Coaching little league is not something I ever thought I would do.
I love my kids.
Other people’s kids? Sometimes they can be annoying.
I’m an amazing athlete (obviously). But that doesn’t mean that I’m an amazing coach.
To be honest, the young kids need more babysitting than coaching. (I once spent an entire soccer season trying to convince my team to stay off the playground next to our practice field.)
But after 5 years (and multiple seasons) of coaching little kids, I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re on the fence about becoming a coach, here are five surprising reasons that coaching little league will improve your life – and why I think that all dads (and moms) should give it a try.
1. You get to spend time with your own kids
If you’re coaching a little league team, I’m assuming your kid is on it. This is a great way to spend more time with your child and really see them interact with their peers. This is especially helpful if you have multiple kids and can spend the time to and from practice having one-on-one time with the kid you’re coaching.
2. It’s a great way to meet other families and kids in the community
Some of my closest dad friends are the parents of my kids’ friends, or the guys I’ve met at the little league sidelines. (Read more about finding dad friends here.) And I know a lot of the kids my children are growing up with. When my oldest comes home with a story about a kid in his class, I can picture that kid because I coached him on the track team two years ago. This helps me feel more connected to my kids and our community, especially since my work schedule doesn’t allow me to spend much time in the classroom.
3. I get to teach the fundamentals of the sport and sportsmanship
My wife says I sometimes have control issues. She might be right, but I like knowing that I’m the one to teach my kids the fundamentals of a certain sport as well as the rules of great sportsmanship.
We’ve all had an experience where our kid is being coached by someone that’s a little too intense, yells a little too much and doesn’t set the best example for the kids. Right? It’s not fun – for the kids or the parents.
By volunteering to coach myself, I’m at least making sure that my kids are having a solid experience, are learning the basics, and aren’t being exposed to poor sportsmanship.
4. There are tons of hot moms to hook up with
5. There’s nothing better than observing your kid with his or her peers
I’m assuming we’ve all been in a situation where we’re wondering if our child’s behavior is normal. When they were babies, we agonized over the color of their poop. As they got older, we’re agonizing over their seemingly strange behavior.
Watching my kids interact with their peers has taught me a lot. All elementary school boys seem to be obsessed with making farting noises with their armpits and talking about poop.
Most girls on the soccer team are going to spend just as much time creating cheers on the sidelines as they do trying to score goals in the game. Our kids are just as weird as their peers, and that’s a great feeling.
6. It reignites the kid in you
This is a bonus benefit because my wife wasn’t a huge fan of #4.
But seriously – getting out on the track every week to coach practice, scrimmaging a group of 3rd grade girls at soccer, taking my elementary boys’ basketball team to a championship win – it’s fun and exciting and reminds me of the joy of being a kid.
Am I trying to live vicariously through my children? Absolutely not! Am I enjoying their childhood with them? Definitely.
While I am a huge advocate of coaching your kids’ sports teams, it’s not always easy. Here are a few survival tips for you.