What it means to connect…
One of the things coaching hundreds of young ladies (and their parents) has given me is a unique perspective on the parent-to-daughter relationship.
Some parents get it right in my opinion, and yet the vast majority fall short of their own intentions.
By no means am I an expert on relationships, but I do have a daughter and we have gone through what most of my students and parents are (or will soon be) going through.
Sports, especially softball, was the vehicle I used to get close to—and connect with—my daughter.
We had no inflated desires about college scholarships, or playing for the top travel ball teams. We wanted to enjoy the moment, and soak in the experiences of the game. We worked on her skills, and did all we could to improve every facet of her game.
The connection was made because I asked her what she wanted, and how I could help her to achieve it.
Unfortunately, some parents impose their own wants, goals, and desires on their daughters. This misalignment of goals between parent, and child is what starts the erosion of the relationship.
What it means to coach…
This could be addressed a thousand different ways, but at the core of coaching is the transfer of knowledge from coach-to-player.
Further, this often looks like the teaching of ideals, values, attitudes, and skill sets for the betterment of a player and team. When coaching is at is best, there is a connection between the player and coach.
Parent first, coach second
When I coached my daughter’s team it was a challenge for both of us.
She never saw me as coach, but she did see her dad coaching. I saw her as one of the players on the team, and treated her the same as the others.
Understand there is a difference between a coach on the ball field telling you something, and your dad (whom you see every day) telling you something.
Once I realized this, I never coached another team she was on; instead, I chose rather to be her dad.
I see this same challenge for others almost every day. Well-meaning moms, and dads trying to coach their daughters only to drive them away from both themselves and a sport that they love.
Know that the sensitivity of the things “Coach Mom” and “Coach Dad” say can be hard on their athlete (daughter).
As a parent you are definitely at a disadvantage when you coach your own child; the stakes are much higher. It’s one thing to lose a player, but another thing to lose a daughter.
What has your experience been coaching your own daughter?