The following exerpt from Volleyball Mom’s Survival Guide, by Janis B. Meredith of JBM Thinks Sportsparenting, speaks specifically to moms of volleyball players, but the truths are for every parent who has wanted to lay into a coach right after a disappointing game.
It may not be a matter of IF you ever need to confront a coach, but rather a matter of WHEN. It may be necessary at some point when your daughter is very young. However, I’d strongly suggest you let her learn to fight her own battles as she grows older.
When should you confront? I’m not a big fan of complaining about playing time, but if you feel the need, there are ways and times to do it that will yield better results. If not, it can get ugly.
Let’s say the game has just ended and you are ticked. Your little volleyball player spent most of the game on the bench. Or maybe you didn’t like the way the coach talked to her or one of the players. Or maybe you simply do not understand his or her philosophy and why he or she is not letting your daughter play the position you think she should be playing.
The worst thing you can do at that point is to go give him a piece of your mind. It’s best to WAIT, at least twenty-four hours.
Here’s why that’s a good idea:
The coach is emotionally spent. The coach has just won or lost and given his or her all to coach a game. He or she is not going to be in a receptive mood. Your rants will likely go in one ear and out the other.
You will embarrass your daughter. When you confront the coach on the court after a game and give him or her a piece of your mind, you will have an audience. Word will get around. “Did you see Sarah’s mom chewing out the coach?” “Man, Jenny’s mom was really mad that she didn’t play; she let the coach have it!” You may feel better about venting, but your child will only feel humiliated.
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 important and if this is a battle you really want to take on. If it is, then you will have time to formulate a calm and rational argument.
Coach needs time to re-think the game. And believe me, he or she will. Every coach does. I’ve lived with one for twenty-eight years, and after every game, he processes. “What should I have done? What did I do right? How can I help this team be better?” Allowing the coach time to relive the game may help him or her see why he or she might have angered some parents.
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 daughter. 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 Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM THINKS.
photo credit: Doha Sam via photopin cc