Biting my tongue on the soccer field


I'm a woman who speaks her mind, especially when it regards her kids.

Several weeks ago I e-mailed N's coach when he only played 4 minutes of a 60 minute game. It's a township-sponsored, in-town recreation league. One hour of practice and 8 or 10 games a season. We like it because it offers N a chance to play a team sport, get some fresh air and have some fun. We don't see him turning into a soccer-star, but after this season we will have to call it quits. This hurts his self-esteem, instead of the original goal.

A bench-warmer at 8. Ouch!

So I e-mailed the coach after the first time. She sent me a long reply apologizing that she didn't notice he played so little, and because of new rules she is limited in when she can sub. She also said that kids play more when they ask to play. N is actually pretty shy and would never ask to play.

So when two weeks ago he didn't play more than a few minutes again, I fumed. I didn't want to be the typical helicopter Mom, hovering. I didn't want to interfere.

I should have!

Today, again, he played under 10 minutes while the vast majority of his teammates played the entire game. The coach subbed in and out the 3-4 weakest players with the 4 medium players and never gave the top few kids any break. Nico played two plays today. It was the last game and now I leave the season with a bad taste in my mouth. Both for this very qualified and strong coach and for my own lack of assertiveness. How could the situation have been improved? Coach D did not take any ownership of her coaching decisions. So had I said something, she would likely have changed her opinion of me, but not her behavior which was my goal.

Would N have played more? Who knows?! But I might have felt better about all the driving, sock-stressing and cheering. I think that would have been an improvement!

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