My child is not in the team

Netball Team

The age old issue of selection to school sports teams is something that I believe will be around forever. But why?

“Why”is the golden word, why do parents take selection of their children so seriously? Why do parents believe they have knowledge superior to that of the coach placed in charge? I want to dwell on the second question and the opinion that I hold in answering.

First up I want to be very clear, selection of a sports team is subjective but dealing with it must be done objectively. The subjectivity is based on a coach or coaches selecting a group of players they feel is the best to do the job they believe is needed to be successful. Anyone notice all the subjectivity there? The coach’s understanding of the sport, the coach’s exposure to the sport, his or her own playing days and previous coaching all play a role in the concept of building a group of players and the concept of success. Humans have opinions, that is not in question, what I do ask and what you as a parent should be asking yourself before you question the non selection of your child is from what technical knowledge and experience am I coming from in questioning the process? Also key to understand is whether the question is based on why the child was not selected or if you feel the process was, in your opinion, not fair?

Unfortunately I have to be quite blunt in saying that unless your surname is Rice, Cook, Gerber, Wilkinson or Waugh as a parent you are ill qualified to challenge the sports selection process. If you have not played or better coached with a great deal of experience you are ill qualified. To tell me you played some competitive sport in primary or high school does not suffice.

Imagine I walked into your office and began telling you how the manufacturing of steel should happen from the sourcing of raw materials to staff management and marketing…. Would I last 5 minutes with you? I hope not. The same should apply to this, you cannot dictate your own way because your child was deemed not good enough. You are however allowed to discuss with the head of the department positively, respectfully and constructively suggestions of ways to get better results for the whole department. If you don’t have boundaries how will your valuable children be able to have boundaries?

If you still believe that you have a reasonable case after taking this all into account from an objective mature stand point then by all means approach the Sports Department, as you would an academic department, and seek an appointment with the head of the department to constructively discuss the concern and a way forward. If this does not take place as described then the only loser is the child as the entire issue is an agenda driven debacle causing very unnecessary exchanges which are lose lose.

The sooner parents are able to consciously absorb their role and live it the better for their children, in all aspects.

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    Posted October 29, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Thats really nice but you seem to have forgotten the part about the ‘so called we know and are professional coaches’ that are heavily influenced by the parents. So what do you tell your child then? when they can quiet clearly see the blatent interference and unfair selections based on who’s parents have influence?

    • Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Sorry I’m reply over 2 years later, I was not aware this article had got onto the site.

      There is no doubt that quality of coaching, both technical and educational, are major concerns. It is something that I am working on very passionately. I am currently in a system which has 10 schools in it – 3 primary schools and 2 High schools being my focus. We have in the region of 140 to 200 coaches working par time in our system. How do we truly know their proficiency? What means test have we operated to truly assess the compatibility of this individual to allow him/her access to our children for 30% of the educational day. It is a topic which I am hoping to develop a solution for very soon.

      However, having acknowledged the frailty of the coaching environment – let me say that undermining a coach to a child is a life lesson which remains very problematic to the child.

      A child must learn that in life sometimes we don’t get what we expect and we still need to remain on that path irrespective. That our passion and enjoyment cannot be defined by anyone but ourselves. These are some of the few lessons we can teach our kids in the management of the dissatisfaction.

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