Jim Bucci from Positive Coaching Alliance believes that there may be times when parents should speak to the coach.
In a situation where a child is coming to practice every day, working hard, and never gets to play in the game, if the coach has laid it out that effort is going to be rewarded, and that all the kids will be playing, I think that you have a very good reason to talk to that coach and just ask him. “You know, at the beginning of the season, these were the parameters that you laid out that would result in playing time. My son or daughter hasn’t missed a practice from what I see, and what she’s telling me is that she’s working hard in practice. Is there a problem in practice? Is there something I should be aware of, and what does she need to do to gain that playing time?”
At that point, what you’re doing is you’re not going in there with a head saying, “Hey, how come you’re not playing my kid? You know, my kid’s better than this kid.” But what you’re asking is, “What does my child need to do to get more playing time?”
If a child is on the bench all the time and doesn’t have the playing time in a high school situation where playing time is not mandated, I think at that age the child is old enough to make their own decisions. If they’re having fun, if they’re enjoying going to practice, if they’re okay with that situation, then absolutely, I think they should be allowed to play. If they’re not happy, it might be a time to look for other options.