I really love my boys being in sports and enjoying it, but this season of football for Tyler has been less than a perfect experience, to say the least. I felt so bad for that kid last night. He just hung his head and held back the tears. It's not right the way his coach has handled that team. I sat down and wrote an email to him this morning. I'm not sure if it will do any good, but I sure felt better getting it off my chest. Here it is....
This is a long time coming and I feel it's important to let you know how upset my husband and I are about the events of this football season. Our son, Tyler, started his second year of football with high hopes of being challenged, learning more about the sport, and being a part of a team. Unfortunately, that just wasn't the case. Tyler felt very frustrated at many points during the season when he was not given the opportunity to play in the games. He played a very minimal part, usually consisting of only a couple plays per game on kick returns...never stepping foot on the field for any sort of defensive play. My husband and I felt his frustrations, but kept quiet and encouraged him to continue to do his best at practices to allow you to see that, although he may never be the most athletically inclined kid, he was trying and working as hard as the other boys. We have been a part of organized sports with our 5 boys for several years and are not the type of parents to get in the middle of things. We teach our boys to be respectful of the coach and to always try their best and never quit.
But it came to a head for us when you played a game in which you were winning by a score of 26-0 most of the second half and he STILL did not get in...at all. My husband told him to go up and ask you if he could get in for a play. My husband watched you look up at him and then walk away....having never even acknowledged his request, much less give him a chance to play. The following game, when he played two kick returns only, my husband did go up to your asst. coach and have a conversation about this. He was very non-confrontational about it, but just felt it was time to talk to someone about our concerns. You asst. apologized and said he agreed and would try harder to get him some play time. That last one game...he went in for 6 plays which he was thrilled about. After that, right back to the same as before.
I realize that this is a competitive sport and the team wants to win, but it's also a team of 12 yr. olds. This is the age when they should be getting the opportunity to play and learn to prepare them for the possibility of playing in high school. If this were high school football, we would not have an issue....we understand it is possible to ride the bench if you aren't a good player....but even in high school they play the 2nd and 3rd string guys when the score is seperated by 26 points.
Last night was the icing on the cake. We were there....in the rain and cold....his grandparents there to see him.....and do you even know how many plays he was in?? None. Zero. Not even a kick return. There is just no excuse for that. He left there feeling frustrated and defeated and very uncertain whether or not he would be playing ever again. This is what this type of coaching does to these young kids. It discourages them to the point of not wanting to play anymore.
He deserved a bigger effort on your part to get him some play time and to feel a part of a team effort. We paid the $150 for him to play and learn...he was at every practice....he was at all but one game....he did his part....we did ours.
I really hope that you consider some of this when you coach again next year. I can tell you that we are not the only parents that felt this way. Tyler's a good kid. He will never be a star athlete, it's just not in him....but he should have been given more of a chance to improve. Who knows, he may have surprised you.
Jenny and Jason *******