I have experienced many things over the years, and this topic always seems to pop up.
I recently took a course in "The Role of Parents in Sports," and the material reviewed all said the same thing about this topic: It's a very sticky situation when your parent is your coach.
For the coaches out there doing this on a volunteer basis with no intention to coach your own kids, I applaud you. For the coaches out there doing this just so you can spend "QUALITY TIME" with your kids, be aware of the potential dangers.
I have met many coaches at high levels, and they have no interest in coaching their own children. Many times a coach in this situation tends to favor his/her child in positive or negative ways. When the athlete finishes a practice or game only the skilled coach who, with years of experience, can avoid the dangers and pitfalls of the DRIVE HOME.
This is so important for the emotional safety of the athletes. Usually the last thing they want is to be criticized or critiqued on their performance.
Can you as a parent who coaches your athlete keep it inside when it's a tough loss, and your athlete did not play up to your expectation?
Can you avoid the negative comments to the child during practice and games because of your expectation?
Many times kids are given unfair advantages in playing time and positional stategies by the parent-coach. This favoritism can lead to over-confidence in the athlete's sport and thinking later all he/ she needs to do is be there and not participate at a level that is consistant with the other players on the team.
Other players sometimes form resentments because this athlete gets what he/ she wants without doing the work involved. This is a tough one because parents think they are doing the right thing for the kid.
Many times I ask coaches or professionals, what is it they are coaching for - the family, their kid, because it's fun to watch from the sidelines their creation of an athlete, or are they truly trying to help the community by donating their time?
When a coach has kids in a program who get too old to play for them, yet they are still coaching it leads me to belive they love the game and want to share their knowledge and experience with others.
The reason it's fun was highlighted in a course I just took, and all the examples given really showed how damaging the extraction of fun is with the parent as the coach. This isn't to say it does not, or can not work. This is to say that you have to have firm personal boundries with the athlete of yours and hold him/ her as equal to the others all the time.
Do not be the nice guy in publc and verbally assult the athlete once you get home. Do not ask more of your athlete just because you are the parent.
Now comes the credibility issue.
Just because you have never played a sport at an elite level does not mean you can't be a great coach, or leader. I have heard "Well, you didnt play ...... so what do you know?" Stop it!
The coaches out there donating their time usually take it serious with preparation, and now in the Internet-era, people are extracting information at such a high rate that they are learning how to teach the game.
Having played the game yourself lends nothing to your abilities as a coach except your own personal experience back in the day.
Have you, coaches, ever asked your kids if they want you coaching them? All in all, this is a tough subject for everyone. Parents want to coach their kids and kids want to play.