All of us, as coaches have to deal with parents, but there are certain types that make all of us crazy. Generally, Parents are great, following the mantra of Players Play, Coaches Coach and Parents Cheer. However, it is those few that force us to question if our altruistic cause is really worth it. It is the following parent types that truly force us to remember why we coach:
1. "My Kid Is The Best" Dad-There is only one person who should never tell a coach that a certain kid is the best player on any team and that is that kid's parent, regardless of if it is true or not. Particularly in youth sports, it is not about any one kid. It is about all the kids. It is a "pay to play" program and all the kids should have the same shot to play, regardless of their abilities (although, in all fairness the more talented players tend to play more). The most frustrating subset of this group is the parent that doesn't see his kid scoring and believes the coach "isn't using him right." That is code for give him the ball more.
2. "I Have Been A Coach Before" Parent-The issue here is that once the parent starts discussing their kid, all the credibility goes away. Then the coach tends to think, "Ok, so you are either too lazy to help me out (and all of us could use the help)," or "if you want to run the practice, by all means here is the whistle." Neither is a good thing.
3. "I Am Usually Not That Parent" Parent-We have all been there with this parent. The minute that comment escapes their windpipe, the coach suddenly thinks, "Oh no, here is comes. What have I done to this person's kid?" Inevitably, it is about playing time and then it just goes bad from there.
4. "My Kid Is A Scorer" Parent-My favorite!! In lacrosse, the kids with the best stick and nose for the goal will score. As they get older, the real scorers (the attack and some wicked good middies) come to the forefront. This parent has had the experience of their kid being the more aggressive, but not as skilled as the others, syndrome. There are very few sports where aggression isn't the end all. In lacrosse, aggression without the ability to control the ball in the stick is not a scorer. That kid is a defender, or face-off guy, if they can master that skill, but not a scorer.
These examples are much different than the high school parent which I will share later.
Love to hear other examples of the parent types.