Bench PlayersMany years ago I watched parents of an elite travel soccer team that had won every tournament they participated in as well as the state championship bitch and complain to the coach for taking the starters (their children) out of games that were well on their way to being one-sided victories in order to get the "bench players" some playing time. 

It sickened and disappointed me as much then as a parent as it does today as a coach.  The degree of selfishness and disregard for others that some people demonstrate is absolutely astonishing, especially considering the fact that we're talking about team sports.

Instead they angrily confront the coaches privately, while publicly maintaining a facade of support for the team.

It is these very types of parents who give youth sports a bad name.  I'm not talking about disagreeing with coaching decisions at various points in the game, such as whether to bunt or not.  That's just a philosophical difference of opinion.  I'm talking about the parents who can't bear to see another child share any of the limelight.  The blow to their vanity causes them to act in the most selfish, mean spirited and condescending ways.

Just imagine the mindset it must take to begrudge non-starters the opportunity to contribute to the team's success, to be rewarded for their hard work and for cheering the starters on from the bench throughout the season.  And what about the resentment they must have for the parents of these backup players?  What kind of people behave like that?  It's this very mentality that often bleeds its way into the heads of the starters.  It's a cancer that slowly kills teams.

These people don't show their disdain for the backup players directly to the faces of their parents.  Instead they angrily confront the coaches privately, while publicly maintaining a facade of support for the team.   If it weren't for the rest of the players and their parents who don't act like this, there would be a shortage of quality coaches who genuinely care about all the players, not just the starters.  Good Grief!

There will never be apologies from this coach for finding opportunities to get backups into the games.

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