A good preseason meetingattended by coaches, parents and players provides a perfect place for parents to have their questions and concerns answered before the season begins, often eliminating problems later on during the season itself.
Here are twenty-one questions parents should consider asking coaches before the season starts:
- How much training do you and your assistant coaches have (i.e. do you have a coach's license or certificate)?
- Do any of the coaches have any safety orfirst-aid training? Are the coaches trained to know thesigns and symptoms of concussion?
- Will a properly equippedfirst-aid kit be brought to all practices and competitions, and, for contact sports, have you received training in theevaluation and management of concussions? Will anautomatic external defibrillator (AED)and someone with up-to-date certification and training in first-aid, sports safety, and the use of an AED be present at all practices and competitions?
- Will someone with a cell phone be at all practices and games who cancall 911if necessary?
- Do you have anemergency medical planin place, and, if so, who will be responsible for calling the EMTs if necessary?
- Will you promise to always put my child's safety ahead of winning?
- Will you agree toset clear boundariesto prevent the possibility of abuse or harassment?
- Do you follow at wo-adult ruleto eliminate the possibility of sexual abuse?
- Will you agree not to allow the hazing or bullyingof athletes?
- Is there a policy in place to protect my child against psychological or emotional harm by coaches, an, if not, will you agree to refrain from conduct which is likely to cause players emotional or psychological harm?
- Will you agree to respect officials and not, for example, angrily yell at them for making what you believe to be bad calls?
- Are there ways for children to safely and anonymously report emotional, physical or sexual abuse by a coach to a parent or other responsible adult?
- What is the club or league policy regarding minimum playing time? What will beyourpolicy regarding playing time?
- How important is it to you to win as many games as possible? How important will it be for the kids to have fun, learn life lessons and teamwork and develop their skills as athletes?
- What is your policy regarding missed practices or games (i.e. what are circumstances in which it is acceptable for your child to miss a game, such as for a family wedding etc.)?
- What type of volunteer help do you need?
- What, when, and how is the best way to contact you? What is open to discussion? What is off limits?
- If you cannot make the game, will you let us know who is going to be the coach?
- Will you be in contact with parents during the season to give progress reports, get feedback?
- What should we do as parents if we notice that our child is not getting the minimum playing time?
- What tournaments are you planning for the team to enter and how much are they going to cost? Will there be any other extra expenses (specialized instruction etc.)?
Updated March 19, 2012