Kids With Coaches for Parents: Troubled or Unfairly Scrutinized?


"When the kid says, 'My dad is this famous coach,' they will get a pass that a lot of other kids don't," he said. "Who knows how many times they've gotten a pass, which reinforces the belief system that they can do whatever they want without dealing with the consequences."

But dangerous coping mechanisms are not the only factor when considering the behavior of coaches' children.

"The dad in that situation gets a pass in the house, in the marriage at least, because he's got this crazy job to be doing 24/7," Teitelbaum said. "It really becomes up to the mom to be more present and proactive and to set limits.

"That's also where things sometimes break down. There's not enough of that side of things coming from the other parent."

Teitelbaum said there may be an expectation on the part of the coach that the family will somehow fall in line and that family life will be taken care of in his absence. When things go wrong though, the coach may be underprepared.

"In that way, they do often fail their children," he said.

"Being a parent takes a lot of time and energy, and being really successful in your profession takes a lot of time and energy," said Levine. "There are only 24 hours in a day no matter how you slice it."

But Lustberg said the only difference between children of coaches exhibiting certain behaviors and ordinary people with the same problems is the attention given to their mistakes as a result of their parent's position.

"They're no different than we are except that they get publicized," he said.

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