Do you feel like your child doesn’t get enough playing time? At some point, parents will feel this way with many brushing it off thinking it is their imagination. However, other parents may begin to suspect their child is being snubbed and not being given the opportunity to play a fair amount of time as the others. Parents who feel this way may now know how to approach their child’s coach.
The majority of the time, coaches will have a valid reason why they are not playing your child as much. Before you decide to approach your kid’s coach, it’s best you ask your child how they feel about how much playing time they get or if they feel that they are not getting the same opportunities as their teammates.
The Kid Approach
If your child doesn’t know why their coach is playing them less and also expresses that they wish they had more playing time, then you know it is time to approach your child’s coach. Now that you’ve opened up the conversation with your child, ask them how they feel about speaking to their coach about more playing time. The advantage of your child talking to the coach before you do is that the coach will gain respect for your kid for stepping up and it will also show that your child is passionate about the role they play for the team.
The coach may be able to give your child some tips or better yet, make a deal with your child about what they need to do to get more playing time. It may be a matter of your child showing the coach improved performance or a better attitude towards drills at practice. A good coach will not take your child’s request to give them more playing time as a personal attack. A good coach will see this as the opportunity to correct any misbehavior’s or performance issues that led up to why your child received less playing time. Here are some tips your coach might give your child:
● Don’t just be present at every practice, be on time.
● Know the rules of the game.
● Stay alert. Being on the sidelines doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention.
● Work hard. Prove yourself during practices. Do the dirty work required to get better.
● Don’t mess around during practice. You could potentially hurt yourself or injure your teammates.
● Respect your teammates. Don’t bully.
● Listen to instructions. Follow instructions.
● Improve your skills.
The Parent Approach
However, if your child is uncomfortable about approaching the coach themselves, then it is up to you.
Be prepared for the truth. The reality is, the coach may have some valid reasons for why they are not giving your child more playing time. Your kid’s coach may open up to you about your child’s behavioral issues towards teammates and authority. Or that they have skills that are so underdeveloped that they worry about your child’s safety if they were put in against the opposing team’s best players.
However, if the coach denies giving your child less playing time with no team stats to back it up, you should challenge it. First of all, youth sports leagues are meant to be developmental for kids. But the reality is that there are some coaches that because of their win-at-all-costs attitude will only put in their most skilled players. Or worse, deliberately gives less playing time because they have something personal against that particular child. If the coach is unable to provide you with valid reasons for why your child is not getting enough play time, then a much more serious conversation will eventually need to take place.