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Handling Parents' Complaints About Playing Time

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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.

"I coach an 11-year-old travel team. Before the season, I told parents that players would not necessarily receive equal playing time the way they do in our house league. The parents say OK to my face or in e-mail, but mid-season, some parents are complaining about their children's playing time.

"One parent asked why his son sat out 2 of the 6 innings, while another player didn't sit out at all, and I explained the only player who did not sit out was the catcher because our other catcher was injured. One player's parents cause a scene, asking their son from behind the bench, 'Why are you sitting out again? If you're sitting out again, we're going home.' I don't have any problems with the kids. How do I deal with the parents?"

PCA Response By Joe Scally, PCA Trainer-Chicago
When setting expectations with the team in your pre-season meeting, it's important to make sure that your criteria for playing time apply to everyone. It is easy for parents to smile and nod about limited playing time when they believe the rules do not apply to their children. Your written parent pledge (found here) could include a section on playing time.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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