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Unhappy with your coach? How to respond
by Pete Huryk, April 15th, 2014 2:48PM

TAGS:  youth boys, youth girls


By Pete Huryk

Invariably as I talk to players, there are usually complaints surrounding coaches. I'm sure that the players believe the gripes are legitimate. This is a perfect opportunity to use your focus and circumvent things you can't control.

First of all, think of the things that you really want in a coach. Think of the attributes in your ideal coach, not the outcomes.

Do you want a coach who gives you playing time regardless of your skill or attitude? Do you want a coach who gives out equal playing time? Do you want a coach who blasts you for mistakes or talks to you calmly about issues?

Once you've identified the characteristics that you want. Figure out where there are differences between the ideal and the real. Then figure out what you can do to influence a change.

If your coach is a yeller and it has a negative effect on your play, find a calm and quiet moment to talk to him about the situation. Pointing fingers and complaining about the situation creates separation and doesn’t fix anything. Even after trying this attempt, it may not change his demeanor. You can only control yourself. So when you get yelled at, change your perspective, hear the words but not the intensity. Or possibly only listen during his calm moments.

In the end, you are trying to become a member of a team and the coach is simply the director of that group. Focus on your contributions to the team without thought of reward.

Selflessness will get you farther than selfishness.

(Pete Huryk is the author of "Fill Your Boots: A Personal Guide for the High School Player," from which this was excerpted. Huryk has coached at the college, high school and youth levels. Presently he serves as the Director of Development for SoccerSmith of New Jersey. He blogs at

  1. feliks fuksman
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 10:12 p.m.
    Very good suggestions.
  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: April 15, 2014 at 11:46 p.m.
    If you have issues with a specific coach, you can always change teams if you don't like that one coach. But if you've "bought in" to a club, you're likely to experience a different coach every 1-2 years. This wouldn't be a problem, except that clubs don't hew to a philosophy of play or commitment to "development", so you might see-saw from PossessionCoach to KickAndRunCoach. If you want your kid to learn Possession, there isn't one club in our large market (Cal-N) that promises (and delivers). It's all about Making Your Child a Complete Person, blah blah blah. And the ratio is about 20 KickAndRunCoaches for every PossessionCoach.

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