Monday, February 17, 2014

To the Parents of Athletes.....From a Coach's Wife

So your kids on a team and probably the star athlete, at least in your eyes. Maybe he or she got to play the whole game tonight because well, they are that good. Or, maybe, they only played the last 3 minutes of the game. I get it. You want them to play no matter what. So now we come to the part where your star athlete was taken out of the game for whatever reason the coach sees fit or finally your kid is getting to go in the game. How dare he take your star athlete out of the game. How dare he only let your star athlete play the last 3 minutes.

 I mean after all, he/she is JUST the coach. You're the real coach. You're the one who gets up at an ungodly hour in the morning to get to the gym, practice field, etc., to make sure someone is there when your athlete arrives. You're the one who stays late after school for practice. You're the one who practices with them day in and day out. You're the one who knows the abilities of everyone on the team. You're the one who gets the failure report for everyone on the team. You're the one who not only tries to coach the entire team but also the one who tries to instill life lessons in them. And let's not forget the one who travels to and from away games with them and makes sure EVERYONE on the team returns safely to you, not just your athlete. You're the one who studies game film to make sure the team makes it to the playoffs and you're the one who works toward getting your athlete a scholarship.

Since you already know all of this because let's face it you know way more about the team than the coach does, let me tell you something you may not know:

When that coach is getting up in the morning or staying late for practice....those are hours he is spending time with your kid not his own. We would love for him to be at home but instead he/she is trying to help your athlete become a little bit better.

When he/she checks grades and failure reports, he has 10+ kids to worry about, you have one.

When he/she goes to an away game, he/she has to make sure that the entire team follows rules and returns home safely to you. You only have to worry about your athlete.

When you jump down his/her throat for the game they just lost, he/she has already beat themselves up a thousand times over in their head of what they could have done differently.

Oh and guess what. The coach that is trying his/her hardest to make your athlete the best that they can be has 50+ other kids during the day that they teach. That's their first job. Coaching is a choice your right but it's also a passion. A passion that they have to see kids excel in their sport.

Until you spend the hours evaluating and watching every player on the team to see who excels in which area better, know that your athlete may just in fact not be the best player on the team. So, go home and work with them, help them get better. What? That's not your job, it's the coaches job. Then why do you spend the whole game trying to get your athlete to look at you up in the stands instead of listening to their coach.

I know the coach doesn't always call the correct play and yes, they could have probably made a change that would've won the game. And yes, he probably could have played your athlete a little more. Still, at the end of the game, he/she cares about your athlete. Support them. You may not agree with everything but support them. Teach your athlete to respect. Teach them that it's not an everybody gets a trophy kind of world. You have to fight in life, you have to fight for your position on the team. Make that coach want to put you in. Show him/her that you are worth more than 3 minutes. Don't just let your athlete sit on the sideline and roll their eyes and bash their coach because they chose to play video games or sleep in when the rest of the team chose to put a little extra time in the gym or on the field. Teach them responsibility.

Side note: My little athlete is about to start his own journey in the world of sports. Trust me, I know I will have to remind myself of this. Trust me.

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