It’s easy to blame the coach when things don’t go as we’d like.
Coaches are easy targets. When your child is not playing to his potential, when she is sitting too long on the bench, or when you don’t like the way a play turned out–parents are on the prowl for someone to blame and usually Coach is the first option.
I understand this instinct. I resorted to it often during my 21 years of being a sports mom. But here’s the honest truth: rarely is the coach to blame for what sports parents perceive to be deliquent coaching.
Then who is to blame? You may ask.
And I will answer: Why do you need to blame someone?
Let’s cut to the chase here, sports parents. Blaming does not resolve the issue, and here’s why:
- Excuses are an easy scapegoat. And they may make your child feel justified for a moment. But they never help him improve, or fix what went wrong. If making excuses becomes a habit, then it will too often become the reaction to anything that goes wrong in the game.
- Blaming becomes epidemic. Sometimes the blame game looks like the hot potato game. One kid blames another kid, who then blames another as quickly as possible, who then passes the blame on to someone else. Passing the blame around doesn’t help kids learn how to fix what went wrong.
Blaming the coach for something you don’t like is an easy way out of an uncomfortable situation.
It’s much harder to ask your child to examine his performance to see if he could have done something different. It’s hard for kids to accept the blame. When your child makes a mistake, encourage him to acknowledge it himself, admit it to his team mates, and learn from it.
Blaming the coach for a play you didn’t agree with is a venting mechanism.
You are frustrated with the call. Perhaps your child’s team lost the game on a play or a player change that you disagreed with. Yes, this is frustrating. But if that coach’s decision had worked, you would have labeled that same coach a hero for his brave play-calling.
Parents, you will never know what is looks like from the other side of the bench until you’ve walked in a coach’s shoes and experienced the responsibility that comes with the job. Blaming is an easy alternative to seeking to understand.
And let me just say this: one of the biggest problems between coaches and parents is lack of or unclear communication. If you truly want to remedy this situation, encourage your coach and your team to sign on with an online team management app that will communicate, schedule and do all sorts of other necessary tasks. It will go a long way to helping resolve that situation. I recommend TeamSnap (affiliate link) They have a ton of apps and tools to make running a team much easier.
Of course, all coaches are not perfect. They make mistakes, and you may even be justified in your frustration, but blaming is not the answer to the difficulty. Help your child see that blaming coaches, players or officials will never help him improve. It will only distract him from seeing the real problems.