13 Things That Happened When Your Dad Was The Coach

For some athletes like myself, we had the privilege of having our dad as the coach. Now, at the time, I may not have enjoyed every minute of it, but looking back on it, it gave me some of my fondest memories as an athlete. Here are 13 things that kids whose dads were the coach know to be true.

1. You were one of the best on the team.

There was no way your dad was going to let you be the worst player on the team he coached. No shot. That would hurt his ego too much. Who would want to play for a coach if his kid wasn’t even good? That would make him look like he didn’t know what he was talking about. No way was his kid going to be the one picking dandelions in the outfield. He was going to make sure you were one of the best players on his team, which leads me to point two.

2. You had a lot of extra practice.

And I mean a lot. In order to be one of the best players on the team, he would make you practice all the time, which meant before team practice, after team practice, after dinner, before school, after school, etc. Whenever you weren’t doing anything, you were on the field with dear old Dad. Even after you just had team practice for three hours, you had an extra few hours with him. You had to be the best player, right?

3. You were the guinea pig.

“Hey, Mandi, let’s go try this drill. I want to see if the team would be able to pull it off.” Oh yes, you were the one he tested his latest and greatest drills on. If you couldn’t figure it out, then the rest of the kids probably couldn’t, either.

4. You got yelled at the most.

Unfortunately, being the coach’s kid, you got yelled at an awful lot, probably even the most on your team. Coaches can’t favor their kid, so, of course, he was going to make sure he yelled at you. Being the coach’s kid meant being held to a higher standard than everyone else. He expected more, and your team expected more. After all, you just ran that drill 50 times the day before with him, so why couldn’t you now? In games, even the tiniest mistake would get you yelled at. The expectations for you far exceeded the expectations for everyone else.

5. You were obligated to sit the bench.

Every game, you had to spend time on the bench, so it would look like your dad wasn’t playing favorites. Even if you were the best one on the team and way better than Clumsy Carrie, you had to have mandatory time on the bench so Coach Dad seemed fair.

6. You got excluded from conversations.

Being the coach’s kid meant that whenever you were around, the other kids had to watch their mouths. Whenever they were talking about your dad and you came around, the other kids got all quiet or quickly changed the subject. It sucked, I know how you feel.

7. You had kids suck up to you.

On the other side of getting excluded from conversations, some kids would suck up to you, so you’d put in a good word for them and maybe they’d get some extra playing time if your dad saw that you were close. This just prepared you for the real world when people use you to get what they want.

8. You got the inside scoop.

You knew what your dad thought of every single player, and you knew to keep what he said on the DL. You knew the frustrations he had and which player he wanted to kick off the team. You knew about the latest equipment or new uniforms your team was getting. You knew whether games were going to get cancelled and learned how to eavesdrop on your dad’s conversations with the director of your league. You knew that he felt the other coach was stepping on his toes too much or that the other coach knew nothing. That’s why he was the assistant coach, duh.

9. There were many awkward car rides.

You learned quickly when to keep your mouth closed in the car ride home and just listen to your dad take out all his frustration about the game. Or, maybe you just sat in silence because it was so awful, he didn’t want to talk about it. Don’t even get me started on car rides after you, personally, had a really bad game. Those rides were the worst because you could sense his disappointment and sense his embarrassment because the coach’s kid just did something wrong. Then, you had to hear it all again when he told your mom as soon as you got home.

10. You mom was the team mom.

Since your dad was the coach, your mom became the team mom by default. She became in charge of carpools, the snacks, the uniforms and was the biggest fan of everyone. No favoritism, remember?

11. You were the first one at the field and the last to leave

You had to be the first one there to set up all the equipment and the last one to pack it all up. Or, maybe it was to get extra work in. Sometimes, you had to wait, so parents could complain to your dad about playing time or he needed to provide more information about that weekend’s tournament. Whatever it was, you were at the field longer than most. Practice ended at 5:30? You were there until at least 6 or 6:30.

12. You had your number one fan right there on the field with you

Nothing beats seeing your dad’s reaction to your success on the field. Rounding third and high fiving him is one of my favorite memories. When your team won the championship, he was one of the only parents on the field celebrating with you. Having your dad as a coach created a bond like no other.

13. Your last game together was a sad day.

All good things come to an end. For me, this day came the summer before my freshman year of high school. It was a sad feeling knowing you would never share the field again, but it was satisfying knowing he had prepared you for all that you would face in the rest of your career. Nothing will ever compare to having my dad as a coach, but I knew he would take his new role of number one fan with pride.

So, Dad, thank you. Thank you for volunteering your time to be my coach. Not everyone had the privilege of having this opportunity, but I sure am thankful I did. I’m sure there isn’t an amount that could pay you for all the stress and anxiety coaching gave you. Thank you for being hard on me and pushing me to be a better athlete. I miss having you as my coach, but I wouldn’t trade our times together for the world. I love you and will never forget our memories together on the field.