Playing Favorites in Youth Sports

It often happens in youth sports that the coach chooses to use the same players many times over. It leaves the parents of the kids not getting to play puzzled and sometimes angry.

Why is the coach not picking my child? Do they not like my child? Is my child not good at this sport? There are a lot of questions that naturally arise in such situations, and all of these are valid concerns. There can be a lot of reasons why a coach is choosing certain players and not others.

However, the reality is usually straightforward. The coach chooses specific players because they think those are the best players on the team and the coach wants their team to win.

Having Favorites – Is It Good?

For many, this is the clear case of a coach having favorites, and it can get very annoying for both the looked over players and their parents. In the end, the most important thing for both players and their parents is for the players to play the game. Winning matters, but playing is more important to most of those involved.

We at League Network believe that youth sports need to be more about playing and having fun and not about winning. Yes, winning does matter, but it can’t always come at the cost of most players having the chance to shine.

In youth sports, it’s essential for the children, especially in their pre-teen days, to have enough chances to learn and train – and they can’t do that unless they get the opportunity to play in matches.

So, mostly, having favorites cannot be a good thing, especially as it leads to coaches rarely using other players, which leads to resentment and a desire to stop playing the sport altogether.

What Can You Do?

If you’re a parent of a child not getting enough chances to play, the first thing that you should do is discuss this with the coach. Most coaches are reasonable, and they just got carried away with their desire to win. They will give your child a chance if you explain to them what’s going on.

However, sometimes coaches will not listen to reason, and they will remain firm in their stance to only choose their favorites as that’s the best way for them to win the game.

In such cases, the only thing that you can do is to get your child to practice more and try to become much better.

On the other hand, in some situations coaches have favorites because of their relationship with the parents – for example, the parents are their friends, or they are wealthy and support the school, and they demand their child to play. In such cases, it can even happen that the child is a terrible player, so such favoritism is bringing no one any good.

In these cases, the only thing that can be done is for a larger group of parents to confront the coach and try and convince him or her to turn over a different leaf and stop having favorites.

All in all, a conversation is always the best course of action when coaches are playing favorites.

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