If you coach a youth sports team, learn how to work with their parents as well
Coaching Youth Sports
As a youth coach, you know that working with parents can sometimes be a joy, other times a bit strenuous. If you think that the relationship between coaches and parents of the players can occasionally be a hassle, don’t worry, you are not alone. Keep in mind that most of the time, they are just trying to look out for their best interests, which are their children.
Fortunately there are a few things you can do as a coach to build a positive relationship with the parents of your team. First off, you should always be on a first name basis with the parents. This establishes a personal relationship with them which is kind, courteous, and makes them feel more involved. By addressing the personally, you’ve already got the foundations of a positive relationship with them.
Second, approach them after each game. You probably know that this is easier said than done, because after practice and games you’re busy packing up and they are busy leaving. Nonetheless, it is important to at least make the effort. Try to approach each parent after every game and practice and tell them how their kid did that day and what you plan on working on in the future. Even if you don’t get the chance to meet all of them, your efforts will be appreciated.
Third, have a group meeting with all of the parents after every few games. The more the merrier, but depending on your and their schedules you might not be able to do it every time. Having a group meeting after games gives the parents a larger scope of what is going on with the team, allows them a chance to ask questions, and hopefully, answers a few of their questions before they ask them.
Try these general rules of thumb for working with parents, and your relationship with them will only grow more positive. Reaching out to them before they feel compelled to come to you is a great way to nip any problems in the butt before they happen.
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