When your child says, "I don't like my coach!"

youth footballIf you have a child in youth sports, then you know that kids sometimes have coaches that they don’t like. The following excerpt from Football Mom’s Survival Guide may be speaking to moms of football players, but the truths are for every parent of a young athlete who struggles with liking his coach.

There are a lot of different coaching types out there—the emotional butt-chewer, the poker-face who’s very hard to read, the coach who tries to please everyone and doesn't care about winning, or the coach who cares way too much about winning and not enough about developing players.

Even with the endless coaching personalities out there, I have concluded that there are really only two kinds: the ones we like and the ones we don't. And if your son plays football for any length of time, he is going to have both.

So what do you do when your child doesn't like his coach?

  • Let him voice his frustration to you without judging his feelings.
  • Decide with your child about whether a confrontation with the coach is needed.
  • If a coach confrontation does not resolve the problem, then you and your child may simply have to agree to disagree with the coach (unless there are moral issues).
  • Keep your conversations about the coach between you and your child; don't spread your complaints around the bleachers among other parents.
  • If you decide to disagree with the coach and remain on the team, then accept the situation and move on, without badmouthing the coach to your child.
  • Find some way to vent your own personal frustrations about the coach. Whether it's writing it down or sharing your feelings with your spouse or a friend (not two or three or four). Then leave it at home when you go to games.
  • Teach your child to treat the coach with respect even if he has a problem respecting the coach.
  • And remember, you don't have to be the coach's best friend.
What should you not do when you or your child doesn't like the coach?
  • Stir up trouble behind the coach's back. I knew parents who started a petition against a coach, called up other parents to spread discontentment, and complained to the administration before they talked to the coach. If you have a problem, at least have the guts to confront the coach face to face instead of talking about it behind his back.
  • Try to get the coach fired. If you want to get a coach ousted because you do not like him, then what exactly are you teaching your child? That we just get rid of people we don't like? I've known parents who complained enough to the administration and got a coach fired simply because their son was not playing the position they wanted him to play. I feel sorry for that boy. He is safe in Mom and Dad's bubble and will not learn to fight his own battles.
Janis Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM THINKS.

photo credit: JamieL.WilliamsPhoto via photopin cc

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