With interscholastic school sports now fully underway, it’s an important time to be reminded of of the most basic — yet very important — parent “rule” to follow:
Let the coaches “coach”
While it is very understandable why many parents second-guess coaches, it is important to respect the jobs coaches do and allow them the time and space to develop the team. This does not in any way suggest that coaches are perfect or without fault, but too often parents rush to judgement without knowing all the facts, or see their child in a biased, subjective way when measuring up against the other kids on the team.
Most coaches do a tremendous job when it comes to the many hats they wear, including overseeing safe training; multi-tasking various roles; communicating with student athletes, parents, and school officials; and developing game strategies for on-field success. Of course, these are just a few of the responsibilities coaches have, as there are countless more that parents often do not see, like attending continuing education courses and school in-service programming. The reality is coaches often put in an enormous amount of time and energy to help teach life skills to your son or daughter, and they do so for very little pay in return for their efforts.
Very often when parents are upset about the way a coach is running a team there is important information missing to the story. For example, a child might not be seeing playing time, but the parent is unaware that the child has missed practices or lagged behind with academic responsibilities. In a situation like this, it’s unfair to attack the coach about playing time when in reality the coach probably acted quite admirably by not continuing to play a child who didn’t live up to the responsibility of being a student athlete.
Of course, there are always exceptions to when it is advisable to approach a coach – listed below are a few examples:
- If a child is at-risk (mentally or physically)
- If there are dangerous situations on the team the coach is unaware of (i.e. like hazing or bullying)
- If a student athlete is breaking the law
- If there is an inappropriate relationship between an adult and student
Typical reasons to not “coach the coach” include your ideas around on-field play, coach decision-making, selection of starters, or practice exercises. Get involved and be supportive in ways that are encouraged and acceptable — like helping out with fund raising or generating community spirit for the team. In the meantime, work with your child to do all the things that often lead to success, including working hard, being on time, listening to the coach, and being a great teammate.
Apps, videos, and books designed to help your child go to the next level – click here to learn more!