Parents should just let coaches coach

Some parents overstep with their kids coach and may need to back off a bit.

Graphic by Mary DeWinkeleer

Some parents overstep with their kid’s coach and may need to back off a bit.

Sports Commentary

Playing a sport is like taking a step into life by yourself. You have to deal with all sorts of things, especially in high school. A mom or dad can’t play a sport for you, so when they shield you from all the bad from a sport, you don’t receive a vital experience

Parents need to back down and let their kid fend for themselves. If your kid has a problem, it’s their problem.

Players also need to take action. There are some situations where it is necessary for them to get their parents to back down. When a player joins a team, they join a family that welcomes them into adulthood. So when parents intervene with the intention of protecting their child from anything that doesn’t go their way, they are  breaking apart another family. 

Just because your kid isn’t good enough to play, doesn’t mean he/she is being bullied by the team. Some kids just don’t have what it takes to play at their respective level. Parents might think coaches are being unfair because their kid isn’t starting, but it is important to realize that not everyone is an athletic superstar, and that’s okay. 

All that said, parents should also know how much they are appreciated because there is no way students could participate without their support. If a kid doesn’t have a license yet, it’s the parents who are the ones bringing them to their games and practices. Parents have to provide their signatures on forms. There are many parents who even plan events and fundraisers for their child’s team. 

But that’s where it should stop. 

If parents really feel the need to step into a student’s athletic life, then they should be making a positive impact like setting up food before games or organizing team-building events. They shouldn’t be second-guessing the coach’s decisions or complaining when their kid isn’t starting.

Coaches need to be able to do their jobs without constant interference from parents. The parents who are overstepping their role are making sports a negative experience for other parents and players. When parents insert themselves too much, they are taking away opportunities their kids might learn and grow from. 

After all, it’s often those challenging, difficult moments that have the strongest impact on an athlete. So even though it might be difficult, parents need to let their child lean on their teammates, not them.