Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 January 2014 09:24
From the web site "Coaching Youth Sports" by Richard K. Stratton
You have done all your work, evaluated last season performance. Looked at the players capabilities, developed a gameplan and set up your season planning. You are ready to go! But are your players (and their parents) on board? Do not miss this step: align with parents and get them involved in the correct way.
Even in the National Under 18 team I coached the parents played an important role (although there where some important differences compared to club teams).
Planning a Preseason Team Meeting with Parents
Many coaches do not start off the season with a formal meeting that include the coaching staff, the athletes, and the parents. This is a mistake that can result in problems as the season progresses. Before your first practice of the season you should hold this type of meeting. There are many things that could be discussed. One consideration before setting the agenda is to include the parent(s) as well as the athletes in the meeting. This can help head off later misunderstandings between you and the parents about your coaching style, etc. In no particular order you should include on the agenda:
- Your coaching philosophy
- Your coaching style
- Your general goals for the team
- What you typically do during a practice session
- What you expect from the athletes (athletes' rights and responsibilities)
- What you expect from the parents (parents' rights and responsibilities)
- Discussion of the risks involved in the sport (include a discussion of medical care processes)
- Season practice schedule and game schedule
- Allow time for questions from the parents and athletes.
Depending on the sport you are coaching there may be other issues such as: travel plans, bad weather contingency plans. In your discussion of your coaching style you might include things such as how decisions are made (leadership style), the role of assistant coaches if you have any, how you teach, and whether or not you use physical contact with the athletes when you coach.
The key is to cover anything you can think of that might come up during the season. Be thorough. Not only does this help reduce problems later in the year, but also gives the players and parents a feeling of confidence in you by demonstrating that you think and plan well for the best possible experience for the athletes on your team.
Team meeting for seniors?
Yes, when you see the list above it makes sense to have a similar agenda when setting up a meeting with a senior side.
The Perverse Triad
A whole theory behind this but in this setting it means that when a parent does not agree with a coach the child's loyalty will be torn between parent and coach. Definitely a situation we do not want! Tell the parents they need to support you and come to you when they not agree.
Remember we all need the same thing, a positive rugby experience.