When I think of a perfect Saturday morning, I feel 70 degrees of crisp fall air. I see a freshly cut soccer field with nine-year-old children running around learning and enjoying a game that I love and has been so much a part of my life.

All of a sudden the game is over and an unhappy parent is storming over to the opposite sideline to vent to the coach about how his nine-year-old did not get near the amount of playing time he or she deserved. My calm and joyful morning is ruined.

Though this situation seldom occurs at the young age group described, it is happening more and more often at the middle and high school level in all sports, not just soccer.

At which point, if at all, does a parent have a right to judge and re-direct coaches’ decisions with things such as playing time or starting positions?

In my opinion, they do not. Parents are not at practices every day and are not able to see the work put in by their own children as well as others.

The other issue with this is trust in the coach. Because he or she is present every day and sees first hand every child’s work ethic along with improvements, there has to be some basis of trust. Whether it is in a parent’s favor or not, there has to be trust in the coaches’ decisions.

This is where I believe America’s youth sports have faltered. It seems it is becoming more and more prevalent in parents to see their child without fault. This is causing blame to be put elsewhere, such as coaches or even teachers.

Parents are playing the blame game in different ways. They have been seen confronting coaches directly, telling them exactly what is on their mind. Technology and e-mail have also been a resource.

I do not think that parents should be confronting coaches at all with things like playing time. How will yelling at or confronting a coach help? It can only worsen the situation.

Or does it? On the flipside, what happens when a coach buckles under this pressure and starts making decisions based on making everyone happy?

Can that happen in youth sports today? Can parents, players and coaches all be happy?

Sports are supposed to be a release and a source of fun for children and students. When parents make this invasion, stress and pressure are increased, taking away the fun in sports.

Because today’s society focuses so much on the person by itself, it is hard not to be selfish and want the most for one’s child. Parents have to push through this selfishness, though, and remember what sports were truly meant to foster in children. Not selfishness and supremacy, but teamwork and trust.

The Waynedale News Staff

Katie Christian

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