My 13 year old son plays football and I can’t understand why the coach doesn’t play him more. He loves the game and team but he's starting to lose interest. What can I do to get him more playing time?
Thirteen is a tricky age because it’s about the age when sports become more competitive. That why it’s also the age when most kids quit. At this age most coaches in almost every sport expect players to have a certain set of skills. Your job as a parent is to help your child learn how to talk to the coach to find out what is expected of him and what skills he might be lacking. The first few times, go with your son to speak to the coach. Start the conversation with, “Dylan would really like to play more. What does he need to improve so he can get the opportunity?” Most coaches respond favorably to a player who wants to improve and will give you and your child some areas to work on. You and your son now have bench marks to go by and you’re not just a frustrated parent in the stands.
It’s now your job as a parent to roll up your sleeves and help your child get better. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask the coach. As your son’s skills improve, praise his endeavors. Keep checking in with the coach so he's made aware of your son's improvements.
When there are clear goals, it will relieve your son's frustration, and most likely will keep him interested in the game. Eventually, try to encourage your son to talk to the coach by himself; this will become a great lifetime skill.