30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Friday, October 23, 2015

Got Your Goggles on?

Varsity coaches, and heck many other coaches, have a term that we use sometimes called "Parent Goggles". Often times, parents see their children as better, more hard working and better behaved than their peers. The main reason? They love their children and don't want to see them hurt or hurting. As a coach without children, I just kind of smirked when a parent came to talk to me about their child. You could see and hear that they were caring, and some were flat out clueless. Sometimes they were the worst issue in causing you problems.

We can tell you story after story where player such and such dominated at the elementary level or middle school level but when others gained on them in height and strength, they weren't as good. Not that they got worse, but their competition was better. Or that little league or AAU coach who uttered the famous "I've coached this bunch last couple of years and this is what I did" (Translation: "what you should do"). But the parent goggles were in full effect when talking with these parents. Or worse yet, when you were slandered by a parent in full goggle mode, but did not have the courage to speak with you.

I used to believe parent goggles were a real thing, but after having children I know that it is a real thing. I watch the parents of kids on my daughter and son's teams and see how distorted their view is of their child, as if they were as good or better than mine! What's wrong with them, oh they have parent goggles on because it's clear that my children are the best and...

OK, the above paragraph is a joke for those who don't get it because I have suffered from it. I knew from the beginning that it was a thing when my daughter was born, and I saw how perfect and beautiful she was compared to all other children, so I have always tried to go overboard the other way. I have tried to downplay my children (those that know me are judging one way or the other on if that's a true statement right now). But I have felt it...Parent Goggles are real!

And, in my experience, I am not so sure that having coached at the varsity level in baseball and basketball that I may not be the worst type of parent. I "know" more than any other person that coaches those two sports, so why don't they ask me for help? Why don't they ask for my expertise? What's wrong with those coaches? Don't they know that I have researched and have a reason and "fix" for every single issue they might encounter? Plus, can't they see that my kids deserve to play, start, and be a main focus? Being a coach, I see the little things that my kids do that others don't (More sarcasm).

So yea...I am a mess. How many of us aren't?

But, I feel that we have been real lucky. Most if not all of the coaches have done a good job with my children. I don't always agree with everything they do, but not everyone always agreed with everything that I did. I used to get offended by that, now I understand.

Am I perfect? No way, not even close! But, I do believe that being aware of my shortcomings is a huge positive in the right direction. I just hope that I don't cause unwanted negativity for my kids' coaches, but more importantly for my kids. When I don't like something going on and I get aggravated, then I see them running, jumping, competing and enjoying themselves, I need to do what I thought parents with the goggles on should have done when I coached.

Be quiet and let your children enjoy themselves and let the people that who have either volunteered or are being paid very little do what they signed up without me making their job harder.