Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Youth Sports: It's Not About You Dad

This past memorial day weekend, my daughter's U11 soccer team advanced to the finals of the Warrior Classic, an elite regional soccer tournament held in Dayton.

The pre-game line-up before the finals
The team has played well all season, but has made fatal flaws in games that have resulted in more losses than wins. The team finally put it all together in this tournament, including a big win over the best team in Ohio during pool play. Unfortunately, our team lost in the finals to the same team 1-0. Regardless, my daughter's team earned a lot of respect and walked away with some hardware.

CC with 2nd place hardware
That is not the story. This is a Crazy Youth Sports Parents Series Story

One of CC's teammate did not participate in this wonderful experience. She did not participate because her dad made the decision to quit the team prior to the tournament.

Here is how it went down:

Memorial Day Weekend is a big soccer tournament weekend. Our U11 Elite team was playing in Dayton. The U12 Elite team was playing in Columbus.

A dad on our team has a daughter on both teams, so to keep the family together for the holiday weekend and reduce the number of hotel rooms needed, he asked the U12 coach if his younger daughter could play up.

The U12 coach called our coach to ask permission to take the player. Our coach approved the move.

Our coach then called up another defender from the B team, a defender who he has wanted to call up for awhile now. He saw this as a great opportunity to see how this B team defender would play at the highest level prior to tryouts coming up.

The U12 coach then decided that he did not want to add the younger player to his tournament roster.

The dad then called our coach to inform him that his daughter would be coming to the U11 tournament. The coach informed the dad that he has already registered for the tournament with the B player on the roster. He said that she could come to the tournament, but expect reduced playing time.

The dad was not happy with this situation, became irate and decided to quit.

The Main Point

Unfortunately, this is not a unique situation. Many parents over-react when they feel that their kid is being wronged.

Who loses in situations like this?

The girl, who is a great kid. She didn't play soccer all weekend long and missed a chance to win a trophy.

The girl's teammates who missed playing with their friend.

The dad, who is a great guy and probably feels sick about the situation. I have never gone to this extreme, but I have approached coaches and regretted it. I don't do that anymore.

Tip - Let the season play out and then make a rational decision for your kid.


  1. Trying to understand this dad's mindset. He was willing to sacrifice his younger daughter's playing time to make it more convenient for the family by having her play with her sister's GU12 team. Then he went ballistic when the GU11 coach said she wouldn't get her normal playing time because he had already committed to another player for the weekend.

    Morale to the story - Think before you react. Never make a decision in anger. Embrace tag team parenting.

    1. The passions behind youth sports are often illogical. You give great advice.

    2. If that is considered crazy, just in the few years my kid has been involved in soccer I have seen a few dads that can top that. Funny you hear about soccer moms, but it is always the soccer Dads that are the problem, at least on the girls side. Maybe it is the reverse with the boys?

  2. Sad thing is, I bet his daughter would have been fine with the reduced playing time. It's funny how kids understand and roll with situations a lot better than many adults.

    1. That is so true - I know that my kids would be embarrassed if I did this - she would dread answering questions about why she is not playing.

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