How to Deal with Daddy Ball

IMG Academy pitching coach Dave Shepard gives pointers to pitcher Cameron Varga.

We asked our Facebook and Twitter fans what the most frequent problem in baseball and softball were and we noticed there was a very popular answer among parents, and players: Daddy Ball.

What is Daddy Ball?

This not only applies to the sport of baseball and softball, but in all sports where a dad coaches their own son or daughter. This is a an uncomfortable topic to address given that you are offending somebody no matter the reason behind your accusation; either you are insulting the coach for giving his son or daughter special treatment or you are insulting the player for not being skilled enough to receive the undeserved playing time.

We've all witnessed or have been apart of a team that has seen one of the worst players on the team get questionable playing time, and we can all agree it's hard to let happen, but the most proactive advice we can give players is to just be the best player you can be. No one will deny you if you are significantly bringing up batting averages, getting players out, getting catches, playing with sportsmanship, and just being undeniably the best. These are the qualities even a "Daddy Ball" coach wont be able to ignore.

What do you do?

Stop focusing on the politics or negative aspects of your team and focus on making yourself so good they won't be able to ignore you. If in any instance you are clearly the better athlete on the team and your coach is still playing favorites then just approach him about the issue. A coach will respect you and your concerns much more if you communicate with him rather then bad-mouthing him behind his back, or causing a scene. That advice goes for both players and parents.

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