3 Reasons Why It’s Best to Just Be the Parent (and Not the Coach)

Parenting may be the hardest job on the planet—and being a sports parent adds extra challenges. But there’s no need to make your job harder.

If you are not the actual coach of your child’s team and you try to step in, you will soon discover that trying to coach your child can add tension and create distance.

I learned this firsthand. When my oldest daughter was in fifth grade, I had been home-schooling her for three years, taking on the role of mom and teacher. And each passing year we found ourselves butting heads more and more. Not only did I have the usual battles kids and parents often have (no you can’t wear that, and yes, you need to sit down for dinner), I also had battles of getting schoolwork done and in the proper way.

When my daughter prepared to start sixth grade, I decided I’d had enough of wearing two hats. I wanted to just be her mother.

There may be times when you might have to coach your child (if the team doesn’t actually have a coach), and there may come seasons when not coaching your child can be the best thing you can do. Here are three more reasons why it’s sometimes better to just be the parent.

You’ll disagree less.

As a parent, you are required to guide, discipline, encourage, and teach your kids how to grow into adults. When you add coaching to the mix, you open up the door for more conflicts. And the less you disagree about, the smoother your relationship can be.

Your child can grow more.

Other adults may be able to relay ideas to your child in a different way, and your child may also be more willing to receive them. In no way does this diminish the importance of the words you use with your kids; it’s just a fact of life that sometimes kids respond to others better. You may tell your child over and over that they have to keep their eye on the ball in order to hit it, but not until a coach says the same thing will it actually sink in.

You can better focus on your parenting.

When you can just wear the parent hat and let someone else coach, you have a singular focus: raising your child. And it’s always easier to do a one job well than two.



Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.


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