One of the things that I keep hearing is the term “Daddy Ball” and it usually carries with it a negative connotation. Now I understand that there are certain situations where a dad coaches his daughter and it isn’t a positive situation for the team as a whole and for certain players in particular.
I had a conversation earlier today with a Dad who is coaching his daughter’s team and he talked about how he felt like it was important for him to remove himself from his daughters team sooner than later. Now from what I know, I think this is a dad who is doing things well. He appears to treat his players well and is aware of the potential problems if it looks like he is favoring his kid. Of course, it gets even more complicated because she is a pitcher and, by all accounts, a pretty strong one.
So if you are a dad coaching your kid, is that inherently a bad thing? It depends!
If you allow your daughter to get away with stuff that you wouldn’t tolerate from other kids, it’s a bad thing. If you let your daughter play a position that she isn’t capable of playing and it hurts the team’s chances of competing, it’s a bad thing. If you hold other kids back to allow your daughter to have the spotlight or to get the credit, then it’s a bad thing.
BUT, if you treat your daughter like a regular team member. If you hold your daughter accountable. If you coach all the kids the same way, including your daughter. If you allow all the kids to shine when they have earned it or share in the disappointment when they don’t. Then having a dad coaching their daughters team is a positive!
The bottom line is a simple one: If we didn’t have Dad’s coaching their daughters we wouldn’t have softball. Now before you get mad, I know many moms are starting coach their kids, too. But the vast majority of parent coaches are still dads. And for every situation where “Daddy Ball” is a negative I think there are a dozen where it is a great thing.