright, vacuuming the locker-room or cleaning trash out of lockers left by her teammates.
  5.  I Miss Just Being Mom!  While I am more than thankful for the time we get together both at home and in the gym…Its difficult to console her after a loss when I have just told the team that I am disappointed in their performance and they need to work harder!  I miss the opportunity to just love on my kid!  I am vigilant though about reminding her that this is a game and no matter her performance (and what I say about it in the locker-room) I love her beyond measure and always will!  I sure hope she is listening…



Let Yourselves Be Great!

As I am preparing today for our first round of post-season play in our district quarterfinals, I think about what I want to say to my team before we exit the locker-room and the take the floor for what could be their last game of the season.  One phrase comes to mind over and over again….”Let Yourselves Be Great Tonight.”

I love my cast of characters! They are funny and determined and courageous, but not always at the same time. Often a few are scared or timid or unsure of their abilities, and it is these traits that create cracks in our collective armor and allow doubt and negative thoughts to creep in; which ultimately effects the way we play as a team.  Instead of being warriors and positive teammates they allow trepidation to cause them to withhold their talents and communicate negatively or not communicate at all with their teammates and coaches.

This is the same concept we must consider in our Christian lives.  God wants us to live our lives in a way that glorifies Him, a difficult task if we are constantly doubting ourselves and our abilities.  Not fully believing in ourselves and our God-given abilities and gifts dims the light that we can allow God the shine through us!  As for me, I want to be a beacon, allowing God’s love and power to shine through me onto other people; isn’t that what He calls us to do?

So, my challenge for my team as we exit the locker-room and prepare for battle… “Let Yourselves Be Great!”  Open your hearts and minds and maintain a positive attitude that allows greatness to enter your lives (and your game) and give it your all.

  • Believe in yourselves the way that I believe in you.
  • Pull together as a team and communicate with each other for a common goal.
  • Focus on the details about the game that you can control (rebounding effort and technique, hustle, positive communication with teammates and coaches, and refusing to allow self-doubt creep upon you).
  • Maintain a positive attitude that allows good things to happen in your game.
  • Let yourself enjoy this game, believing in your talents and God-given abilities.

Are we guaranteed the outcome we want? Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way; but I am in full belief that win or lose they will never regret opening themselves up to allowing greatness to flow through them and playing the game all out the way it is supposed to be played!   Be Great Tonight Ladies!