Should coaches get involved in sports team drama?
A youth sports parent asks:
Can I call coach to discuss her method of handling girl drama? I think she actually adds to it. I think it should be left off the court, but she stops practice to discuss relationships at least once per week! Same group of girls are coached by a man for basketball and he has no problems. He ignores the stupid girl drama!
Oh boy, this is such an issue in youth sports. In my experience, it’s been more prevalent in girls’ sports, but can also be a factor on a boys’ team too. Because anywhere there is relationships, there will be drama.
Should a coach get pulled into it? Yes, and no.
Often, the best way for a coach to handle the drama is ignore it, UNLESS it is hurting the team’s performance and ability to work as a team and UNLESS it involves athletes treating the coach or their team mates with disrespect. In those instances, the coach does need to step in.
Otherwise, if team drama needs to be addressed, the coach should start by talking to the entire team, in general terms, without calling anyone out. If that doesn’t solve it, then the coach might need to talk to the involved players one-on-one or one-on-two to help resolve the situation. Another way for the coach to handle it is to have a meeting with the captains and give them a chance to be leaders and help their team resolve the issues.
If THAT doesn’t work and the drama continues to hurt the team on the court or field, then perhaps the coach should speak the language that every athlete understands: sit them on the bench.
In my opinion, a weekly team lecture on drama is not going to solve the problem. After awhile, players start to tune the coach out when they see there are no real consequences for their actions.
Now, this begs the question: should you as a parent confront the coach about it?
That depends. How well do you know the coach? Have you been a positive and supportive parent? Have you won the right to be heard by him or her? Because if you haven’t, he will only tun you out when you confront him. Coaches do not like to be told how to coach. I know; I’ve lived with one for 28 years.
My husband and I have never been the type of parents to tell a coach how to manage his team. So if I didn’t know the coach real well, I would not say anything. You may not like it, your child may not like it, and yes, it may be very annoying, but other than that, it might be an issue you will just have to live with until the season ends.