Here are some tips for appropriate and effective ways for parents to interact with their children’s coaches:
• Try to meet with the coach one-on-one before the season. If you can’t set up a one-on-one meeting, make sure you attend the parents’ orientation session. If one is not scheduled, insist that one be held. You want to hear the coach’s priorities.
• Volunteer some of your time. Bring the water or fruit slices, agree to make phone calls for rain-outs, offer to get those afternoon practices started if the coach can’t get away from work on time.
• Go to the coach after the game or practice - never during - if either your child or you are unhappy. Find a private, quiet time and place to share your concerns.
• Go to the league officials if you’re still not happy. That’s why they are there. But be prepared to help solve the problems. This is often how good coaches get their start. You may be surprised to find out that you have the right stuff to be a great coach.
More Resources: Web sites and books offering information and advice for parents and coaches.
Return to: What Makes a Great Coach? A Parents' Primer
Tom Moroney, author of this Parent's Primer, is co-author, along with Bob Bigelow and Linda Hall, of Just Let The Kids Play: How to Stop Other Adults from Ruining Your Child’s Fun and Success in Youth Sports, Health Communications Inc., 2001.
From United Parenting Publications, April 2002.