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Your son or daughter plays less than you like. You “know” s/he is better than an athlete who is playing more. As a Second-Goal Parent®, what should you do?

 
Playing Time Blues
Not sure what to say to your child experiencing less than desired playing time? See this excerpt for advice.
Learn More at PCA: devzone.positivecoach.org
 

This resource is from a case study in Jim Thompson’s (@JimThompson18) book, The High School Sports Parent.

Playing Time Blues: Your daughter plays less than you like. You “know” she is better than an athlete who is playing more. As a Second-Goal Parent®, what should you do?

In high school sports playing time is totally at the discretion of the coach, who has much more information than any parent about relative player ability, how much effort each player is making, etc.

Although you are frustrated with your teen’s playing time, she may not be. Find out. And try to do this without asking her. If you ask about whether she is frustrated by the amount of time she is on the field, you may be planting an unhelpful seed in her head.

Instead, watch her. Is she excited to go to practice and games? Does she have a lot to tell you about after games? These are signs that she is engaged and not upset by her playing time.

If you come to believe that she is indeed discouraged by not playing more, you can suggest that she approach the coach to see what she can do to get more playing time. Imagine your athlete saying something like, “Coach, I’d really like to play more. Do you have any suggestions for things I can do to be able to play more?”

To read the full response, including more ways to talk with your child about playing time issues, download the book excerpt found below. Not getting to play enough can be one reason kids want to quit sports, and this excerpt can help if your child is in this situation.

To purchase the entire book The High School Sports Parent, and to learn more about other PCA books, click here.

These books are used in PCA’s live workshops. To learn more about our interactive sports parent workshops, click here.

 

Doc Rivers On Sports Parents Seeking More Playing Time

 

Doc Rivers is the head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers and a PCA National Advisory Board Member. He had a stellar playing career with Marquette University and several NBA teams before moving on to coach the Orlando Magic and then the Celtics, whom he led to the 2008 NBA Championship. Rivers is also a prominent sports parent, most notably as father of Austin Rivers, who played at Duke University before joining the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In this video, Rivers shares his approach as a sports parent when his kids sought help getting more playing time during their youth sports days. Rivers never went to the coach to request more playing time for his children; instead he used it as a teachable moment, explaining to his children what motivates a coach and encouraging them to focus on what they can control and earn their playing time. If your children complain about playing time, talk to them about what they can do at practice to get their minutes to go up during game situations. This might involve working harder or spending time outside of practice on a skill. It also might mean encouraging your child to have an honest conversation with the coach. Most importantly, Rivers believes that kids need to learn to earn their playing time and it’s not the parent’s role to talk to the coach about this coaching decision.