School year is here, asking if anyone would please read my essay and send me some feed back
What Were You Thinking
Budget reforms in schools often leave sports out in the cold; fortunately there are other channels for athletes to get their fill of play. Contrasting to school sports, where most times the coach doubles as a teacher, these outside programs depend on volunteers to help make it happen. But who are these volunteers devoting their time and energy to ensure the season takes place? Most often the parents of the participants are the ones stepping up into these positions. With various reasons to coach your child’s team, there are just as many, if not more, not to coach. The biggest reason not to; is the slippery slope that is to be had in maintaining a coach / player relationship on the field and a parent / child relationship off the field and not getting the two blurred. In the best interest of ones’ mental wellbeing, sitting on the side lines ought to be the first and maybe only reasonable choice in this matter.
Anyone whose’ child participates in any type of sports, is compelled to be a sideline coach to help improve their player. When that line is crossed from being a sideline coach to an on the field coach, one bears the demand that their player should be the best out on that field in whatever position they are placed in. If their player can’t perform flawlessly, there is a perception than that this is on how they will be as a coach for the rest of the team. A strain is felt not only by the parent coach, but by the player as well, with the continued season and performances not improving. Assessment calls that the parent coach makes in their eyes are believed to be fair, but in the eyes of the other teammates and parents it appears to be favoritism. Comments are made to, or about, that player on how the position was given to them because they are the coaches’ kid; the performances of the duties for that position are poor and that player shouldn’t be there.
Such an example is with a Pop Warner Football team that I am assisting on; I have no child on the team, my opinion is unbiased on who should play where and why. The head coach has a player that he deems is the best of the best. Being the head coach he has placed his child in a very demanding role, and for it being his first year in Pop Warner, this decision has caused a few parents to question his intention and clarity to see things on the field with the other players. Other coaches have commented about how this player is un-coachable, the fact that every time they tell him something he is running off to the sidelines complaining to his father about this and that. Players are complaining that this player cannot complete the tasks to effectively carry out this position, and feel the head coach doesn’t like them because he will not try them in that position.
One such participant has some of the same attitude as the head coaches’ player. They both complain about every little ache and pain, along with the positions they are placed in. The non-coaches’ player is being rotated in on both sides of the ball, but when the defense coach wanted to rotate the head coaches’ player, the statement of “Why do you have it out for my son?” comes along. It’s not that anyone has it out for anyone’s son but if two players are acting the same, why reward one and punish the other. Is it because it’s a case of my child can do no wrong through the rose colored glasses I have on?
Ground work, for this now runaway train, had not been clearly laid out in the beginning, and with the first game in sight it’s no wonder parents haven’t taken their player off the team, or requested them be moved to a different team. A divide has started within the team. Remarks encompassed by the notion that the head coach doesn’t listen or take others opinion into account when positions on the field are at stake, are being made by players, coaches, and parents alike. To try and make this a functioning unit; has now included the involvement of the President of Pop Warner.
In the last week things have started to settle and come together. It’s been a bit like walking in a mine field to see what might be set off next. Maybe once the first game is done, things will become more routine, unless things go horribly wrong during the game that would cause a set back to the small progress that has taken place. All of this could have been avoided if the parent would have just been contempt with being a side line coach and learned the Pop Warner way first before diving head first into a commitment that they cannot fulfill.
It’s the age old story you hear all over in every origination, every parent feels they can coach and have a fair opinion on all players on the field. Reality of it, there is always going to be that little part of you that will pull for your child. Either you are going to be blind to see the true talent or you will be harder on your player above the others. It’s unfortunate that organizations have to rely on parent volunteers to coordinate and coach. A step taken back to rethink who is doing the volunteering and in what capacity may lead to other organizations out there that could be reached out to and assist in such matters. Leave the non-coaching volunteer positions to be covered by the parents, or have the parents coach another team that will not play against their child’s team or have their child on it.
Thanks for reading to the end.