Many parents volunteer to coach their child's team. Most of the time, you have great coaches, but occasionally, you may end up with a coach that takes the sport a little too seriously. Maybe the coach yells, Maybe he berates the team. There might even be some humiliation that occurs. Or the coach is a dictator. There can be all types of difficulty, but one thing is clear - your child isn't enjoying the sport and the fault can be laid directly at the coach. What are your responsibilities and choices?
- Talk to the other parents - Ask around - are other families encountering the same areas of concern? Odds are, you aren't the only parent whose child is experiencing difficulties. Maybe another family has experience with this coach and can help allay your concerns.Sometimes just knowing that others are dissatisfied helps to make an uncomfortable situation more bearable.
- Talk to the coach - Open the lines of communication. It's possible that the coach doesn't know that he's coming across in a bullying manner. Speak up and share your feelings with the coach.
- Talk to your child - It's also possible that your child is being overly sensitive, especially if other athletes aren't reporting difficulty. It's never too early for a child to learn that there are all types of people in the world and not everyone is going to love them. Learning to get along with a more difficulty personality is a valuable skill that will serve your child well in life.
- Offer to help - Is the coach overwhelmed? Are there too many team players and not enough supervision? "Put your money where your mouth is", so to speak, and volunteer to help the coach. Demonstrating the appropriate behavior while on the playing field can be the guidance that a coach may need.
- If necessary, speak to the person in authority above the coach - If you've followed all of the above recommendations and you still see actions and attitudes that worry you, maybe it's time to talk to the board of directors or other authority over your coach. Many times a coach isn't open to correction from a parent but the desired behavior is quickly seen when the boss is informed.
- As a last resort, pull your child from the team - Sometimes, despite your best intentions and all of the promises in the world, the coach just isn't a good fit for your family. It may in fact come to a time that your child would be harmed by continuing to be on the team. Transferring to another team with a more accommodating coach or better team practices could solve your troubles. If you drop from one team after a certain length of time, though, be prepared that your athlete may have to sit out the season and resume the sport the enxt season. That's not always a bad thing.
What are some ways that you've dealt with a mean, negative or in other ways difficult coach?