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Travel Team Playing Time

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I found this on coachdeck.com and wanted to share it here as I think it is a big issue in today's youth sports.

We received this email from a coach who is struggling with disgruntled parents on the soccer team she is coaching:

I am the coach of a u11 academy girls soccer team. I have been getting a lot of flack from parents about playing time. This is from, of course, the parents of the weaker players who are not starters and don’t play quite as much. I just read your article and forwarded on to my parents, some of which are addressing (or flat out asking) if they spend all this money on our preseason tournament is their child gonna play? Some have “threatened” to not go if their child does not play more. Anyway, rather than respond defensively and say something I might regret later I just sent the link to your article. Hopefully, they will get it. Thanks for the help!

The article referenced is interesting in itself - Parents and playing time.

Now I don't want to dog this coach as there are many people out there who totally believe in this kind of thing. My middle son played "Club Soccer". Fortunately, he was pretty good and got plenty of playing time but I always thought it was interesting that parents would shell out all of the money that's involved in travel teams; trainer fees, uniform fees, field fees and tournament fees not to mention the cost of gas, hotel and food to watch their child sit on the sidelines.

I have a hard time understanding one concept here. Most of these coaches are getting paid to coach. That makes them "professional" doesn't it? If their "professional" doesn't that mean that they should be held accountable for how well the players are progressing? If certain players on the team never progress to the point where they are getting equal playing time then who is to blame? The player, the coach or both?

My question to that coach is why are you carrying those players? Is it because you believe in them and feel that you can improve their play enough to become full time starters or is it because you need bodies to practice against or bodies to fill in, in case your stud's can't make the game?

Love to hear othe's take on this as maybe I am completely missing the boat here but I don't get it.

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