Kids playing sports...

sweethomeMay 17, 2007

Why is it so hard to resist defending your child when you see blatant favoritism on a sports team? In our case - daddy ball. I know it's common, even expected, but the urge to rush in and chew out the coach(s) and point out the obvious is sooo overwhelming. So much so that I have to believe they're aware of what they're doing but just don't care as long as their kid is in the spotlight.

Why do people act like that? Why can't I rush in and defend my 11 yr old???

I know you're out there - let me hear from those who have been there, done that. thx.

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Well, I know what you are saying and its certainly heartbreaking seeing your child miss out.

But I come from a different perspective.

My DH has coached my son's team for a few years and I have helped and done the scoring for the games. This work is totally voluntary. I think its okay SOMETIMES to favour our son in the games. This doesn't often happen, mind you ! After all we are doing all the hours of coaching and supervision of YOUR child (well not strictly YOURS !) so shouldn't there be some benefits ?

My DH has had conversations with parents such as you, who do see some favoritism going on, and there seems to be two types of parents here. One who speaks in a very supportive, manner, which is the one who is more inclined to get a result, and one who is rude and demanding, who invariably doesn't get the result they where looking for. I guess I am saying its all about how you use your words when bringing up the subject.

There are also good coaches and aweful coaches, and I would extract myself and son from a team if I thought the situation had more harmful events than beneficial ones.

Another observation is, that some parents think that there child is wonderful at the game when in fact they are not and other players are better so they get more of a chance. I guess this depends on the age of the children. When they are older say 14 onwards, they tend to want to win. Whereas the younger ones are there to get the experience and take turns at things.

Also in our team if a child did not turn up to training, or they misbehaved at training, then they got less of an opportunity in the game. My DH would also complain( to me) about the boys that did not do what he asked of them and said they knew how to do it better, these boys often had parents who complained about their child not getting a fair enough go.

So its rather complicated, isn't it ?

So my advice to you is, make sure you know all the facts before you complain, like is your child really that good, does he work hard at training, is he easy to train, does he behave himself ?

And, of course, choose your words.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 8:04PM
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Of course, if you did give in to the urge, you'd only succeed in embarassing your 11 y/o.

I've seen coaches generally not using good sportmanship. But I know I cannot change that person, only the way I cope with it. If it was bad enough, I would just file a complaint with the powers that be. Otherwise, confrontation with the individual will never make it better.

We don't enroll our kids in sports just so they can be superjocks. Part of the lesson is learning to deal with difficult people and learning to stand up for themselves. An 11 y/o is old enough to say "coach, I really want to play more." It's about gaining the confidence to speak up on one's own behalf.

I disagree that a volunteer coach in some way has the right to favor their own child b/c of the time he/she is giving up. The volunteer coach is there to coach all the kids equally and should be grown up and objective enough to do that, no matter what their papa/mamma bear instinct might be saying. When on the field, court, etc. the coach needs to see all kids equally. They would be doing a disservice to all the kids, even their own, to do otherwise. Kids are separate from their parents and should not be penalized for their parents behavior. And they should not be penalized for their parents lack of time or skill to coach. Some people really just wouldn't make a good coach, and they know it. We should try not to judge what the other parents give in their time or money, most of us try our best. And if we cannot control our judgement of the parents, it should at least not extend to the kid. I just completely disagree that the coach in some way deserves to favor any player, even their own kid. And DH and I have coached, been team parents, kept score, run the concession stand, you name it, and we're not even close to done with our years on teams. But none of that entitles us to favortism for our children.

But I do agree that the consequence of a player not coming, or not trying hard, in practice should be less play time. That's just not being a team player. And I agree that the older the players get, the less the equal play time needs to be heeded. I agree w/Popi's ages on that issue, teenages. DS#1 is on a roller hockey league right now in which he is among the youngest, he's 13 and the boys go up to 18. He sits the bench a lot, especially in a close game. Even though no state championship or scholarship is on the line, even though we all pay the same amount of money to the league for them to play. I'm OK with the coach playing all the kids some of the time, but the best kids most of the time. DS wants his team to win and if the other boys playing is going to make that happen, that's how sports works. Of course younger kids are learning the fundamentals of the game, the play time should still be equal. But now that DS is playing "with the big boys" he needs to improve his skills to earn his play time.

For the most part, we've had good experiences in team sports with our kids. Right now we have a hockey player and a gymnast on teams. We've also done soccer and basketball in the past. Generally I've just met other parents who are trying their best and there is mutual respect and concern for all the kids. I have not yet felt like any of my kids needed defended on a team, I've felt they were being treated fairly.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 9:50PM
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