It’s not unusual for coaches to feel dread when a parent approaches them after a game, especially if that parent is known for complaining.
If you have a concern that you feel needs to be discussed with your child’s coach, it’s good to remember that there are certain phrases that he or she really doesn’t like hearing from parents. Focus on what’s best for the team and for your child and stay away from these phrases:
My child isn’t getting enough playing time.
If you are unhappy with your child’s playing time, there are better ways to handle it than expressing your displeasure. Try one of these options:
• Let your child talk to the coach. This will help them develop the skill of communicating and taking initiative.
• Bring your child along to talk to the coach with you. Let your child express their opinion and ask questions. You be there to give your child moral support and speak up if it’s necessary. This also gives you a chance to show your child how to resolve issues.
• If you do talk to the coach about playing time, don’t be accusatory: you’re not playing my child enough! Instead, focus on asking a question like: what does Jimmy have to do to get on your radar? Or What does Jenny need to work on to contribute more to the team?
My child plays better than Johnny.
Comparing your child to another player on the team is a weak argument. For one thing, the coach works with these kids for hours each week at practice and knows them better than you do. He sees things you may not see in the game situation. And quite honestly, throwing another kid under the bus just to make your child look better is tactless.
Stick to the issue, whatever that is, and don’t bring other kids into the argument.
My child is not having a good season and it’s your fault.
Believe it or not, a parent of one of the girls on my husband’s high school softball team accused him of sending her into depression because she wasn’t pitching very much. Apparently, it was my husband’s fault that she wasn’t going to get a college scholarship.
Even if your child isn’t playing as much as he or she wants, this is an opportunity to teach them how to get through hard seasons of life. Don’t let your child start blaming everyone else for their problems. That leads to the entitled attitude that we see in so many young adults today.
Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.