I remember playing catch with my daughter when she was 5. At that time I could throw a tennis ball 20 to 25 feet in the air (straight up) and she would catch it. At 6 she did the 'tee ball' thing. Many of the other kids, including boys had difficulty catching the lightest toss. At an early age I taught DD one of my favorite games as a child. I would throw a ball onto our house roof and catch it when it came down. I did that for hours as a child and DD did it as well. If I had a $1 for every time I had to crawl on the roof and get balls out of the rain spouting...That's another thing - often the coaches' kids have been playing since they were 5, have spent hours and hours of free time at the field hitting and fielding (pitching or catching too maybe), and they have at least one parent taking it seriously. They're usually well rounded and know the game better than their peers at the younger levels. You can tell which girls have parents who put in the extra time, coaches or not. By nature, coaches are willing to put in that time so on average, at least through 12U, their kids are better than average, in my experience.
We would also watch a lot of baseball while she was growing up. And she was constantly asking questions; why? why? why? I would always do my best to explain the situation to her and why the team did what they did. This very quickly translated to the softball field. At the rec level there wasn't a single person on the team that understood the game in the same way that she did. That was one of the things that led her to travel ball. Other girls with the same desire that she had. But even then, few truly had the same level of understanding. Honestly, if PIAA tracked records for catching runners with "the look back rule", I'm quite sure DD would either hold the record or would be close.
I have seen the same thing with my best friend's daughters (twins). He is a basketball coach, and even when they were young, they knew more about the sport than any other kids their age knew. They are now freshmen in high school. And while they may not be as big or fast as some of the older girls, it is very clear that they have a different presence on the basketball court than any other players on the team. It is obvious.
Unfortunately, unless someone is involved in coaching or truly understands the sport, these are things the average person isn't going to notice. I remember when DD was pitching in rec ball. Most of the parents would always talk about one of DD's teammates and how great of a pitcher she was. Honestly, she had difficulty throwing strikes, and would typically walk at least half of the batters she faced. But she was 6 inches taller than any other player on the team and threw the ball hard for her age. The parents were blinded by this kid's size and speed. By freshman year in high school, she was no longer a pitcher, and by junior year in high school she didn't even play softball anymore.
I want to thank everyone for allowing me to rant about this subject. I realize there is a lot of poor coaching out there and that many people have been impacted by the "daddy ball" situations. But I know there are also a lot of good coaches out there (parents or non-parents), that do the best they can to make it an enjoyable experience for all the players. They may not make the best or most popular decision in every single case. But they truly have the best interest of all players at heart. I see a lot of ranting about daddy ball in general and don't think some people realize how many actually do try to do the right thing. I also don't know of any solutions. My point for making this thread was just that. If we eliminated parent coaches completely from youth sports, most youth sports would die completely. Not many people are willing to volunteer their time in order to coach youth sports unless a family member or close friend is involved. And not many parents are willing to pay what good coaching is actually worth.