Preferential Treatment for the Coach's Kid

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The unwritten rule in youth sports, and fastpitch softball is no exception, is that the coach's kid receives playing preference whether it is playing time or position on the field. I am currently living on both sides of this issue. I coach my oldest daughter but am just a parent on my younger daughter's team that has four coaches.

Several years back, I found myself always substituting my own daughter out of games in the spirit of fair play. Midway through the season I counted up all of the innings each girl had played and found my daughter was among the lowest. What the heck was I doing? In trying to insulate myself from other parents complaining about playing time, I was actually short changing my own daughter's playing time.

That really defeats the purpose of why I decided to coach my daughter's softball team. The ultimate goal was to make sure my daughter had the best possible experience playing softball, yet here I was making her feel inadequate by having her sit the bench half of every game.

Here are a few quick facts about coach's kids:

They have to be at every practice.

They have to help load and unload all of the softball equipment .

They have to be at every game.

They undoubtedly have to listen to their dad talk about softball and the team more than any other players.

They have to listen to other players fuss about the team and coaches and it's surely much more personal to them than to the other players.

When you get right down to it, if not for the coach's kid, there wouldn't be a coach for the team. Certainly, the coach put's more time and effort into the softball team than any other parent, and by a LONG SHOT! Besides being at all of the practices and games he also gets to play baby sitter to 10 other girls while there parents do the things the coach is sacraficing.

If a discussion arises about your daughter's position or playing time, there is a two part answer. Be calm and be honest when you give the reply. (Part 1)Yes, my daughter plays almost every inning at her position and as long as I am the coach that will not change. (Part 2) If you cannot resolve yourself to my daughter's status on the team, I would encourage you to look for another team or start your own team. It's just that simple.

As I mentioned in my opening remarks, my younger daughter is on a team that has four new coaches this year. It's not an enviable position. She has gone from being the starting catcher and shortstop to playing second base and right field. She is still the best catcher and best shortstop on the team, but guess who's daughters are playing those positions?

Yes, it was frustrating getting used to seeing her play 2nd and right field. But there are only two answers, get used to it or change teams. For now, I've taken the approach that it will be beneficial for her to learn new positions and will make her a more well-rounded ball player in the future.

In conclusion, if you are the coach, feel free to give your daughter preferential playing time. If you are a parent and not happy with playing time or position, you have two choices.



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