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January 20, 2021

What you wish you could say when a coach ignores your child

Flickr, LincolnSquareInsider.
It hurts to see your child begin to hate a game he once loved. Image: Flickr, LincolnSquareInsider.

Dear Coach,

I made a huge mistake by trusting you with my child.

I gave you a great kid who LOVED the game and did everything you told him to do, and now this same kid comes home from school and games completely demoralized with the honest belief he is a failure.

He’s not.

You are.

Before you write me off as “one of those parents,” please understand you and I were in a partnership. You saw something in my son that made him attractive for your team. I supported you and your decisions through his complaints about hard work-outs, playing time, team conflicts and sheer exhaustion.

To be fair, I have some culpability in this.

I should have listened to my son more closely.

These kids gave you 28 hours a week even though those hours could have gone to better use with classes and homework. And if they were lucky, you’d put them in during the last minutes- even though your team handily won every game with double-digit leads.

You never told them what they were doing wrong or how they could get better. You focused all your energy on just five kids and absolutely ignored the rest of the team – when you weren’t berating them for mistakes that could have easily been fixed.

I get the fact you’re a school coach and winning is important; however, you are an educator FIRST. You earn a living, albeit an underpaid one, by teaching children, and for all intents and purposes, 13-year-olds are still children. As a teacher, I hope you see it as your sacred duty to show them how to do things in a way they understand. That means you should have taught these kids how to improve and fix their mistakes rather than writing them off.

Nonetheless, you must be doing something right to have such a victorious season.

I just wish that “something right” was teaching, not winning.

3 Comments on What you wish you could say when a coach ignores your child

  1. Did you send that letter to the coach? Like Charlenea, I think it was well written, and definitely should be sent. If the coach doesn’t respond, then work it up the food chain… No sense in a teacher or coach ignoring children.

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