If you had to guess, who do you think gets on the coaches’ nerves the most? The referee? Nope. The opposing fans? Not even close. The answer is his own team’s parents. Shocking I know, but not if you pull back the curtains and see what a coach has to deal with before and after games just to make them happy. You would think the parents wanted to play more than the kids!
A quick google search will give you a ton of stories on how youth parents were able to get a coach fired for simply being unhappy with them. I’m not saying there aren’t some bad coaches that don’t deserve to ever coach another game in their lifetime. Of course, there are. But for every one of those, there are 10 other good coaches that simply want the best for their team.
Modern society rewards every kid for participating instead of winning. That’s not why we play sports. We don’t play to participate; we play to win. Let me say that again for the parents who didn’t hear me. WE PLAY TO WIN!
That means if the game is close, sometimes your child might not play. The best players on the team will need to bring it home. However, it does not mean your child should let their head hang low and feel bad for themselves. Instead, they should use it as motivation to work harder, and be better next year so they will be called upon during those crunch time situations.
Isn’t that what we are preparing our kids for by playing sports? To never quit, be resilient, have toughness, improve every year and eventually succeed. These are the characteristics we are supposed to be instilling in our children through youth sports. So do me a favor, before reaching out to your child’s coach and asking them why your kid isn’t playing, ask yourself these three questions:
- Is my child better than the kid playing front of them?
- Is my child working as hard as the kids playing in front of them?
- Can my child learn from this adversity and prove them wrong next practice, game and/or season?
If they aren’t better or they don’t work as hard then obviously you aren’t thinking logically. But, if they are better and do work hard, then maybe this is a learning lesson for them. Tell your child what the great Steve Martin told the rest of us, “Be so great they can’t ignore you.”
Work so hard, be so determined and so good they HAVE to play you. Trust me, parents, the good coaches will see it and the bad ones won’t last long enough to make a difference.