Coaching kids of any age can be a very rewarding experience. Many people accept a coaching position out of obligation but continue with it for very noble reasons. Coaches get to see kids grow, learn, improve, have fun and at times get to be kids again ourselves. All while building a very special connection with a group of young people that will last a very long time.


Parents want to see the best for their children but the
coach has to do what is best for the entire team. This large difference
in perspective can often be the source of the bad part coaching;
dealing with parents. Most parent-coach issues arise from poor
communication or roles, expectations, rules or policies. Much of these
problems can be avoided with an early parent's meeting. If you have not had one  yet, do it now! I can not stress this enough. 


Important items on the agenda of your first parent


Logistics and General Information


  • Season schedule: Include all games, as many
    practice times or possible practice times as possible.

  • Location/addresses of game or practiced

  • League information: websites.

  • Identify all of the possible costs associated
    with the league and possible fund raising options if necessary.

  • Get the contact information of all parents:
    Include cell phones, email and alternate emergency contact numbers. Develop a
    contact list of emails and/or phone numbers that can be circulated so that team
    members can contact each other for rides or information, if necessary.

  • Get pertinent medical information in case
    something happens to their child when they are not in attendance.

  • Make a plan for rides. With whom does their
    child have permission to get ride with?

  • Are their any parents that will spending lots of
    time with team as more than just a parent. If so, have them fill out a child
    abuse registry check form.


Coaching and Team Expectations


  • Outline you personal coaching philosophy. What
    is the level of competitiveness of the league and this program? Make sure it
    appropriate for their child and meets their needs.

  • Discuss with each player what will determine
    their playing time and give them an idea of their role on the team.  Tell the parents you have done this and ask
    them to speak with their child.  Both the
    player and the parents need to agree with their role on the team and possible
    playing time. (Note: is best to be as honest and straight forward as possible
    on this one. And then do what you say you are going to do!

  • What are team rules and expectations for the
    players: Attendance at practice, behavior, equipment. Try to have a few general but important rules if possible. The more specific you are, the more they can use these rules against you and the less flexible you can be in enforcing them. Not every rule has to enforced the same way all of the time. "Fair" and 'equal" are not the same thing. 

  • Parental expectations: Can they attend practice?
    What is appropriate game behaviors during games, be sure to address
    interacting with officials and appropriate cheering during the game. A parent’s
    role is to positively cheer for their kid and their team. They are not at the
    game to coach, to officiate or be a critic of either.

  • Encourage them to come and talk to you directly
    if they feel there is a problem on the team or with their child that you can
    help with. Some issues can fester and propagate like a cancer when not dealt
    with quickly by the coach.


Welcome them as an important part
of the team. Getting their children involved in sport is investment of their family’s
time and money that you take very seriously. Keep lines of communication open for the season. 



Individual meetings
with parent


  • If possible, have another adult present, even
    just a witness to what transpires.

  • Try to avoid discussing or comparing other
    players. Keep them out of it. Deal with the issues that involve their child

  • Listen most of the time.

  • Consider what they are saying try not to make
    any sudden rush to judgment.

  • Always act in the best interest of the team and
    the child first.



Generally speaking, if you are up front and honest, treat all
members of the team with respect at all times you can expect the same in return.
You are very likely to have no major problems and a great season. However, a
short important meeting at the beginning of the season can prevent issues any
problems from arising and help to cure any other that you may encounter.


 Good luck with your season. 

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