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#TakeASide: Coach your son? Or let someone else coach him?


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If you're lucky enough to have a son that decides to play football (or sports in general), the day will come when you're going to have to make a decision: Do you coach your boy, or do you allow someone else to?

Maybe you've already made that decision, or perhaps that call is looming closer and closer every day.

Michigan running backs coach, and former Wolverine running back himself, Tyrone Wheatley found himself having to make that call with his own son at a young age. In the end, Wheatley decided to have his son coached by others in certain areas, while he took the charge in the areas of speed and agility training.

Wheatley's son - T.J. Wheatley - is now currently a tight end for the Wolverines.

“T.J., growing up, I never coached him. I would take him to other people. I would pay for him to get weight trained and for people to train him. The only thing I really did was speed and agility, and that was our time to have father-son time.”

Wheatley went on to explain his logic in detail for the Detroit News.

“I wanted other people to coach him, I wanted other people to yell at him," Wheatley shared. "I was trying to prepare him for this. For me, sometimes as a dad, my expectations as a father may go far beyond those of a coach. Some of the coaches may have to tell me, ‘Calm down.’ But, at the end of the day, I cut the cord."

The reason behind Wheatley's decision has some merit to it, but it should go without saying, there is no right or wrong approach here. It all comes down to what's best for your relationship with your son. Some coaches I know decided to coach them at a young age, arm them with the fundamentals, and then turn them over to other coaches, other guys follow their son from level to level, and there's also a group that stays out of it completely. Then there's coaches like Tyrone Wheatley, whose approach falls somewhere in between.

We're interested in hearing your take and sharing it with other coaches who may have this decision on the horizon. Let me know your thoughts (and why you feel that way) @CoachSamz or via email at

People are sharing some interesting thoughts already. See below.