What is the impact on boys athletically when their fathers are the coaches?

June 6, 2009
By Liam Northey BRONZE, Oak Park, Illinois
Liam Northey BRONZE, Oak Park, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

What is the impact on boys athletically when their fathers are the coaches?

Pressure is something that is guaranteed to be apart of everyone’s life and in some cases more so with young boys growing up. But when a boy becomes a player in a sport that he loves, he can escape the everyday pressure and do something that he enjoys. Then, all of that can be lost in a moment when a father becomes the coach. The pressure is reestablished on the boy and all in the sport seems lost. All because their dad wanted to help out on the team. Not to say that helping out or being a coach on a sports team is detrimental by any means, it should just be realized that not much good can come out of fathers coaching their sons. The boys get pressured constantly and in that situation, everybody loses.

Johnson, Allan G. Where Are We? The Gender Knot. Philadelphia, PA: Temple UP, 1997. 7-17.

Where Are We? is the first chapter out of Allan Johnson’s book, The Gender Knot. It goes in to detail in discussing the importance of patriarchy in society and how in influences people. From the core of everything, patriarchy is a strong aspect in the “legacy were trapped in”. It discussed how male identification is the description of culture of masculinity and that of the ideal man in society. Also talked of is the lack of acknowledgement for the roots of patriarchy and our involvement in it, and also how that effects society. Although the article may not have anything on the involvement of fathers as coaches to their sons, it did touch on the role of fathers in society. It showed me how patriarchy is viewed and even how that can effect other roles, such as son/player. I believe that the source, context, and bias of this article are all mostly valid because a major company published it and it has been reviewed as one of the best books on this subject. Even with this information it is also possible that Allan Johnson himself is a father, disrupting the biased factor. This medium is useful in this work because it discussed all kinds of effects that patriarchy can have.

Pollack, William S. Real Boy's Voices. New York: Random House, 2000.

William Pollack’s book, Real Boy’s Voices introduced us to problem that is facing many teenage boys in America today, the pressure to submit to the “Boy Code”, or to not show emotion or weakness. This article was particularly moving because of the numerous examples from boys across America shown in interviews done by Pollack himself. “the Secret Emotional Lives of America’s Boys: What They’re Really Talking About” is the first chapter from this book and it’s title really tells it all. It describes how American boys feel pressure everyday on how to look and act. The “Boy Code” is an unwritten code that all boys must conform to, which states that boys can’t look weak or show emotions at all because of the fact that they are simple male and that is what their gender states. This source is relevant to my question, but not perfect because it also doesn’t discuss the relation of father-coach/son-player. But what it does do is spell out in a simple matter how much pressure that boys feel everyday and how they must act, and that the pressure added with their father as their coach can be just too much. Even though this article is not biased, the context and source might be a little off. The context of the interview could be slightly exaggerated and the source not completely relevant. This medium is useful in the work I’m doing because it is personal interviews with a lot of information.

Short, Sandra E., and Martin W. Short. "Essay: role of the coach in the coach-athlete relationship." 1 Dec. 2005. eLibrary. OPRFHS Moodle. 20 Apr. 2009 .

“The main responsibility of the coach is to enable their athletes to attain levels of performance not otherwise achievable.”, is what a coach is supposed to do according to Sandra and Martin Short’s essay on the role of coach. This essay was about the coach, and how that coach is supposed to handle him or herself and act in the coach-athlete relationship. Some things were easy but others, such as the main responsibility shown above, cannot be attained easily. It enlightened me to how hard it is to coach an athlete and be both their friend and mentor. I believe that this essay is very relevant to my research because it goes into detail for half of the relationship in my question. It acknowledges the difficult challenge of being a coach, and the responsibilities that come with it. The context is relevant because it is all done in fact, not opinion. It is possible to be biased because it is unknown if the writers have ever been coaches, but its source is not impressive because it is a simple essay and not a full-scale research paper. This medium is useful to me because of its fact basis and lack of opinion.

Weiss, Maureen R., and Susan D. Fretwell. "The Parent-Coach/Child-Athlete Relationship in Youth Sport: Cordial, Contentious, or Conundrum?" 1 Sept. 2005. eLibrary. OPRFHS Moodle. 20 Apr. 2009 .

There are both positives and negatives in the coach-father relationship, as there are in all of life. Some of the positives included: perks, praise, understanding, special attention, and quality time; all good things that come with a boys father as his coach. But to me, the negatives: pressure, expectations, conflict, negative emotional responses, criticism for mistakes, and unfair behavior; highly out way the positives. This article described the father-coach/son-player relationship in great detail, and how it can cause lots of pressure at a young age. This article described how father-coaches can clearly see their role difference but can’t always reduce the difference between them to make it easier for their son-player. This article was extremely relevant for my question because it clearly defined the roles of fathers, coaches, sons, and players; as well as where all of those roles intersect. The context, source, and biased are all seen correctly as it is a full research and personal interview article, with good sourcing, and two female authors who could never be father-coaches. This medium is useful to my work because it discusses all of the parts and issues that come with my question being asked.

Wiersma, Lenny D., and Clay P. Sherman. "Volunteer Youth Sport Coaches' Perspectives of Coaching Education/Certification and Parental Codes of Conduct." 1 Sept. 2005. eLibrary. OPRFHS Moodle. 26 Apr. 2009 .

This article described how volunteers, mostly parents, who coach in youth sports viewed four things: the coaching education areas of need, problems of offering coaching education, coaching education format recommendations, and the efficiency of parental codes of conduct. The information that was gathered from the focus group interviews done was varied but all pointed to the face that coaches play a vital role in the experience for children in youth sports. Without a coach, the “healthy, enjoyable, and developmentally appropriate” experience would be gone and the child would truly miss out. This resource is relevant to my question because it describes the coach’s view of the role of the coach in youth sports. I believe that this view is necessary because without it we would never know the view first-hand from the person that runs all of decisions for a child, just like a parent. This article could be biased because either of the authors could be coaches but its source and context are very relevant because of the research that is done through focus group interviews. This particular medium is useful to my question because it shows the view of the coach from the coach, not given before in my other bibliography entries.

Northey, Thomas M. "Impact of Fathers as Coaches to Their Sons." Personal interview. 23 Apr. 2009.

I conducted my personal interview on father-coach/son-player relationship with my father. He had never been coached by his father but his currently helping as a coach of my 8-year old brother Henry’s T-ball team, the White Sox. My father believed that he could have an influence and a special bond by coaching his son, and knows that it impacts him. “He looks to me for direction more than he would otherwise. Isn’t that right Henry?”, he answered as Henry nodded in reply. Tom would also recommend others to coach their kids because he thinks that through giving a gift of teaching something, the teacher, or coach, get equal to that gift or even more back. This interview was relevant because I got personal answers one-on-one with a real father-coach coaching their son right now. The context and source of this interview were real, but it was pretty biased since I asked all of the questions to my own father who is currently coaching my brother. This medium is useful to my question because it has a close and personal view of the relationship I’m looking at.

R., Abel, and R., Nick. “The Abel and Nick R. Experiment” Personal Observation. 20-24 Apr. 2009.

My observation was done over a five-day period where I looked closely at the father-coach/son-player relationship on my own Track & Field team. The relationship is between Coach Abel R. and his son, Nick. I have known the two of them for about 2 years and have become equally close with them. I saw a lot over the five days that surprised me. Some things were sights that I saw commonly, even when I wasn’t paying close attention, like Coach Abel taking Nick to the side after a workout to give him constructive criticism. But others I didn’t normally see, like how Nick reacted during and after those talks, and the way he performed after the advice from his father. After a talk where Coach Abel was showing Nick better form and breathing technique I heard Nick complaining at the beginning of the run, some thing I didn’t usually notice. Overall, I saw positive and negative things, and realized that the relationship can be completely altered by how either the father-coach or son-player takes it. This observation is relevant to my question because it clearly shows the relationship in everyday sport, and the reactions of those involved. The context and source are mostly true, because they are based in what I saw, not my opinion. But it is biased because both individuals involved also have a relationship with me. This medium is useful because like the personal interview it gives a close and personal view of the relationship that I’m asking about.

The author's comments:
An annotated bibliography written for my sophomore English class. Hope you enjoy!

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