Parents and Coaching
If you coach for students, you may resonate with this post from The CoachAD on the difficulties that parents can present for you. The post has some positive points on dealing with difficult parents, particularly on how to keep them informed and in-the-loop. It also has some more radical suggestions, and you should read the comments from other parents/coaches below the post. Join in the discussion, and let them know what you think.
Coach and writer, Mike Davenport says about the article: The topic of parents and coaching is a hot one now, for many different reasons. This article outlines some nice tools to think about incorporating to help the relationship keep functioning well.
8 Areas To Affect Change
How do we affect change? Invest your time in the following eight areas.
1. Awareness and Education. Parents need information on a youth sport philosophy that focuses on the values for the participant.
2. In-Service Training. Provide youth coaches with in-service training to deliver the accepted program philosophy. We can't expect volunteers to be armed with the requisite skill set to successfully deliver program benefits.
3. Support Coaches At All Levels. Youth sport volunteers give their time and energy, often making personal sacrifice. They deserve complete support. Secondary coaches are formally trained and certified. They enter the profession with an altruistic mission and single-minded purpose to help teenagers use athletics to become successful citizens. They spend years honing their craft by attending clinics and camps and are members of professional coaching associations. Many are published authors and sought-after clinicians spending limitless hours working with players. They have earned the right to be called “coach.” They are the experts. We must disallow parents from criticizing their competency.
4. Change The Secondary School Problem Solving System.Why do we ask coaches to rationalize their decisions to parents in the name of public relations? Parents call and admit they know nothing about sports and in the next breath, criticize strategy. Playing time and strategy are discussions only resting with the player and the coach.
5. Create Limited Oversight. If a parent has an issue other than playing time or strategy, the discussion begins with the coach. This step is non-negotiable. If a parent is unwilling to speak with the coach, do not allow another administrator to enter into dialogue. If the parent remains unsatisfied after meeting with the coach, then an appeal is made to the athletic director.
The athletic director investigates, renders a decision and communicates the decision to the parent. If the parent remains unsatisfied, an appeal is made to the principal. The principal holds the discretionary authority to unilaterally support the recommendation of the athletic director or grant a meeting at his or her level. If the recommendation is supported, no further meetings at any level are granted. If a meeting is granted, the principal investigates, renders a decision and communicates the decision to the complainant. This is the final oversight opportunity.
If a principal continually is granting meetings at his or her level, the problem rests with the athletic director, not the parents. Do not allow aggrieved parties to move through the chain of command ending with the board of education unless the issue involves violations of policy or the law.