PWTG Episode 034: How to Deal with Your Child’s Coach!

In this week’s podcast episode of Parenting with Truth and Grace, we share strategies for dealing with your child’s coach… even if they aren’t very good. You can listen to the podcast here. Also, if you haven’t already subscribed, why don’t you subscribe now so you automatically get each week’s newest episode?

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In last weeks BLOG we shared the stark reality… most of your child’s coaches aren’t going to be all that great. Further more, a small handful of them are going to be downright awful, and if you’re lucky, your child will have the opportunity to play under a small number of really great coaches.

I’ve been that coach, coaching my own son!

If you’ve ever been tempted to go talk to your child’s coach, then this weeks blog and podcast are for you. We share some important things you should consider before making that appointment. Let me say this, I don’t deny anyone the right to go talk to a coach. We live in America, free speech and all of that. What we want you to think about is; just because you have the right to talk to a coach, doesn’t mean it’s the best thing or the right thing to do.

So here are things to clarify in your own mind before you go talk to a coach:

  • Where is my child in all of this. Is my child really upset over the way a coach is treating him/her, or is this all my issue. Sometimes we go to fight for our kid and they would much rather we didn’t.
  • Take into account that many of your child’s coaches are volunteers. If anything, coaching the team is costing them money out of their own pockets. Likely, they said yes when no one else (including you) would. They are simply faithful… but not necessarily gifted.
  • Is your issue about your child’s playing time. Most parents won’t come right out and say they’re mad about playing time. Instead they talk about wanting to make sure the coach is being fair to all kids or they don’t agree with a particular roster combination. But the real issue is, “My child isn’t playing as much as I think they should play.”
  • Are you upset at the way the coach is treating his own child, often times in the area of playing time.
  • Is the issue the level of coaching skills and abilities your child’s coach has.
  • Has your coach crossed the line of really poor behavior (language, intimidation or temper flaring)?

If after considering the above items you still believe you want to talk to the coach, then set up a time to meet with the coach. Then here are 6 important principles to govern your meeting:

  1. Check your own attitude and make sure you are representing yourself, your child, and God the way you want to.
  2. Consider your child’s involvement. In other words, if they are young you might go alone, but if they are entering the teen years then think about whether it would be appropriate for them to go with you. This is a discipleship opportunity for your child.
  3. Acknowledge the coach’s authority. Show respect and appreciation for the things they do.
  4. Try to deal with the objective issues more so than the subjective. As parents it’s really hard to not be biased in our judgement.
  5. Consider love and respect… in other words treat the coach the way they would most feel honored.
  6. Ask the question, “What can we do?” Sometimes that is going to be a question directed at helping support the team and other times its going to be a more direct question about what your child can do to improve their play or position on the team.

The bottom line is this, don’t miss the opportunities for your child to learn and grow from their participation in athletics or whatever else your family is involved in. We hope you will listen to this weeks podcast as we dive a little more into these topics. Have you ever asked for a meeting with your child’s coach? How did it go? Were you glad you did it?