Response from parent with playing time concerns

We brought you an email sent to us by a parent who had concerns over a daughter’s playing time on a basketball team. You can read it here if you missed it. We were unsure whether or not this team of 5th and 6th graders was designed to be recreational or competitive. We got our answer which you can read below, along with our response.

(Email from parent):

Thank you for your response,

The coach called a meeting with the parents and went thru how they handle the team.
It was about prayer before and after, helping the kids, don’t be distracting at the game or talk bad about the coaches etc.
Then he went on to say that for some kids they just can’t develop or have the skills needed.  Some don’t get the plays etc.
To be realistic, I play the best 5 players and your kid may never play.  If we are really loosing or way ahead then he will funnel them in.  It’s a competitive team and although it’s not all about winning the school strongly encourages so that they can be known for this.  24 hour rule for complaints & no test when u have issues.
Everyone left and I spoke one on one since the other parents just sat quiet. (coach + assistant)
1)       I asked if my daughter talked to them because she was supposed to say how she felt and ask how when can improve to help the team.
2)      I thanked them for being committed and devoted to the girls an helping them learn the skills and plays.
3)      The girls want to do good , help the team and ask how they can improve.
4)      I like that being on a team teaches the kids how to sportsmanship, team players, competitive. You agree the is a learned behavior.  Along with learning the skill to play the game.
5)      I get it, in High school its different, kids are looking for recognition, scholarships and status.  But 5th/ 6th grade, It shouldn’t be this way.
6)      Unfortunately when kids just sit on the bench and don’t play, the message you send to the kids, to the parents and crowd is that they “are not good enough”.  And that will NEVER Ever be ok with me.
 7)      This is my daughters 1st team sport.  And you have all the power………  the power to either have her love or hate the game depending on how you handle it.
8)      I think a good coach is one that says. Play your best and have fun.  Well at least at this age.
They were receptive, although I can see NO change will come of it.  And they suggested that she should join a rec league if she wants to play.  But keep her on this team.
Your thoughts?

(Our response):

Thanks for getting back to me. First, let me say I agree with you that it is ridiculous at 5th and 6th grade to not be able to get playing time for everyone. It doesn’t have to be equal playing time, but surely they can find a way to put everyone in for a short time and still be competitive. However, I do believe that the bigger issue here is placement. If you sign up for competitive teams, then you will need to be prepared for something like this. The idea of competitive teams, even in grade school, is that the best players play. It is not fair to the players who really do want that ultra-competitive environment to have to split playing time with others who are not ready for it, just to make it fair. That is what rec sports are for. So I would say that based on what you’ve told me, I agree with the coaches that maybe your daughter should play rec. Whether she wants to also stay on this team or not is up to her, but rec is for having fun, travel/competitive is for winning. She can still improve on a rec team, (in fact she’ll improve more because she’ll get to play).

I hope this helps, and thanks again for sharing.

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2 Responses

  1. […] post was not quite the end of the story for the mom who had entered her young daughter into a competitive […]

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