The Head Coach’s Son & Favoritism

Ok, so this may not be the most popular article for parents, but someone needs to put the theory out there, and yes I say theory, about the Head Coach’s son and children.  I am a Head Coach, and both my son’s play Quarterback for their youth football teams.  I was an offensive guard at their ages, so I am slightly jealous.  Bear @ QBBut anyway, I am Head Coach for my oldest son’s team (5th grade) and am a parent spectator for my youngest (2nd grade) son’s team.  My theory is that the children of head coaches have a biological and environmental advantage over the other players on the team.  So let me explain…

For the last two years, as a Head Coach, I have struggled with my oldest son playing starting quarterback on my tackle football team.  When Berndt, “Bear”,  was younger, on his flag teams, he was the back-up quarterback and starting center for our spread offense.  Bear played Center in flag, because we had a QB prodigy on our flag team.  Two years ago, when I was given the opportunity to coach Bear’s tackle team, I assigned the position responsibilities to my Offensive Coordinator.  Our first year, we went through try outs and the Offensive Coordinator chose my son as the starting QB.  I was not happy with this decision because of the parent political issues this was going to cause.

And for two years, Bear playing QB always comes up as favoritism.  But is it really?  My Offensive Coordinator assigns the backfield positions, not me.  I work with the offensive line.  In our first year, I actually argued against my oldest son playing quarterback, because I thought he wasn’t assertive & competitive enough as a leader.  I am now a believer that Bear is a “real” QB, but only until the last few games of least season.  It’s taken me four years to believe; 2 flag & 2 tackle. Zane Flag

Now, my youngest son, Zane, was the starting QB on his flag team, even after missing two weeks with a broken collarbone.  Zane is much more like me as a leader and a natural athlete.  He’s fun to watch.  Is it surprising to me that another coaching staff has chosen my son as a quarterback?  Yes, but that’s only because I never played QB.  How can this be?  Two son’s starting skill players? 

Since I have been struggling with my own internal favoritism issues, I postulated this theory.  Head Coach’s sons have an advantage over other pee wee football players, because their biological father and dad is the Head Coach.  It’s a biological and environmental advantage.

The children of Head Coaches are exposed to the sport at a very early age.  My boys had footballs in their cribs, and we watch NFL football games together as a familiy.  We live and breathe football in the Parker home. I know a baseball head coach that is the same way about baseball.   I have been practicing football with my boys since they were 3.  They watch me draw up plays, read football books, watch football instructional DVDs and we practice football skills at least once or twice a week during the off-season.  So is it favoritism that Head Coaches’ children are starters in key positions on youth sports team.  I would say no.  OK, so there are a few that show favoritism, but coaches’ children are predisposed, biologically and environmentally, to have an advantage over the other players. 

Let me know what you think about my theory.  Thanks and have a good season.

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl



Filed under Youth Coaching

74 responses to “The Head Coach’s Son & Favoritism

  1. barry oppy

    thanks for the message im in the same boat ive ben coaching for 3 years and my son has been the starting qb for all of them i just started head coaching this year ive never thought of it likie that but ill forward this to any parent who has a problem with my son as qb thanks again

    • jeff vaughan

      this is a real problem my sons hockey coaches are brutal.this is house league and play there kids extra time . and then had the nerve to sit all the kids down and tell them that there own 2 kids were picked as captains due to skill level and communication there 9 and 10.this is clearly not the case and is favourtism….

    • Brian

      I keep reading about how the coaches kids play the key positions and are the starters because they are the better player. Well I have a 5th grader and a 7th grader playing youth football and favoritism is a big problem mostly on the 5th grade team. I believe that at the 5th grade level it is about learning the game and how to play it but how can the kids learn when they are not being coached what to do. My sons 5th grade team has 5 coaches and they have a total of 7 kids on the team. So you tell me if this is favoritism or not when the coaches kids play on average over 30 to 40 plays per game and most other kids play on average 10 plays per game. I kept track of 6 kids of course my son was one of them and when those 6 kids did not play one down in the first half of the game and the coaches kids played 27, 23, 22, 27, 25, 27 plays. Also one of the coaches kids is a 4th grader who will be playing on the 5th grade team again next year played more then most of the 5th graders. The coaches keep telling the kids they need to work hard in practice and pay attention but how can you expect 10 year old kids to work hard in practice if they never see playing time.

      • Anonymous

        Sad that I teach my sons, that hard work will get you what you want. Only for some coach to come through and teach them, thats not true. Obviously not all coaches are like this… But more are than not. All the experience that is stolen adds up and children cannot get it back. If you see the players moving in and out of your community sports. It is not the sport thats broken , its even kids smell bullshit like us.

  2. Jerry Francis

    The situation you describe cannot be described as favoritism because there was an open competition for the position judged by someone other than you.

    My son is on a football team. Last year (under another coach) he competed and won the position of running back where he ran that position on every down of every game last year. This year (under a new coach that happens to be the director of the youth football league) the new head coach appoints his son fullback and another new coach’s son as the halfback – all without competition and decided prior to even the first practice. This not only affected my son, but three other players who rotated the fullback position last year.

    No, your situation is not a case of favoritism, but favoritism does exist in youth sports. It will be a relief to enter high school sports where the coaches do not have a vested interest in any player but only placing the right players in the right position!

    • Willie

      You’re kidding yourself if you think favoritism isn’t just as strong in school sports.

      Best way I’ve found to combat is to have my kid participate in X-Country and Track.. stop watches do NOT play favorites. Fastest kid wins.

  3. Jason

    I think you’re right actually. My son is in his first year of tackle football in 4th grade this year, and I’m the assistant coach/offensive coordinator. While we have another player practicing at QB who shows potential, there is no question that my son has much more knowledge and skill at the position, having mastered the fundamentals of footwork, taking the snap, etc….Most kids can barely even accomplish a basic 5 step drop. Thankfully I didn’t have to make the decision myself to put him as the starting QB though, it was evident to all the other coaches as well.

  4. Coach J

    Coach, this clearly sounds like your sons are the most skilled at the position and not favortism. I agree with jerry francis when he stated that they were awarded the position in an open competition judged by someone else. I wish all coaches would do that! I have 2 sons in tackle football and I have coached for 6 years. I have seen way too many teams not playing to their potential because the head coach places their child at QB or HB that do not have the skills or knowledge to play the position. I would argue however, that it is not any biological or environment disposition that they are given skill positions. More often than not, a head coaches child is given more opportunities to learn the positions. This it what gives them the advantage. Even if it is not the head coach, an assistant coach will often show favortism to another coaches child especially the head coach. Let’s face it fellas we spend a lot of time with one another. When given reps at a skill position they develop a knowledge base to build on that other kids do not get. Even if they do not do well, a coach will show more attention an patience to another coach’s child. If your children really spend that much time studying the game then they deserve to play QB.

  5. Ha Get this one. I’m in my second year of coaching and now I am the head coach of my own team. Not only is my son the starting quaterback my other son is the starting fullback and my nephew is the starting rb. When I brought this up to my other sis when she asked about our team she asked, “Is the parents mad about this.” I stated no and then realized what she said. Some coaches must really do put their kids at qb or at roles to be the star wether there kid has the ability or not. hint: Simpsons episode when Homer makes Bart the starting QB and tryies to make him a star when he actually sucks. BUt Coaches that know what they’re doing and how to go about it does whats best for the team and sometimes it’s having their kid in that spot. We had open practice and drills to see who does what and who goes where. Me being the Head Coach and having my two sons on the team (this is their 2nd year playing pee wee tackle football) they already had a heads up on stuff and I already knew where they were going…… To the bench!!!! My oldest son which is the QB was starting Right guard teh year before and 3rd string DT. He started to fall off a little so the Head coach benched him about halfway thru last season. My other son only seen special teams play.( Not all special teams, just kickoff) I was the defense coach. I pretty much could’ve forced my kid into starting spots escpecially me being the defense coach but I knew their abilities. Which brings me back to now when I said they would probablly be coming off the bench. My oldest son which is our QB I didn’t ever think that was goin to happen and if someone told me that when I was getting my team together I would’ve laughed at them. But when practices came both of my sons knew their holes plays and alot more about football then the rest. My nephew practiced last year and then quit b4 season started so he knew some football. I was sure he was going to be our RB but when my sons picked things up I had no choice. I was alwasy skeptical of my oldest at QB you could’nt pay me to start him or have him there, but he has done things that I could’nt believe or ever think he could. He makes his own plays and adds on to things that we do and I am amazed!! My other son I put at FB was to protect our RB and Qb since he picked up his holes and things. Its amazing My oldest son being the head coaches son wasn’t suppose to be this major of a factor for the team but ended up to be a savior and keeping us awya from being a disaster. What’s carzy now is their little sis might be playing next year!!!

  6. Michael

    Hi there.

    Favoritism definitely is a major sore spot in my kids’ school. Our teams, like basketball and volleyball, have an”A” teams and a “B”.

    The girls who are friends with the principal’s daughter routinely get picked for the “A” team although a handful of them couldn’t make a basket or do a bump if their lives depended on it. My daughter has played both volleyball and basketball (superb shooter) on outside teams and has consistently been a star in both sports but routinely gets bumped to the “B” team.

    The school’s gym teacher claims these spots are open competition, but year-over-year it’s the same kids for the same teams.

    What truly upsets me is how blatant these elections are, but only a few parents say anything.

  7. Brad

    Does the term quid pro quo mean anything to you?

    You would not be writing about this if you really knew down deep it was not an issue.

  8. Cathy

    Favoritism can be rampant in any sport. My son lays baseball and has for 8 years now. This year he worked his way to starting pitcher for his team that went 11-6. Another coach sought him out to play on the “All Star” team. Then benched my son for 19 of 21 innings in the state tournament. Made comments that my son was really only average. Of course the coaches son played 21 of 21 innings.
    Favoritism hand in hand with emotional abuse!

  9. Tony

    Slightly different situation, but thought I’d share:

    I was allstate in HS, and played in college, but now have two beautiful girls that are cheerleaders. Got involved in coaching cause “I was there anyway and the coaches asked for assistants”, and now have the fever. I love it. Love teaching the game that I loved playing to kids who are respectful and willing to learn every day (almost). And the organization I’m involved with is outstanding from A, B and C levels, even the cheerleaders. Parents have their usual complaints, but most are fairly ordinary requests. And no prejudice cause no sons.

    Guys, coach like you love football. And if your son is the best use him. If not, accept it and do what’s best for the kids/team that are there. And most of all, enjoy it; there’s nothing like it. Once it’s in your blood, it’ll always be. And the best thing you can do is pass the passion on to the next generation(s).


  10. mike

    Give me a break! Why is the coaches son always uniquely qualified to be QB, never uniquely qualified to be defensive end or tackle. You’re kidding yourself. The best high school QB I ever saw had to wait until 2 years until the coaches son graduated before he could get off the bench and play. I wouldn’t be so obvious if even 1% of coaches sons weren’t the quarterback!!!

  11. Jim

    Here’s a question for you…what if the coach’s son is not qualified to be the QB, but gets to play anyway, with no other children on the team getting a chance to practice? Our coach’s son gives the bare minimum in practices and games when he’s not the “star,” and threw a fit when he was told he had to play anything other than quarterback. And yet he continues to start in the position. The head coach already been approached by his assistant coaches but blows them off and continues to play his own child, who not only is the biggest whiner, but an average player at best. This is clearly not for the good of the team or the other boys, who need and want to learn how to play other positions. Any comments or suggestions as to how to deal with this situation?

    • This is a tough situation. Since the assistant coaches are aware of the situatution and are supportive of removing the coach’s son, I would work with them and the team mom / manager and appraoch the league’s age group coordinator or commissioner about the situation. I would let the league sort this out. A coach last season in our league did this same thing and he is no longer a head coach.

      If the league does not sort this out, find a new team or league.

  12. Gdav

    Nepostim is alive and well in youth football. My 11 year old recently joined an established team. The whole “everyone will earn their position”, give me 100% to keeep your position” was a continual montra.
    After tryouts my son was praised and said to be one of the 2 fastest on the team. And he is one of the hardest hitters. Well what do you know he ends up at the receiver position where the quarterback, “coaches son might heave a lamb duck prayer twice a game and hope that its within 10 yards of my son.
    The 2 other coaches sons have taken running back positions as well. My son continues to see less playing time. I’ve been told they are resting him for the big plays. Ha. Last year we played in a league where my son never left the field.
    Bottom line I was sold a bill of goods by the coaching staff who needed my money for entry fees. The team consists of 3 players and 17 decoys and blocking dummies. Just my thought about nepotism.

  13. Paul Quinones

    Nepotism is alive and well everywhere! It all depends on the coach. Some coaches truly will put the best player in the right position. Is there an evironmental advantage for coaches sons, heck yeah there is. If they want it. Show me a super physical football player under the age of 11 and I will show you an average smart football player that will beat that kid 8 out of 10 times. This is where coaches kids have the advantage learning the game of football. Most of us only get 2-3 practices days a week with all other kids but I have my son everyday, is this to his advantage, yep. But I will bench my son in a heart beat if he isn’t the best at that position.

    • Hey Coach, Thanks for you post. I agree, that Nepotism is alive and well and that is sad, but good coaches will bench their sons or others favorites if they can’t play a position or there is a more talented player. Thanks again, Coach Parker and Go Kanes!

  14. It is amazingly unfortunate that skilled, polished and enthusiastic young athletes are being ignored since the coaches are more in tune with their own childrens beliefs, ie. your own beliefs. We have taken part in Pop Warner for 2 years and the disgust has grown deeper daily. Private practices, arranged positions, stacking teams and never realizing the oversight of players and humiliation that is offered.

    I totally agree, good coaches bench their sons if needed. In our arena, their is a Minimum Play Rule…needless to say…”if your dad is a coach, you have a position on both sides of the ball”. The rest of our broken hearts are to make the quota for the roster.

    So if you are that coach that believes your son is the greatest…so do the rest of the parents. Keep patting yourself on the back for your contributions to the team, but know when to prioritize the abilities and never leave a child behind.

  15. Maury M

    You are correct. I am a former high school and college qb, and have put my 7 year old at the helm. Parents dont mind because he clearly gets it and takes it to the house when we need it. However, since we are still in flag, and our league calls for it, I give all the boys a shot at qb. The difference in play is obvious. My son loves the game and will watch hours of football with me on the weekends of his own choice. I think kids that enjoy watching sports have an advantage because their sports IQ becomes engaged. The “son of a coach” theory is also correct. They just get it and are usually driven by competition and a hunger to win. I don’t see a problem with it unless you are one of the fathers whose son is clearly not the best choice to start, and some other kid, and the team suffers for it.

  16. Gritz

    I don’t understand your premise. It is you who is assigning a greater value to the quarterback position than anyone else. What id your son merely hands off to a stud rb the entire year? Is his position any more valuable than that of the guard or tackle? You sure seem to think so. What if the head coach is a former defensive tackle..he might play his son there, while not qualified, and no one would ever know or care.

    • To be very honest, the QB position is very important in football. Its not just me that thinks so. You are wrong in your premise that no would care if someone played tackle though not qualified. When the QB and RBs are tackled in the backfield, people will notice.

      I am a former tackle and my son played tackle this year for the team, because he was the biggest player on his new football team in Keller. I wanted him to play another position besides QB this year. He loved it.

      thanks for your post,
      Coach Parker
      Keller, Texas

  17. Coach O

    I know that I am getting into this conversation late, but I will have to agree with Gritz. My youngest is 9 now and has been a qb since age 6 (all tackle football). I was not the one who put him at that position. After his 5 y/o season, the then head coach asked me to work with him over the summer and that he wanted to put him at qb the following season. Being a decent (1st team all conference) qb myself in h.s., I bucked his thoughts. I didn’t see in my son what he saw. For me it wasn’t his natural ability, but I wasn’t sure he was going to live up to the pressure of the position. I reluctantly worked with him, and he just took to it naturally. In all honesty, he’s been lights out ever since. The kid amazes even me most of the time.
    Well I’m offered a head coaching spot for his age group this past season at a different organization. Needless to say that some of the parents of the kids already there weren’t happy with the way things shook out. I had open try-outs at EVERY skill position. The kid that used to play qb ended up 3rd string, but the coaches and I tried to accomadate him and his parents by starting him at left WR/TE. He did want to play it and neither did his parents want him there. It became a big thing on our team. I tried to ignore it at first, but 3 games into the season it had to be resolved in a parent meeting. Once I explained to all of the parents that they didn’t see my son run the ball not one time so far that season, things finally calmed down. I did not play my boy at qb to shine as a star. He was there because he knew my offense and how I wanted it ran. He was overly effecient and at 8 years old could put the ball 32 yards down the field almost on a dime 7 out of 10 times. We ended up playing a total of 17 games this past season and my son only ran the ball 4 times. He wasn’t happy about that, but once I explained to him what we were trying to accomplish, he was fine. He is really close to becoming a complete qb given his age, but he’ll have plenty of opportunity to run the ball as he gets older. I don’t have a problem limiting his carries now to get other kids going and make the team more successful as a whole. So yes, I’m a head coach who’s son plays quarterback, but he is far from the focal point of his current team and won’t be as long as I’m coaching him.

  18. Tex

    On my son’s team the Coach’s son played QB. To many of us on the sidelines during practice we saw other players that would make better QB’s. I just felt bad for the kids who did not get the opportunity to try the QB position. I believe that to much is being put into winning and not teaching the game. At this age the kids should get to play a variety of positions to learn the fundementals of the game. I beleive that will prepare them for the future when they will truly have to compete to make the team in Jr and High School.

  19. WorkingMom

    I agree with your theory to a certain point, but would like to point out to ALL youth coaches that in the early years of any sport, most leagues are considered “developmental”. It is your role as a coach to teach this sport and the skill set needed to play each position to each and EVERY player. At the older ages, playing the strongest is more understandable, but from a parent (and board member’s) perspective, hearing horror stories about the coach’s kid being late to or missing practices while still getting the majority of playing time while others warm the bench is frustrating and disheartening. It’s even worse when the coaches at the next level bitch that the players they’re getting don’t know what they’re doing.

    If you coach, it needs to be for ALL the kids on your team, not just a chosen few. It should also be understood, after hearing today from a coach that “generally the strongest 11 are played at defense” in youth football means that the other 14 kids on the team receive little to no training on defense, that you are ensuring the death of the league after you’ve moved on. Parents talk. Most leagues need them to volunteer for the Snack Shack, donate things, fundraise, etc. You’re shooting yourselves in the foot while guaranteeing you only have 11 players who can play defense in the future.

    • Thanks for your post. Please remember that most youth football coaches are volunteers and unpaid. We spend at least 20 hours a week and some, like me, close to 40 hours a week during the football season. We are also human and have many imperfections and must coach 25 players on the team and their parents. So we make mistakes, as I am sure everyone does.

      I must disagree, it is not the coach’s responsibility to coach each position to each individual player. We should teach the general concepts of each position to the players but we do not have the time in practice to teach each player each position in detail to play that position in the game. It is also the player’s responsibility to learn the game outside of the time spent in practice. The Internet is filled with great resources for players to learn football.

      As Coaches we want to play every player on the team, but some players are not ready to be starters or play in the game more than the minimum plays required. Many times we are concerned for the player’s safety and their confidence as a player.

      We also must balance winning with play time. Even though parents want everyone to play, the boo birds hover over the coaches when the team loses almost every game because we are playing everyone. Been there done that one. Instead of having a few parents mad at the coaches, then you have about 80% of the parents very upset about losing.

      Like life, coaching is balance.

      • WorkingMom

        Steve264, wish you coached here. As a fellow coach and board member for three different youth leagues, I understand volunteer coaches aren’t paid and well aware of the hours put in. It’s also well understood there’s a time and place for the stronger players to be played; that’s never been questioned. But when your coaches have no stated minimum play requirements and they chose to ignore the governing body’s rules that at these levels players are to receive equitable playing time, what does a parent do? What does a board do? This isn’t an issue with safety or concern for the kids. This is an issue where there’s blatant favoritism and it’s killing our league. They’re not losing almost every game because everyone plays – they’re losing almost every game because only half the team plays; they haven’t had a chance to see if they’d win if the other kids took the field. And now the parents, who we count on to volunteer in other ways besides coaching (donating goods and time for the snack bar, buying fundraisers, etc.) are ticked, and the volunteers are down. Our drop-out rate is 47%, up from 31% the year before. Our older level coaches are pissed because they’re getting fewer kids with less skills because at some point, the coaches’ kids are losing interest themselves and dropping out. And our high school coaches are experiencing the worst losing streak of the past 30 years.

        Yes, everyone is human, but while there’s some pieces of work out there for parents, so are there for coaches. Other youth sports leagues have begun to address the lack of training volunteer coaches have, because guess what? Having played in high school doesn’t make you a good coach. Nor does being the one willing to volunteer. Again, this is the U6/8 soccer, the youngest levels of hockey and baseball, the D and JVC team football coaches – the developmental leagues where the governing bodies’ stated mission is to teach the fundamentals of the game. The best thing I ever heard a coach at the lower levels say was “my goal is to have all your kids want to play this sport again next season”. Give your players a positive coaching experience – telling them “you suck” (yes, a statement heard from one of the coaches) is NOT acceptable. Period.

        I also agree it’s not the coach’s responsibility to teach each position to each individual player – perhaps I stated my sentiment the wrong way. If you want to coach, you agree to the governing body’s bylaws. If the rule is “equal playing time for Team X”, and you’re coaching Team X, follow the rules or don’t coach. If the league says “Coaches at Y level are to teach the fundamentals”, then teach the fundamentals, even if it’s only recommending some of those websites you mentioned.

        And while your statement about learning the game outside of practice is totally valid, I would ask you – what do you do when a player has done that, but is never given the chance to show he can play the position? These coaches began the first practice having already assigned kids to roles without evaluating new players – they’d never seen some of these kids play (new to the city/first year playing). Can you guess which kids are in those roles?

        Coaching IS a balance. Just like 1% of the parents will be thorns in your side, 1% of the coaches will be the type that kids remember as “the Coach from Hell”. Players know who’s in it only for their kid and who’s in it to support all their players. And if you are in a league with a high drop-out rate (47% from last year, up from 31% the year before), it may be time to look into why kids, parents, volunteers and sponsors are walking away from you.

      • Anonymous

        Dont kid yourself.

  20. Justme

    After reading the article and many post, I have to ask. What about the coaches who start their kids (or have them go both ways) when the kids is not that good (and with one coach, his son didnt want to play)?

    My son coach had his son as starting outside LB and the kid was afraid to hit/tackle. Most of the tackles he made was because he could not get out of the way in time, or he jumped in as the ball carrier was on his way down.

    When parents in the stands see this and see other kids who are just learning and/or want to be on the field forced to sit a majority of the game, it tends to stir the anger.

    Coaches need to be objective when evaluating all player, including their own kids. We had 30+ on our team (2nd & 3rd graders) and as hard as it is to ensure that all kids get decent time on the field, in this case, it could have been easier had the coaches kids shared time and not played both ways.

    • Unfortunately some coaches are not objective about evaluating their children and or they have decided that their children will play since they are volunteering all this time to coach. Coaches also feel comfortable with their children in certain positions because they trust them.

      Like anything, there are coaches that play favorites and hurt the team. This should not occur but does. At some point, his assistant coaches or team mom must have an honest discussion with the head coach.

      Based on your post, One of the main issues with your team was the size. 30+ players on a team is very large. I like 18-22 players on my football teams, after that it is tough to substitute players. So just by the size of the team will cause play time issues and then its down hill from there.

  21. sdwyer41

    One problem we ran into last season was size. Our team was K-2nd grade team. We had 22 kids on the team, of those 22 4 were stripers, and 2 others would “qualify” as line man. So we have 22 kids, 22 positions to fill (11 off. and 11 def) of those 22 positions, 10 (5 ol and 5 dl) were filled by 6 kids. Now we have 10 positions and 16 kids left over. Does not sound too bad until you figure of those 16 kids 9 were in kindergarten and averaged about 35-40 lbs, and some of them would cry everytime they gave or received a hit. One 1st grader would play for a couple of min. then ask to come out. So now we are down to 15 kids, 9 of which were in kindergarten and tiny. Figgure a team out of that mess, and get everyone playing time. Glad I wasn’t the head coach. The coach asked each kid who was elligable if they wanted to run the ball, many said no, so they were reduced to defence only, as they were too small for the line and did not want the ball. Now, since they would not play off., that reduced their available time by half, since the ones willing to play off. wanted time on def as well, the reduced the def only kids to even less time. We had one of the smallest kids on the team, (about 45 lbs) by the end of the season was either carying the ball, starting OLB or blocking full back, because he was fearless, and loved to hit. But some of the younger ones, were not only small and slow, they were afraid. By the end of the season one had toughened up to where he would only cry if he took a fairly hard hit. (at start he cried on every hit) We had parents complain when their kid did not run the ball even though their kid said he did not wont to cary the ball. Though our coach played his son at QB, and he was not the best QB on the team in my opp. he also played others at that position, though maybe not as much. Looking forward to next years 3rd 4th grade team. Should be closer size matchups anyway. Sorry if I rambled too much, but maybe that will give you an idea of what a coach has to deal with to get playing time for all, and set his depth chart.

  22. Dave Burns

    I too experienced being the Head Coach of a team whos son was the starting quarterback and I do agree that there are advantages to having your quarterback live under the same roof to discuss situations, watch film, etc.
    I always belived that in any position you start the best player for the job regardless!

  23. Rick

    I palyed and my 2 sons have both played. My kids never started but wow when we went into school ball both my sons made middle linbacker A team. and have held it into high school. all the coaches sons started both ways most of the time and they did not make the A team with my sons. daddy ball will always be daddy ball and the more involved you are you more your kids play.

    • Thanks for your comment. Every situation is different and coaches see different things in different players. Plus each year players mature and change. I’ve seen minimum play players one year progress to starting positions this next season and starters become min play players.

      Since I wrote this this article several years ago, I do see more daddy coaches and favoritism, especially since I look for it now based on the popularity of this article. All coaches should play their best players. When my son’s are on my teams I do not coach their positions. I also enjoy coaching teams when I do not have a son on the team. It is so much easier dealing with parents when your son is not on the team.

      I am an advocate of leagues not allowing coach’s children on their teams. But many leagues would not have enough coaches to coach. So, many of us will see coaches children play more because that’s the price of volunteer coaches.. Or you could pay $20k a year for a professional coach to coach your child’s team. This is what a friend of mine is paying for an soccer coach salary for a select team.

      Thanks again
      Coach Parker

  24. donottell

    We are on ur second practice and they have already assigned 7 out of about thirty kids to the qb rb positions. How do they know who can do what after only one practice game? Three out of the seven are sons of the coaches. Should I be concerned….does it sound like favortism?

    • It is not uncommon for the coaches to assign a first group of QBs and RBs after the first one or two practices, especially if they already know many of the players prior to the first practice. When you assign players to these positions, they are looking for the fastest kids with the most coordination and football skills. It is really easy to find who these players in the first one or two practices by timing 20 yard and 40 yard sprints. Of course you adjust these skill players as practices progresses and you may see players that you missed earlier.

      Also, you can assign lineman pretty quickly based on weight and league weight rules. In some leagues, players over a certain weight cannot carry the ball or play behind the Line of Scrimmage. Sometimes, a player might make a great RB but because of his size and ability to block and pull, you want him at guard, so a smaller RB with almost the same RB skills will run the ball behind better blocking.

      Plus, different coaches want and see different things from players. What I might think is my perfect QB another coach may think he is a TE. This could be because of different offensive formations and schemes. It is very subjective about picking and assigning players plus its hard evaluating youth football players. And coaches want to pick the skill positions early so the players can start learning and repping plays. You must rep rep rep.

      If the 7 that the coaches picked are the fastest kids on the team, I would not worry so much unless those 7 fumble all the time or cant remember the plays.

      Thanks again
      Coach Parker

  25. Evan

    My 7 year-old son is in his 1st year in playing pee wee football (6/7/8 year olds). I have attended and watched every practice closely and during the 1st week of practice (conditioning week) he was usually finished 1st or 2nd in the 20 and 40 yard dashes, thus he is one of the fastest kids, if not the fastest kid on the team. Once they issued equipment (2nd week) his speed held true. Based on this alone I was certain that he would take repetitions with the RB/QB group, however to my surprise I was stunned when they placed him with the defensive unit. Come to find out 5 of the 6 kids in the RB/QB group are sons’ of the coaches (6 coaches on the team). The next day the head coach sent out an email to all parent assuring us that there are no positions set as of yet and everyone will be alloted the same opportunites at all position. We are in week 3 and yet the same kids are in the same groups. My son has asked me why has he not been allowed to run the ball at practice as of yet, and I honestly don’t know what to tell him. I noticed that in the last few practices he is starting to lose some interest, and when the coach gives him reps on offense they line him up at split end (they never throw the ball). None of the kids in the skill position group are as fast as my son, and the only thing they do have on him is 1-year of experience. I can ONLY attribute this to NEPOTISM. I’m my son’s baseball coach myself, and I was usually the hardest on my son. I always tried to move him around in the batting order just to avoid this issue. I really do not want to confront the coaches, however 3-weeks in none of the skill position players blow me away and they have yet to give other kids opportunities. Head scratcher!!!!!!

    • Evan

      UPDATE: The season is finally over. The team finished 1-7, and it wasn’t a surprise based on the lack of talent they had at the skill positions, and lack of leadership by the head coach. Not ONE kid ran the ball this year unless his father was on the coaching staff (6 coaches). There were 23 kids on the team and only about 14 of them played regularly. The other 9 kids only saw time on kickoffs, a few plays or not play at all. 8 kids started both ways. In one game they put a small kid who barely played at RB (another coach’s son of course) who ran the towards the wrong endzone to avoid being hit. By mid-season most of the parents were irate midway about playing time issues and the nepotism at the skill positions .. so much that numerous emails were sent to the head coach about the problem. The coach called a parents meeting basically saying that, ‘he is going to play who HE thinks should play and playing time is not guaranteed ‘. As for my son he was NEVER giver an opportunity to run the ball in practice or a game (again he was the fastest player on the team). Every parent and some coaches knew my son was fastest kid, and they could not beleive that he wasn’t getting reps at RB. My son played TE on offense, however he was just a glorified lineman as they NEVER threw the ball. On defense he was the starting outside LB and usually lead the team in tackles and hits in the backfield in each game. Two of the coaches told me personally that they suggested to the head coach that they make my son a RB, and they were both shot down by the head coach. Going through this season it was pretty evident that the head coach was only concerned with micro-managing his son who started at QB, middle linebacker, kicker and kick returner . The offensive play calling consisted of QB keepers about 70% of the time. His son only scored about 3 TD’s the whole season eventhough he ran the ball the majority of the time. No matter what the score the head coach’s son NEVER came out of a game. His son is a decent player, however he should be when he is getting all the reps in practice and the games. My son acutally played about 95% of the snaps this year. Honestly, I thought he played a little too much. At one point I even asked that he be pulled off of starting offense to give other kids an opportunity to play. But I was told he was one of the best blockers they had. It was a sad display of teaching the fundamentals of the game, by the head coach, all season long and it was apparent to all who watched. Next year I will be looking for another league for my son to play in.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s