5 answers

How to Handle Basketball Coach Treating Son Unfairly

My soon to be 12 year old son recently joined a basketball team at the YMCA. He has never been in sports and wanted to try this. I was told this group was for kids of all levels and signed him up. He is the most inexperienced player on his team, but tries really really hard and seems to be doing his best. The first game went ok-he was held out quite a bit. The second game he was held out for over half of the game!! No other kid was held out like he was--it was very obvious. My son was upset and feels his coach doesn't like him and would like to quit. I don't want him to quit, but I just don't know the right way to handle this. This just breaks my heart. I feel angry. What would you all do about this? Thank you so much!

What can I do next?

More Answers

I am the commissioner of my son's basketball league. First you should check the website for YMCA most leagues have a player participation rule. I looked at the rules for Arlington (TX) their rule: Every player that shows up for the game on-time shall play a minimum of 2 quarters per game.

Please read over the rules and talk to the coach, if nothing happens then talk to the YMCA representative incharge of basketball.

Good luck this season not all coaches are hard to get along with.

2 moms found this helpful

This is tough and heartbreaking I know as a mother. Especially at this age (in TX i might also add) when most kids have been playing since they were 4. I see it all the time, a coach gets a group of skilled players and is less then compassionate to the select few kids who have not played before. I know this is supposed T. a learning experience but for most coaches it is about a winning experience. I am sure your son does not want you talking to the coach about it for fear of embarrassment but maybe you could talk to the coach in private without your son knowing and tell him how your son is feeling. It was my understanding that the YMCA was non-competitive and offered equal playing time. If you are still not pleased by the end of the season I would suggest trying "Up Ward" basketball (or whatever sport he wants to try next) Up Ward sports is a christian based association that focuses on non-competitive play. I don't even think they keep score and I know every kid gets equal play. Good Luck and tell your son to stick it out and give it his best!

1 mom found this helpful

It is hard to sit on the sidelines and watch your child being treated unfairly. But the YMCA does have minimum play time, but not equal play time. If the coach is not letting your son play the minimum time, I would bring it to the coach's attention in a nice way. If that doesn't work, i would bring it to the attention of the YMCA league commissioner or the sports director at the Y. I would also ask about extra practice or drills or clinics that your son might be able to do to improve his skill level. Sometimes these are held during Spring Break or over the summer. At 12, many of the kids have been playing for years and have developed into good players. Maybe if he makes the effort to work on the outside and improve his skill level, he will get more time to play in practice and in the game. do you have a basketball hoop in your driveway or one close by? Or See if some of the other parents might let your son come over and shoot hoops and practice defense with their son.


I just went through this with my 10year old son. He was the only one held out for half the game. I talked to the coach and told him what we have observed. The rules say they must play 2 quarters. But my son was the only one held out half of every single game. My sons coach was understanding when I bought this to his attention. I know my son is not the best player, its his first year. But I did explain that he may need encouragement. I asked that he be fair with rotating the boys so that its fair.
I have also had my son practicing with other kids who know how to play. I would talk to him to see what he says. Maybe sone extra practice will really help him. Good luck!

I'm not sure there is anything you can do about it if there aren't any rules stating that each player gets equal playing time. By age 12, boys sports are competitive and most teams will give more playing time the better players. The best thing you can do is to talk to the coach or, better yet, have your son ask the coach what he can do to improve and get more playing time.

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