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CHAPTER TWELVE
HOW TO APPROACH THE COACH ABOUT ISSUES YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT

This is competitive soccer, not recreational soccer. There are many differences. We expect higher commitment and we are focused on the players' development as much as on their enjoyment of the game. This means while we want the game to be fun, we do not treat players the same, because they are NOT the same. Each player is different and needs to be treated differently - as individuals - if they are to develop. This is especially true in regards to playing time. Do not expect your child to receive equal playing time. In some games, he may get much less and in others much more. The coach may decide to let a player who is weaker play more this game because that player is having a breakthrough game and wants to reward him. In another game, a coach may play only stronger players because they can handle the pressure while weaker players may see their confidence shattered. There are many factors that influence playing time and parents with stop watches who count the minutes are missing the whole point.

If you do not think your child is being treated in the proper way you should first ask the coach what your child can do to get more playing time. If your child is older than 12 you should have your child ask and take a leadership role, and you should stay in the background. Ask how you can improve the opportunity, do not demand more playing time.

Do not approach the Coach during a game or immediately after, especially when there are players nearby. You will not get an answer at those times for the Coach is rightly focused on the game and the players.

If you are not satisfied with the answer do not argue with the coach; take the matter to the Club's Officers. If you are not satisfied with their answer, as a Club we will release your child so you may go where you are satisfied. Remember, playing time is not a right - it is earned in practice and during each game. Players need significant playing time in a game to properly develop and if we did not think your child could contribute and grow we would not have offered them a spot. It does not mean equal or significant playing time in every game.

The same applies to the position your child is asked to play. We rotate players at younger ages through many positions. They need to learn how the field looks in each position. In some games, they will play the entire game in an unfamiliar role. As players get older, they will be given opportunities to play on many teams from ODP State Select Teams to High School and College. A player who can only play one position has greatly limited themselves and their opportunities. The one who can say, "I'll play where you need me coach", and then can perform is prized. This is the goal of how we develop players. Do not cast your child in a limited role.

As coaches, we ask that you help do what is best for your child and every child on the team. Judge us by how your child is developing as a player. If they are growing and enjoy the game, if they look forward to soccer, then you are receiving fair value for your time and money.