Taking a break from coaching to watch son?

I know this is probably a smaller demographic on this site but curious to see if there are any high school coaches who have taken a break from coaching to follow their son's collegiate baseball experience? My situation may be even tougher to relate to because I am a football coach. My son will be attending school in a warm weather state and like many other programs, they have a cool intrasquad world series along with open practices. He will be far enough away that I won't be able to drive but airfare is very affordable if planned in advance and I definitely want to make at least a couple of trips out in the fall and obviously in the spring as well.

It might be possible to make something work while coaching football but I would hate to tell my son that I could not come out to watch him play because of practice schedule, etc.

Thoughts from anyone who has shared a similar experience?

Original Post

It's tough.  Everyone's situation is different.  I can't imagine you ever regretting taking time away from coaching to spend more time with your own family.  However, if you are like me, the kids that you coach are pretty darn close to family too.

Also, what is your work schedule?  Coaching (baseball) definitely made it more complicated to go watch son's college ball but a regular work schedule also factors in, as does budget if you are talking flights and overnight stays.  Depending on the year and the school, we were able to make a fair amount (3-5 trips /yr JC, maybe ten to in-state D2 and then only one for his senior year across the country after a transfer).  I would liked to have made more games/trips but it was plenty to stay engaged with his experiences.  In some ways, I think keeping it sporadic was good for him in terms of becoming fully independent and his own man more quickly.  By the time he was a senior, he was totally aware that several cross-country trips weren't going to be feasible.

I would think that coaching football plays pretty well into being available for much of the college baseball schedule.  And many HS's are done with their season by the time the fall series are taking place.   Maybe you can just arrange to be away from football for part of that series.  If you're HC, it's tougher.  Maybe catching a few days between football is an option?  Otherwise, if your son is anything like mine, he would totally understand if your FB team was making a playoff run.  The fall series is, after all, not real games. 

Not a coach here but enjoy these years with SON as much as you can.  Will never happen again.  Those "few" games that I missed during son's college years I would do practically anything to see those games.  When it's gone is when you feel that emptiness during reflection.

I built a very successful baseball program and was faced with having to make a choice about my daughter.  She played softball and I knew that she would start as a freshman on the varsity.  She was a Pitcher and SS but also played every other position.  More importantly she could flat out hit.  My assistant coach was one of my former players who had come to my school after being a college hitting coach because I asked him to.  So, I made the decision to turn the program over to him and watch my daughter play in high school  I became the head coach in softball due to other circumstances.  So, when she went to college, I resigned to watch her play in college.  I don't regret a thing as I was able to watch everyone of her games but one which was a makeup game played in the middle of the week on short notice.  I am back to coaching HS Softball now and having a blast.  I do miss baseball but am one year from retirement and so, my baseball days are over.  

Appreciate the responses. I am not a HC but I do coach for a top 10 program in the state which requires a significant time commitment. Good example of this commitment is the fact that we have already started back up with our off-season training program which means I am back in the weightroom after school. Once we get in to late July, the time commitment ramps up significantly.

You have all commented on what I considered as my son played high school sports which is, this only comes around once and to take advantage of opportunities to see him play. I am going to continue to talk with other coaches and consider feedback from anyone who has shared a similar experience. Appreciate you all taking the time to share your thoughts!!!!

Your situation sounds an awful lot like mine. I coached football on a top tier high school program that sends a large amount of kids to D1 colleges. We play a demanding schedule and are a regional powerhouse. My oldest son played at a rival school then transferred in so we could spend more time together. 

He went on to play in college and I continued to coach. His younger brother was in the last years of elementary school. I had a great time coaching on Friday nights and driving 7-8 hours on early Saturday mornings to watch my oldest play college football. 

My youngest son played  3 sports on travel teams and my wife was logging serious highway miles too. After the college season ended I took time to help coach my youngest son's AAU bball team. I was only a "parent" during football and baseball seasons even though I had the opportunity to catch only a few games in each sport because of time.  Fortunately my oldest's college career was winding down the same  time my youngest middle school playing days were heating up and I had a real chance to watch him play and evaluate his talent with a coaches eye. He was good in all sports but not outstanding in any one sport. We had a heart to heart where he declared his intention of playing in college and he decided to train much harder. 

His last year in middle school I gave up my coaching position and turned down several offers from high schools and two colleges also. Only one position I wanted.... to be a Dad and watch my youngest child play baseball in high school. I threw bp after practice to him daily. We worked extra on defense and strength training. Results started showing immediately, we became even closer. Nothing beats "just being a Dad" on the sidelines watching your son play.

Four years flew by and my son will be playing in college next year. Not close, but I dont care. Still turning down offers to coach and now turning down offers to play basketball and baseball on adult leagues. I love sitting and watching my son and talking to the other parents. My wife and I have made life long friends with other parents of players. We share the same passion......We love watching our boys ( oops, soon to be young men ) play. Sometimes it rains or sometimes the temperature is brutally hot or cold. Either way, you cant pry me away. When he no longer plays then I will go back and coach. But for now, me and the other parents are making plans for the senior high school season. Spring break tournament hotels and away game dinners dominate the conversation. I love coaching football, but I love watching my son play baseball a lot more.

nxt lvl posted:

Your situation sounds an awful lot like mine. I coached football on a top tier high school program that sends a large amount of kids to D1 colleges. We play a demanding schedule and are a regional powerhouse. My oldest son played at a rival school then transferred in so we could spend more time together. 

He went on to play in college and I continued to coach. His younger brother was in the last years of elementary school. I had a great time coaching on Friday nights and driving 7-8 hours on early Saturday mornings to watch my oldest play college football. 

My youngest son played  3 sports on travel teams and my wife was logging serious highway miles too. After the college season ended I took time to help coach my youngest son's AAU bball team. I was only a "parent" during football and baseball seasons even though I had the opportunity to catch only a few games in each sport because of time.  Fortunately my oldest's college career was winding down the same  time my youngest middle school playing days were heating up and I had a real chance to watch him play and evaluate his talent with a coaches eye. He was good in all sports but not outstanding in any one sport. We had a heart to heart where he declared his intention of playing in college and he decided to train much harder. 

His last year in middle school I gave up my coaching position and turned down several offers from high schools and two colleges also. Only one position I wanted.... to be a Dad and watch my youngest child play baseball in high school. I threw bp after practice to him daily. We worked extra on defense and strength training. Results started showing immediately, we became even closer. Nothing beats "just being a Dad" on the sidelines watching your son play.

Four years flew by and my son will be playing in college next year. Not close, but I dont care. Still turning down offers to coach and now turning down offers to play basketball and baseball on adult leagues. I love sitting and watching my son and talking to the other parents. My wife and I have made life long friends with other parents of players. We share the same passion......We love watching our boys ( oops, soon to be young men ) play. Sometimes it rains or sometimes the temperature is brutally hot or cold. Either way, you cant pry me away. When he no longer plays then I will go back and coach. But for now, me and the other parents are making plans for the senior high school season. Spring break tournament hotels and away game dinners dominate the conversation. I love coaching football, but I love watching my son play baseball a lot more.

NXT LVL - nicely put.  Your rewards will be countless!

My perspective is prob. different than most, I have been a HS football coach for years mostly at powerhouse football schools and the time demands are enormous. I also ran into the problem of being at my kids events. Well, 2 yrs ago I took a JH position at our school to have more time and this year I quit coaching all together and became an ag teacher.  I will tell you the time I got to spend with my daughter this fall getting to watch her do her thing (rodeo) was 100% without a doubt worth it.

I can't comment from coaches perspective, I can tell you from a business owners perspective.

As a coach or as an owner you chose to dedicate your time to other places for the potential tremendous rewards. The rewards may be different in professions but ultimately they are still rewards. What I have found is the relationship with my sons, the enjoyment I received from watching them, friends I have made with other (at least some of the other certainly not all) parents who make the same choices have compensated me much more then the money left on the table or the business opportunities left behind due to my choice.

I can only say your sons will have a short window of playing, your coaching skills and the gifts that come from them will in demand for a far longer time frame.

Echoing what others have said I quit coaching  a couple years ago to watch my son's last 'youth' season (14u).  Haven't regretted it a bit.  Now my second son will be entering HS next year and will suit varsity as a Freshman for football and will get to see my two boys together on the same varsity team!  Can't wait.  Nothing can match that although coaching is a rush it doesn't compare!  

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