Empathy For “Gossiped About” Dads Who Coach
3 years, 2 months.
Today it was only about 40 degrees outside, but there was no wind and the sun was out.
So finally, after so many cold and bitter weeks, I was able to ride my mountain bike up to Starbucks during my lunch break during work.
As I sat outside on the patio reading my H.R. certification study guide, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between a dad who apparently coaches his son’s sports team and the mom of one of the kids on that team.
Most of what I heard (though I was trying not to, I promise!) was the dad/coach expressing his annoyance with the other parents of the team talking about him behind his back.
The mom he was talking to was evidently serving as a very empathetic mediator between the dad/coach and the other parents of the team. She was smiling and shaking her head the whole time, like she was on his side- and I believe she was.
That caused me to imagine what it might be like if I were to coach one of your sports teams someday.
Attempting to put myself in that situation, here in a few years, I imagine the challenge being not so much coaching the kids, but playing the ultimate middle-man who can’t win with pleasing the parents.
It seems like the biggest challenge would be, on one side, trying to please the parents of the kids are the best players; wanting to see their kid lead the team to victory.
Then, on the other side, there would be the parents of the kids who are weaker links on the team; wanting to see their kid get more “play time.”
Sounds like a sticky situation; sounds like unavoidable politics.
I don’t want to be caught in the middle of that. I hate being caught in the middle of two parties of people like that.
(Then again, I’m in H.R., so I must not despise it that much!)
This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t coach your team. However, I am saying, for me, I would imagine that coaching the parents would be the hard part.
And that’s based on the conversation I overheard today at Starbucks, plus several other ones I’ve heard in the office where I work.
But I guess I won’t know for sure until I am that guy.
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