Dear Crabby, Does Coaching Kids Make You Cringe?

Dear Crabby,

My kids are always wanting to try new sports, and we encourage that. But it seems like every time they go out for something, the organization puts pressure on us to get involved as coaches. Did you ever deal with this, or is this a new trend?

Sincerely, Preston T. Coaching

Dear Mr. Coaching,

My kids did want to try new things, and we also encouraged that when they were young. One year, my son and his friends wanted to play baseball, but the school claimed that they didn’t have a coach, and without a coach, there would be no team. I saw tears in my boy’s eyes and the next thing I knew I was wearing a grown-up version of a little league uniform. The problem was, I know nothing about coaching baseball. So I looked to the boys for help, asking, “What do you guys like to do most?” They answered, “Hitting!” So we just practiced hitting for about a week before our first game. When we walked on the field for the first time, the boys were walking around randomly without any direction. No one, including me, had a clue where to stand or what to do. Somehow we made it through that game, but it was hardly over when another parent came up and politely relieved me of my duties.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

While I was beyond grateful to be free of coaching, it would have stung a little less if it hadn’t been the Missus who was the one to do the relieving. There was one other time that I got suckered into leading something, but that turned out a little differently. When my son was in First Grade, he came home with an invitation to join Cub Scouts. He was so excited, he begged me to take him to the informational meeting the next night. Very begrudgingly, I drove him to the school gym where about nine other dads all stood with their boys staring at a grown man in his own Cub Scout uniform. A few of us dads made some wisecracks about the uniform behind his back and snickered as he did his Scout welcome hand gestures. He went on for about 45 minutes about all the great things the Scouts would teach the boys. He really got the boys pumped up when he talked about the week-long summer camp that included hiking, shooting rifles, and canoeing. Then he dropped the big one on us dads; he said that unfortunately there was no den leader yet to run our boys’ group. He went on to say that unless one of us dads stepped forward, our boys would miss out on all the activities he had just described. By this time, he had all the boys whining and tugging on our arms. My head was spinning. Before I knew it, I was being fitted for my own adult-sized Scout uniform.

Oh yes, good old Yours Truly was the den leader for exactly 91 days!  We accomplished the five essentials to be eligible for camp, went to the camp and did all the things the Cub Master promised our kids. My friends and colleagues still remind me of those days. But you know what, so does my son. All these years later he still remembers the den meetings and the camp and even the baseball days, and he has thanked me countless times for doing those things with him. So I guess all and all, it was worth it. What’s a little razzing by my friends anyway? If it wasn’t for the Cub Scout thing, they would only have the day I came out of the bathroom with my zipper down to remind me about. Anyway, good luck and let me know how it turns out for you.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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