Has your child ever come home complaining that the coach doesn’t like them? I heard that so many times in 21 years of being a sports mom and no matter how much I insisted that it wasn’t true, the fact was that my child felt like their coach didn’t like them.
When that happens, what should a sports parent do? Let the child quit? Ignore the coach?
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Next time your child is in this situation, help them through it by following these tips:
• Ask them why exactly they feel that way. Is it because they don’t play enough? Is the coach pushing them too hard? Sometimes athletes misread coaches, especially young athletes. Maybe your child is thinking the coach doesn’t like them, but that’s not actually the case.
• You may feel like marching straight up to the coach and confronting him or her, but that is not usually a successful tactic. However, your child could go on their own to ask if there’s something they did to upset or displease the coach.
• It could just be a matter of your child understanding the coach and knowing their philosophy and expectations. Once your child has that figured out, they may feel totally different.
• If there is verbal abuse, you must confront the coach. As hard as it may be, try to do it calmly, face to face and in their office.
• If your child can’t pinpoint the root of the problem and is just feeling this way, the best way for your young athlete to handle it may just be to respect the coach and play for the love of the game.
• If it’s to the point that you and your child really don’t want to deal with this coach again, finish the season out and don't sign up for that team next time around.
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When coach clashes happen, it’s another opportunity for your child to learn how to get along with difficult people – a lesson they will be learning and using throughout life.
Janis Meredith is a family coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.