Common Sports Adversity Dilemma

Question – My son doesn’t play the position he wants, what to do?

This common sports adversity situation often creates player and parent discontent, and possibly team disruption. First, parents need to ask themselves whether their child is truly the upset one or if the parents are the upset party and the source of the sports adversity. When parents are the upset ones, they should understand that a kid learning to play other positions at a young age is a good thing and that it will not hurt their long-term chances in the sport. In this situation, parents should not make an issue of it with their child or the coach. 

Sports Adversity Solutions When Player is Upset

Parents should:
1. Let the child vent their frustration, but only to their parents and do not allow them to make an issue of it around the coach and team. Getting a reputation as an unhappy player is never a good thing.

2. Let your child know that this situation is common in sports and that it must not affect their desire and play, no matter their position.

3. Be honest with player, as sometimes other players have earned the right to play that position, but that does not mean the situation is forever. It is not the best thing to continue to tell their son that they are better than the other player is, as parents are biased and should not give the impression that the player is “getting screwed,” by the coach. They should prepare for a future opportunity to earn their favorite position back.

4.  Have player continue to practice the position after practice and at home, so that the player stays sharp and improves. This helps them feel like they will be ready to play their favorite position in the future.

5. When kids cannot get over their disappointment, ask the player if they want you to talk to the coach about the possibility of playing their favorite position. Some kids will want you to but others will not. When your child wants you to, discuss with the coach in a civil way your child’s wishes, see about future possibilities and ask what the player can do to improve at their favorite position.

Letting your child know that learning other positions at their age is a good thing and of the importance of being a team player. Coaches respect players who “suck it up” and play positions that are not their favorite ones; that attitude may pay off in the future. This is another of the sports adversity situations where positive parents are necessary to help with important life lessons that sport present.

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