A major appeal for having your child join a sport is the relationships that they build. And in many cases, joining a team can result in many lifelong friendships. But parents often forget to consider another important relationship with a different member of the team, the coach. And what do you do if this relationship turns out to be a not-so-positive one and your child has a “bad coach”?
Before you make any rash decisions and remove your child from the team, it is important to consider why you or they feel that their coach is so bad. We sometimes forget that coaches are often parents who have volunteered to take on the roll. This is especially common when your child is younger and the team is affiliated with the town. If that is the case, they may not be overly familiar with the sport and, even if they are, it could have been a while since they themselves played it. And even if they are experts on the sports, they most likely also have other jobs or children that take up their time.
So what is it about the coach that is so dislikable? Is it their coaching style or the decisions they make regarding the game? Is it how they treat your child and other members of the team? Or is it something else entirely? Regardless of the reasoning, it is important to determine your problems prior to moving forward because every situation can, and should, be handled differently.
Talk About It
For most situations, some sort of resolution to the issue can be reached by simply talking it over with the coach. Of course, there are some extremes when this isn’t possible but in many cases, this is the first step. Bring up the issues you have and even some potential solutions to the problem. Try to do so in a calm and collected manner to avoid sounding overly accusatory. In many cases, the coach will be receptive to your concerns since, typically in youth athletics, at least some of their reasoning for being a coach is for the children to have a good time.
But, if the coach’s response to the confrontation is a less than a positive one, what should you do next? As always, the answer to the question depends upon the circumstances of the situation. If the season is close to the end, or the problem isn’t overly pressing, it could be worth it to simply ride out the rest of the year and ensure that your child doesn’t end up with the same coach in the future.
If the issue is more concerning and you don’t wish to simply remove your child from the team, you can always reach out to the people who run the team and select the coaches. This could be the town itself, the school, or a private organization. From there, they can hopefully remedy the situation by either talking to the coach themselves or even finding a replacement.
Dealing with a bad coach is an unfortunate experience no parent wants to have to face. In some cases, the dislike stems more from coaching styles and decisions as opposed to something more serious. But in the instances where the problems are a bit more upsetting, it is important that you take the correct steps to reach a solution.