Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each role, we are better able to accept the actions of others and provide greater benefit to the students. As parents, when your children become involved in a school’s sports programs, you have the right to understand what expectations are placed on your child. This begins with clear communication between coach, parent and student athlete.
Communication You Should Expect from Your Child’s Coach
- Expectations the coach has for the team.
- Location and times of all practices and contests.
- Team requirements: special equipment, off-season conditioning responsibilities, etc.
- Procedure should your child be injured during participation.
- Team rules and guidelines
Communication Coaches Expect from Athletes
- Notification of any schedule conflicts in advance
- Additional health concerns.
- Special concerns in regard to the coach’s philosophy and/or expectations.
- Prompt reporting of injuries.
As your children become involved in an athletic program, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is important to understand that there also may be times when things do not go the way that your child wishes. At these times, discussion with the coach is of paramount importance. Parents are urged to encourage their child to discuss issues/concerns with their coach. This step is an important aspect in confidence building, self-esteem, personal responsibility and maturation.
Appropriate Parental Concerns to Discuss with the Coach
- The treatment of your child — mentally and physically.
- Ways to help your child improve.
- Concerns about your child’s academics or behavior.
It is very difficult to accept your child not playing as much as you desire. Coaches are professionals. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interests of the team and for all students involved. Certain things can and should be discussed with your child’s coach. Other things must be left to the discretion of the coach.
Issues Not to Be Discussed with the Coach
- Playing time
- Team strategy
- Play calling
- Other student-athletes on the team
Procedures to Discuss Concerns with the Coach
There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and the parent. It is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other’s position. When these conferences are necessary, the following procedures should be followed to help promote a resolution to the issue of concern.
- Call the coach to set up an appointment.
- If the coach cannot be reached, call the athletic office to ask for assistance in setting up the meeting.
- Please do not attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice.
These can be emotional times for the parent and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution. Please take into consideration the coach’s responsibilities at this time, as the coach is responsible for the supervision and safety of all athletes involved in the program, before, during and after an activity. If meeting with the coach does not provide a satisfactory resolution of your concerns, call and set up an appointment with the Athletic Director to discuss the situation. If needed, a meeting with the High School Principal may be arranged to assist.