*Disclaimer* This is my post. I have not been compensated in any way.
What is Daddy Ball?
Well if you have children that play sports I am sure you have heard the term “daddy ball”. Urban Dictionary best defines it as: When a father becomes a coach so his kid can play all the time!
In the small town that we live in “daddy ball” is the only thing they have for children my sons age. Now I realize that volunteers are necessary for sports programs to be successful and in most cases those volunteers are going to be parents. However, the main goal and focus of the parent volunteers should not be to live vicariously through their child and teach the children that winning is the only option. They are supposed to set a good example for the children and be someone who the kids can look up to.
I know some great guys that volunteer and they treat their child just like every other child on the team. No favoritism, they just play ball. Those men are few and far between unfortunately. The majority of the fathers that volunteer, do so because they want their child to get all the playing time and the best positions regardless of their abilities.On top of that, the main goal and the only important thing is to win. Win at all cost!
These children are between 8 and 10 years old. They should be learning good sportsmanship, team work, and the basic rules of the game. This is supposed to be a fun experience that creates memories that will last their lifetimes. Unfortunately for these kids those memories are not going to be all that great. If you are a child that’s father does not have the fortunate ability to coach then you will be sitting the bench, no matter what sport you play.
How about the kids that are fortunate to have their dads coach? I wouldn’t really consider this a blessing either. These children are molded to think that they are the best and they are taught the conceited attitude to go right along with it. Unfortunately for them in a couple of years when they hit middle school, daddy ball will come to an end. Then what? Daddy will not be able to decide what position they play or if they make the All Star team. Daddy will not be there to make sure they know they are the best of the best. These fathers are setting their children up for failure. These kids are going to go to middle school and they will not necessarily get the best positions and most playing time. They might be the ones sitting the bench.
So why do it? Why put your child in that position and why would you want to ultimately hurt your child in such a way? The only answer that I have for this, and it’s from just my observations alone, is that it’s a selfish egotistical move on the part of the father. One coach in particular that comes to mind for me never even played sports when he was young. So he is pushing his child to live out a dream that he had and was too afraid to fulfill. He’s reliving his youth at the cost of his child’s innocence.
I wonder what the long-term and psychological effects will be for these children? It seems that there is no real winner regardless if your father coaches or not.