If you read my weekly ramblings at all, you know that coaching and leadership come up a lot.

And, so, a couple of you have posed the question of why I don’t coach.

That’s totally a fair question and I would love to explain it.

Let’s start with a very simple fact: I am not a coach.

To be a good coach, you must be good at doing a series of things.

First, coaches must analyze your assets and diagnose your liabilities. What do you have? What could your team be good at, and where are the weaknesses?

Second, based on their findings in the first step, a coach has to devise a plan to make those strengths stronger and to either overcome or improve in those areas where the team is lacking.

Next, they have to be a good enough communicator to relate that plan—in words and deeds—to their coaching staff and players. No matter what their level of confidence in the plan’s success, they have to sell everyone that it’s the way to go and gives the entire team the best hope of getting them where they need to go.

Then, when they’ve done all that, they have to earn their trust enough to adjust when all or part of the plan isn’t working. That includes individuals’ poor personal performances, opposing game plans and injuries.  

To be really good at coaching, you have to be really good at most of those things and surround yourself with assistant coaches who fill the gaps in your deficiencies.

Not only would I not be good at being a head coach, I can really only think of a few ways that I could be helpful on a coaching staff overall.

I think game-night-related things like player fouls, time outs, how many quarters our guys have left to be played in that particular night—those kinds of things.

Not to mention the public scrutiny.

My wife coached basketball at the elementary and middle school levels when we first were married, and it didn’t take long for me to include in my nightly prayer “…and thank you, Lord, for making me a broadcaster and not a coach.”

And I made a commitment to myself and my wife that I would not coach my own kids.

I know that defies current logic, when dads (much more than moms) invite themselves to be on a coaching staff because their kid is on the roster. Or, in some cases, dads play the “you let me on the coaching staff, or I will take my talented kid somewhere that needs my help as a coach” card.

You see how bad that looks in writing, right?

I want my kids to know that when their games are over, they don’t have to be afraid of the ride home. They should not dread the replaying of every single thing that they did wrong or that the team didn’t do well.

When you play sports for a high school, middle school or in pretty much any public league, you are going to fail in front of other people. I want my kids to feel like that truck ride home is a safe place for them.

On top of that, I am horrified by the thought of telling my child to do or not do something in direct conflict to what they are being coached.

Here is an example. I see my son batting and I tell him after a game to back up in the box, but his coach has been telling to stand more toward the front of the box—that’s a problem and it’s a “me” problem as a parent. The only thing that would trump that would be if my kid’s coach was teaching something that was unsafe or unsportsmanlike. If I witness or became aware of that kind of thing, I have a duty to go to the coach and have a chat about it.

Otherwise, you will see me in the bleachers, and you will hear me cheering support for my kids and their teams, and that includes every kid on those teams and not just my own.

As for the coaching, I leave that to those who are best equipped to do it. Those who are meant to do it. Those who are born to do it.

And it’s highly likely that I will contemplate their strategies and philosophies. It’s equally likely I will try to anticipate what they are going to do next. That’s an occupational hazard. I do that same thing dozens of times a week from mid-August to early June while watching and broadcasting games.

No, when it comes to my kids, I am happy to simply be their dad.

I waited a long time to be called dad…I don’t want to mess it up.