Have you ever had a miscommunication with a parent which didn’t end well? If so, you’re not alone.
While traveling the country coaches tell us parents are one the top reasons why they decide to call it quits.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Imagine coaching in a program where parental incidents were no longer an issue.
Effective communication between parents and coaches will eliminate issues and create a great culture surrounding your program.
Here are three reasons WHY parent communication is important:
- Transparency – It’s critical for us as coaches to clearly communicate our expectations to parents early, and often. In the beginning of the season meeting we should communicate what we expect of the athletes, as well as the parents. This is the perfect time to outline all policies and procedures. It’s also a good idea to provide a list to parents what they can expect from the coaches. You may also want to open the floor up for discussion on the expectations between parents and coaches. The more transparent we are at the beginning of the season, the fewer headaches we have during it.
- Collaboration – The more parents feel a part of what your program is doing the more they will help it grow. It’s a great idea to include parents on the goals for their child and team. In doing so, we can discuss any unrealistic expectations before they become major problems. It’s also a good practice to come to an agreement on the boundaries for questions after games, and one-on-one meetings. Another idea is to have a parent liaison each season. This is great way to maintain healthy communication and to increase parent involvement with working concessions and fundraisers. Parent collaboration is not only important to our programs’ success, it’s necessary.
- Community – It’s exhausting and illogical to try to do everything by yourself. Parents want to help and be involved. Coaches need to encourage their parents to take ownership of the program. When parents feel involved they will go above and beyond to support their children. It’s a good idea to set up a team shop with a variety of gear for parents to choose from. Coaches should go out of their way to make parents feel special at their “Parent” and “Senior Nights.” Another way to build community is to ask for parent volunteers to host team dinners and team bonding nights. You can also ask for parent volunteers to provide meals or snacks before long road trips. The more we involve our parents, the stronger the sense of community becomes within our programs.
We hope you’ve found this blog helpful. If so, please share with a coach who could benefit from it.
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