Posted in Life, Sports

Dear Parent….. (Pains of football coaching)

Dear Parent,

Yesterday your son kicked off his second season with the rest of the team and it was a tough opener.  The day before I spent much time in training going through defensive drills and all the boys were clear on what they needed to do.

When the match started, your son spent the first 10 minutes watching the attackers rush by and in no time we were 2 – 0 down.  It was not your son’s fault, however the opposition started targeting their play down his side and he was not enjoying it at all.

I therefore persisted with substituting him with another defender, a more experienced player who has lost his regular place in the team because he attends Saturday school where they play sports.  As you know, the match started to swing in our favour and after being 3 -0 down, we managed to end the game on 3 – 3.

You were rightly annoyed that your son only got limited time on the pitch and you pointed to the fact that it was because the other player was better.  Please let me explain.  This had nothing to do with ability; I looked at the match in general and felt that he was not going to have an easy ride, so I took the decision to replace him.  You must remember that this is a “team game” and that I will make decisions based on whatever is in the best interest of the team.  If I felt that by substituting your son with a stronger player and stemming the flow of goals, that we would give ourselves a chance, then that is what I did.  My decision worked in our favour but in the process upset you, so for this I am truly sorry.

But you must remember, I only think in the best interest of the team and will not make decisions just to please parents.  I have full faith in your son and I hope he can continue to take what he learns in training into the match.  It’s a long season with lots of games, and things will improve.

Yours, Coach.

Words that have been zooming in my head since yesterday’s incredible fight back from the boys.  I was in high spirits after the match only to be on the end of a “grilling” by a parent, I just wanted to go home after that and had a miserable day.  Is it all worth it?



Someone trying to rip through the normality of life and expand a few horizons.

10 thoughts on “Dear Parent….. (Pains of football coaching)

  1. Tough call to have to make. Emotions mixed in with business always make for a tricky situation. But you’ve got to set an example and do the right thing for the team – that’s why you’re coach. If you hadn’t done anything about it then you risk losing your credibility with other parents let alone losing the match! As coach part of your job is making hard decisions that other people don’t want to have to…

    What a great result too! 3-3 after being down 3 goals!! Great work.
    It’s a team sport and parents who don’t recognise this and fight back are setting a poor example to their children in my opinion. It’s a tough world out there, they may as well learn that young!

    1. Cheers Lee. The decision was based on what I saw out there and it worked out in our favour in the end, thanks to excellent defending and fantastic attacking play. Yes I felt bad afterwards because a parent of mine was upset, (I am a softee at times) however this has soon been dismissed as the “team’s success” is the most important thing that gets me out of bed each Saturday and Sunday morning.

  2. There is nothing more embarrassing for a child when a parent decides to throw a tantrum on the pitch.

    I used to go to Saturday football all the time and my god some of the parents turn into screaming hooligans. One guy actually pulled his kid get out because he thought he was playing so bad. The coach was furious

    I feel for you coz I’ve seen how coaches get the brunt of parents moods. But good for you, standing your ground… And well done on sticking to your guns and excellent score. 🙂

    Do send the letter to the parent… It will defo shame him.

    1. Hi Aneesa,

      I will let it go for now I guess but more stick definately in store throughout this season.

      Amazing how parents feel they own the right to have a moan, considering we do it for free, including weekly preparations.

      Have a nice evening.

      1. i used to do some tutoring and would get some real attitude from some parents… used to really annoy me… if im teaching then i need to discipline too.. im not evil but hey if a kid is playing up he needs to be told of … needless to say i booted him out the group… parent was furious.. i said.. look… i told u so many times .. u did nothing.. so he has to go… he was too disruptive…

        The parent took it really personally and claimed i was making out that she was a bad parent… duh!

  3. I think most parents fail to understand football is a ‘team’ game, and at that age their children are not going to match Ronaldo or Rooney on the pitch. Tough and hard decisions need to be made to ensure the team win, and not just an individual player.

    Although I never have coached a children football team, I have be part of a mix martial arts tournament as a judge. When a kid looses a round or the fight, either because he got caught out or was just not too good enough there is nothing I or other judges can do. Point the finger at your son/daughter.

    But I guess in all honesty the parents just want the best for their children and for some its hard to handle their children not meeting their expectations.

    1. Hey there bro,

      Thing is, when a child get’s to a certain age, no matter what sport it is, a certain competitive edge begins to develop. I think one of the reasons why we in this country lag behind other countries in terms of sports is because we are too scared to gear children up to be competitive. Nothing wrong with being competitive, as long as it’s constructive and helps development. If the child is not “up to scratch”, they will then not enjoy the sport because they will be expected to reach a certain level.

      If it’s a team game, then you must always think in the interest of the team but develop each child to be a vital and fulfilling contributor to that team.

  4. Another thing.. some parents.. why do they push their child into a sport they are no good at…

    I remember being pushed into playing volleyball when i absolutely hated it.. and if a child doesn’t want to be there they are not gonna learn either…

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