Parents vs. Coaches, Players vs. Coaches

What do you if you think your kid is playing for a “bad” coach?

Let’s be honest. You have devoted some serious time…energy…money..and love to make sure your youngster is getting the most out of their God-given potential as an athlete. And the good news is that your kid is putting together a pretty good track record of accomplishments.

But then your youngster tries out for a team – let’s say it’s the HS basketball team — and much to your dismay, the coach really doesn’t seem to be impressed with what your kid can do on the court. In a stunning development, your kid doesn’t make the starting five, and when he does get into the game, it’s only for a few moments, and even worse, the coach has him playing a position he’s never played before.

So what do you do? Do you complain directly to the coach? Tell your son that the coach is an idiot? Commisserate with the other sports parents? Or just grimace through it, and hope for better things to evolve?

These kinds of situations have become increasingly commonplace in recent years, and it pits the coach against the parent – with the kid in the middle.

Problem is – there are SO many layers to this question. That is, how does one define what makes for a good coach? For many, all that matters is the coach’s overall won-loss record. If the coach wins, and wins a lot, then he must be good. Right?

But what about the coach who simply benefits from a town’s travel program that fosters terrific athletes from elementary and middle school, and then in HS, they end up playing for that coach? The varsity coach is simply the beneficiary of talented athletes who grew up playing for travel team coaches. As a result, the varsity team wins, but it has little to do with the HS coach and his abilities. 

You get the idea.

As discussed on the show this AM, I feel that – just as with teachers – – you’re going to have some great teachers, some lousy teachers, and everybody else falls in-between. As such, you need to tell your athlete the same thing about coaches. In addition, if your son or daughter is really irked by what’s happening with their role on the team, your athlete needs to stand up on their own two feet, figure out what they want to ask of the coach, and then plan a time to directly talk with the coach about the issue in question.

In other words, part of the maturation process in sports is dealing with adversity, and learning how to fight one’s own battles is a key part of that. As a parent, you have to understand that the sooner your youngster can face the coach on their own terms, the stronger and better your athlete is going to do in sports, and in life.