As the father of seven kids, Jim Harbaugh shared in a recent GQ interview that with his older kids he was aware the parenting approach of "don't pressure them to play sports," and may have even briefly considered adopting it with his kids, but he instead decided to go the other way.
Surprised? Yeah, me neither.
Harbaugh told GQ:
"I've got seven kids. With the older kids, people would tell me: Don't pressure them to play sports. And I really wanted them to play sports and be good at them. But I listened to what people were saying. Don't put a lot of pressure on them, to be a football player or an athlete. They find their own path.
But now I have an 8-year-old daughter that's in swimming and I'm a swim dad and it's about us. It's 'we.' We have swim practice today. We have to get better. We have to improve our backstroke. We got to make sure we're there on time. And I just had an epiphany: with the eight-and-unders, I'm going to coach them like I do my own players. Not treat my kids any different than my own players; and not treat my players any different than my own kids. Enough of the: Don't put pressure on them, and don't try to make them be good. I had an epiphany and I'm going the other way."
During the recruiting process, and at various points afterwards, head coaches at every level of college football gain headway with parents when they tell them that if they commit to their school, they'll treat the prospects as if they were their own kids.
I find it interesting that Harbaugh flips that on its head and talks about parenting the same way he coaches, and his words on the matter will open the eyes of a lot of coaches reading this. I know it did for me.
Head here to read the full GQ interview, including Harbaugh's view on social media's importance, why he believes khaki's are the best option for for literally every situation, and his take on his Planter's commercial and PB&J's.