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The appeal of a "non-parent" coach

Feb 20, 2019
48
8
The latest selling point for select teams in my area is the "non-parent" coach and "former college player." I can understand the appeal of a former college player (although no one seems to be checking credentials), but I'm not sold on the non-parent coach.

A few of the better players in our 8U rec league are aging up to 10U and are joining our organization's 10U select team. The team has been trying to form since spring, but hasn't generated enough interest. I was told by two parents (one was also a head coach) from different teams that they are excited to play for a non-parent coach. Never mind the fact that this coach has yet to coach a single game. The parents didn't mention anything about the coaching style or coaching experience, just that the coach is a non-parent.

I can rationalize how a non-parent coach might be better for 18U, 16U and maybe even 14U, provided said coach has had extensive success coaching in the same age division, but I just don't understand why parents of 8, 9 and 10 y/o girls want to have a non-parent coach. What am I missing?
 
Apr 30, 2018
250
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You aren't missing anything. It has it's pluses and minuses. My daughter goes to a young former D1 player for hitting and catching lessons and she is great. She is a natural when it comes to teaching young kids. Her ability to teach young girls does not come from her time playing D1 ball. DD's current team has two young former D2 players who are struggling greatly at coaching in my opinion. They know the game, but they just don't seem to be able to run an effective practice and teach new skills. Being a former college player holds some weight in their knowledge of the game, but means absolutely nothing when it comes to the ability to teach.

Sent from my SM-G975U1 using Tapatalk
 

4 girl's dad

Finding my way
Apr 5, 2013
1,903
63
In the stands...
The assumed advantage of a non parent coach is supposedly less favoritism. I'm not sold that this is accurate but I only have limited exposure to this. (1 season). We left for a non parent coached team. There was still favoritism so it is not 100% an end all for it. But I do feel like I could be a positive as our previous team was led by a parent coach and that person absolutely played favorites their own child on the team. They never moved even when their child made multiple errors, always batted first or second’s etc.. DD did get to move around and play a lot of different positions and pretty much stayed in her -referred during bracket so it was not not all bad. Like anything, there is good coaching and bad coaching. And sometimes it’s a parent....
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,503
113
Florida
The latest selling point for select teams in my area is the "non-parent" coach and "former college player." I can understand the appeal of a former college player (although no one seems to be checking credentials), but I'm not sold on the non-parent coach.

I can rationalize how a non-parent coach might be better for 18U, 16U and maybe even 14U, provided said coach has had extensive success coaching in the same age division, but I just don't understand why parents of 8, 9 and 10 y/o girls want to have a non-parent coach. What am I missing?
Parents do what they think is right for their kids - right or wrong. They think non-parent means 'no-daddy ball' and less favoritism - but really actual daddy ball is just a symptom of poor coaching capabilities and the fact they have a kid on the team normally doesn't mean a whole lot overall. And age division doesn't mean a whole lot either - some of the best 18U teams in the country are coached by parent coaches - and some are not.

In the end, a good coach is a good coach - but coaching is like everything else a learned skill combined with experience and a certain level of natural talent or affinity for it.

Our org has a lot of ex-players coaching many of our teams - however when they start coaching for the first time out of college in our org we always pair either them up with a strong experienced assistant coach or have them start as an assistant coach (normally a parent). We do it because they need the experience and buffer so they have room to learn - and because it makes it easier to deal with parent issues by having someone expereinced or of the same peer age to the parents (i.e. the 23yr old fresh out of college is likely to have parents on the team who quite rightly consider her a kid still and will manipulate and bully her). After a season or two, they start to see if it is for them and we let them lead - however a lot of them continue to have a parent AC or manager to help with logistics or parent BS.

The worst situation is 'non-parent coaches' but the team is actually shadow run by bully parents in the background.
 
Last edited:
Jan 28, 2017
840
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If you find a team with a great coach and their kid is the best player (SS). Then jump on it. If the player is really the best and doesn't pitch who cares.
 
Jul 22, 2015
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I think people confuse non-parent for completely fair and neutral, which just isn't humanly possible. We all develop relationships with players and end up having favorites no matter what our intentions. Also, keep in mind that the coach always answers to someone and that person is likely to have prior relationships with palyers/parents you don't know about. Bottom line for me is to find a coach and team that is the best fit for your player.
 
May 24, 2013
10,635
113
So Cal
At the very young age you're talking about, the coach being a parent, a non-parent, or a former college player isn't really important. Ask yourself these questions, in this order of importance...
- Is your DD having fun learning and playing the game with this team?
- Is this coach teaching skills that are helping your DD get better at playing the game?
- Is your DD getting a good amount of playing time during games?

All answers should be "yes".
 
Jun 12, 2015
3,848
83
To me, there are way more important things. DD's played for both. I've seen some amazing parent coaches, and some truly terrible non-parent coaches. And vice versa. I think if that's all the checks the box for them, they might be in for an unpleasant surprise.
 
Apr 20, 2018
1,166
83
SoCal
At the very young age you're talking about, the coach being a parent, a non-parent, or a former college player isn't really important. Ask yourself these questions, in this order of importance...
- Is your DD having fun learning and playing the game with this team?
- Is this coach teaching skills that are helping your DD get better at playing the game?
- Is your DD getting a good amount of playing time during games?

All answers should be "yes".
I would add one or two more questions. Is the coach actively working on becoming a better coach/ teacher? Does/ has he or she read books, attend clinics or use the internet to improve themselves and stay current?

I am not particularly fond of extremely overweigh, know it alls that yell a lot. I dont care what school their DD went to.
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
4,035
83
I would add one or two more questions. Is the coach actively working on becoming a better coach/ teacher? Does/ has he or she read books, attend clinics or use the internet to improve themselves and stay current?

I am not particularly fond of extremely overweigh, know it alls that yell a lot. I dont care what school their DD went to.
Why did you have to bring me into this?
 
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