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Athletic Support: Coaching change has son concerned about playing time
eli cranor
Syndicated sports columnist Eli Cranor

DEAR ATHLETIC SUPPORT: I enjoy reading your column each week. Here’s a question for you. My son’s high school team is getting a new coach next year.

My son has worked hard and earned the respect of (and playing time from) the old coach, but now he is understandably nervous about having a new coach. What advice would you give him?

—Concerned Father 

DEAR CRAZY: Glad to hear you’re enjoying the column. Your son has every right to be worried. Nobody likes change.

But in the end, coaches don’t play favorites.

Playing time isn’t a popularity contest; it’s more like a tryout.

In other words, if your son works hard like he did for his former coach, then he shouldn’t have any problem maintaining his playing time. He might even see more action than what he’s accustomed to.

And therein lies the beauty of a new coach — everyone gets a fresh start. That’s the best way to approach this change with your son. Try to get him to see that there could be new doors opening and exciting opportunities ahead.

Whatever you do, don’t pull him from the team and transfer to another school. From what I’ve heard, this trend is growing in high school athletics, just like it is in the college football ranks. One day, your son will have a job and a boss. There’s a good chance he’ll have a whole bunch of different bosses, and he’ll need to understand how to adapt to each one’s different leadership style. Use this transitional period to teach your son lessons that will last a lifetime. Resist the temptation to jump ship at all costs.

Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author.

His debut novel, Don’t Know Tough, is available wherever books are sold. Send in questions for “Athletic Support” by using the “Contact” page at

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