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The appeal of a "non-parent" coach

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
780
43
I don't think it's even a rare thing. By definition, coaches are invested. They've probably been practicing with their own kid 3x a week for years, just because they enjoy it. Even a kid who's not naturally talented will do pretty well with all the extra practice they're probably putting in. My DH only head coached for two years, and my DD would've enjoyed playing more outfield. She got to play very little, because he needed her at SS. Coach's kid playing SS, gasp! She also used to pitch! Double-gasp! But she was good, and earned it.

The same has been true for other dad coaches she's played for. The trend I've noticed, if there is one, is that some of these dads tend to be harder on their own kids. Their kids have been hard workers and good ball players.

DD played for a non-parent coach in first year 10U. He was very knowledgeable. She learned a lot from him. But he had just come through 18U and did not have a very good rapport with 9 year olds. I think for 14U and older he was probably great.
All true. At younger ages, DD was always an infielder because she was just better at it than most everyone else. We worked at it...a lot. At 12U, I started playing her in the OF during games, and spending a large part of our individual practice time on OF skills. Now, as a HS-aged player, she still plays IF, but because she's an effective OF, she sits so rarely that we laugh about it when that happens. The coach's kid is the stereotype that plays SS, pitches, and bats high in the order (regardless of performance). She's a bit of a trainwreck in the OF because she rarely plays there or works on those skills. The thing is that the coach really wants his kid to play in college, but her athletic ability signals "outfield" in bright neon lights. She's a good SS and often an effective pitcher, but she might not compete well at either position at the college level. However, she'd be an outstanding OF, if she worked on it.

Sometimes, coaches do a disservice to their favored position players by not getting them the work they need to succeed over the long term.
 
Apr 28, 2014
1,282
63
The first time you get "Daddy Balled" you will understand.
We are lucky that DD always had good coaches but we did have a few who would give their own DD's more playing time, more at bats. It's so obvious and can at times be detrimental to your DD's growth and the team's performance.
I helped coach for 4 seasons and can tell you first hand that it happens. Even with coaches who try hard to not to give their own kids more opportunities. Coaches work first hand with their own kids so it's natural that they would give their kids more opportunities. What they don't see is that other parents work hard with their own kids away from the team.
As to the non-parent coaches I do think overall it is a better situation for many reasons. At minimum just removing the notion of a parent coach eliminates any pressure from the kid or from the parents around the kids role.
 
Mar 26, 2019
80
18
Central Ohio
My DD had parent coaches through 12U. We were lucky to not have any terrible parent coach experiences along the way. This season is her first year with non-parent HC at first year 14U. In our experience, this season has been the best so far. My DD switched to slap hitting one year ago. The non-parent HC we have currently is amazing with slappers and understands the process involved. DD has made huge progress this fall. He brings a whole new way of teaching that the girls can relate to. He is fair with the batting line up and everyone gets playing time.
He also has an entire phone full of college coach contacts. If any player attends a camp, he calls the college coach before and follows up again after the camp for feedback. Not every coach/organization offers that. There will always be people that have bad experiences on both sides, but in our situation, we are happy with our non-parent HC.
 
Jul 14, 2018
409
63
Favoritism runs both ways -- I've seen it from parent coaches as well as non-parent coaches. What is unique among parent coaches (from my experience) is how nasty they can be to their own kids. I've seen countless third base coaches throwing their hands in the air and making derogatory remarks to their own kids. When I'm sitting with other parents and a coach overreacts to a strikeout or an error, we all look at one another and say, "must be his kid."
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,081
63
Either is fine if you find a coach who will help DD get better.

Look at HS to see if non-parent coaches ever play favorites.
 
May 16, 2016
460
28
Illinois
One thing I've noticed with non-parent coaches. They don't always want to go the extra mile quite as much as a parent coach. Some certainly do, and every case is different, but here's a few examples:



2. Fun things for the girls, especially at 10U. Field trips to high school or college games, fun outings, etc. I find the parent coach does these things better.
That is a job for the team mom or some other parent. In all honesty if a non-parent coach was trying to organize field trips with a 10u girls softball team that would be a huge red flag to me.
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,171
83
Pennsylvania
I agree with the general consensus of this thread. The goal should be to find a "good" coach. That can be a parent or a non-parent coach. Either can be "good". Either can show favoritism. My DD is now in college so I am out of this at this point, but from my experience, I saw much more favoritism in high school sports than I did in travel sports. And that is with non-parent high school coaches. To be fair, I'm sure there are some very well run high school programs out there too.
 
May 24, 2013
10,566
113
So Cal
In all honesty if a non-parent coach was trying to organize field trips with a 10u girls softball team that would be a huge red flag to me.
Why? If a coach wants the team to see what college softball looks like, and makes plans for the team to see a local college game as a means of inspiring them, why does it matter if the coach has a DD on the team or not?
 
May 16, 2016
250
28
The best coaches my kids have played for have been non-parents, and also the worst coach has been a non-parent. It goes both ways.
Generally, the parent coaches have been pretty good in my experience.

I would be wary of a fresh out of college former player with no coaching experience. They need to coach rec ball... or assistant coach travel ball for a few seasons, before taking on their own team, IMHO.
 
Apr 20, 2018
1,067
83
SoCal
Why? If a coach wants the team to see what college softball looks like, and makes plans for the team to see a local college game as a means of inspiring them, why does it matter if the coach has a DD on the team or not?
I am sure the HC would invite the parents to come too. Unless he has a team bus. Lol. 10u??? You should be playing rec ball anyways.
 
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