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Prepnet / Speak Out

November 07, 2000

Under what circumstances is it appropriate for parents to confront a coach about their child's playing time or role on the team?

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MICHAEL DELGADO

Buena Park, Football

Booster, Parent

It is never appropriate to confront a coach about a child's playing time. It is appropriate to approach a coach about a child's role on the team, however. This should be done in a private setting between coach and parents only, and preferably in the coach's office whenever possible. Playing time should always be the responsibility and discretion of the coach since the coach is the adult in charge of supervising and conducting the team's practices and evaluating the individual player's ability, school grades and work ethic on the field.

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JAY SEIDEN

Fountain Valley, Band Parent

A parent has the right to inquire of a coach about a child's playing time from the first day of practice to the last day of the season, but not immediately before, during or after games. They don't have a right to "confront" the coach. Parents pay hundreds of dollars a season for their children to participate in a sport and if the child isn't playing much or at all, and isn't going to, the parent and child may decide that extra study time or some other activity might be more appropriate.

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COURTNEY STAFFORD

Katella, Student

Ask your child how he/she thinks their role or playing time should be. Then ask them if they seriously think they play 110%. If they say they do, check out one of the practices and see how your son/daughter acts. If by going to a practice you see that the coach is neglecting your child's talents, then you may confront the coach. But do it with poise.

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JAN CONRAD

Edison, Future Parent

It is never appropriate to confront a coach. It is appropriate to share your child's past experiences so the coach knows your child's strengths and/or weaknesses. Asking a coach to share his/her philosophy about playing time and your child's role on the team is also acceptable.

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STEVE HAMILTON

Fountain Valley, Youth Coach

I would always be happy to discuss any questions from parents about my coaching after the game or practice is over and things can be talked over without the children or other parents around. A phone call at home is best. There is nothing worse than a parent asking questions about how things are being done during a game or in front of the kids.

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NIKKI URHAUSEN

Marina, Volleyball

I don't feel it is a parent's responsibility to confront a coach. If the player feels he/she should be getting more playing time, he/she should talk to the coach.

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MATT GREEN

El Toro, Boys' Basketball

It's not the parents' responsibility to decide about athletes' playing time. I think the coach should make the decision about who plays and who doesn't. If a parent is upset, they should discuss it with an assistant coach or other parents first to see what they say before taking it to a coach.

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ANNE YELSEY

Corona del Mar, Tennis

No. If there's a problem between the coach and the player, the player should handle it. When the parents start getting involved, it always messes things up. I think it's always best to keep any problems between the player and coach within the team.

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FRANK HAFFNER

Woodbridge, Booster

The parents should focus on areas a child needs to improve upon and look for the best coaching or teachers to improve the player. Focusing on the coach's decision-making may actually teach the child the wrong message by allowing them to blame someone other than themselves for their own shortcomings.

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ROGER HOLMES

Marina, Boys' Basketball Coach

Players should understand their roles and what is expected of them before the season starts. The player should be the one to talk with the coach about roles and playing time. After all, the player is the one out there working every day. If a parent has a concern though and, after talking to their son or daughter about how he or she feels, still needs clarification from the coach, he should get it. This should be done by appointment only, in the coach's office, and at least a day removed from the last contest.

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MIKE JACKSON

Villa Park, Parent

Through the 11 years of Junior All-American [football], two years at Mater Dei and five years at Villa Park, [we] never once questioned the authority or judgment of the many coaches both [our sons] played under. Instead we taught our boys to realize life was a series of unfair situations that could only be handled by sheer tenacity, professionalism and sportsmanship guiding their actions.

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JARED SHWAM

Edison, Baseball

I don't think that it is necessary for a parent to confront a coach involving a sport. Most coaches are qualified enough to make that decision. They don't need parents who don't know what they are talking about to tell them [anything]. Coaches can make their own decisions.

NEXT QUESTION

Which high school football team has been the most underrated or overlooked this season and why?

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