Parenting and coaching are both extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide a greater benefit to children. As parents, when your child is involved in our program, you have the right to understand what expectations are placed on him/her. This begins with clear communication from the coach of the sport.
Communication coaches expect from athletes & parents
- Concerns expressed directly to the coach.
- Notification of any schedule conflicts in advance.
- Notification of illness or injury as soon as possible.
As your child becomes involved in his/her programs at middle and high school, he/she will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is important to understand that there also may be times when things do not go the way you and your child wish. At these times, discussion with the coach is encouraged. It is the first and most integral step to understanding and resolution.
Appropriate/Inappropriate concerns to discuss with coaches
The following topics are appropriate for discussion.
- The treatment of your child.
- Ways to help your child improve.
- Concerns about your child’s behavior.
It is very difficult to accept your child not playing as much as you had hoped. Coaches are professionals. They make decisions based on what they believe to be best for all student-athletes involved. As you have seen from the list above, certain things can be and should be discussed with your child’s coach. The three items listed below should be left to the discretion of the coach.
- Playing time, positioning, and event entry.
- Team strategies, game tactics, play calling.
- Any discussion about other student-athletes.
There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and player, or coach and parent. These conferences are encouraged. It is important that all parties involved have a clear understanding of the other person’s position. When a conference is necessary, the following procedures should be used to help resolve any concerns.
- Student-Coach – open-door policy for all coaches
- Parent-Coach – done by appointment
If you have a concern to discuss with a coach, the procedure you should follow is:
- Call the coach to schedule an appointment.
- If the coach cannot be reached, call the school athletic director; he/she will set a meeting for you.
- Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach. Meetings of this nature usually do not promote positive resolutions.
The next step
What can a parent do if the meeting with the coach did not provide a satisfactory resolution?
- Call and schedule an appointment with the school athletic director to discuss the situation.
- At this meeting the appropriate next step can be determined, if necessary