I met with a coach in my club about a particular player on his team that was not happy with his playing time. We decided to have a conversation with him and his mother about it, so we could clear everything up. The conversation was led by the mother, who cited that her son’s confidence was down because he was not starting on his team.
She also said that he was a starter on JV at High School, so he did not understand why he was not treated the same in club soccer. Another point made was that her son was not playing in a position that made him comfortable. The last thing she mentioned was that her son did not think the coach liked him.
The coach explained to the young man that he was not training with the level of intensity desired, and there were players that were doing a better job in the position he was playing for the team at the moment. The coach also ensured the player and his mother that this was not a personal issue. As a coach there is nothing to be gained by disliking a player. What he dislikes is the lack of effort at the practice sessions.
Sounds pretty clear. I added to the conversation and asked the player what he was doing to earn a starting position. He had no answer. I asked him if he gave 100% at all sessions. He said no. I explained to the boy that at 15 years of age we should not be having a conversation with mom.
Part of becoming a young man is dealing with and overcoming adversity. I also explained to him that if it meant anything to him to be in the starting eleven, he would work harder than all his teammates in training to force the coach to notice his work ethic. I made it very clear that we were not going to give him anything, because we would not be teaching him the life lessons of earning what you want.
The mother thanked us for taking the time to speak with them and the meeting ended. Later that evening the mother followed up with an email that said she wanted to reiterate that based on our meeting, we were going to start her son in order to build his confidence back up to where it was in High School. I guess there’s going to have to be another meeting