December 8, 2007
Should I Just Keep My Mouth Shut?
Koach Karl: Dr. Keith Wilson answers the following question from a parent: “What do I do if I don’t respect my son’s coach. The coach is usually late for practice and games. His only goal for the team is to win one game or even score a point. However, my son likes the other players and the coach. Should I just keep my mouth shut?” K.P.
You do indeed face one of the dilemmas of being a sport parent. You can see a problem on your son’s team that he does not see or experience. Since you don’t mention your son’s age, I will assume he may be u-10 or younger.
The good news is your son is having fun playing soccer and he is with his friends. He hasn’t noticed he isn’t learning the skills he should or his team is not performing very well. He doesn’t have enough experience to know that the coach is not doing all he can to help kids develop a love of the game.
So what should you do? First, keep affirming your son in the fun that he is having with his team.
Second, talk to the coach to see if he needs any help. He may welcome a parent who can be at practice on time and help get the practice started.
Third, talk to the league officials to let them know the coach is not teaching enough soccer skills to the team. They should have coachs’ training that will help your coach raise his level of coaching. They may also find out he does not really want to be the coach and will help to find another coach for the next season.
Fourth, seek out other opportunities for your son to start to learn soccer skills in a fun way. This may be a camp environment or just playing pick-up soccer with friends. I would also encourage you to look into small-sided soccer opportunities. In small-sided soccer, developing players get to touch the ball a lot more and it takes away from only playing one position. In our league we teach soccer to u-6 players in a 3v3 environment for this very reason.
KP, keep being involved with your son. Ask questions– but most importantly do it in a supportive and helpful way. Help your son to have fun playing soccer and he will enjoy the game for life.
Dr. Wilson is a psychotherapist and performance consultant in El Paso, Texas. He enjoys answering questions from parents. He can be reached through the website or at PerformanceTalk@aol.com.