Both parenting and coaching are both extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide greater benefit to children. As parents, when your children become involved in our program, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on your child. This begins with clear communication from our student-athletes coach.
Communication you should expect from the coach
- Philosophy of the coach.
- Expectations the coach has for your student as well as all the players on the squad.
- Locations and times of all practices and contests.
- Team requirements, e.g., fees, special equipment, off-season expectations.
- Procedure to follow should your student be injured during participation.
- Discipline that results in the denial of your child’s participation.
- The availability of the coach to speak with your student if they have a problem.
Communication coaches expect from parents
- Concern expressed directly, at appropriate times, to the coach.
- Notification of any schedule conflicts which involve absence from practices or contests well in advance.
- Your support for the program that your student has chosen to participate in and positive encouragement for all involved.
As your student-athletes become involved in the athletic teams, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is also important to understand that there will also be times when things do not go the way your student wishes. This is the time when your student should talk to his/her coach. This type of communication will help give both coach and athlete a better understanding of each other’s ideas and goals.
Appropriate concerns to discuss with coaches
- Suggested ways to help your student athlete improve.
- Concerns about your student-athlete’s behavior and/or academic progress.
It is very difficult to accept that your student athlete may not play as much as you may have hoped. Our coaches are experienced, professional educators. They are required to make judgment decisions based upon evaluation of practice performance and what they believe to be in the best interest of all those involved in their programs. As you have read from the list above, certain things can be and should be discussed with your student-athlete’s coach. Other items, such as the following, must be left to the discretion of the coach:
Issues not appropriate to discuss with coaches
- Playing time
- Team Strategy
- Play calling
- Other student-athletes
Procedure to follow if you have a concern to discuss with a coach
- Have your student-athlete meet with his/her coach to discuss an issue. (On most occasions, this coach-to-athlete meeting can resolve issues or questions.)
- Call the coach directly to discuss your concerns. Call your child's school and leave a message with the secretary. Please DO NOT attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parents and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.
What can a parent do if the coach-athlete and parent-coach meeting did not provide satisfactory resolution
Call and set up an appointment with the Principal, Athletic Director and the coach to discuss the situation. At this meeting, issues of concern will be discussed and an appropriate plan of action developed.
The value of co-curricular activities relating to future success
Research indicates that students involved in co–curricular activities have a greater chance for success during adulthood. Many of the positive character traits required to be a successful participant in athletics are exactly those that will promote a successful life after high school. The information provided here is designed to make your student-athlete’s experience enjoyable and beneficial.