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Parents and coaches do not have to agree on everything to be partners. They merely need to remember that they are both on the same side when it comes to giving the players a positive and impactful youth sports experience. This type of relationship demands honesty, respect, a love for youth athletes and an underlying desire to see young athletes grow up through the youth sports experience. Here are some simple, yet effective ways that parents and coaches can work together.
Establish Good Communication:
Good communication between coaches and parents is a must for cooperation between the two. Coaches should be diligent about keeping parents informed about scheduling, volunteering, costs, playing philosophy and changes to any of the above. Parents, on the other hand, should keep coaches in the loop when it comes to missing practice, a child’s injuries, missing games and anything, including emotional struggles, that may affect an athlete’s ability to perform. Both parents and coaches should be honest with each other about expectations. What do coaches expect from players? From parents? What do parents expect from the coach? These are all questions that should be asked and answered each season.
Respect Each Other:
There’s no need for you and your child’s coach to be buddies, but if you want to work as partners, you must treat each other with mutual respect. This means you seek to understand each other and never discount someone’s opinions or feelings as ridiculous or irrational, even if you feel they are.
Listen to Each Other:
If parent and coach do not agree with one another, they must at least listen to each other if they want to work together. Hear each other out and always ask yourself if there’s something you can learn from the conversation.
Put the Kids First:
No matter how much parents and coaches disagree, or how much they dislike each other, there is ONE thing they can and should agree on: they must all do what’s best for the kids. This may mean they put their own personal opinions aside now and then and focus on what the kids need and want.
If parents and coaches can always remember that youth sports are ONLY about the athletes and their growth and improvement, kids in sports will have a better chance of reaching their potential and continuing to grow their love for the game.