Confronting a coach can be an ugly thing.
The game is over. You are ticked. Maybe your kid didn’t play enough. Or you don’t like the way coach talked to the players. Or you simply cannot understand his play calling and think he is an idiot. You are ready to go give coach a piece of your mind.
Before you do, perhaps you should take a breath and wait at least 24 hours. Here’s why that’s a good idea:
1. The coach is emotionally spent. He has just won or lost and given his all to coach a game. He probably will not be in a receptive mood. Your rants will totally go in one ear and out the other.
2. You will embarrass your child. When you confront the coach on the field or court after a game and give him a piece of your mind, you will have an audience. Word will get around. Did you see Billy’s mom chewing out the coach? Man, Sam’s dad was really mad that he didn’t play; he let the coach have it! You may feel better about venting, but your child will only feel humiliated.
3. You need time to get perspective. Calm down. Vent to your spouse or a friend. If you’re like me, you may even suffer through a restless night of sleep. Giving it a day will help you sort through what’s really important and if this is a battle you really want to take on. And if it is, then you will have time to formulate a calm and rational argument.
4. Coach needs time to re-think the game. And believe me, he will. Every coach does. I’ve lived with one for 28 years, I know. What should I have done? What did I do right? How can I help this team be better? Allowing him time to process the game may help him see why he might have angered some parents.
5. Rants and angry accusations are weak arguments. Chances are good that if you approach a coach in anger and vent your frustrations, he or she will tune you out. But confronting a coach calmly will be more profitable for your child. In that atmosphere, you and the coach can come to a resolution that truly benefits your child.
After all, it’s all about what’s good for your child, isn’t it? Not what makes you feel better.
Janis B. Meredith is a sports parenting blogger, podcaster, and life coach. She provides resources to help parents give their children a positive and growing youth sports experience. Learn more about good sports parenting habits in her book 11 Habits for Happy & Positive Sports Parents, available on Amazon.