In Coaching: Good/Bad/Unfair, Problems in Youth Sports

So aren’t coaches supposed to be fair? Aren’t they supposed to reward hard work, discipline and coachability. When you do all the extras, work on your weaknesses and never cut corners isn’t that supposed to count for something? Shouldn’t your playing time and whether you earn a starting position come down to how hard you work and your ability? What if you have a coach who tells you one thing about what he expects from you but then when you meet his expectations, he goes ahead and does the opposite of what he’s told you? You show up for practice, work your butt off, perform well and then when it comes doen to game time, you find yourself sitting on the bench, playing behind someone who either has les talent than you or who does half your work load. Or maybe the coach lets you start for a minute or two and the instant you make a mistake, he yanks you and puts you back on the bench. Why is it that the other guy you’re competing with gets all these extra chances after he screws up, but you only get that one?

Here’s the sobering news! Coaches are human and therefore, sometimes miserably unfair. They may have favorites. They may have rigidly, pre-set ideas about who should play and who shouldn’t play. They may have a friend, son or daughter on the team and this person always seems to get the nod over you. It’s a drag! It’s maddening! It’s frustrating and yet, there’s not much that you can do about changing it.

Oftentimes when you complain directly to this kind of coach, he may accuse you of being selfish and only thinking about you instead of the team. Sometimes he may assure you that indeed you are getting close to breaking into the line-up and if you just did A, B or C a little bit more, you’d get there. But when you do, nothing ever changes!

We don’t have direct control of our playing time. We don’t have direct control over the coach’s decisions. We can only control our attitude and how hard we work. If you’re playing for an unfair coach you have a brutally difficult season in front of you. If you truly love your game, then try not to let this coach’s unfair decisions get to you….of course this is a whole lot easier said than done. It’s upsetting and frustrating to have to “play” for this kind of coach. The trick however is to try to not let this adult steal your joy and love for the game. You need to keep in mind that you won’t always have to play for this particular individual, that not all coaches are unfair. You need to keep your larger sports goals in mind and do the very best that you can do to work towards those goals.

If you have a performance difficulty or you’re consistently underachieving, call me today. I can help!


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