I'm looking for a reality check. My two sons have been part of an under 13 hockey team all season, have attended training each week and played all games. They are amongst the weaker players on the team, and are probably never going to be sporting superstars - although they started the sport later than most and have been improving over the season. Nobody on the team wants to be the goalie, and my two have performed this task more often than most.
We are now at the pointy end of the season. Their last game was the semi (their team finished top of the ladder), which the team won. One son was goalie, and the other one was only played for about two-thirds of the game. The more talented players are never subbed off.
They came home from training this week quite disillusioned as they and one other boy (also one of the weaker players) had been singled out in front of the whole team by the coach who stated she wanted one of them to volunteer to be goalie, as they were the weakest players on the team. She also told the team that she would be fielding the strongest players possible, so not everyone would get equal field time.
I should mention that this is club sport, at the lowest level they can play. It is not a regional or state team, although some of the kids on the team do get chosen to play in rep sides. (not mine, obviously).
I think the whole situation stinks. I think at their age and at club level the emphasis should be on teamwork and a fair go for everyone. I think if you've trained and played all season, and have paid the same fees, you deserve an equal run. I think kids of that age should be encouraged to work together, as a team, even if that means letting the weaker players have equal field time as the stars.
I have been told to get my head out of the clouds and join the real world. Life's not fair, the aim is to win, it's not fair to the rest of the kids to possibly lose the grandfinal just so that everyone is treated "fairly". Basically, I've been told my boys need to just "suck it up" and accept the best thing for the team is for them to warm the bench. As a parent it hurts me to see their self-esteem being trodden on, and I don't want to see them abandon sport altogether. I'd expect the emphasis to be on winning if it was a rep side, but I can see why childhood obestity is such an issue if only the kids who have above average sporting ability are encouraged to stick with it.
What do you think? Am I justified in being upset with the coach, or do I need a "reality check"? Don't hold back - I'd appreciate honest opinions.