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An Open Letter to Coach: What Every Parent Wants You to Know

Let me start by saying that I am thankful you are giving such effort to coach my child’s team. I don’t show near enough gratefulness for your time as a parent, but I want to assure you that even if I get testy, I’m still glad that you are out there doing the job. Maybe someday I will be doing the coaching, but until then, I’m glad I can just watch!

If you are a parent, then you will understand everything that I am about to say. Since you are the coach, I know it is difficult to wear both of those hats at once. If you are not a parent, these are things I’d like you to understand as we start the season:

I’m not out to get you; I just love my child

If it seems at times that I have a personal vendetta against you, please know that this is not true. I just love my child so much that I get very mama bear-ish; sometimes that protectiveness bares its claws when I feel my kid is not getting a fair shake.

I want to see my child experience success

It would be great if my kid could be the star of the team, but I know it’s more important for him to work hard. If I get bent out of shape about his playing time it’s because I want him to feel like his hard work has been worth it. I know that success doesn’t always show itself in minutes played; it often comes in intangible forms. I’m okay with that. I just want you to acknowledge his hard work and help him experience some success.

I want my child to enjoy the game

I’m not asking that you take it easy on my kid, I just want him to have fun even as he is putting in the work. I would love it if you could help foster the passion my child has for his sport. From what I’ve observed, a coach does this by being positive even as he corrects and teaches; by genuinely caring for his players—pushing each child to become a better athlete and person. If you do that, I’m pretty sure my kid will be excited to go on to another season.

My top priority as a parent is safety

As you get caught up in coaching and the myriad of details that must be attended to, please don’t ever forget that my child’s safety—and the safety of every child on the team—is the most important thing. I’m not saying you would knowingly put my kid in the game when he is injured, I’m just asking that you take time to get properly trained. Please remain tuned into each players status, and ensure medical help will be available if needed.

I think my child is “the best” 

So does every parent who has a child on the team. Unfortunately, some of us let this mentality translate to my child deserves to play all the time, or my child should be playing quarterback (or pitching or playing libero or goalie). Please accept my apology in advance, and try to be patient with me and each other parent when it happens. Someone once said that having a child is like watching your heart walk around outside your body. There’s a lot of parents whose hearts are out there playing on your field or court. I’m not justifying our bad behavior, but I do hope this helps you understand just why we are so passionate.

Mr. & Mrs. Sports Parent

Dear Coach.. an open letter from parent to coach

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