How to Talk to Your Child’s HS Coach Why Your Child is not Starting


Coaching Youth Football Playbooks and MoreI get a ton of comments on one of my minimum play time player articles on the subject of bad high school coaches and a ton of search requests about how parents should talk to high school coaches about their child’s playtime on the team.  I actually ask myself the same question since I have 2 high school age athletes. I must remind myself that I am not my children’s coach anymore and it is not my place to ask such questions of the coaches.

Every parent, including myself, thinks their child is better than they really are in real life. We as parents project all of our love and trust on them and yes they are great children but maybe not the best at a certain sport as we want them to be.  And our rose colored glasses over flowing with joy and love may need a new prescription for a better view on reality with regards to our children’s abilities on and off the field. Yes, I know its hard to believe that they are not Saints.  I was shocked when my oldest told me he was not Jesus Christ, I was horrified.  

Many parents, not just myself, have a very tough time allowing our children to grow up without us hovering over them every minute. I am one of the best helicopter pilots that I know.  I love to protect my little chickens just like all other parents.  I know many times, I’ve asked my boys if they would like me to call or email the coach for them, and they asked me not to communicate to the coaches.  You see, it is very hard for a coach like myself who has been coaching youth football since 1994 not to teach a few of these younger Junior High and High School coaches a few things about coaching but it is not my place to do so.  Plus, who am I to say they do not know more than me on the subject since they are coaching the whole team and they have a certificate from the State of Texas. But once again, I need to allow my children to grow up and let them communicate to their coaches, managers, teachers and bosses.  Otherwise I will get a call when they are 33 asking for help negotiating their next raise at work.  I must allow my children to learn to problem solve and communicate for themselves.  

I know from experience as a coach, I really do not like parents telling me why I should be starting a third string running back against our number 1 rival next week.  I am the coach and know my team.  I know the players and what they can and cannot do better than many of the parents who have little to no coaching experience compared to my 25 plus years coaching. Sure I will listen nicely most times, but I will not start your son at TB who is significantly slower than my starting Tail back who has scored 6 TDs already in 3 games.  Your son is our starting CB.  Be grateful and not hateful.  So, when I think about my own experiences with parents, I realize I cannot talk to my son’s coaches about playtime.  The coaches will listen to the players and not their parents.

If your child wants to play more, start or play a certain position on the team, then YOUR CHILD, NOT YOU must talk to the coaches.  Coaches really do not want to talk to parents about playtime.  We want to hear you cheer for the team and ask how you can make our lives easier not complain about your child’s  playtime.

I know from my own personal parenting experience it is hard not to see your children succeed at things that they want really bad.  We feel and hurt for them when they do not get the things they really desire.  But such is life. And like the Rolling Stones song goes, “you can’t always get what you want.”

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Let me know what you think about this article.  I would love to read your feedback.

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!
Coach Parker


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