When did it become okay for moms and dads to rant and rave in the stands and feel entitled to text, email and call up their child’s coaches about anything that rubs them wrong?
I recently read this article about a high school coach who left her coaching position because of the overinvolvement of parents. Unfortunately, this narrative is becoming commonplace at all levels of youth sports.
How did my husband Keith ever make it to the NHL without his parents intervening?
My Father-in-law, Jack, says that he never once questioned a coach (good or bad) during Keith’s ENTIRE youth hockey career. Jack also coached football himself and said that he had to ask kids to track down their parents if he ever needed them because they were nowhere to be found.
We don’t have a problem tracking down parents anymore.
They are found on every sideline and set of bleachers today and have made their child’s sport a priority in their adult life.
The problem is that many parents are negatively making their presence known today.
Parents overinvolvement affects our children’s sports experience and their overall love and passion for the game. Three of my five children have played high-level multi-sports, so I get the intensity of it all, but there are certain things parents should refrain from bugging the coaches about.
Let’s begin giving the game back to the kids by letting the athlete be the athlete, and the Coach be the Coach.
6 Things Parents Should Not Debate with Their Child’s Coach
The number one thing parents complain about is their child’s playing time. “Why isn’t my child playing more?” Families put in a lot of time and money and naturally have expectations based on this, but back off and trust the coach.
Any playing time questions should ultimately be an athlete-coach conversation, not a parent-coach discussion. If an athlete feels they are being slighted, it’s up to them to talk it over with the Coach. If your child isn’t comfortable doing so, then perhaps you teach your child how to have the discussion but don’t do it for them.
Coaches have a method to their madness. They put a lot of thought into their game plans. If they feel they need to switch up player positioning, then they will do it. No Coach needs a parent requesting changes be made to their lineup. Once again, if your athlete feels a change should be made, by all means, they should request a meeting with their Coach.
I think a lot of parents forget there’s an important thing called development in youth sports and losses are part of that development. No Coach sets out to purposely lose. They are likely just as competitive as you, if not more. The difference is a good coach understands that sometimes you may have a losing season in spite of gained improvement. It is a huge mistake only to see a winning season as a successful one.
Maybe your child will be chosen for the end-of-the-year all-star team or maybe they won’t. Please don’t plead your case to the Coach on why your child is deserving. The decision is not yours to make. And if your athlete isn’t chosen, don’t bug the Coach about why not. If it means enough to your child, he or she can ask Coach how to improve and use not making that team as a motivating tool for the next season.
Don’t critique your kid’s teammates or question the coach about another’s playing time or overall gameplay. Your focus as a parent should only be on your child and that he is personally developing and enjoying the friends he is making by playing this sport. If your child is experiencing problems with another in the locker room or on the field, have him talk to the Coach about it.
If you don’t know the ins and outs of the sport, perhaps you should refrain from questioning the Coach about his team strategy. Youth coaches certainly aren’t raking in the dough, so they aren’t coaching your kid for the money. Coaches are passionate about their sport and want to teach this next generation to play a game that they love.
Let’s show our coaches some love this season by backing off and respecting their leadership by letting them lead.
This post was originally published on I Love to Watch You Play.