skip navigation


Parents Seeking More Playing Time

Doc Rivers is the head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers, he had a stellar playing career with several NBA teams before moving on to coach the Orlando Magic and the Celtics, Rivers is also a sports parent, as father of Austin Rivers, who played at Duke University & the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In this video, Rivers shares his approach as a sports parent when his kids sought help getting more playing time during their youth sports days. Rivers never went to the coach to request more playing time for his children; instead he used it as a teachable moment, explaining to his children what motivates a coach and encouraging them to focus on what they can control and earn their playing time. If your children complain about playing time, talk to them about what they can do at practice to get their minutes to go up during game situations. This might involve working harder or spending time outside of practice on a skill. It also might mean encouraging your child to have an honest conversation with the coach. Most importantly, Rivers believes that kids need to learn to earn their playing time and it’s not the parent’s role to talk to the coach about this coaching decision. From Positive Coaching Alliance Website

College Coach on Players Social Media

David Shaw is the current Head Football Coach at Stanford University. Shaw has set records as the third-fastest active coach, one of three coaches to lead his team to BCS bowls in his first 3 years as head coach, and he helped Stanford become the only team to earn four consecutive BCS bowl bids during the Bowl Championship Series Era. Shaw is also a two-time recipient of the PAC-12 Coach of the Year Award.

Here, Shaw explains how technology has changed the way college athletic teams recruit and perceive athletes. College teams are worth a lot of money, which means they want to know exactly who they will be investing in. He used his own experience at Stanford as an example: on scouting pro day all the recruits are required to give their social media information to all the scouts. Shaw also discusses how even though children from this generation feel close to their smartphones and feel invincible on social media, they have to be constantly reminded about the material they post. Everybody is watching how athletes behave off the field as if they are future employers, therefore it is especially critical for athletes to understand the information they choose to share. From Positive Coaching Alliance Website

Sideline Behavior can affect a player

Danielle Slaton (@DanielleVSlaton) is a Positive Coaching Alliance Trainer (workshop leader), who played soccer for the U.S. Women's National Team from 2000-2005, earning a silver medal in the Olympics and a bronze in the Women's World Cup. She played professionally in the WUSA, where she won a championship and was the league defender of the year in 2002. She also played professionally in France, and earlier captained her Santa Clara University team to the 2001 NCAA title. There, she was a three-time All-America and she was named the 2001 NCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year.

After her playing career, Danielle coached at Northwestern University and earned her Master's Degree in Sports Administration.

Here, Danielle recalls one of her elite soccer peers failing to make a team: Despite that player having the requisite skill and ability, her father's sideline behavior, such as yelling at officials, eventually kept the coach from adding her to the team: From Positive Coaching Alliance Website

Let the Coaches Coach

oy Fawcett is a former U.S. National Women's Soccer Team star, two-time World Cup Champion and three-time Olympic medalist. A member of PCA's National Advisory Board, she holds the record as the highest-scoring defender in USWNT history and has a team-record 239 caps. She is known as the "Ultimate Soccer Mom" for raising a family during her playing career, along with her husband, Walt, and helping him run the Saddleback United youth soccer club in Southern California.

In this video, Fawcett discusses the importance of parents letting their kids' coaches coach. As a former player and coach it was difficult for Fawcett not to give her children instructions while they were on the field. Eventually, she realized it is confusing for players to take instructions from both their coaches and their parents. As a parent it is imperative to remain positive, supportive, and "let the kids just play" to create a beneficial sport experience. From Positive Coaching Alliance Website


  1. Playing Time: The number one thing parents complain about is their child’s playing time. “Why isn’t my child playing more?” Families put in a lot of time and money and naturally have expectations based on this, but BACK OFF and trust the coach. Any playing time questions should ultimately be an athlete-coach conversation not a parent-coach discussion. If an athlete feels they are being slighted, it’s up to them to talk it over with a Coach. If your child isn’t comfortable doing so, then it must be more important to you than it is to your kid.
  1. Positioning: Coaches have a method to their madness. They put a lot of thought into their game plans. If they feel they need to switch up player positioning, then they will do it. No Coach needs a parent requesting changes be made to their lineup. Once again, if your athlete feels a change should be made, by all means they should request a meeting with their Coach.
  1. Winning: I think a lot of parents forget there’s an important thing called development in youth sports and losses are part of that development. No Coach sets out to purposely lose. They are likely just as competitive as you, if not more. The difference is a good coach understands that sometimes you may have a losing season in spite of gained improvement. It is a huge mistake to only see a winning season as a successful one.
  1. All-Star teams: Maybe your child will be chosen for the end-of-the-year all-star team or maybe they won’t. Please don’t plead your case to the Coach on why your child is deserving. The decision is not yours to make. And if your athlete isn’t chosen, don’t ask the Coach why not. Use not making that team as a motivating tool for the next season.
  1. Teammates: Don’t critique your kid’s teammates or question the coach about another’s playing time or overall game play. Your focus as a parent should only be on your child and that he is personally developing and enjoying the friends he is making through this sport. If your child is experiencing problems with another in the locker room or on the field, have him talk to the Coach about it.