Youth Football and Daddy Favoritism
As in many sports, one of the most prominent team killers is daddy favoritism. We have all seen it, when a delusional father sets up their child in a position where they are unable to win because they lack the skills necessary. I often see children who excel in one position, but their father insists they start as quarterback. That type of favoritism will tear a team apart in no time. A coach he favors his own child will quickly lose the respect of the kids and parents.
It can be difficult to ensure that daddy favoritism doesn’t show up on your team. It is generally a great idea to not allow fathers to coach the same team their child is on. Or, perhaps make him unable to coach his child’s position. Each team can decide how they want to approach the situation.
Regardless of your team’s decision on hiring coaches, you need to have explicit rules pertaining to all coaches on your football team. Those rules need to be followed religiously and the coaches evaluated on them constantly. There should also be strict requirements for players to make a position. For example, when evaluating your players for the linebacker position, they need to be aggressive and able to consistently tackle.
The goal on your team should be to maximize the team dynamics, meaning that each child should play a position that matches their skill set. No coach should be allowed to show favoritism, to others or their own child. It is imperative to be strict with this policy throughout the season.
It is also important to remember that daddy favoritism is not the kid’s fault. In fact, in my years of coaching, I have found that children prefer to play positions they are skilled in rather than what may be considered a more important role. Too many kids are run away from playing football because their fathers are delusional regarding their kid’s skills. My neighbor, who works in Sprinkler Repair, completely turned his kid off to football by trying to force him to be a quarterback when he was more skilled on the defensive line. Don’t let that happen to your star players!