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Communicating with Parents

Parents Who Interfere: Was Quitting The Only Way Out For Coach?


This weekend a father from Michigan sent me an article in the Detroit News about a highly successful high school basketball coach in his daughter's league who had just quit as a result of what the newspaper described as "extreme parental interference."

He wanted to know what I would suggest to the coach, who happened to be a personal friend.

Coaches who don't have problems with pushy parents tend to be the great communicators; they let them know where they stand early, before the season even starts, at a preseason meeting.

A Team With An Attitude: Mid-Season Evaluation Form Can Help

It seems that every time I have a conversation with a coach who complains that some of his players have bad attitudes, I quickly start getting a sense that the coach not only isn't doing anything to make things better, but may be contributing to the problem in the first place.  It is often easy for an outsider to spot the bad body language that infects so many player/coach relationships, but goes unchallenged and unaddressed because of the power that a coach has over playing time. If this doesn't make sense to you, start watching the coaches at games, and pay close attention to their body language and interaction with their players. See which team ends up winning. The coach who interacted with their athletes least, and displayed the better body language, probably came out on top.

One way to correct bad attitudes on a team is to give athletes and their parents a chance to express their concerns or air grievances anonymously during the season through a mid-season evaluation form.

Respect of Coaches Is Earned in Many Ways

With no disrespect  to my young educated readers, I’m going  to start this article with the dictionary definition of respect.    (transitive verb)  : to consider worthy of high regard.  After reading the definition of respect, a lot of questions came to mind. Like, how many young athletes out there respect their coach and how many don’t? How many coaches respect their athletes, or don’t?  How many parents respect their kids coach, or don’t? How many coaches respect the team parents?  Above all, why does it matter and where and how does respect happen. Wow, way too many questions.

There are lots of ways a youth sports coach can earn the respect of his or her players and their parents.

Pre-Season Meeting Open Lines of Communication Between Parents and Coaches

The most successful sports seasons are the ones that begin with a pre-season meeting of coaches, team moms, parents and players. A preseason meeting sets a positive tone for the season by opening the lines of communication early so everyone is on the same page and understands and agrees on what they expect from one another.

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