Dear Coach: My high school soccer coach is showing favoritism to
his son by playing him more than the other kids (including me).
Should I say something about it?
Dear Jockey: First, talk to the coach about your own playing
time. You can do this without mentioning other players. See if
the coach has any specific suggestions about how you can improve,
so you can get on the field more. If you aren't satisfied with
his answer, meet with your school's athletic director. Keep in
mind that most athletic directors give their coaches broad
latitude in determining who gets to play. The good news is that
most people are sensitive to claims of nepotism, so when such
concerns are raised, they're usually taken seriously. A
sympathetic athletic director will often look into a situation to
make sure no favoritism is shown.
Dear Coach: My cousin is a 16-year-old football player. He has
the potential to be great. But he's bossy with teammates and
exhibits poor sportsmanship. How can we improve his approach to
Dear Hog-tied: Just like an out pattern or a screen pass,
sportsmanship has to be taught. Have your cousin's coach sit him
down and explain that part of being a good player is being a good
teammate. Make sure the coach is specific about what's expected
of a leader: no trash-talking, no taunting, no bossing teammates.
If the message still doesn't get through, the coach has to have
the guts to bench the kid, regardless of how good he is. Trust
us, that'll get a player's attention.
November 20, 2000
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