First thought – Don’t!
OK, so you can’t get past it. Your child wants to play, and the team needs a coach, and some league coordinator has told your child, and other kids won’t play unless you step up.
You Do, and now You Are “the Coach!”
You need some rules/boundaries that YOU and Your child don’t break:
FIRST – On the field practice or game time, You Are the Coach; They Are the Player; keep it that way. You are not a Dad for your child or the rest of the team. Have your child address you as Coach and treat them as if they are just another player. You will know you have been successful if, weeks into season one of the parents asks if or which kids are yours.
SECOND- On the drive home from the game…who are you… the dad who just watched their child play or the coach who just finished the game. Let your child make that decision, make it a rule to yourself, if it is Dad… then always be positive, talk about the positive things they did on and off the field. Don’t speak of the team, the other players, or the outcome of the game. That’s the coach’s job. Suppose your child chooses to ride home with the coach. Then critique the game, how the team played as a team, the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition, and your teams. It’s the most challenging job in soccer to be a child of the parent coach, especially after a poorly played game. When the ride ends…so does the talk. Practice is where you fix things, not on the ride home with your child or player as the case may be.
THIRD – Have non-soccer conversations…or better yet, non-soccer days! NO SOCCER, go fishing, play golf, throw that little ball (what do they call it…oh yea, baseball) around. Soccer’s a game, and games are for fun … there is plenty of time to be serious about life and the sport. Just make sure this sport we call soccer, even at its most serious time… is seriously FUN.
SO – Now get educated, go to the local soccer store, talk to the proprietor, ask about videos, books, and websites like ‘FUNdamental SOCCER!’ which unquestionably got me started on the right-foot (soccer term :). Get into a coaching course in your local area; ask the dumb questions…we all did. Find a coach who has been around a while ask if you can watch or help at his practice. Ask a more senior team to come to mentor your team. Watch Soccer at a higher level, high school, college, or professional. Become a student of the game…especially if you never played the game; this will be very helpful.
REMEMBER – Keep having FUN coaching your players, and your team will too. Keep enthused about the game and your players, and your team will too. When you start coaching others, not your own, you will realize how much fun and rewarding coaching really can be. Please keep in mind change in coaching is good; having your child coached by another will help them grow. Three years is always a reasonable time frame for a new perspective (a new coach) on the game, how it should be played, learning skills, and how it can be mastered.
Have a wonderful time keeping it FUN!