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Help! Problem Parents Causing Conflict

SPORTS CAN BATTLE RACISM: As a force in education through sports, we vow not to stop at condemnation, but to strive to be a force for reconciliation, through the collaborative actions with coaches throughout our country.

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"My husband, while coaching our son's 7- and 8-year-old football team last year, had a public disagreement with one of the parents. That incident scared him out of coaching. Now, the other family has persuaded our league to place my son on a team where he does not belong. So what would you do? My husband wants to have a talk with the parents. Me, I wish it would all go away, and I don't want to bring any negative attention to my son. Any advice would be helpful."

PCA Response by Joe Scally, PCA Trainer-Chicago
Conflict between coaches and parents is an unfortunate reality of youth sports, but the most important consideration in youth sports is the education and welfare of the players. There are a few things you can do to make sure your son's interests remain at the forefront.

First, consider whether your son has been appropriately placed based on league criteria for size, age and skill level. If not, there is likely some process for appealing the placement. But first ask yourselves "Why doesn't my son belong on this team?" If it's unsafe, or his skill level is seriously mismatched, you should take this up with the league administration.

If it's some other reason, consider whether there are benefits to staying on this team that outweigh any downside. It's important to ask your son how he feels, so that regardless of the outcome, you can support him in having a good experience this season.

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