Dealing With Unsatisfactory Coaching

Description of Playing Levels
Skill Evaluations
Player Commitment
Parent Commitment
Parents' Obligations
Communicating With Your Child's Coach
Coach Evaluation Checklist
Dealing With Unsatisfactory Coaching
Helping Your Child's Coach
Preseason Practice and Season Play
Field Decorum – Official Regulations XIV
Uniforms and Equipment
Injury and Insurance Coverage
Complaint Procedure

Parents often have a difficult time dealing with their child's coach when they decide that he or she is coaching in an unsatisfactory way. Thoughtful parents are reluctant to interfere and hesitant to remove their child from the team. Children may resent being forced to quit; they fear losing face and may enjoy the sport so much that they want to continue participating in spite of a poor coach. Parents must use good judgment in such situations, communicating with both the child and the coach to resolve the problem.

We recommend that you begin by discussing the problem with the coach. Explain your concern and then listen to the coach's perspective. If the problem with the coach is not severe, consider taking special steps with your child to explain the coach's unsatisfactory behavior when it occurs. When children have help to recognize negative behavior, they often can learn positive lessons. For example, if the coach throws a temper tantrum whenever a player makes an error, help your child understand that this reaction is the coach's problem of self-control. Explain that mistakes are part of learning. Make it clear that you value the improvement your child continues to show, despite the coach's negative reactions. This intervention requires wise counsel and time on your part to avoid pitting your child against the coach's methods or philosophy.

If discussing the issue with the coach does not resolve the problem, then you need to consider going to your local Little League officials. If they cannot remedy the problem to your satisfaction, then determine the feasibility of transferring your daughter or son to another team through the intervention of the league Player Agent.

If all these fail, and you consider the problem to be bad enough, you may need to remove your child from Little League. If the coach's actions are illegal, then of course you need to contact the appropriate legal authorities.