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rmoore4
rmoore4 asks:
Q:

Our son didn't make the team even though everyone said he should.  What would you do?

My son plays soccer and was not picked to move up to the JV team.  He was not picked last year also to move up.  His coaches last year told me that he was voted by both of them to move up but the head coach said no.  They inquired as to whether I had some conflict with the head coach.  I dismissed this because I didn't really even know this coach.  Now this year comes and two of the coaches pulled by son aside and told him he is one of the best players on the team and during tryouts if he just hustles and plays hard he would make the JV team. He was not picked and now feels very betrayed and hurt by these coaches.  I emailed them and explained his feelings.  This was two weeks ago and I have not heard a response nor has my son.  According to a coach, my son was on everyone's list to make the JV team but the head coach said no.  There are rumors that the head coach will never pick my son because he has some sort of a grudge against my husband.  We have no idea where this came from.  What would you do?
In Topics: Sports and athletics
> 60 days ago

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Expert

lkauffman
Sep 2, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

I'm very sorry to hear that your son has experienced so many disappointments during soccer tryouts. I applaud your son for continuing to practice and play hard despite the set-backs he has experienced. Many children would have given up and packed it in long ago. This is truly a testament to his character. I am concerned, however, about his ability to maintain his love for the game and respect for the coaches if the circumstances do not change. The situation sounds tricky given that there is disagreement about his placement and rumors are swirling.

First, what kind of involvement would your son like for you to have in this dispute? You mention that you emailed some of the coaches already. Is your son in support of you continuing to advocate on his behalf? I ask because he is old enough to share his input, and I believe it will be important to have his involvement in all steps of this process given that he needs to feel comfortable about playing with his teammates and for the coaches.

Second, assuming your son wants you to continue to advocate for him, it might be worthwhile to send a follow-up email to the coaches. Reference your last email and acknowledge that you understand it is a busy time with the start of school. You might consider expressing concern about resolving this issue soon because you hope to preserve your son's love and interest in soccer, and you believe that he can be a solid contributor to the school team. You might also indicate that there have been a lot of rumors swirling, and you don't want to listen to hearsay; you wish to sit down with the coaches and discuss your son's future with the soccer program. If he has skills to work on, you want to know about that. If there are other issues, you would like to resolve those, as well. Finally, if you feel comfortable, you could mention that you will wait until the end of the week for their response, and if you don't hear from them, you will touch base with the principal (or whichever administrative personnel you feel comfortable reaching out to) in order to work toward a solution.

Just a few thoughts. Good luck!

L. Compian, Ph.D.
Education.com Expert Panel

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Additional Answers (2)

rkaiulani
rkaiulani writes:
Hi,
This sounds like a tough situation. I'm not sure what advice to offer you about the head coach's decision. Have you considered having your son join a club team?
Aside from that, here are some tips for helping your son deal with the sense of rejection that this experience holds. I got these from an article called "When Your Child Doesn't Make the Team" (linked below).
* Be self-aware parents. Parents need to be aware of their own attitudes towards making the team, and towards winning and losing because inevitably these attitudes will be picked up by their children.
* Give your child a chance to feel. Parents can help their child cope by giving him or her 'permission' to have a normal response. Parents who respond to their child not making the team by saying "Well, soccer is a stupid sport anyways!" invalidate the hurt their child is feeling as well as dismissing something that may well be very important to him or her.
* Help your child see the big picture. There's much more to being successful in life than simply making a sports team, however important it may seem at the time, and parents can help their children realize this.

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Jack22
Jack22 writes:
sorry to hear about your situation my son also is a standout at soccer and was passed over for kids of less skill. in my case the kids all have dads who coach.it seems to be a theme in this town. if this coach has a grudge against your husband ,it shows what little charachter the coach has by punishing the son ,isnt the son his own person? I would suggest vidioing your son and teams he plays on and getting the rec coaches recomendations in writing, and going to the principle and beyond for redress of greivances. if its as blatent as you say perhaps some adults can talk to the coach and make him see reason.this is just pure injustice and it happens all over the place.many great coaches get bad raps for this type of coach, if you cant see the child for the farther then you shouldnt be in coaching.stay calm and ask questions,be honest about the possabilities. if this doesnt work,show the vidio to as many people as you can and make a point, he s affecting the town as well ,as perhaps they would be a better team with him on it.small town 's are ripe with nepotism . keep encouraging your son , college is a different animal , where coaches are more apt to put winning ahead of grudges .Sports are only a part of who your son is , but when your good and held back ,you either take it , or fight back.try not to involve your son in your fight , keep it behind the scenes ,you are a tax payer and deserve an answer as to why a good player is being snubbed.maybe talk to a lawyer.hit em where it hurts.if the coach hates your husband ,who cares if you make him any madder , its about your son and doing whats right.and for the parents whose kids arnt good at sports ,this really doesnt apply to you and you need to accept that , but for the parents of kids who are good at a particular sport you need to decide if the fight is worth it , I say yes.....im fighting back today , i take the vidio to the principal today , we deserve an answer .half my freinds say i shoudnt , half say i should ,I just hate injustice at any level and would fight for any child over a coach with a grudge.( i pray spell check is on as im typing too fast)goodluck!
> 60 days ago

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