A better approach is to acknowledge the pain, let them know that you understand it, and then remind them that they’ll be fine. It may take a little while, but they will survive it – we always do.
One of the hardest things to deal with as an athlete – youth to pro – is not getting playing time. Every athlete wants to contribute, wants to feel like they are a part of the accomplishments of the team and just simply wants to play because it’s more fun than not playing. But not everyone can play all the time and that is one of the realities that our kids learn in sports.
WHAT NOT TO DO
So, what can we say as parents, and as importantly what do we NOT want to say that can actually end up making the situation worse even thought we are trying to make it better?
First, let's start with what NOT to do. This is the hardest part. We should not try to “save” them from the discomfort/pain of not playing by telling them that the coach is stupid, unfair, doesn’t know what he or she is doing, playing favorites, etc.