As coaches, it’s inevitable that we will have issues with parents throughout the season. Whether it’s a playing time complaint, disciplining their child or just a general concern, always remember that you’re dealing with someone’s child! Regardless of the situation, the parent will come to the defense of their kid. You will at times be on the wrong end of a complaint… don’t take it personal. It’s important to stand your ground, but always respect the parent’s emotions.
We’ve created a 24-hour policy with our teams to give issues the chance to die down before trying to resolve them. If problems get addressed immediately following the game they will most likely get blown out of proportion and turn into a shouting match. Give your parents the opportunity to go home, take a deep breath and think the situation through before discussing it with them. In most cases, things will calm down and the conversation will be much more productive the next day.
When creating rules and guidelines for your team, you must address them on day 1! Some examples of these rules might be:
It is crucial for coaches to stand by these rules and hold players accountable! Don’t let things slide. It’s that much harder to deal with them later down the road. Issues arise when coaches allow certain players to get away with things (usually the best player on the team) and attempt to discipline others for the same problems. Parents and players will respect the decision of the coach if he/she stays consistent and fair with everyone.
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